AlUla’s unique geology continues to play an important role in creating habits for a range of wildlife today. One example is the sandstone landscape of the Sharaan Nature Reserve
where enormous amounts of sediment were deposited around 500 million years ago. Today many different types of plants are well-adapted to thrive in sandy soils, which support the likes of ostriches, ibex and gazelle that roam free among red-rock canyons and verdant valleys. “AlUla is a special ecosystem,” Hana explains, “with an abundance of wild plants and flowers that never ceases to surprise me.”
AlUla’s outdoors was “made for hiking and other activities
,” she continues, offering visitors everything from gentle desert strolls to extreme hiking through rugged canyons and natural pools. There are ample opportunities to take to the skies too, from hot air ballooning to helicopter tours
– there’s no better way to appreciate AlUla’s spectacular landscape and landmarks than from the air.
But ultimately what many find most magical about AlUla is an almost mystical sense of peace and open space its geography provides, and the positive effect this has on your wellbeing. “Nothing compares with going to sleep under a sky full of stars,” recalls Hana, “and waking up with a cup of tea as the sun rises behind magnificent sandstone mountains.” Much of this landscape and its history also remain unexplored, adding to its mythical sense of otherness, a mystery waiting to be discovered.
“In AlUla, you never know what tomorrow’s going to bring...” Hana is still gazing towards the horizon.