Pulse-quickening with purpose

For some, the idea of a dream holiday is sitting very still, moving only to lazily flick a page of the latest crime thriller from a best-selling author. But for others, a holiday is not a holiday unless their heart rate has risen to triple figures, accompanied by a full-throated scream of excitement.

Whatever your activity, it can be a gateway to learning about history, nature, and wildlife. And it starts with the landscape, where out-of-your-comfort-zone experiences are found in every corner. It truly permeates every aspect of AlUla, and encourages you to do so, too. 

Steep cliffs and vast elevated plateaus, deep ravines and intimidating vistas, it’s a land built to climb, leap, plunge, soar and ramble. 

From day to night, hikes provide a closeness to nature and a perspective missed unless felt by hand or foot. Organised routes through nature reserves and along narrowing canyons create a sense of freedom that elevates your mood, with an opportunity for those quiet moments of reflection only a landscape like this can produce.

At the same time, a string of memorable activities such as abseiling and zip lining will satisfy even the most experienced thrill seekers, rich in photo-worthy moments to nail that killer shot for your social media feeds.

However, these and other adventure activities have a deeper purpose than simply enabling you to gain followers. Pulse-quickening thrills at AlUla have a variety of other benefits that go beyond the wow factor and leave a more meaningful impression on visitors.

Signing up with family and friends for an exciting adventure such as the longest zipline in Saudi Arabia is a surefire way to strengthen bonds while making shared memories that will be retold at gatherings for years to come. 

Beyond that, swooping high above AlUla in a helicopter allows visitors to appreciate historical sites such as Elephant Rock and Hegra as well as the geological marvels of AlUla from a unique vantage point. More sedate but equally elevated experiences await in the hot air balloons. 

Undoubtedly, taking yourself out of your comfort zone can improve your emotional well-being also. Flying through a canyon 85 metres above ground on the Giant Swing, for instance, will do wonders for your self-confidence. Furthermore, signing up for abseiling, or the Via Ferrata – the nerve-jangling aerial mountaineering obstacle course – might add a previously untried skill to your arsenal that you can take with you after leaving AlUla and later resume on future vacations. Physically, the benefits of adventure holidays are clear: biking along AlUla’s 26km cycling path raises your heart rate and gives an energy rush that may encourage you to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle upon returning home. 

But adventure doesn’t have to mean adrenaline. Camping overnight with one of AlUla’s glamping locations or it’s adventure campsites immerses us in the natural beauty of the desert and connects us to the landscape.

Holidays are a chance to experience new things that inspire, educate and energise, and the range of adventure activities at AlUla provides the perfect opportunity for you to try something that might just transform the way you choose your holiday in the future.