The word Al Disah literally means “the valley of the palm trees.” If only one word could describe more, I would add: “the valley of the palm trees, the freshest air in Saudi Arabia, the silence broken only by bustling wildlife.” Wadi Al Disah is the Grand Canyon of Saudi Arabia. Still, with one difference – there are no crowds of tourists coming from all over the world. It’s a quiet, beautiful and peaceful place, where you can connect again with nature. At least it’s not yet crowded, so I was very excited that I could experience it before the mass tourism comes. I’m sure someday it will as this gem can not stay hidden for so long. The Saudi government is currently working on a development project in this region to receive more visitors in the future.
Known as well as Wadi Qaraqir or Wadi Deesah, what makes it so spectacular? After entering the valley, you will be hit by its size and enormous space. The cliffs can reach up to 500 meters high. The fauna and flora surprises with its abundance thanks to the water streams running towards the village.
Wadi Al Disah – how to get there?
The valley is located in the Tabuk region, and you can enter it from two sides. First- the eastern one, which is closer to the city. It takes around 1.5 hours to get there. The second one – about 250 km from Tabuk airport, will lead you through Al Disah village. The canyon is approximately 15 km long. If you have 4×4, you can enter from one side and drive through the whole canyon.
What to do there?
- Hiking- Wadi Al Disah is the perfect spot for hikers. Park your car at the entrance and enjoy the walk.
- Rock climbing
- Explore the nearest village – if you want to spice up your trip with a historical accent pass by the little town of Disah. There are tombs and inscriptions traced back to the Nabatean era and some other ancient buildings
- Camping – take a basket of food, carpet, Arabic coffee and enjoy the nature in Saudi style
- Bird watching – bring binoculars with you if you love birds
Wadi al Disah – my tips and useful information
Do I have to have 4×4 to go to Wadi al Disah?
No. You can drive a standard car and park at the beginning of the valley, where the asphalt road turns into a path. Then hike along the canyon. Version for brave/social: if you see some local people, often using 4×4 pickup trucks, I’m sure they will be happy to take you with them deeper to the valley. I advise preparing a few keywords in Arabic because it might be hard to communicate in English.
Be aware that there is no network/Internet inside of the valley and often outside of big cities in Saudi. Prepare yourself before and download the map.
Tabuk is the biggest city on your way. After leaving, you will find only small bakalas (grocery stores) without fresh food. I suggest to supply yourself for the trip with some food and plenty of water in Tabuk.
It can happen that you will not see an open gas station for more than 70 km on your way. Take it into consideration and fill up your gas tank.
Mountain biking in wadi is possible; however, sometimes it might be hectic – some parts of the road are very sandy.
The best time to visit Wadi Al Disah is between November and March when the weather is not yet extremely hot.