Known as the City of Roses, Taif is the country’s summer capital and is famous for its temperate climate which is ideal for the cultivation of grapes, gifs, pomegranates, honey, and of course, roses which bloom across the surrounding wadis and mountains. A thrilling windy road through the mountains passing rose farms and deep valleys takes visitors from coastal Jeddah inland to the plateau upon which Taif sits. Previously an isolated village due to its mountain peaks, the advent of access to electricity in the 1940s transformed Taif into a modern city, greatly helped by the Mecca to Taif mountain highway just years later. While the main export in earlier days was the fragrant roses which were distilled into prized rose oil, nowadays a number of different natural landmarks and historical sites such as Qantara Mosque and Shubra Palace also draw visitors. Outside of the city is the impressive Saiysad National Park and the geographical wonder, Al Wahbah Crater. Besides a cool escape from the summer heat, Taif is a great destination in April when the roses bloom, as well as in August when the Souq Okaz cultural festival and Crown Prince Camel Festival occur.
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Rose Farm and Perfume Factory
Known as the city of roses, a visit to Taif is not complete without a tour around a rose farm and perfumery, particularly at harvest time in early summer. Damask roses famously grow all around the mountain sides and valleys, sweetening the air with floral scent and lend to the beauty of the landscape. At the rose farm, visitors can witness how the flowers are harvested and the petals turned into rose water, scent, and other domestic products such as skincare and tea. Al Gadhi Rose Factory, not far from the center of Taif, is one of the oldest and biggest rose factories in town.
Al Hada’s cool climes at over 2,000 meters above sea level makes it a popular mountain resort destination for local recreation. Atop the mountain, reachable by road and cable car, are leisure facilities including a water park, amusement park, tourist village, hotel, and small restaurants and cafes. The road up to the mountain is particularly scenic, zigzagging around the cliff face with hairpin turns that illuminate beautifully at night.
Al Shafa Mountain
Al Shafa is the highest mountain the region and lies about half an hour’s drive southwest of Taif along paved roads. The alpine altitude lends favorable temperatures for outdoor recreation from picnicking to camping, hiking, and enjoy the views with food from various vendors. Cable cars take visitors up and down from car park to a viewpoint.
Al Shareef Museum
This private museum showcases a collection of heritage artifacts that range from traditional furniture, paintings, and decorative relics. There are various craftsmen at work in the museum market area where visitors can observe the work in progress and also purchase those works as souvenirs. There is also a weekly auction of unique artifacts attended by collectors and scholars.
One of the largest souqs in the country, Taif’s central market is worth a wander around its labyrinthine alleys stocked full of local products such as honey and rose water, and handicrafts.
Al Qantara Mosque
This small mosque was built during the Ottoman era and its design was inspired by traditional Abbasid architecture. It is believed that the prophet Muhammad rested at a farm opposite of the mosque, thus the mosque has become a stop for pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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