by: Yassa //
One of the greatest tourist destinations in Al Ahsa, is the Gara Mountains, about 14 kilometres to the east of Hofuf, lying in the middle of a green oasis. This summer, I had the unique chance to be in the most dramatic looking cave in Saudi Arabia. The mountain’s base is about 1,400 hectares and 150 feet high. It is one of the key natural landmarks in the country.
Early morning, we began the drive from Al Khobar to Al Ahsa, three hours journey between glorious sand dunes on the way to one of the largest Palm Oases in the world. A paved road separates the mountain from the oasis and passes by four villages; Gara, Towaithir, Dalwa, and Tohaimiya. It can be climbed from different places and people from those villages know exactly where and how. However, a pathway in the western side, near Gara, led us to the top.
I stepped into the cave with a slight chill on my skin and deep thoughts in my mind about the history of this mountain. Thousands of years ago, local people were hiding and living inside the Gara Mountain in summertime with slightly cooling air. The Mountain is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. You can easily walk around the mountain and explore the caves and the passageways totalling 1.5km.
Enjoy also the visitor centre and the fresh foods and teas and fruit drinks in the outside cafes.
A great Saudi day!!