Saudi Arabia has several ancient and historical villages, effectively preserving the culture of the Arabian Peninsula. One such village in Saudi Arabia is Al Habala. It is a small mountain village situated in the Asir Region of the Kingdom. Popularly known as the hanging village, Al Habala is a fascinating village surrounded by majestic and towering mountains. Besides the beauty of the destination, Al Habala has a rich history dating back to 370 years. The village offers numerous tourist activities such as visiting lush green parks, trekking the mountain, and watching valley views from cable cars.
How to reach Al Habala Village
Situated in the rolling Al Habala Valley, the old village of Al Habala is just an hour’s drive from the city of Abha. The village is located beneath a cliff that slopes about 300 meters from the edge of the majestic Sarwat Mountains. Getting to the village is not that difficult. It is situated at a distance of just 61.6 km from Abha, and one can easily drive from Abha to the village. However, tourists have to take a ride in the cable car to reach the village once in the area.
Best time to visit Al Habala
The best time to visit the village is during the summer season in Saudi Arabia, which falls from May to October. This is because the village is accessible solely through a cable car, which only runs during the summers. Most of the tourist attractions of the village can be explored in a day.
History of Al Habala
Built more than 370 years ago, the quaint village of Al Habala was originally inhabited by the Khatani tribe. The tribal community was popularly called ‘flower men’ due to their custom of wearing flowers in their hair and garlands around their necks. The tribe chose Habala to settle down because of its inaccessibility. The tribe was fleeing the Turks during the Ottoman Empire and needed shelter from the invading party. The only way to access the village was by rope ladders, helping the inhabitants in deterring invaders.
Until the 1980s, the locals lived self-sufficiently with terraced gardens and small livestock. In the 1990s, there was a push to promote tourism in the area. Consequently, the locals relocated to a modern village in the valley below. In today’s time, a few of the original inhabitants are allowed back up during the summers to perform their traditional dances for tourists.
Things to do at Hanging Village of Al Habala
Al Habala, Saudi Arabia is a great place for tourists to visit this unique and less explored place in the country. There are plenty of enjoyable activities one can indulge in during the tour of this charming village. Following is a list of some of the best things to do in Al Habala, Abha.
1. Go on a cable car ride
Riding in a cable car is a fun and exhilarating experience. Additionally, the only way to reach the village is through a cable car. All one needs to do is buy a ticket and enjoy the view from a height in the cable car. Built during the 1990s, the cable car was installed to promote tourism in the region and enable visitors to explore this wonderful gem of nature.
Cable car tickets: SR 80 per person for the round trip
Timings: 10 am to 6 pm, every day
2. Embark on a walking tour of the village
The village looks nothing short of a stunning Mediterranean destination, featuring lush greenery and striking architecture. Dotted with beautiful homes featuring antique wooden doors, the city is full of surprises for tourists. Further, there are numerous restaurants and cafes lining the mountain summit. The majority of the old buildings have been transformed into different kinds of facilities for the tourists. For instance, some structures that appear to be homes serve as cafes with tourists sitting outside, enjoying food and drinks with their families. Most of all, the panoramic views offered by some of the village’s spots are enchantingly beautiful and are only accessible on foot.
3. Pay a visit to Al Habala Park
Those planning to visit the village with family should definitely pay a visit to the beautiful tourist park that offers plenty of breathtaking views. Featuring stunning waterfalls and towering mountains, it allows visitors to take part in a myriad of tourist activities throughout the year. Counted amongst the most popular family parks in the region, Al Habala Park is home to a fascinating museum, lovely gardens, a large swimming pool, an old mosque, amazing restaurants, well-maintained paths, and a car rental office. The beautiful park also houses several recreational spaces and playgrounds for both kids and adults. Additionally, the location is best for organizing picnics near the cliff edges that offer gorgeous views of the waterfalls.
Out of all the beautiful and historical places to visit in Saudi Arabia, the hanging village of Al Habala is one of the most unspoiled places to explore. The village features numerous nature and history lovers attractions, from interesting history and picturesque landscapes to a charming atmosphere and recreational facilities.
Al Habala FAQs
What is the altitude of Al Habala?
The elevation of the village is 2,270 m above sea level.
Who were the original inhabitants of Al Habala?
Originally, the village was built and inhabited by the Khatani tribe.
Are there any prayer facilities in Al Habala?
Yes, there are a couple of mosques in the village.
Can one reach the cable car station at Al Habala via public transport?
Public transport for getting to the village is not readily available. It is advisable to drive a private car or rent one.
Is cable car the only way to reach Al Habala?
Yes, the only way to reach the village is by taking a ride in cable car.