Located in Saudi Arabia’s Asir Region, Rijal Almaa is a beautiful village showcasing architectural marvels of the past. It is situated in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, around 50 km west of Abha. The town was at a prime location for connecting travelers from Yemen and the Levant to the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. It, thus, developed as a hub for regional trade. The village’s numerous long-standing fortifications give it a historical value. Tourists from around the globe visit the town and marvel at the architectural beauty and its infusion with nature.
Architecture of Rijal Almaa
The village comprises 60 old multi-story structures made of stone, clay, and wood. Additionally, on the hillside, there are several defensive watchtowers positioned to provide the best possible field of view and fire range in the past. However, the true wonders are hidden behind the stone and clay walls. Trained artists use the most intriguing color schemes and artworks to adorn and paint each home. Steep hills surround the settlement, which is situated next to a twisting road which was formerly one of the most important trading routes in the Arabian Peninsula.
Attractions in Rijal Almaa
The Fort of Al Jaber & Al Hawat is the highest fort in the village, and other significant forts include the Forts of Maejib & Hakim, Msamr, al-Dir”iyyah, and al-Sisbae. Each of these forts has a distinct history that has been recorded and maintained by the original families. The earliest museum in Saudi history is located in Rijal Almaa and was founded there by the people in 1985 to preserve the village’s rich history and legacy. Over 2800 local history exhibits and more than 500 kg of historical jewels from the area are on show in the museum. Al Sahab Park, Al Soudah View Point, and Tanomah Waterfall are a few other close attractions.
Things to do in Rijal Almaa
1. Explore Rijal Almaa Museum
Al Elwan Fort was built by the Al Elwan family as a foundation in the village of Rijal Almaa and was the largest of the forts in the area. It was chosen as the permanent home of the Rijal Almaa Museum in 1405 AH/1985 AD as part of a general initiative of the province’s residents to preserve their local history. The residents of the village each worked together to renovate the fort with their abilities and experience. The village women helped decorate the fort under the direction of the local artist Fatima Ali Abu Qahhas. Later, many of them gave their old silver jewelry and some of their savings. The village sons collected the old items provided by the people. The museum houses most of these items on display for tourists to enjoy and explore.
2. Visit Qasabat Al-Owus Tower
The Haswa town, which is a part of the governorate of Rijal Almaa, is 5 km from this lovely ancient tower. With a surface area of around twenty-six square meters, the Qasabat Al-Owus Tower is one of the oldest tourist destinations. Visitors to the site typically ascend to the tower’s summit to take in the breathtaking views from a great height.
Timings: 7 am to 8 pm
3. Climb Jabal Ash-Shorfa
One of the most well-known tourist destinations in the area is the historic Ash-Shorfa Mountain. It is located in the governorate of Rijal Almaa’s eastern portion. Tourists can access the mountain through the Jabal Soudah cable cars that travel to the Awus Valley. Visitors can see the delightful sight of the lush agricultural terraces, which are like magnificent works of art.
4. Travel to Country Honey Hut
One can sample the mouth-watering honey from the Rijal Almaa region. The structure was constructed from substantial stones and tree trunks that were collected in the Rijal Almaa’s highlands. The establishment has several seating spaces and takes up 10 square meters of space. Bee houses surround the cabins that are open to the visitors.
5. Camp at Jabal Soudah
Jabal Soudah is the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia. Tourists head on to the moderate trail to challenge their trekking skills. While on the trek, they encounter a beautiful view of the surroundings. Tourists can also camp at the summit and spend overnight enjoying campfire and barbecues.
Suggested Read: Al Soudah: A Perfect Tourist Place In Asir, Saudi Arabia
How to Reach Rijal Almaa
The nearest airport to Rijal Almaa is Abha International Airport. Therefore, one can take a direct flight to the airport and hire a taxi from the airport to the village. The distance between the airport and the village is approximately 77 km which can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Best Time to Visit Rijal Almaa Heritage Village
The best time to visit the village is from November to April when the temperature remains moderate with cool winds blowing across the location. The temperature during these months ranges from 30 degrees Celsius (max) to 10 degrees Celsius (min).
Rijal Almaa Village is a great place to visit if one wants to see the ancient buildings and forts. Tourists can explore the numerous beautiful paintings inside these buildings. There are around 500 kg of historic jewels in the museum of the village. Further, the village has a great natural settings appropriate for relaxing in the lush green environment.
Rijal Almaa FAQs
What is the location of Rijal Almaa?
The capital of Rijal Almaa Province, Rijal Village, is situated in the Asir Region.
Why is Rijal Almaa popular?
The people of Rijal Almaa are notable for building their dwellings out of solid stone and mud and climbing up with them till some of them reached three floors, which they called forts. The ruins of these structures can still be seen today.
Which is the nearest airport to Rijal Almaa?
The nearest airport to Rijal Almaa is Abha International Airport.
How far is Rijal Alma from Abha?
The village is located around 100 km from Abha.