If you thought the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is all about deserts, camels and temples, then you haven’t been to Farasan Islands yet. This large coral-island group is located around 50 kilometers offshore of Jizan in the southwestern tip of the country. The Farasan Islands have now become one of the most popular tourist destinations for both local and international tourists for many great reasons.
Farasan Islands: A Great Place for a Vacation in KSA
Rich Natural Wildlife Preserve
Because of the mandate of the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development in 1989, the Farasan Islands have now become a serene haven where natural wild species are protected and preserved. As a matter of fact, it now holds the largest population of gazelle in the entire Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it houses over 230 species of fish, 40 species of reef building corals, two species of dolphins, as well as a wide diversity of crustaceans. To top it all off, it is a breeding site of the severely endangered bird species known as Crab Plovers.
Fantastic Diving Spots
Thanks to its fantastic azure waters and colorful reefs, the islands can now compete with the top diving destinations in other neighboring regions like the ones in Egypt. Likewise, they have enticed many local and international diving enthusiasts because of the spectacular marine life in the islands.
As an archipelago, Farasan is mostly composed of low-lying islands and islets that are bare and surrounded with corals. There are other islands of the archipelago that also are blessed with white sandy shores. The Farasan Kabir, the largest island, houses the greatest biological diversity of any site in any Saudi Arabian waters of the Red Sea.
Farasan Island photo in KSA
Photo source: Wajahat Mahmood
If you are into some throwback fun facts, then you should visit the ruins of a historic fort located in a smaller island near the main Farasan Island. Apparently, the fort is known as a base used by the Germans during the Second World War. It is believed to be the secret storage site for ammunition during the war. The locals can take you to the site since it has also been known to be one of the must-visit places in the area.
Beautiful Resorts and Hotels
The islands don’t just hold one of the most iconic beauties of the Kingdom, but they also offer a handful of beautiful resorts and lavish hotels. If you want to stay on the beach, the Farasan Coral Resort is the one best suited for you. Although it is as fancy as you would expect a beach resort would be, it is decent enough, with clean rooms and a lovely reception area. The staff is very accommodating, and they can arrange transportation to you, so that your trip would be hassle-free. You can also opt to stay at the Farasan Hotel, which is 55 km away from the airport and has a 24-hour front desk.