The mountain city of Taif, located in the west of Saudi Arabia, is one of the Kingdom’s most popular staycation destinations. Situated among the bronze peaks and verdant valleys of the Hijaz Mountains, Taif’s cooler climate makes it a cherished summer getaway for Saudis.
With lush greenery and panoramic lookouts, the great outdoors is obviously a huge draw, but so is the city itself. Offering an atmospheric Old Town, rich local culture, and iconic landmarks such as the Shubra Palace, there’s a multitude of reasons to visit Taif.
Situated at 1,879 metres above sea level, Taif benefits from increased rainfall and cool mountain breezes. The former ensures its reputation as a regional breadbasket, while the latter is ideal for summer season visits in Saudi Arabia.
Taif’s high, arid mountains are studded with jewel-like orchards, emerald-green valleys, and the tell-tale pink shimmer of in-bloom rose farms. For many, it’s this chance to escape the hot, bustling cities and set off on scenic outdoor adventures that sees visitors return year after year.
In the springtime (March to May), Taif is wreathed in the scent of roses. Its fertile soil and more moderate climate ensure ideal growing conditions for the cultivation of these iconic flowers. As such, this is probably the best time to visit the city, when a rainbow of blossoms appears across the city, creating a vibrant contrast with the rugged, fawn-coloured outskirts.
Arrive in April to experience one of the city’s flagship events—the Taif Rose Festival. This annual celebration opens up the world of rose farming to visitors, allowing you to explore rose farms, participate in the harvest, and learn how rose-infused products are manufactured.
Roam also offers a unique experience: extend the rose season with visits to farms that harvest early and late, such as in Al Hada and Al Shafa.
With a history that stretches back to the 6th Century AD, Taif has a long and rich past. Little wonder then that this long-established power centre boasts a trio of grandiose palaces.
There’s Shubra Palace, a former royal residence dressed in immaculate white with innumerable wood windows. Meanwhile, the mid-19th-century Jabra Palace is an elegantly decaying edifice found in the Wej Valley, located close to the site of the famous battle of Hunayn. Completing the trio is the juniper wood and granite Kaaki Palace on Al-Salama Street.
Beyond the stately specimens, you’ll gain insight into traditional Taif customs within the wooden gates of the Al-Sharif Museum. Another must-see for the wandering historian is Al Balad Taif—the beautifully restored historic centre is a patchwork of tiny bustling squares. Stroll, browse the souk’s wares, or sip an aromatic coffee while admiring the traditional Hijazi architecture and local colour.
Taif is a break from the norm. Saudi Arabia’s cities are vibrant and full of life while, up at higher altitude, a more relaxed pace prevails. A visit to Taif is one of leisurely strolls, meandering through lush parks with mountain views, and relaxing in charming cafes with a mint tea. Taif is the perfect setting in which to unwind and reconnect with nature. You’ll return to normality feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Thanks to its fertile soil, Taif’s produce is rich and flavourful. You’ll find it all piled high in its markets, alongside the enchanting perfumes distilled from its renowned roses and other aromatic plants.
A half hour’s drive away from Taif is spice-scented stalls of the impressive Souk Okaz. This immense market is a maze of traditional handicrafts, textiles, local produce, and authentic Saudi Arabian souvenirs.
Souk Okaz is also much more than just a trading place for goods and produce. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that its history might date back as far as the Stone Age. It’s an incredible place to uncover the region’s tangible history and select a piece of the heritage to take as a souvenir home.
As you arrive among Taif’s soaring topography—that includes the country’s fifth highest peak, Jebel Daka—you’ll be itching to get out into that landscape. Set off in search of seasonal waterfalls, concealed valleys, and trails winding through shady gorges.
Hikes and treks of all difficulty and length are available. Enjoy horse riding through the majestic Shafa and Hada mountains or try your hand at abseiling down the rock face. In this pristine natural retreat, far from light pollution, you can also experience spellbinding, star-washed night skies, with an evening stargazing upon the Milky Way.
If you're considering a visit to Taif and would like to consult with one of our Travel Advisors to tailor your plans, please reach out to us through the link below. Roam specialises in crafting customised packages tailored to your specific requirements, taking care of all the finer details, so you don't have to.