Camping on the shores of the Red Sea and diving in its warm waters year round is one of the main attractions if you are visiting or living on the west coast. Unlike the Egyptian side of the Red Sea, where the reefs are literally dived out, the Saudi side has pristine virgin reefs due to the small number of people who dive there.

Rabigh and Shuwaiba beaches are two great spots to head for the weekend in your pop up camper or just pitch a tent or better still, sleep under the stars.

Reef sharks, manta rays, moray eels, lion fish, black carol and a vast array of other fish, including the humpback wrasse are seen on a regular basis when you are diving or snorkelling in the warm waters of the Red Sea. As it is a major shipping channel and many war ships were destroyed there in the wars you'll find numerous shipwrecks to dive on. If you are not a diver, snorkelling is just as fun and the vast array of different corals and fish life will keep you in the water for hours.

When you think of Saudi Arabia you think desert and much of it is, with the high moving sanddunes or the flat rocky landscapes but every now and again, as you are driving across the vast desert landscape you will come across something very unexpected. One of these is the Wahba Crater, east of Jeddah, a large volcanic crater formed thousands of years ago, and now offering great camping spots around the rim of the crater.

You can climb down into the crater where a large salt pan covers most of the bottom- it's a bit of a scramble but worth it.

As you travel across the vast expanse of Saudi Arabia the sun shimmers off the desert floor and mirages start to appear before your eyes as the hot arabian sun beats down on you. Then all of a sudden an oasis will appear offering a bit of respect under the palm trees and amongst the reeds and bullrushes in the pools of water.

Wadi Mur and Wadi Dribble are two such examples.

Medain Saleh, to the north of Medina, was built by the Nabetaeans, who built Petra in Jordan. Tombs cut out of the weathered sandstone cliffs are seen everywhere and there are some interesting sculptures that have been formed by the erosion of the wind and sand over many years. Some of the tombs contain many separate chambers (which you can climb into) to cater for all the members of the family.

Source by Susan Foley