Chasing the Chill | Exploring Saudi Arabia’s 8 Coldest Places

When people think of Saudi Arabia, they often envision a land of scorching heat and endless deserts. However, few are aware of the hidden gems that lie within the country’s coldest places during the winter months.

From snow-capped mountains to icy lakes, Saudi Arabia offers a unique winter experience that is both breathtaking and unexpected.

Let’s explore some of the coldest winter places in Saudi Arabia that are worth experiencing.

Climate in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, known for its scorching desert climate, may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about winter destinations.

However, this diverse country offers some hidden gems that showcase the beauty of winter.

The country is located in the Arabian Peninsula, bordered by the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf.

Saudi Arabia experiences an arid desert climate, characterized by scorching summers and mild winters.

The country is largely dominated by vast stretches of desert, including the famous Rub’ al Khali or the Empty Quarter.

Summers in Saudi Arabia are extremely hot, with temperatures soaring well above 40°C (104°F).

However, during the winter months, the climate becomes more pleasant, making it an ideal time to explore the country’s winter destinations.

The climate is influenced by the desert landscape, resulting in low humidity and significant temperature fluctuations.

Coldest Winter Places to Experience in Saudi Arabia

Although Saudi Arabia is known for its scorching summers, the country’s winter destinations offer a refreshing change of scenery.

Whether you are interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying winter sports, or simply experiencing a different side of Saudi Arabia, these coldest winter places are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Located in the northern part of Saudi Arabia, Turaif is known for its severe winter weather.

The city experiences frigid temperatures, often dropping below freezing point.

This cold climate transforms Turaif into a picturesque winter wonderland, blanketing the surrounding mountains and landscapes with a pristine layer of snow.

Visitors can enjoy exhilarating activities such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing, making Turaif a unique winter destination in Saudi Arabia.


Nestled in the Al Jawf region, Sakaka is another place that experiences a significant drop in temperature during winter.

Visitors can witness the transformation of this otherwise arid landscape into a frosty paradise.

The cool breeze and snowfall turn Sakaka into a serene retreat, perfect for those seeking a break from the scorching Saudi Arabian summers.

Capture breathtaking views of snow-covered palm trees and explore the local markets where vendors offer warm, traditional drinks to ward off the cold.


Abha, the capital city of the Asir province, is another winter haven in Saudi Arabia.

With its high elevation, Abha experiences a significant drop in temperatures during the winter season.

The city is known for its stunning gardens, charming villages, and traditional souks.

Don’t miss the chance to try the local cuisine and warm up with a cup of traditional Arabic coffee.


Heading eastward, we reach Rafha, a city that also embraces the coldest winters in Saudi Arabia.

During this time, temperatures can plunge, creating a mesmerizing snowy landscape that feels like a winter fairy tale.

 Rafha’s charm lies in its ability to offer visitors a unique experience, far different from the typical Saudi Arabian climate.

Take a stroll through its snow-covered parks, indulge in warm traditional cuisine, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this winter wonderland.


While Riyadh is known for its scorching summers, the winter months offer a pleasant respite from the heat.

The capital city of Saudi Arabia experiences cool temperatures during winter nights, making it an enjoyable time to explore the city’s landmarks and cultural attractions.

From the historic Dir’iyah district to the modern skyscrapers of the King Abdullah Financial District, Riyadh has something for everyone.


Tabuk, located in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, is a region known for its archaeological sites and natural wonders.

During winter, the temperatures in Tabuk can drop significantly, creating a unique opportunity for visitors to witness the beauty of the region covered in a blanket of snow.

The ancient rock formations of Al-Ula and the stunning landscapes of Wadi Al Disah are a must-see during this time.


Our final stop takes us to Arar, a city located near the border with Iraq.

Arar experiences some of the coldest temperatures in Saudi Arabia, with winter nights becoming especially chilly.

The city’s architecture, adorned with delicate icicles, adds a touch of enchantment to the landscape.

Visitors can explore the vibrant local culture, warm up with traditional hot beverages, and enjoy the unique experience of winter in the desert.


Hail, located in northwestern Saudi Arabia, is renowned for its freezing temperatures during the winter months.

As one of the coldest cities in the country, Hail offers a unique winter experience.

The average temperature in Hail during winter ranges from 0°C to 10°C (32°F to 50°F), making it a haven for those seeking a break from the scorching heat.

Hail is known for its scenic landscapes and the famous rock formations in Jabal Samra.

Activities and Attractions during Winter

Despite the cold, these winter destinations in Saudi Arabia have plenty to offer in terms of activities and attractions.

Here are a few highlights of activities you can do in winter season:

Abha, during winter, the city comes alive with Asir Winter Festival, showcasing the region’s rich cultural heritage. The nearby Habala Village is also worth a visit.

Riyadh: You can visit iconic landmarks like the Masmak Fortress, the National Museum, or the modern architectural marvel, the Kingdom Centre Tower.

In Arar, winter is the perfect time to explore the Al-Rajajil Standing Stones and ancient city of Al-Ula. The Al-Shamal Park offers a serene setting for picnics.

Sakaka, offers a range of activities for winter enthusiasts. The Marid Castle is a popular attraction. The nearby Al Rajhi Mosque is also a significant religious site.

Hail: Explore the captivating Jabal Aja Mountain, visit the historical Qishla of Hail, or take a stroll along the picturesque Hail Oasis.

Tabuk, known for its historical sites and stunning landscapes, is a treasure trove of winter activities.

Turaif: Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Turaif Quarter, get lost in the winding streets of the old city, or visit the striking Turaif Fort.

So, pack your bags and embark on a winter adventure in Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia offers a diverse range of winter destinations that defy the common perception of the country’s climate. From the snow-capped mountains of Turaif to the historical treasures of Abha, these eight coldest winter places provide an opportunity to experience the chilly wonders of Saudi Arabia. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, Saudi Arabia’s winter destinations have something for everyone.


Which part of KSA is coldest?

Turaif is known to be one of the coldest places in Saudi Arabia.

Where does it snow in KSA?

Place called Jabal Al Lawz that sits near populated Tabuk, there layers of snow carpet the sand.

Which city in Saudi has the best weather?

 The cities with the best climate are Ta’if and Yanbu, Al Bahah, Khamis Mushait, Najran, Abha, with good weather of at least more than 11 months.

Is Jeddah cooler than Riyadh?

In both places, the climate is subtropical hot desert (BWh).
The tropical desert scrub biome is found in Jeddah, while the subtropical desert biome is found in Riyadh.

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