Jeddah

Overview

Introduction

The name of this humid Red Sea port means "grandmother," a reference to the legend that Eve was buried there. (There is actually a cemetery in the city said to contain "Eve's Tomb," though the authorities discourage visitors.) Jeddah's size, skyscrapers and picturesque thoroughfare (the Corniche) along the water are impressive. Allow at least two days to see all the sights.

Be sure to spend some time in the Old Town, which includes the Nassif House, a restored home once owned by a prominent trading family. It now contains a small museum and library. Among Jeddah's other landmarks are the souks (markets), the Ma'mar Masjid mosque, and the Khuzam Palace gardens and tower (great view from the top). The Al Hamra residential section includes a palace and large homes.

You can go deep-sea fishing off the Red Sea coast not far from town, as well as diving and snorkeling on a stunningly beautiful coral reef. Several dive shops are located in Jeddah. Abhor Creek ("The Creek"), a protected inlet 24 mi/39 km north of the city, is a popular beach. Wadi Fatima and Wadi Khulays are two oases that can be seen on the road between Jeddah and Mecca. Ta'if can be seen on a day trip. 525 mi/845 km southwest of Riyadh.

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