Conveniently located on the Red Sea coast between the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, the popular Saudi Arabian town of Jeddah will not fail to entice and delight its visitors. Jeddah is many things to many people: it is a gateway to the Holy Cities for pilgrims, the home of opulent Arabian beauty for holiday makers and a haven for scuba divers and swimmers who wish to explore the delights of the Red Sea. With so much to do on your trip to Jeddah, you will be spoilt for choice, finding yourself in a world rich with beauty and culture.
Direct flights to Jeddah will bring you to King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED). The airport’s world-renowned Hajj Terminal is capable of coping with the vast numbers of pilgrims who travel to Mecca for the world-famous pilgrimage.
Many people travel to Jeddah to participate in Hajj or the Jeddah Summer Festival. During summer, temperatures soar, often exceeding 40°C in the day and rarely dropping below 30°C at night, whilst winter in Jeddah sees temperatures of around 20-30°C, with warm days and balmy evenings. Hajj is determined by the lunar calendar so its time varies on the Gregorian calendar, but in 2017 the pilgrimage will take place on 30th August. If you are looking for cheap flights to Jeddah, plan to go between January and April, when the city will be less crowded and temperatures will be pleasantly warm.
The Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, is one of the largest gatherings in the world. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims flood to Jeddah for Hajj, which falls on the 8th – 12th of the last month of the Islamic Calendar. Hajj is considered one of the five pillars of Islam and all adult Muslims who are financially and physically able are expected to undertake this pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Pilgrims wear simple white clothing to represent equality and follow the requirements of the pilgrimage, to achieve purity. Hajj is an incredible event to behold but, unless you are taking part in the pilgrimage, it is probably advisable that you avoid visiting during this time.
Jeddah’s nickname, Bride of the Red Sea, is well-deserved. Hugging the coastline for over 60 miles is the Corniche, Jeddah’s seaside resort. Divided into three sections: Central, Southern and Northern, the Corniche offers almost limitless choices of mosques, hotels, amusements, fishing spots, picnic areas, restaurants, and more. Watch the sun set behind the King Fahad Fountain, also known as the Jeddah Fountain. Not only is it one of world’s best-known fountains, but King Fahad Fountain is the tallest of its kind, spraying salt water from the red Sea a massive 312 metres over the city. As you amble along the Corniche, you will stumble upon beautiful sculptures crafted by local artisans and globally acclaimed artists, such as Miró, Moore and Arp. Indulge in some retail therapy at the Al-Hamra Mall, on the Southern Corniche. The Mall contains almost every product you can imagine, from traditional arts and crafts, to jewellery, make-up and international designers. From Corniche Road in Northern Corniche, you will behold the spectacular sight of the famous Floating Mosque. Officially named Al-Rahma Mosque, it is referred to by residents as Fatima al Zahra Mosque and is one of the iconic sights of Jeddah. A magnificent combination of modern technology and traditional architecture, the elegant, white mosque is built on pillars, which makes it appear to float on the Red Sea during high tide.
The city of Jeddah was founded by fishermen more than 2,500 years ago, in Al Balad. Balad’s two gates, the Gate of Medinah and the Mecca Gate, are built in classic Ottoman style and are magnificent examples of traditional architecture. The exquisite coral houses of the Old City date back to millennia gone by and as you enter, you will be instantly transported to the 7th Century. Ancient merchant houses line the narrow streets and you can pick out superb detailing in the coral stone of even the most neglected properties: one such building, Al Naseef House, has been preserved and now functions as a museum. Aside from the incredible architecture, Balad is full of the sounds, sights and smells of traditional Saudi Arabia. There are a plethora of shops offering traditional fare, as well as markets and restaurants. A trip to Al Balad’s souk will offer you an incredible insight into Arabian life, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich flavours of this beautiful culture.
Like the city’s architecture, Jeddah’s cuisine sources influence from a variety of cultures. Here, you will find a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern and Asian flavours. You can enjoy incredible sushi, vast kebabs and spice-laden sharing platters. Only in Jeddah can you dine like Iranian royalty, eat authentic Italian, or experience exquisite delights from a range of Asian influences. Choose from high-end restaurants straight from Arabian Nights or opt for simpler fare favoured by the locals. Jeddah may be Saudi Arabia’s second largest city but it still possesses the charm and dignity of a bygone era. Whatever draws you to this incredible city, if you take a trip to Jeddah, you are guaranteed to leave a small piece of your heart behind. Let your magical journey begin withTravangelo: we can help you to find cheap flights to Jeddah.