ThePlace: The Farasan Islands in southwestern Saudi Arabia

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The Farasan Islands comprise 84 coral islands that form an archipelago in the Red Sea, about 50 kilometers off the shore of Jazan in southwestern Saudi Arabia. Although lacking in vegetation and greenery, the islands are beautiful nonetheless. Originally inhabited by fisherman and pearl divers, they are now a protected area that serves as a natural reserve for Arabian Gazelles.
With its historical sites, remote, unspoiled beaches and rich marine fauna, the Farasan Islands are now a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. In particular, they are often described as a divers’ paradise, as the Red Sea is home to some of the most beautiful aquatic life on the planet, and the islands offer the best diving locations in Saudi Arabia.
For those who prefer to remain on dry land, the islands offer not only a beautiful landscape but also a historically rich site to explore. They contain, for example, beautiful Turkish artifacts carved out of stone, including the doors of mosques and other remnants.
Another reason the islands are so popular with tourists is the weather, which is moderate all year long. The serenity of the peace and quiet, meanwhile, makes it easy for visitors to relax and forget about their normal busy lives in polluted and noisy cities, at least for a while.
The Farasan Island Marine Sanctuary, supervised by the Saudi Wildlife Authority, is home to the Arabian gazelle. The islands are also important breeding sites for seabirds, migratory birds and shorebirds. All the islands are low lying, though the two largest islands have a broken terrain of small hills, gullies and craggy coastal cliffs.
Whether you go diving or snorkeling, or just explore the rich history and wildlife of the islands on foot, you are sure to make some wonderful memories. Other fun activities include boating and fishing, making the islands a must-visit destination for everyone, whatever their interests.

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