In the province of Jizan, an island that is rich with diverse marine life, gardens of coral reef, pristine and beautiful beaches, vast areas of mangrove forest and some important historical landmarks. No wonder, this island continually gaining increasing popularity not just in Saudi Arabia but worldwide.
Brief Facts of Farasan Island :
The island of Farasan is located approximately 50 km offshore from Jizan, in the far southwestern part of the country. The archipelago consisted of three islands and the largest of them is Farasan Island; others include Sajid Island and Zufaf Island. In total, it consists of 176 islands.The total approximate area is 265 sq. miles and population of 20,000 (as of 2010). Also, a large part of this island is Marine Protected Area and some are uninhabited, no wonder its marine life is so diverse and rich, the population of endangered Farasan Gazelle is thriving and increasing in number and several species of birds can be found in this area.
Gps: 16°42’36.4″N 42°11’17.0″E
How to get there?
I got the opportunity to visit Farasan Island last 2016. As far as I can recall, From Jizan Port to Farasan island, we took a ferry which I think is owned by the Saudi government and is normally for FREE of charge. You just need to submit your identification (Iqama/Passport/ National I.d) and do reservation at the port counter at least an hour before the ferry departure.
For the Ferry schedule, From Jizan port to Farazan island two trips daily: 7:30 am in the morning and 3:30 pm in the afternoon. The travel time takes around 3-4 hours.
(Kindly verify for updates or any changes in the schedule before heading for your trip).
We went there by a group. Before the trip, we already contacted some people from the island who organizes some island tour package which includes: a vehicle to tour around the Farasan island with a tour-guide, a boat for island-hopping with lunch, and snacks and access to some tourist spots and historical landmark on the island.
We spent the whole day doing various activities like snorkeling, spotting dolphins, exploring the vast mangrove forest, and visiting some of the significant historical landmarks in the island.
THINGS TO DO IN FARASAN ISLAND
>Snorkelling in the Red sea and if you’re lucky, be ready to spot some dolphin.
( This was the boat that we rented. It is a small one but can accommodate for about 10 people & it sailed impressively fast. They also provided us with a life jacket for safety purposes.
For several times, I’ve done snorkeling in different sites at the Red sea. It never failed to impress me and be amazed by its rich marine biodiversity, and garden of coral reef. I spotted some Stingray, different colorful fish, small octopus and much more.
Also, while we were traveling in route to our island destination, we spotted several dolphins who got closer to our boat and they were like playing with us and maybe it’s their way of welcoming us.I was just disappointed when the time I visited Farasan Island, there was a wide area of the oil spill in the sea which could destroy the beauty of the place.
I was just disappointed when the time I visited Farasan Island, there was a wide area of oil spill which may have a big effect on the condition of the marine environment and could destroy the habitat of the place.
We visited a wide and huge area of mangrove Forest. With the large marine protected sites and continued conservation programs, it progressed and the abundance of the area is maintained.
> Be amaze with some of the remarkable architecture and Historical Spots in the island :
- Ottoman Fort :
All over Saudi Arabia, there are several historical forts that can be seen as part of the remnants of the history. I visited a lot of them and this one in Farasan overlooks most of the island coast. It’s located in the northern part of the island.
- Rifa ai Historical Place :
>Al-Qassar sandstone village:
One of the top list to visit when you’re in Farasan Island is the AL-Qassar village. The village hosts the largest palm oasis in the island. Immerse yourself to the ancient village and have some dose of its history and unique architecture which will sure astonish you.
>Participate in the fun-filled Hareed (Parrotfish) Fishing Festival !!!
Every April and May each year, large population of parrot fish can be seen in the shallow part of the islands. During Hareed Festival, the major event is a contest for the best catcher of fish. Also, the festival is accompanied by other heritage activities. (It aims to raise awareness of Marine life conservation in the island of Farasan island.)
For more info: Visit http://www.sauditourism.sa/en/ExploreKSA/AttractionSites/FarasanIsland/Pages/Alhareed.aspx
The Island of Farasan is truly a must-to-visit place among from different Saudi Arabia top destinations. From its remarkable historical sites to its pristine and beautiful beaches rich with diverse marine life. It offers a different and unique taste of adventure mixed with nature and historical blend.
So, what are you waiting for? Yallah sadik!!!…