About 40 km (or a one-hour boat trip) from Jazan, you will find the Farasan Islands. There are more than 80 islands in the group, but only three have people living there all year. The largest and most inhabited is Farasan Island: On this island, around 12,000 people live permanently and many of them go to Jazan for work.
The island is famous for its amazing life! The people of Saudi Arabia said it was a safe place in 1996. There are beautiful corals for diving and many kinds of fish to see. You can find great birds like the crab plover, white-eyed gull, and sooty falcon at this wonderful spot. On land, you might see a Farasan gazelle (only 1000 of these beautiful animals were left in 2013).
Saad Al Dawood, a student from King Saud University in Riyadh says “Farasan is very special”. He spent time on this small island that has simple people where you can truly feel what it is like. It is in their genes to be hospitable.
The History of Farasan Island
Since the first thousand years B.C., Jazan Province has been a place where people from Africa, Arabia, and Europe come to visit. The islands were once called Portus Ferresanus. A Latin message from 144 AD has been found on the island, showing there was a Roman army base there. Over many years, lots of people have been to Farasan and left clues about their lives. They include the Arabs and Aksumites.
The strategic location of Jazan Province, and especially the Farasan Islands, proved of interest once again in the 20th century during World War II: The Germans made a stronghold on one of the islands in the group of islands.
What to See on Farasan Island
Welcome to our guide on what to see during your time at Farasan Island! This stunning and secluded region offers an unmatched combination of natural beauty, captivating wildlife and rich culture. Here are some top attractions that should be added to your itinerary.
One of the big places on the island is a sandstone village called Al Qassar. People think it is from Roman times. Now, no one lives there. It has been fully fixed up to welcome tourists. Beit Al Refai, a beautiful home that belonged to a prosperous pearl merchant named Munawar Al Refai a hundred years ago, is also worth a visit for its traditional Farasani architecture: The house is made from coral stones and has detailed carvings on its gypsum walls.
Visit the pretty Najdi Mosque to get a taste of Farasan’s special design history. Do you want a special and very memorable experience? Al Dawood recommends fishing. “On my final visit, we went fishing on a small island by boat. We had traditional tea and ate bread with the captain there. What made it so special was that we cooked our own fish.”
How to Reach Farasan Island
- Plan your trip in advance: Make sure you have enough time and a valid visa for Saudi Arabia before you start your journey.
- Check the weather forecast to ensure favourable conditions during your visit.
- Choose an appropriate mode of transportation: There are several ways to travel to Farasan Island, such as by car
The boat from Jazan is the only way to go to Farasan. As of November 2019, there are two ferry trips between Farasan and Jazan daily, departing at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively, from both places. On Farasan Island, there are no places to rent diving gear. So bring your snorkelling things with you when you go there. Some hotels are on the island like Farasan Coral Resort and Farasan Hotel. But, many people pick to camp on a beach instead.
Al Dawood said, “We camped by the sea and saw two Farasan gazelles. It was fantastic.” Please remember to bring your own equipment for camping trips.
|U Walk: Vibrant Plaza in Riyadh
People May Also Ask
How do you go to Farasan Island?
Jazan’s ferry is the only way to reach Farasan.
What is the weather like in the Farasan Islands?
In October, January and May (50-100ml/year), much rain happens because of the Indian Ocean monsoon. This is usual for this region. Average daily minimum and maximum summer temperatures: 28-29°C; 39-40°C in the summer and 2 to 21°C, or 30-31°C in winter.
What is the safe area of Farasan Island?
The size of the PA is around 5408 km (2088 square miles). It is thought to be a special nature reserve where some of its areas are marked by UNESCO MAB (Man and Biosphere) in 2021 as the first Saudi nature reserve registered in that program.