One of my most memorable activities in Saudi Arabia was a trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh. Along with Madain Saleh in Al Ula and the Al Balad district of Jeddah, the Edge of the World, officially named Jebel Fihrayn, is one of the top popular destinations in Saudi Arabia.
Tourists who come here are attracted by the dramatic relief, with spectacular cliffs from the top of which you can admire the uninterrupted view of an endless valley. Edge of the World is a 300-meter-high geological formation, part of the Tuwaiq escarpment.
Millions of years ago, this whole area was under the ocean, and the fossils still found in these places are indisputable evidence. So is the appearance of the relief, which suggests the presence of water from the past.
Edge of the World is the ideal day trip from Riyadh, located about 2 hours away. To get here, you will drive through the desert and see oases with palm trees, acacia trees, dried rivers, and many camels—a typical landscape of Saudi Arabia. Not only the final destination is worth enjoying, but also the journey itself, a wonderful experience.
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What is Edge of the World?
If you wish to visit this place, the first questions you might have are: what is Edge of the World, or how Edge of the World was formed.
Edge of the World resulted from the movement of tectonic plates in the area, more precisely through high-intensity earthquakes, many years ago, probably millions. Basically, this place stands out with an exquisite relief, which seems to be the end of the world, just as the name suggests.
What I use every time I travel:
- To book hotels: Booking.com
- To book tours: GetYourGuide.com
How to get to the Edge of the World?
Edge of the World is about 100 km from Riyadh city center. Depending on the route and type of car, this distance can be covered in an hour and a half or even in two hours.
You can get to the Edge of World in two ways: either you choose an Edge of the World tour package or go on your own.
There are two well-known routes to Edge of the World. Any trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh starts in Riyadh. Then, you have to get to Al Uyaynah; this is the starting point for both routes. Then the roads differ as follows:
The first route to Edge of the World – Sadus Dam
From Al Uyaynah, drive another 30 km until you reach Sadus Dam. You bypass it, turn right and go off-road for about 24 km. Although the distance is relatively short, from Sadus Dam to Edge of the World, you will drive at least an hour and a half. The only sign of a road is the traces left by other vehicles. So, it’s not very easy to follow.
On the way to the Edge of the World, Saudi Arabia, you will come across some camels, a few tents, and you will spot dried rivers. Depending on the recent rainfall, it will be easier or harder to cross them.
Also, a few kilometers before the Edge of the World, you will find a place on Google Maps called Hidden Cave. It’s a small cave dug underground, where you can go down a ladder. It is an exciting stop of a maximum of 10 minutes.
The second route to the Edge of the World – Acacia Valley
The second route for your trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh also starts at Al Uyaynah, but you will not reach Sadus Dam. On the same road to Sadus Dam, but a few minutes earlier, you’ll have to turn left onto a path marked in Google Maps with “Access to EOW.” Some gates block this road, and I don’t know precisely when it’s open or not.
At the Edge of the World on a tour
Several companies offer the Edge of the World tour package. You can find them on social networks or Google, but some of them are pretty difficult to answer.
Such tours are negotiated in Saudi Arabia but don’t expect the price to drop too much. The Edge of the World Riyadh tour price can start from 200 SAR and jump to over 1000 if you want a private tour.
Guided tours start around 2 pm at a Riyadh location, but it’s also possible to organize it later. However, I couldn’t find any company willing to go to Edge of The World in the morning.
In general, the tours also organize a dinner in the desert, but at the end of the trip to End of the World in Riyadh. You can find out more details by talking directly with the operator.
Some companies that organize tours at Edge of the World:
- Ghazi Tours
- Riyadh Hiking Edge of the World
- Haya Tours Edge of the World etc.
Why choose to visit the Edge of the World on a guided tour:
- you don’t have to worry about the route
- it can be cheaper
- you can meet and socialize with other beautiful people
- you don’t need to rent a car
At the Edge of the World by car, on your own
Going to the Edge of the World by car, on our own, was the option we chose. If you want to drive to the Edge of the World, you have to rent a car. I recommend you select only an off-road vehicle, a 4*4 because otherwise, it’s possible to get stuck somewhere.
Renting a 4*4 car for a day costs around 400-600 SAR. We chose the one in the picture, a Hyundai Tucson 4*4 for which we paid 500 SAR.
Even if people say that you can get there by driving any car, I would have to disagree. Even with the rented car, we had some issues, although it was a 4*4.
The roads are not paved, and you will have to drive on gravel and cross the valleys of dried rivers. It’s not easy at all, and you need some driving experience to go to Edge Of The World on your own.
Why choose to go to Edge of the World on your own:
- you can make your schedule and choose how much time you want to spend there
- because you can stop where you want and when you want
- you don’t have to share the car with strangers
Watch my travel vlog with my experience at EDGE OF THE WORLD in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
How to visit the Edge of the World by car, on your own
Our trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Although you wouldn’t expect to see too many people here, it seems that many come to visit Edge of the World. And I’m not talking about the Saudis.
I met more tourists here than any other places I visited around the country. And I was in both Riyadh and the Eastern Province and on the West Coast in Jeddah.
As mentioned above, we chose to go on our own and rent a 4*4 car to cope with the rugged terrain. We left the city and started our trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh around 12 and arrived around 2 pm. The Edge of the World Riyadh location it’s very easy to find, just by writing Edge of the World on Google Maps.
Which route did we choose for our trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh?
We chose to follow the Sadus Dam route, but the road was quite tricky. Traces left by other cars often fork, and you have to consult the map. We had moments when we didn’t know precisely in which direction to go.
There is no internet signal in some places, so you have to download the map for better orientation. We decided to walk the last 2 km, leaving the car parked safely on a hill.
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That’s because in front of us was a fairly deep valley, followed by a steep slope, both located near an abyss with a depth of several hundred meters. So, we didn’t want to risk, especially since we knew about other Edge of the World Riyadh accidents that happened here in the same way.
A few miles before we reached the Edge of the World, we visited the cave I mentioned earlier. If you follow this route, Sadus Dam – Edge of the World, it’s worth making a short stop here.
Although we came prepared with a tent, the wind didn’t allow us to carry out the plan for our trip to Edge of the World, and we gave up the idea of camping. Instead, we enjoyed the truly spectacular scenery. Probably among the most amazing places in Saudi Arabia visited so far.
I don’t know what to compare to Edge of the World. Although it resembles certain canyons, it rises above a valley that seems to have no end. Edge of the World has a well-chosen name because the place seems to be the edge of the world for real.
READ MORE: Visiting Al Qarah Mountain in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
How much time did we spend on our trip to Edge of the World in Riyadh?
We spent about 3 hours there, during which time we climbed the main attraction, on top of the two rocks that look like two burritos. I have to admit that my legs were shaking, especially since I had to step on unstable rocks, and the wind didn’t help me too much either. However, I also saw elderly tourists who dared and managed to get there. Caution is the keyword.
We decided to leave Edge of the World behind before sunset because we didn’t want to risk not being able to distinguish the road. Dessert in the dark is not a good guide. Even if, from time to time, we intersected with other cars.
Things you need to know before you visit the Edge of the World
- you may have to leave the car in one place and walk even 2 kilometers
- comfortable footwear is required
- you may lose your signal in some places
- the road is almost entirely unmarked
- you have nowhere to get some food and water, so you’d better bring some
- don’t take any risks
Is it worth visiting the Edge of the World?
This is a question to which I will give the shortest possible answer: YES!
When to visit Edge of the World?
In general, visiting Saudi Arabia in summer is not preferable because the temperatures are incredibly high, and it’s almost impossible to stay outside in the middle of the day. You melt. Instead, late fall, winter, or early spring are ideal. Therefore, it’s best to visit the Edge of the World from October to April.
What to wear on a trip to the Edge of the World in Riyadh
Even if you are in a conservative country where wearing an abaya, even as a tourist, can be a handy option, at the Edge of the World, I would recommend a sporty, comfortable, and decent outfit. Whether you’re a man or a woman, a sports outfit seems perfect for this tourist attraction.
But if you want to look like the locals and merge from a cultural point of view or take pictures in it, then you could take the abaya in a backpack and put it on top of your sports clothes. I also don’t recommend wearing dresses that are too long which can make you uncomfortable walking, or clothes too short or low-cut.
The relief of the Edge of the World is rocky and steep in places so that you will step on gravel and limestone, quite slippery on some parts. Therefore, the shoes must be suitable, preferably sports and high grip. You shouldn’t go to the Edge of the World wearing sandals, and definitely no heels.
How dangerous it is to visit the Edge of the World
A simple Google search will reveal that there have been some accidents at the Edge of the World, some fatal. Most of them took place due to the inattention of tourists. It’s not the right place for irresponsible behavior because it can end tragically.
At Edge of the World, you may be tempted to climb several peaks. My advice is not to risk it at all. Don’t risk losing your life for the perfect picture in your mind, don’t go to the edge of the valley, and don’t try to get to places you’re not sure you can climb.
What to bring to the Edge of the World
- tent, if you want to camp
- some layers; it might get cold in the evening