Planning a vacation to Saudi Arabia? With the recent issuance of travel visas for several countries, folks aspiring to visit ancient cities with internationally acclaimed sanctuaries will find this Western Asian nation an ideal holiday destination. Saudi Arabia has been a center of pilgrimage for many years. Known as the birthplace of Islam, the country is home to the religion’s most sanctified mosques: Masjid an-Nabawi and Masjid al-Haram, but that's hardly the limit of things to see in this historic region.

01Ancient City of Mada’in Saleh

desert landscape panorama , madain saleh , saudi arabia

Mada’in Saleh was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008, the first site in the whole of Saudi Arabia to receive this recognition. The city was the second-largest of the Nabataeans before their empire was conquered and absorbed by the Romans in 106 AD. However, most of what they built survived and is still well-preserved. Visitors experience one of the true wonders of the world; the site’s ruins comprise over 130 tombs, ancient sandstone mountains, giant boulders, and small, pre-Islamic altars.