Nestled along the Sarawat Sierra is a bucolic sanctuary known for being the first agricultural tourist destination in the Kingdom. Zaitona farm has become a favored escape among locals seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city living; and wanting to enjoy the cooler weather of Al Baha.
This agricultural refuge welcomes travelers from all over the world, flocking into the farm especially during the summer weekends. The moment you enter through its gates, you’ll immediately be drawn by the vibrant shades of green. The scenery alone invites you to take a pause, breathing in the crisp fresh air, signalling a day immersed in idyllic reverie.
Those who ascend to Zaitona Farm in the mornings are able to indulge in their special farm to table breakfast made up of fresh pickings. It serves an introduction by way of feast to the wonders this haven produces. After all, Zaitona is first a farm before a tourist favorite, adding an authentic charm to each visitor’s experience.
Those who choose to explore the heritage inspired stone houses and the hiking path would be blessed with a picturesque view of the terraces that were built along the mountainside an ancient farming practice in the region that the farm’s founder, Dr. Saleh Abbas Al-Hafi made sure to incorporate.
Dr. Saleh envisioned the farm to be a beacon of ingenuity and a place for visitors to learn about agriculture in the region in a fun and interactive way. The family friendly destination provides a learning opportunity for visitors of all ages to discover the different processes that go into producing over 10 tons of olive oil per year, harvested from some of the 22 varieties of olives one would find in the farm.
A first in the Kingdom to obtain its agricultural license, Dr. Saleh turned what was once a simple mill into a 150,000 sqm thriving and self-sustaining estate. Expect to stumble upon rows of crops from endemic fruits such as blackberries, pomegranates, grapes, and guavas to tropical wonders like jackfruits and avocados. Make it a challenge to find the rare trees and herbal plants the plantation grows; from Jojoba and moringa trees to a special strawberry hydroponic farm that’s bound to sweeten your escapade.
The adventure at the Zaitona Farm extends beyond its greenery, it houses an apiary (beehive keep), an aviary filled with local birds (which the farm keepers would be more than happy to introduce you to), and a stable whose resident horses would leave you marvelled.
As the sun sets at Al Baha’s greenland paradise, you’ll find bittersweet smiles on the visitors’ faces as they exit the gates, wanting to stay a little longer some carrying totes of produce that will let them remember their visit for days to come, all bearing memories to last a lifetime.