The Farasan Islands are islands in the Red Sea in Asir, the far southwestern part of Saudi Arabia. They lie 50 km offshore from the city of Jizan.
The Farasan Archipelago has more than 90 islands with a population of about 18,000 people (2010). Many of these islands are uninhabited.
- 1 Farasan Island — (Arabic: جزيرة فرسان; transliterated: Jazyrat Farasan) the largest island of the Farasan Islands. The main town on the island is Farasan. The "Farasan island marine sanctuary" has been created around the island to protect biodiversity.
- 2 Sajid Island — (or Sagd or Sqed Island, جزيرة السقيد) the second largest island has several villages
- 3 Qammah Island — (جزيرة قماح) southwest of Farasan Island, it is inhabited by a number of residents, and the only way to reach it is by boat and small boats.
You can go on a 40-hour boat ride, Ferry passage is free. The ferry carries 35–40 cars and can accommodate about 800 people. New ferries were put into service in 2006, cutting travel time between Jizan and Farasan from three hours to one. There are two ferry trips each way daily: Farasan to Jizan at 7:30AM and 3:30PM, Jizan to Farasan also at 7:30AM and 3:30PM
In the Farasan Islands there is a city called Farasan with a population of 20,000 locals (as of 2010), you can go ahead meet the locals and know the life in Farasan, there are as well many beautiful coastlines.
One of the main sites on the island is the sandstone village of Al Qassar, which is said to date back to the time of the Romans. It is no longer inhabited, and it has been completely rebuilt to host 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 built with coral stones and features intricate carvings on its gypsum walls. Stop by the beautiful Najdi Mosque for another taste of Farasan’s distinct design heritage.
Farasan also contains many monuments, most notably; The Portuguese Castle, Green Buildings, Al-Najdi Mosque, Wadi Matar, Manzil Al-Rifai, Al-Kadmi, Luqman and Al-Ardi Castle.
- Beit Al-Jaramal (بيت الجرمل) (on the coast of Qamah Island). Beit al-Jaramal is a distortion of "the house of the Germans". It was built in 1901 CE by Getman merchants as a coal warehouse.
Diving and snorkeling in the reefs and beaches in the Islands are a popular activity there for tourists; there are no dive centers on Farasan Island, so be prepared to carry your own snorkeling gear. While there are hotels on the island, such as the Farasan Coral Resort and the Farasan Hotel, many people choose to camp on the beach. (Be sure to bring your own equipment if you plan to camp.)
There are local restaurants with very delicious sea food there, if you are more into fast food there are local pizza restaurants and burgers being sold for a cheap price.
Arabic Coffee is mainly a traditional drink in all of Saudi Arabia, and tea (which the locals call shay).
Many tourists prefer to camp in the coastal areas of the Farasan Islands, if you are looking for hotels there is Farasan Coral Resort and the Farasan Hotel, and a few local hotels inside the city.