The Winter at Tantora is an annual festival event that takes place in the ancient city of Al-Ula in Medina, located in northwestern Saudi Arabia, belonging to the Medina region. From December 22nd to January 21st, 2023, the festival will be held. It holds a series of concerts by world-class musicians. In addition, the festival also features other activities and events.
The Tantora Festival includes entertainment, cultural, and sports activities. It provides field visits to archaeological sites in the region. The activities included 13 archaeological and cultural sites, in addition to musical and theatrical performances in the city’s Maraya Theater.
Tantora is a pyramid-shaped sundial that the people of the region relied upon in the past to know the time and to celebrate the entry of spring and the start of the agricultural season. For now, Al-Ula city celebrates this beautiful heritage landmark with a bouquet of wonderful entertainment and cultural events, concerts by the brightest stars in the field of art, adventures, and experiences surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Some events at Tantora Festival for this season include the Al-Ula Citrus Festival, the heritage tour in Khaybar, the tour in horse carriages in Al-Hijr, and many other entertainment events and tourism activities. There are hot-air balloon rides, a citrus festival, concerts at Maraya Hall, and many other entertainment events that await Al-Ula guests on weekends.
Restaurants available exclusively at the Winter at Tantora Festival
New and exclusive options are now available for guests to enjoy the finest international cuisine among the Desert Mountains and historical monuments. In conjunction with the Winter at Tantora Festival, the world’s most famous restaurants and cafes open their doors exclusively in the brand-new Al-Ula Oasis.
The Winter at Tantora Festival hosts a range of events and activities that highlight culinary arts and high-quality local products to provide food lovers among the guests of Al-Ula with a new experience this weekend.
The festival offers a distinct experience rich in a range of delicious international dishes and high-end entertainment experiences, as part of the “Taste of Al-Ula” event, which hosts a group of world-famous chefs.
Food experiences continue after the end of the Tantora Festival, through the activities of the Al-Ula Fresh Food Market, to provide more fresh local products and community activities suitable for all ages, with the participation of several local craftsmen to display their craft talents that reflect the diversity of natural materials in the Governorate.
Al-Ula Citrus Festival
The Al-Ula Citrus Festival displays some fresh local products produced by the Al-Ula people with more than 200,000 trees. All visitors can enter the market for free to enjoy the fresh local products on display in the open air. In addition, they can study regional agricultural products such as dates and citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines, mandarins, lemons, grapefruits, pomegranates, and other seasonal fruits. They can also explore some sites dedicated to cooking, education, and tasting sessions, as well as many interesting competitions, live music shows, and entertainment activities for children.
Fresh Local Products
During the weekend, the festival celebrates the fresh local products produced by the green groves of Al-Ghala, with its more than 200,000 citrus trees, by setting up a group of shopping booths, organizing cooking programs, education and tasting sessions, as well as several interesting competitions, live music performances and entertainment activities for children.
The festival featured the last weekend, the Japanese pastry chef Keiko Nagai, who is world-famous for her work with a group of top chefs, including Chef Pierre Gagnaire at Sketch Restaurant in London, Chef Yannick Aleno at Hotel Le Maurice and Chef Michel Troisgro. At the Lancaster Hotel, Kiko will be creating a range of dishes in celebration of the local produce of AlUla.
Food experiences will continue in Al-Ula after the end of the Tantora Festival, through the activities of the Al-Ula Fresh Food Market, from January 27 to March 18, to provide more fresh local products and community activities suitable for all ages.
All visitors can enter the market for free to enjoy the stalls of fresh local produce in the open air and to explore local agricultural products such as dates, citrus fruits, and other seasonal fruits, as well as various vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkins, onions, peppers, lettuce, and others.
The kiosks showcase a collection of delicious local recipes that introduce guests to the rich Saudi flavors through dishes like kabsa, jereesh, freshly baked Al-Jarfa bread, sambosa, and fresh salads.
Local artisans also display their distinctive creativity through handcrafting talents that reflect the diversity of natural materials in the country. Among these skills are pottery pieces, exquisite handwoven textiles, delicate bead formations, handmade soaps, and delectable jams.
The Al-Ula Fresh Food Market is an ideal place for family members to gather in a fun atmosphere that includes a lot of fun and entertaining activities for all ages. Children can go to the children’s play area to participate in various entertainment activities such as face painting, storytelling, and board games.
Taste of Al-Ula, the first event dedicated to the celebration of culinary arts, flavors, and art, will continue until January 14 as part of the Winter at Tantora Festival which provides guests of all ages with an immersive experience.
The festival demonstrates the diverse uses of fresh produce in the region through a variety of food stalls offering a variety of dishes and food experiences. These include refreshing teas, organic dishes, and delicious vegetable wraps.
Moreover, the Taste of Al-Ula activities starts from 4:00 in the afternoon until midnight, when it is possible to roam for free, while vouchers can be obtained at the festival site to buy food and drinks from food kiosks and to participate in some entertainment activities.