Medina, also known as Madinah Munawarrah (“the enlightened city”) and Madinat Rasul Allah ("the city of the Messenger of God"), is the second holiest place in Islam after Mecca.
The Prophet Mohammad gained refuge in Medina after his Hijrah (migration) from Mecca, and the city is his burial place. The city is home to three prominent mosques: The Prophet's Mosque (Al-Masjid an-Nabawi), the Quba Mosque, and the Mosque of the two Qiblas (Masjid al-Qiblatayn).
Located in the northwest part of Saudi Arabia, Medina is an oasis set on a plateau 620 meters (2,300 feet) above sea level, at the junction of the three valleys of Al-Aql, Al-Aqiq, and Al-Himdh. The mountains surrounding the city are: Al-Hujaj, or Pilgrims' Mountain to the west, Salaa to the north-west, Al-E'er or Caravan Mountain to the south, and Uhad to the north.
Medina has a population of approximately 2 million.
There is a high speed train which operates between Medina and Jeddah, and takes only two hours.
A flight between Medina and Jeddah, or between Medina and Riyadh, take about one hour.
Some driving distances:
* Medina to Yanbu on the Red Sea, 235 km (146 miles)
* Medina to Jeddah, on the Red Sea, 412 km (256 miles)
* Medina to Mecca, 435 km (270 miles)
* Medina to the historical area of Medain Saleh, 361 km (224 miles)