Many people go on holiday to Oman for guaranteed sun and its beautiful beaches. However, just outside Muscat is a dramatic jumble of peaks and wadis that look tantalisingly wild and undiscovered, offering culture and history well worth including in a holiday to Oman. The mountainous region of Jebel Akhdar combines the lush wadis of Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab and towns such as Nizwa and Jabrin, all key to giving understanding to Oman’s varied and fascinating history, landscape and people.
About Mountains, Wadis and Interior Towns
A hugely varied region, all sharing the striking landscape of mountains, wadis and forts, Jebel Akhdar is home to the Al Hajar Mountain Range. To the west is Nizwa and Jabrin, to the east is the fishing town of Sur and the turtle nesting sites of Ras al Jinz with swathes of wadi found along each fascinating route.
Nizwa, a former capital, is one of the oldest cities in Oman and found at the base of the Western Hajar Mountains. With swathes of date plantation and a popular fort, Nizwa is considered a highlight of a visit to the region. Walking in the mountains and exploring the almost biblical villages gives the visitor an insight into rural life especially with their traditional farming methods and aflaj (irrigation systems). Spend a few hours quietly exploring Jabrin fort with its highly decorated ceilings.
- Time your visit to Nizwa with the Friday cattle auction.
- Take a private walking guide through the gorges of the Jebal Akhdar.
- Walk to the top of Nizwa fort, and experience far reaching views across the region.
- Have a picnic lunch at Wadi Bani Khalid and treat yourself to a spa treatment at Alila Jabal Akhdar, overlooking the mountains.
- Hire a bike and make an exhilirating ascent down one of the marked mountain paths.
Beyond the ordinary
Have a private camp set up in a wadi for a real sense of wilderness.