Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

If you can tear yourself away from the immaculate five star hotels on the Muscat coast, the country splits neatly into three categories - mountains, deserts and coastline - a combination of which makes for a memorable safari in a comfortable 4x4 with a knowledgeable driver/guide. We can even arrange a self-drive safari if that's of interest.

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Amelia, Eleanor, Louise Fitzgerald and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • It means an early start, but on a Friday morning wander around the famous animal market in Nizwa.

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The magnificent Western Hajar range runs along the coastline of northern Oman in total contrast to the flat and featureless scrubland of the UAE to the west. Where there are mountains there are wadis, and Oman has some of the most dramatic of these gorges in the world, and massive canyons too - a haven for adrenalin junkies looking to climb, abseil or tackle some of the best via ferrata in the world. The drive through Wadi Bani Awf, the main route through the Hajars to the city of Nizwa is particularly impressive.If you arrive in Nizwa on a Thursday so you can get up early on Friday and wander around the famous animal market which starts at dawn.

Visit the famous fort at Nakhl, perched spectacularly on a rocky prominence, before heading deep into the mountains, passing the towering cliffs that mark the beginning of Snake Canyon and the photogenic village of Bilad Seit before heading and up and over Jebel Shams.


Original Highlight

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The old capital of Nizwa is famed for its impressive fort, traditional souq and the wonderful bustling livestock market on Fridays, which is always full of vibrant characters.

Eleanor, Original Traveller

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 21°C / 69°F
  • Rainfall — 2cm / 1.0 inches
  • Water Temp. — 24°C / 75°F
Flight from London

7:00 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +4 hrs

Top picks for Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Nizwa & the Livestock Market

Nizwa & the Livestock Market

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Friday sees the ancient Omani capital of Nizwa come to life for the weekly livestock market where farmers and traders arrive from as far afield as Salalah with their animals to barter and trade at one of the finest traditional markets in the Middle East.

What to do

Balcony at Sahab Hotel, luxury hotel in Oman

Sahab Hotel

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

A boutique hotel located in the Hajar Mountains, some 2,000 metres above sea level, Sahab hotel has one of the best views in the business.

Where to stay

4x4 Adventure

4x4 Adventure

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

A tailor-made guided desert safaris is the ideal way to take in the very best scenery that Oman has to offer, and Original Travel can personalise an itinerary to suit your exact requirements.

What to do

The View

The View

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The View just got even better. Where this eco retreat once had 15 tents, some of which were in a second row behind the first, an eight month makeover now means there are 30 stylish pods spread over a larger area, and all of which have stunning views of the extraordinary canyon scenery.

Where to stay

Dining at Desert Night Camp, luxury hotel in Oman

Desert Nights Camp

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Located in the heart of the Wahiba Sands, a vast expanse in the Omani desert, Desert Nights Camp is the ultimate desert refuge, with an added dose of luxury.

Where to stay

Explore the Saiq Plateau

Explore the Saiq Plateau

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

Now that there is some seriously comfortable accommodation in the Hajar Mountains, we recommend extending your stay in the region to explore more of the extraordinary mountain scenery.

What to do

Overall a fabulous trip and you did a fabulous job pulling it together. It was our third time traveling with Original Travel and we will again


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