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.


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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

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

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The luxury resort is perched 2,000 meters above sea level, making it the highest five star resort in the Middle East. Only two hours’ drive away from Muscat International Airport, the Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar is a tranquil oasis perfect for a relaxing escape.

Where to stay

Alila Jabal Akhdar, luxury hotel in Oman

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Nizwa, the Mountains & the Wahiba Sands

The spectacular Hajar mountain range is one of the (many) highlights of Oman, and at the centre of the range sits the magnificent Jebel Akhdar or ‘green mountain’. Long seen as somewhere to explore on route between the capital Muscat and the ancient market city of Nizwa, the opening in 2014 of the Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel means the mountains now have a supremely luxurious place to stay in their own right.

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

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.

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