Explore the extraordinary scenery of the Hajar Mountains with a stay in the Saiq Plateau, located in the Jebel Akhdar region in the north of Oman. Stay in April or May, when it's starting to get pretty hot in lowland Oman, savour the deliciously cool mountain air and see the damask roses in full bloom before many are harvested for rosewater. The Saiq Plateau was once only reachable via a six-hour trek, but now there is a tarmacked road making access considerably easier. It has, sadly, meant that there is some rather unsavoury development, but it's still easy enough to find yourself in a stunning
landscape virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. Lying at 6,000ft above sea level, the plateau has a peculiarly pleasant microclimate that has seen it become a hugely fertile and productive region for cultivation of crops from peaches to pomegranates and – in April and May, damask roses. Visit the beautiful traditional village of Al Ayn, with its ingenious falaj irrigation waterways, and families who still produce rosewater using centuries' old techniques.

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