Top Five Wadis in Oman

Top Five Wadis in Oman

Oman, the most beautiful and peaceful of all the Gulf monarchies, is neatly divided between mountains, beaches and deserts. It's the antithesis of its neighbouring Emirates, described by Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta as 'a fertile land of streams, trees, orchards and palm groves' in the 14th century. The statement remains true today and we think there's no better way to discover the country than through its amazing wadis. Providing much needed shade, tropical fruit and postcard-pretty pools, here are our five favourite wadis in Oman.

  1. Wadi Bani Khalid
  2. Wadi Shab
  3. Wadi Tiwi
  4. Wadi Arbaeen
  5. Wadi Damm


Wadi Bani Khalid

You'll probably have heard of Wadi Bani Khalid. One of the most popular wadis in Oman, it is nestled between desert and coast and is impeccably beautiful. It comes lined with leaning date trees and an abundance of huge mango trees - perfect shade while you bathe in the nearby crystal clear waters. Have a leisurely swim in its natural swimming pool before heading over to its nearby restaurant, where you can enjoy a delicious menu of fresh dishes. During the weekend, escape the crowds by heading up the wadi to other beautiful natural pools. Alternatively, hike between neighbouring and almost quiet and charming villages and hamlets for a bout of fresh air.


Wadi Shab

To reach another of our top five wadis in Oman, Wadi Shab, you'll have to work for it. Cross waters by boat and limestone ravines, following the course of the dried river, by foot. It may sound arduous but it's more than worth it - trust us. The exact point where fresh waters from the mountains merge with salt water from the sea, you'll have the opportunity to swim up to beautiful waterfalls and sun yourself on nearby grassy verges, pockmarked by palms.

View of Wadi Shab

©Wolfgang Zwanzger - Fotolia


Wadi Tiwi

You reach Wadi Tiwi from a trail that runs along the river. Lined with date and fig groves, it weaves through hamlets (where you can admire the complex system of irrigated terraces) and canals that run down the mountainside to irrigate sparkling green crops. Spot the orchards built on the mountainside too, tended by farmers who clearly don't suffer from vertigo. Wadi Tiwi, also known as the wadi of nine villages, offers a beautiful insight into rural life in the sultanate. At the end of the canyon, you'll reach the last village - Mybam. Its small square houses are perched on a rocky outcrop, with breathtaking views as your reward. 

View of Wadi Tiwi

©Philippe Perraud -


Wadi Arbaeen

The wadi in Oman is formed by a huge ravine on the eastern side of Mount Hajar. Enjoy a wonderful walk (part hike, part canyoning) along the channels to the source. Before you reach the wadi itself, stop along the two banks of the wadi to its four villages famed for growing date palms, banana trees, lemon trees and mango trees. The walk ends at a beautiful emerald waterfall. Perfection, right?


Wadi Damm

In the Nizwa region, where the fortress proudly displays its Portuguese canons and spectacular date stores, is Wadi Damm. A seasonal wadi, where the flow of water depends on rainfall, its landscape is simply extraordinary - with magnificent canyons and rocks carved by erosion.