Dramatically spectacular, the Hajar mountains are Oman’s geological backbone, extending all the way along the country’s east coast. From the renowned old town of Nizwa to the fruit orchards of Jebel al Akhdar, these are some of the highlights that you should definitely try to see when exploring the Hajar mountain region.
The historic town of Nizwa is the gateway to the foothills of the Hajar mountain range, making this a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the surrounding area. Within the town itself, there are a number of attractions worth checking out, from the Nizwa Fort, which was built in 1668 AD and is the most visited national monument in Oman, to the Nizwa Souq, where, amongst the local handicrafts for sale, you will find silver jewellery that is considered to be the finest in the country. For those of you visiting Nizwa on a Friday, be sure to stop by at the town’s famous cattle market, because even though you are not likely to be looking to purchase a cow, the ambience here is definitely worth soaking up.
Jebel al Akhdar
One of the most breathtaking areas in all of Oman, Jebel al Akhdar is famous for its many fruit orchards, which are laid out in a terrace style alongside the slopes of the mountains. These are irrigated by natural springs, and, thanks to the incredibly fertile ground here, the fruits that grow in these orchards are in abundance. From apples and pears to peaches and plums, and, of course, pomegranates of the highest quality, this is a region in which the air is always filled with a fresh and fruit fragrance.
Al Hoota Cave
Believed to be over two million years old, the Al Hoota Cave is the first and only show cave in the Arabian Peninsula. The cave is home to an incredibly rich ecosystem, including four lakes. While three of these are located deeper within the cave, the central lake, which is around 800 metres long and 10 metres wide, is easily accessible to the public. Within the lake, you will be able to view a rare species of blind fish, while within the confines of the cave live many other wildlife species, including bats, mollusks, arthropods and water beetles.
Wadi an Nakhur
The deepest canyon in the Middle East, and the second deepest in the world after the Grand Canyon, Wadi an Nakhur, which is often referred to as Wadi Ghul, is no doubt impressive. A four wheel drive is necessary in order to reach the canyon, as the road soon turns into a rough track, and while the journey may seem like a large amount of effort, your persistence will definitely pay off when you take a look at the views that await you.
The Hajar mountain region is wonderfully diverse, offering up attractions that will appeal to just about every traveller out there. From the natural beauty of the Wadi an Nakhur to the heritage and culture of Nizwa, be sure to leave yourself quite a few days if you want to thoroughly explore the Hajar mountain region.