Scorching heat, sweat and dry days, this is the time of the year in Oman where everyone is looking for a quick getaway. One of the places to visit during hot season is Jabal Akdhar. Jabal Akdhar which means “Green Mountain” in Arabic is one of the most visited destinations in the country. It is part of the 300km Al Hajar Mountain range, about 50-100km inland from the coast on the Gulf of Oman. At about 10,000 feet above sea level, Jabal Akdhar is undoubtedly one of the highest points here which makes the weather colder than the rest of Oman. It allows the growth of trees and other agricultural plants, that’s why it is referred as the green mountain. The place is very famous for traditional rose water and fruits such as pomegranate and apricot. Trying out these fruits and seeing how the rose water are made, are some of the activities to try up in the mountain. You can check the numerous old villages as well. Jabal Akdhar is a very good place for outdoorsy activities such as camping and hiking.
Weeks back, I were invited by friends to try the new trekking path that was recently opened for the public. A trek near Alila Resort Jabal Akdhar about 7.5km long.
The road going to Jabal Akdhar is well paved but steep with deep curves so it is necessary to have a 4 x 4 wheel drive vehicle. We were 5 in one 4wd, the preferred number of persons in one vehicle. There is a checkpoint at the base of the mountain soon after Birkat Al Mauz where it is necessary to show a valid resident card or passport to the police too. The area is about 45 minutes’ drive from Nizwa. When we reached the top of the mountain, the weather was very refreshing, around 20-25 degrees Celsius.
We left Nizwa around 7.30 am and arrived before 10.00 am on the starting point. We dropped off to some places before we proceeded to the hiking area. We started at small village of Mahabis passing the abandoned village of Al Khutaymi. There is a small parking area for the vehicles on the abandoned village. Not a lot of hikers where there when we started the trek probably because it was a new trail so not a lot knew about it. Marks are present so it wasn’t that hard to follow the trail. All trekking trails in Oman are marked the same. The start of the hike was arduous. It is advisable to bring less things while doing the hike. You need to be careful and watch the steps dropping down the mountain. Rocks were huge but what I love about the area was the wild plants along the path. The oasis in the rocky mountain added to the beauty of the place.There were many good spots to stop and enjoy the wonderful scenery along the trail. Truly I was enraptured by its sublime beauty that offers an escape to solitude.
The best part of this trip was, we were able to loosen up somewhere in Oman where the weather was very much bearable. The whole hike lasted for 4-5 hours, recommended for a beginner. Trekking in Alila Jabal Akdhar is worth to check! While we were waiting for others to arrive at the end of the trail, the locals gladly greeted and offered us some water. A very welcoming attitude by the locals to the tourists of their place.
Roaming around Jabal Akdhar we have noticed new luxury hotels on the area. Luxury hotels which I think becoming more common in the gulf countries. Since we were not prepared to try those hotels that time, we will definitely return back next time.
Tips going to Jabal Akdhar:
Only 4wd is allowed going up the mountain.
Entry checkpoint to the plateau is at 6 km from Birkat Al Mouz, 15km from Izki, 30km from Nizwa and 155km from Muscat.
At the checkpoint, have the license driver, resident card or passport ready.
Diana’s view point is one of the famous spot in Jabal Akdhar. It is called due to the visit of Princess Diana in 1986 to this scenic lookout.
What activity do you want to try in Oman? Share on the comments below.