The Hajar Mountains are located close to Nizwa and South of Muscat down the middle of Oman. This is a large governate, and covers some of the most majestic mountains in the GCC and the highest mountains in Oman.  If you only have a short time in Oman, I recommend you to visit at least one of the mountains here (Jebal Shams or Jebal Akhdar). Below are some itineraries and a guide to get you there.

Trip start: Muscat, Oman

Take the Nizwa Road not far from the Muscat Airport towards Nizwa, then follow the signs to Jebal Shams. (Or Jabel Shams). If you go on a Friday, go early and head to the Nizwa Souq to see the auction before heading to the mountain.  (Jebal means mountain)

My Schedule: Day 1

Day 1: leave Muscat at 5AM- ouch!  (1 hour and 45 min. to Nizwa)

7:00-Nizwa animal auction, Nizwa Souq

8:30- Nizwa Castle

9:30-  Begin Journey to Jebal Shams (I hour and 45 minutes from Nizwa)

If you want to fit in the Misfit Al Abriyyin area, do it here after passing Nizwa (52 minutes away, spend 1.5 hours then head up the mountain)

14:30- Balcony Walk Hike (W3 hike trail) – easy hike with amazing views!

18:00- camping set up

18:30- sunset watch then dinner

Day 2:

6:30 -Up early! Pack and quick breakfast

7:30- heading down the mountain

8:00- Exit right to the cliff view, photos ¾ way down the mountain

Base of Jebal Shams- drive into the wadi to Al Nukr (45 min. drive down the mountain)

8:45- Hiking at the old village, Al Nukhr- rocky and some difficult terrains (W6a Trek)

10:30- Drive through the wadi for a short trip- it’s closed at the end now

11:00- Head towards Nizwa, exit left to Birkat Al Mouz (30 minute drive)

11:30- right side Birkat Al Mouz- flat area

12:30- left side Birkat Al Mouz- mountain side and easy hiking through the old village

13:30- lunch time!

14:30- Wadi Fanja fun- quick 4×4 time, cool off in the small water areas if there is any

16:00- Bid Bid souq- pottery, souvenirs, dried fish

16:45- head to Muscat

Nizwa Souq

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The Base of Jebel Shams Exploring

*Wadi Nakhr Canyon

This is Western Hajar Mountain chain, located in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah. The village called Al Nakhr village is located about 5 kilometers from Al Hajir village. Al Hajir is the village at the top on the right, on the other side of the wadi.  The Nakhr Village is full of greenery and farm lots you can see from the road leading to Jebel Shams.

 

*Birkat Al Mouz

There are two sides of this area, one on the mountain side, and one on the flat land across the street currently lined with shops. Most of these pics are on the shop side, or Left as you enter the village. Great for exploring and seeing some old parts of Oman still standing. 

Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com Birkat Al Mouz Oman www.gogoeverywhere.com  uscat: The number of European guests in Oman hotels registered a rise of more than 15 per cent at the end of November, 2017. Overall, the occupancy rate of hotels which come under three star and five star categories in the Sultanate by the end of November 2017 declined by 0.4 per cent to reach to 56.5 per cent compared to 56.7 per cent in the same period in 2016, while the revenue increased by 2.4 per cent to reach to OMR174,49,000 compared to OMR169,961,000 during the same period of 2016. The statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) on the main indicators of hotels which come under the categories of three to five stars indicated that the total number of guests who occupied these hotels was 1,394, 942 guests by the end of November 2017, comprising a decline by 4 per cent, compared to 1,452,842 guests during the same period in 2016. These statistics also revealed the number of European guests increased by 15.4 per cent to become the largest segment of nationalities of guests with the total number of 518,629 till the end of November 2017, compared to 449,348 during the same period in 2016. Omani guests came the second with 348,161 at the end of November 2017, comprising a decline by 18.8 per cent when compared 473,159 during the same period in 2016. GCC guests came third with 199,342, the Asians fourth with 145,183, other Arabs from non-GCC countries came fifth with 59,880, American guests came sixth with 48,158, guests from Ocean countries came seventh with 13,421, African guests came eighth with 9,636 and 16,531 guests from other nationalities. uscat: The number of European guests in Oman hotels registered a rise of more than 15 per cent at the end of November, 2017. Overall, the occupancy rate of hotels which come under three star and five star categories in the Sultanate by the end of November 2017 declined by 0.4 per cent to reach to 56.5 per cent compared to 56.7 per cent in the same period in 2016, while the revenue increased by 2.4 per cent to reach to OMR174,49,000 compared to OMR169,961,000 during the same period of 2016. The statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) on the main indicators of hotels which come under the categories of three to five stars indicated that the total number of guests who occupied these hotels was 1,394, 942 guests by the end of November 2017, comprising a decline by 4 per cent, compared to 1,452,842 guests during the same period in 2016. These statistics also revealed the number of European guests increased by 15.4 per cent to become the largest segment of nationalities of guests with the total number of 518,629 till the end of November 2017, compared to 449,348 during the same period in 2016. Omani guests came the second with 348,161 at the end of November 2017, comprising a decline by 18.8 per cent when compared 473,159 during the same period in 2016. GCC guests came third with 199,342, the Asians fourth with 145,183, other Arabs from non-GCC countries came fifth with 59,880, American guests came sixth with 48,158, guests from Ocean countries came seventh with 13,421, African guests came eighth with 9,636 and 16,531 guests from other nationalities.

The Top of Jebel Shams

*The Balcony Walk

at a very small village of Al Khatayam.  The hike around the cliffs continues until you get to the abandoned village. The total walk takes around 1hr 30 minutes on way. You must take the same way back as you left. It might be the most famous hiking path in Oman, with its breathtaking views and easy terrain. The path takes you around the cliffs and up part way to the edge of Wadi Nakhr and the abandoned village of As Sab. You can hike the W6 and W6A.  W6 is most popular as it has got the best view of the canyon.

There is a water pool accessible with a bit of climbing from the village, but it is not immediately obvious how to get there so make sure you follow the route markers. (http://www.omantripper.com/jabal-shams/)

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*Jabal Shams Summit Hike (W4 Route)

See more information at www.omantripper.com/jabal-shams/.

The very top is off limits and used for the military. (~3,009 m high)  You can still walk up to the southern summit (2997m), known as Qarn al Ghamaydah, along hiking route W4, with marvellous views into Wadi Nakhr, Wadi Sahtan and Wadi Bani Awf en route. (https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/middle-east/oman/western-hajar/jebel-shams/wadi-nakhr-balcony-walk/ )

Between Nizwa and Jebal Shams:

*Misfat Al Abriyeen

The Al Abri tribe was the original inhabitants and they built this village area on top of solid rocks. A lot of it still stands and you can even see shelves built into the walls. The walls are traditional mud houses and a mix of grass with mud that now crumbles in your hands. The roofs are constructed from palm trees and leaves. The interesting part is that it was constructed on top of solid rock. You can also see a traditional water system called a falaj that still runs today.

Links:

Oman Trekking Guides  (great guides to follow the trails and know where to go for hiking or trekking)

Camping: I like to camp at Jebal Shams near the Jebal Shams Resort. It’s a beautiful place to see the sunset and there are a few options for some decent ground to sleep on. A lot of Jebal Shams is rocky for sleeping. Plus, you will make some new 4-legged friends. 

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Hints:

Waterfalls: During rainy days, you can see beautiful natural waterfalls in Oman. One of the more famous is Wadi A’Sab, which comes from the top of Jabal Shams and pours into the valley next to the village of Sab Bani Khamis.

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