The landscape of Oman is defined by empty river beds, known as wadis, forming an intricate network of geographic lace across the country. Some of these river beds, however, are not empty, and all of them are worth exploring. Two of the more famous valleys near the northern Capitol of Muscat are Wadi Tiwi. and Wadi Ash-Shab. Both wadis offer amazing hiking and beautiful scenery, though be aware that if you choose to explore Wadi Ash-Shab you’ll have around a 45 minute walk before you reach the Wadi and its refreshing streams. Still, with it’s famous keyhole doorway, and hidden, crystal blue swimming holes, it’s well-worth exploring!
Wadi Tiwi is considered a bit more wild and rugged, with famously tricky driving through narrow roads. The initial sections of Wadi Tiwi are mostly paved with concrete, but the winding path through the plantations feels like a journey in a jungle, not what you’d imagine in your journey through Arabia! Shortly after passing through the town of Harat Bidah, the road continues up the mountain, but the pavement ends. The further in you climb, the more breathtakingly beautiful the scenery becomes. Keep your camera at the ready, and be on the lookout for scenic places to stop off and explore. Deep in the midst of Wadi Tiwi are beautiful pools of water to swim in, as well as other towns full of friendly local folks. There are several hiking paths to choose from, along with big rocks to climb along the way. Take your time here, and enjoy the beauty of an Arabia most never get to experience.
Tips for the Day:
- Be prepared for adventure! Make sure you have swim gear and hiking gear readily available.
- Be mindful of locals. You’ll be passing through many local villages and working farms. Be sure to remain respectful toward the local population.
- And be very careful driving. The road is a lot of fun to drive, but mostly the width of a single vehicle, and often without a guardrail. If you encounter another driver coming from the opposite direction, one of you will need to back up to the nearest wide spot.