Steeped in history and spectacular geography, Northern Oman is the political and cultural heart of the country. The Hajar mountains, defined by deep water filled canyons, steep cliffs, high mountain villages and green oases, rise up to over 4000m and dominate the north of Oman. Set amidst this dramatic scenery are some of Oman’s most remarkable sites.
Seemingly devoid of life, the arid mountains are punctuated by bursts of green terraced gardens of date, pomegranate and rose, that cling to cliff faces, alongside ancient mud houses. Exploring villages like Misfat Al Abriyeen and Balad Sayt offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and glimpse into a traditional Omani way of life.
The old capitals of Nizwa and Rustaq between them offer the finest forts in Oman and some of the most evocative souks.
Mountains, desert and sea collide here. In a single day you can ascend steeply from Indian Ocean beaches on vertiginous dirt tracks onto the Selma Plateau at 1400m, to drop down into the Sharqiyah and the evening russet-tinted Wahiba Sands, at sun down. Lost in time and cooler at altitude, the villages of the Selma Plateau, are set amidst deep limestone sink holes and Pre Islamic 'Bee Hive' tombs that line the escarpment and survey the Sharqiyah horizon.
Venturing further south on the coast, is the lagoon and shimmering salt flats of Bar al Hikman, a sanctuary for birds and fish of all kinds, and the important turtle breeding beaches of Ras Al Jinz, Ras Al Had and Masirah Island.