Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar are two of the most well known and easy accessible parts of Oman´s high mountains range on north part of this beautiful country. Starting point to exploring both is Nizwa – former Oman´s capital, which I will write about some more in next post.
Jebel Shams is the highest peak of Oman´s high mountains range and nearby is famous Grand Canyon of Arabic world. Jebel Akhdar is well known by its terraced mountains and rose water that is produced there.
When planning your trip you should consider the important difference between them – to Jebel Shams and Grand Canyon you can go with ordinary car; but to Jebel Akhdar area, you can go only with four-wheeler.
For us ordinary car was enough, because we had only two days to explore Oman´s high mountain range. But if you have more time and money, you should hire four wheeler.
We hoped that in high mountain range it will be cooler (it was 35°C at the end of April) as we are used from home 🙂 . Well, in Oman it is not that way. It is necessary to have headgear and enough water. As Turks know Ayran – salted yoghurt, which is best for quenching thirst; in Oman we indulged in Laban – their sort of salted yoghurt. And warm menthe tea which also cools down – locals know well 🙂 .
Travelers usually choose Nizwa as starting point to Oman´s high mountain range, but actually, it is better to choose Bahla. Nearby there are two forts really worth visiting: Bahla fort (that is under Unesco protection) and Jabreen castle.
It is quite mystical to wander their walls and hidden rooms, without mass of tourists, accompanied only by bats and Oman´s pupils. Those unforgettable experiences shift you to some other time.
There is fast access to Jebel Shamsa and Grand Canyon from Bahla. Jebel Akhdar is closer to Nizwa.
At first we intended to camp on our trip because it is allowed practically everywhere. But we gave up that option after we experienced the heat. But if you are deciding to travel to Oman in our winter months (which is optimal considering temperature), camping is duable.
We won´t forget positive experiences with locals that were helpful and kind – not expecting anything in return – whenever we needed any logistic help – as when we were trying to find a place to sleep in Bahla at the evening.
We stayed in Bahla two nights before we continued our trip. There are not a lot of places to sleep in high mountains range, so we recommend to do some planning before the trip. Well, we didn´t have plan B (just plan A – camping), but we didn´t have any problems. We slept at Jibreen Hotel in Bahla and were very pleased, so we can recommend the hotel even though the prices were not low. The breakfast was phenomenal, air condition and cooled room was true balsam for body and soul after whole day of exploring on the heat.
Sometimes a little bit of luxury can´t hurt 🙂 .
Totally without guilty conscience.