Oman: Jabal Al Akhdar where it's cool in summer

July 28, 2011

The mercury is soaring at 41 deg celsius here in the sandpit, making me wish that Oman's Jabal al Akhdar (jabal/ jebel is arabic for mountain) is a close easy drive. This mountain in Oman's Nizwa region has around 25 degrees Celsius summer temperature which drops to minus 5 deg celsius in winter.

At 2000 - 3000 meters altitude, Jabal Al Akhdar is a breathtaking range of rocks at 360 degrees head turn.

It was an unexpected challenge where we navigated through steep inclines and sharp bends through the winding rocky mountain roads.After about 30 kilometers, the road tops out on a vast plateau with far-reaching jagged rocky peaks, villages and greeneries dotting the stunning vista.

A wadi ( a usually dry riverbed) and falaj (a water system to supply water)

Is that the end of the road? Ooops, slow down, steep slope ahead.
The main road forks out further leading to inhabited or abandoned villages and wadis which interestingly are part of Oman's cultural and natural treasures.
The rock formations are amazing. The stones above lined up as if someone painstakingly collected and fixed them together.

How long and how did these rocks came to be?

Another village perched on the mountain side above Wadi Bann Habib
"Encroaching" in one of the deserted houses
Here's my quick notes of the place:
- a military checkpoint by the foot, allowing only 4X4 cars to ascend.
- both inhabited and abandoned villages can be seen in the area.
- agriculture thrive in the area due to its cool climate.
- we spotted donkeys and sheeps roaming the roads.
- we passed by wadis and falajs with sparklingly cool and clear wate
- Wadi Bin  Habib has abandoned villages is a great place to check old Omani architecture.

- for a map around the wide plateau, drop by Nizwa's Tourism Office to ask for one. It will really help!
- the place figured in Oman's military history, including the 1957 - 1959 war.
- from Dubai to the Nizwa tourism office, it takes 5.5 hours through the Dubai - Hatta- Muscat- Nizwa route, and approximately 4 hours for Dubai - Al Ain - Nizwa route.

I've lost the map the Nizwa Tourism Officer provided us, but as soon as I get hold of one, I'll update details of distances and directions.

Overall, Jebel Akhdar is breath-taking and we'll be visitng again.

For more photos, check them HERE.

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