Translating to ‘green mountain’ in Arabic, Jabal Akhdar takes its name from the abundance of greenery that grows in these higher altitudes. Part of the Al Hajar range, the route to the top starts around 45 minutes from Nizwa, and it’s here where you’ll also find the tallest peak in the entire country at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.The vast and utterly spectacular region forms the geographical backbone of Oman, starting around 30 miles inland from the Gulf of Oman and running all the way to the tip of the Musandam Peninsular.
Sultan Qaboos designated Jabal Akhdar a nature reserve in order to conserve its biodiversity. Thanks to the elevated altitude, the region has been extensively farmed for its abundance of vegetables and fruit which wouldn't normally survive in the harsh desert heat down below. The region is known for traditional Damask rosewater extraction, honey bee breeding, and production of pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes and peaches.
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Some of the most remote settlements in Oman are scattered throughout the Al Hajar mountains. Examples include the 400-year-old ‘Al Hamra’ which has now developed into the size of a small town, as well as the ancient ‘Misfat al Abryeen’, a tiny village that retains an untouched feel with its series of stone huts clinging on to the mountain’s edge.
Trekking and Hiking
As you scale the mountain range, you’ll notice that temperatures noticeably drop, particularly in the winter months. Thanks to the more Mediterranean-like temperatures, one of the most popular activities here is trekking and hiking; there are 11 marked routes in total that vary in difficulty and duration, ranging from 90 minutes to a marathon 18-hour trek.
Dubbed as Oman’s very own Grand Canyon, Wadi Nakhr (also sometimes referred to as Wadi Ghul) is one of the most spectacular points in the Al Hajar Mountains, presenting stunning views across the rugged landscape and down into the plummeting valley gorge below. The only way to reach the top is by 4x4, unless you don’t fancy the grueling climb to the top by foot.
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The Al Hajar mountains form one of the most photogenic regions of Oman - a widely underrated country known throughout the Middle East for its diverse natural beauty and fascinating culture. The Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort takes full advantage of the location, perched thousands of feet above sea level, looking down into a spectacular gorge that plummets to the ground below. And it's not just a good location that sets this resort apart from the rest. The wonderfully appointed range of suites here boast 'ridge', 'mountain' or 'horizon' views, each as spectacular as the next. This, after all, is a five-star hotel, so expect the rooms to come fully furnished with all the facilities you would expect; this means free high-speed WiFi, cable TV, air conditioning and lavish en-suite bathrooms with a quality range of toiletries. Away from the rooms, take a dip in one of the indoor or outdoor swimming pools, or enjoy delicious, elegantly presented local specialities at the resort's signature 'Juniper Restaurant' or adjacent 'Rose Lounge'. There's also an onsite business center, a luxurious spa and free parking for guests coming by car. Alila Jabal Akhdar is approximately 2.5 hours away from the major Muscat International Airport of Oman.
In Oman’s northwest lies Green Mountain, and here, upon Saiq Plateau, sits Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar. More than 6500 feet above sea level, it is the Middle East’s highest five-star resort and, perched on the rim of a vast plunging canyon, the views from every vantage point are stunning. Surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery, and with all the benefits of a temperate climate, the resort is perfectly situated just two hours’ drive from Muscat, and near to all the wonders of Nizwa. Based on the awe-inspiring architecture of its ancient counterparts, guests will be enchanted by the towers and courtyards of Al Jabal Akhdar, where historic elegance meets modern luxury. The comprehensive range of facilities include an infinity pool, fitness center and tennis courts, library and spa, not to mention a huge array of dining options. Kids and teens have their own dedicated clubs so the whole family will be well occupied and happy, and the stylishly appointed rooms and private villas offer accommodation to suit all parties.
Oman Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
- Jay Tindall
As the sunrise woke me, I got my first glimpse of Oman. The contrasting view of the beach below and the rocky Al Hajar mountains was a fitting introduction to a journey that would take me all over the diverse terrains of this fascinating country.
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