Jebel Akhdar - Birkat al Mauz - Nizwa
We are driving first to Nizwa to visit the famous Nizwa Souq. It is among the largest of its kind in Oman. A wide variety of vendors offer their goods in the streets of the souk from 05:00 am to about 10:00 am each morning. Here you can find fish, meat, vegetables, pottery, jewellery, handicrafts and souvenirs which are sold in authentic old market halls that few places can boast. Especially interesting is the Friday cattle market, when the locals from the nearby Villages come to sell their donkeys, goats, cattle, sheep and chickens in a circus style open market place.
Next to the Souq is Nizwa Fortress. The fort is a museum today and offers splendid views of this ancient town and the surrounding mountains. You can walk around in this impressive fortress and visit its many rooms, passages and towers.The fort is an architectural testimony to the economic and military achievements of the early Yaruba dynasty from the mid-17th century. It was a military stronghold designed to withstand even the strongest of attacks at the time. Even along the corridors, many traps were laid to deter any intruders that might have penetrated the defences.
Then we take you to Birkat al Mauz, a beautiful oasis at the edge of the sharply rising cliffs of the Jebel Akhdar Mountain. We will walk around the old ancient village of the town and then we walk through some of its large beautiful Banana and Date plantations. Then we drive up the Mountain road. After a stop at some of the stunning valley view points, we will check in our Hotel for the night.
Overnight in Jebel Akhdar Hotel
Akhdar means green in Arabic, and in view of the lush gardens on the top plateau, it is easy to understand why it was given this very appropriate name indeed. Here you can see impressive fruit and vegetable gardens, which are built on terraces on the side of the mountain.
In the morning we will visit the famous rose gardens of the Sultan. Over the centuries, rose distillers in Jebel Akhdar wait for the spring season for the earliest blooms of rose â€œrosa damasceneâ€. The man-made terraces in the villages of Al Ain, Al Shiraijah and Al Aqur are covered in pink with native roses, and the aroma of the rose water from the local distilleries mixes with the mountain air. The rose water is kept in clay urns for ninety days until the distillation process is complete. The rose harvesting season is from march-may.
Then we take a beautiful scenic walk (1 Â½ hours) along the edge of the mountain and through some villages. You will be rewarded with spectacular views over the deep valley and the garden plantations.
- Breakfast/dinner (depending on hotel)
- English speaking driver/car
- entrance fees