Jebel Shams: The Grand Canyon Of Arabia.
As Oman is a really large country and our time was limited to just 10 days, we decided to explore the mountainous region in the northeast of Oman. It’s a very remote area and unless it’s holiday season in Oman, you won’t come across many fellow drivers/travellers. All we needed was a 4×4 car due to the many unpaved roads with steep climbs and river crossings.
If you take the main road from Muscat via Nizwa it’s a smooth 4 hour drive to Jebel Shams Plateau, also known as the Mountain of the Sun. Jebel Shams is actually the highest mountain of the country and part of the Jebel Akhdar Mountain range, which is one of Oman’s most spectacular areas. The trip up here can easily be expanded if you have the time for some detours through the mountains; then it can take up to 2 or 3 days to get there. If you decide to go for this, definitely bring your camp gear since you won’t come across many rest houses, plus a night under the stars is an unforgettable experience. Depending on the season, it can get quite chilly at night in higher regions, so be prepared to bring some warm clothes.
The area here is absolutely stunning, with abandoned villages as well as small oasis’ where fruits and vegetables are grown, with sophisticated hundred years old watering systems. You won’t come across too many people on your trip here, apart from some few trekkers and mountain bikers. For us, it was an amazing experience into a world we have not been to before. The Arabian Peninsular was never high on our bucket list, but Oman clearly changed our views. Our tickets are booked for Muscat in February 2015 already…