A’Dakhiliyah, which means ‘The Interior’, is comprised of a portion of the Al Hajar Mountain range, as well as eight separate districts: Adam, Al Hamra, Bahla, Bidbid, Izki, Manah, Nizwa and Samail.
It is a region that holds some of Oman’s greatest attractions, including the Sultanate’s highest mountain – Jebel Shams – and Al Jebel Al Akhdar, a mountainous plateau that is known for its green terrace fields brimming with roses, pomegranates and other fruit.
The Al Hajar Mountains are also home to the Al Hoota Caves, a vast cave system that is estimated to be over two million years old and rich with stalactites and stalagmites.
Many ancient castles and forts are beautifully restored and open to the public in the region, including UNESCO World Heritage Site Bahla Fort or the renowned Nizwa Fort and Souq.
PLACES TO SEE
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Sultanate, Nizwa Fort is a living testament of Omani’s expert craftsmanship and provides an excellent illustration of the way Omani people lived in ancient times. It is one of the oldest forts in the country, with the underlying structure dating back to the 12th century. Located right next to Nizwa Souq, it is easily recognizable by its large cylindrical watchtower.
Bahla Fort (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
This immense mud brick fortress was the first in Oman to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Since then, it has been beautifully restored and opened to the public, allowing visitors to experience the ingenuity of the Banu Nebhan tribe.
Birkat Al Mouz
Birkat Al Mouz, located off the old Muscat-Nizwa road, translates to 'Banana Pool' as the area is home to many banana plantations. Bait Al Redidah Castle is set within the village and was recently renovated. Birkat Al Mouz also the gateway to Saiq Plateau, on Al Jebel Al Akhdar.
Falaj Daris and Al Khatamain (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, these aflaj - or irrigations systems – were constructed as far back as 500 AD and are still in use today. Both falaj use gravity to irrigate surrounding fields with spring or underground water.
Near the village of Bisyah, Salut’s historical significance is manifold, dating back to the beginning of Oman’s settlement. The ruins, which comprise of a castle, a beehive tomb (like those found in Bat and Shir) and a temple-like structure, are only partially restored at this point.
Hasat Bin Sult
Hasat Bin Sult are a series of petroglyphs carved onto a giant rock, located on the way between Al Hamra and Jebel Shams. The rock can be a little tricky to find, but if it is the right time of day, visitors can spot 3,000-year-old carvings of four life-size human figures on its main face.
Hiking - Jebel Shams
Jebel Shams provides beautiful views of the surrounding landscape as well as Wadi Ghul – Oman’s very own Grand Canyon. Jebel Shams has a number of marked hiking routes, the most famous (and easiest!) being the Rim Walk to the abandoned village of As Sab, which was once home to about 15 families that built their homes into the side of the cliff.
Caving – Al Hoota Cave
Nestled at the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains, the two-million-year-old Al Hoota Cave recently opened to visitors. Guided tours are provided throughout the day along ramps that run alongside the stalactites and stalagmites that cover the expanse of these large caves. The caves also support an ecosystem comprising of several lakes and cave-dwelling wildlife.
Al Jebel Al Akhdar – Saiq Plateau
Previously one of the most inaccessible points in Oman, the Saiq Plateau is an agricultural wonderland, with orchards full of fruit and beautiful views of the surrounding valleys. Perfect for a camping stop, or a stay at one of the luxury hotels on the plateau.