Al Batinah is an expansive coastal area running parallel to the magnificent Hajar mountain range. It is home to many beautiful wadis and villages, like Wadi Mistal and Wakan Village, and attractions such as Nakhl Fort and the hot springs of Ain Al Thowara.
Dotted with historic sights and breath-taking sceneries, Al Batinah is considered the green belt of Oman, with most local produce harvested on plantations in the area. Coastal towns are known for their fishery and endless beaches.
Sohar, Oman’s capital city in ancient times, is located in this region and rumored to be the hometown of Sindbad the Sailor (of 1001 Nights fame). Today, the city is one of the largest in the Sultanate, housing one of the region’s largest ports and a lot of the Sultanate’s main industries.
PLACES TO SEE
Dating back to pre-Islamic times, Nakhl Fort is one of the most well-known forts in Oman. Built on the top of a large rock, the fort has undergone many improvements over the centuries and today welcomes visitors looking to experience its panoramic views of Nakhl village and historic artefacts collection.
Wakan Village – Wadi Mistal
Overlooking Wadi Mistal, Wakan is a beautifully terraced farming village, set 2,000 metres above sea level in the Hajar Mountains. With hiking tracks and viewing platforms that make the most of the panoramic views of the wadi below, it is truly worth the visit.
Bait Na'aman Castle
Constructed in the 16th century as private residence for visiting imans, Bait Na’aman Castle is perfect for visitors to catch a glimpse at past times. This is thanks to the many traditional furniture and fittings on display, as well as other features such as the underground falaj system.
Al Khabourah Castle
Facing the sea, Al Khabourah Castle is located 2km north east from the Al Khabourah roundabout. Visitors can explore the former living and storage quarters left and right of the large courtyard, or enjoy the stunning views of the sea and surroundings from the castle walls.
Canyoning – Snake Gorge (Wadi Bimah)
Snake Gorge is located halfway through Wadi Bani Awf, a wadi that crosses the Al Hajar mountain range; it is famous for an extreme form of hiking – canyoning. This entails crossing the gorge on foot, across various boulders and water pools. Given the required level of fitness, those wishing to explore it are asked to arrange a guide.