A’Dakhiliyah, meaning ‘The Interior’, is a land-locked governorate comprised of a portion of the Al Hajar Mountain range and eight separate districts: Adam, Al Hamra, Bahla, Bidbid, Izki, Manah, Nizwa and Samail.
Some of Oman’s greatest attractions are in this region, including the Sultanate’s highest mountain – Jebel Shams – and Jebel Al Akhdar, a mountainous plateau that is known for its green terrace fields brimming with roses, pomegranates and other fruit. The Al Hoota Caves, a recently-restored vast cave system estimated to be over two million years old and rich with stalactites and stalagmites, and many ancient castles and forts which have also been beautifully restored and are now open to the public are also of interest, especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites the Bahla Fort and 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 Oman’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 recognisable by its large cylindrical watchtower.
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 is also the gateway to the Saiq Plateau on Jebel Al Akhdar.
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.