Al Hajar Mountains
Al Hajar Mountains © Mark Hills
The Al Hajar Mountains stretch from Muscat, through northern Oman and into the United Arab Emirates. While they initially appear inhospitable and arid, they are becoming an increasingly popular destination for adventure travel. The picturesque range offers dramatic vistas of canyons, gorges and plateaus and the rich colours of the igneous rock formations make for unforgettable sights.
Highway 15 winds up the mountains to the old city of Nizwa, home to an impressive 17th-century fort and an early-morning goat market that is nearly as famous. Nizwa makes an excellent base to explore the mountains from, including traditional villages and mudbrick towns, date plantations and historic forts. There are a number of trekking routes ranging from three hours to multi-day hikes, and travellers can visit the famous rose gardens of the Saiq Plateau.