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Mountains and desert

8 Days

A moderate trek in 2 parts : first the steep mountains of the Western Hajar and then the white sanddunes of Khaluf's desert. The aquatic hike in Wadi Bani Khalid on the way back completes the overview of Oman's landscapes!.

  • Landscape:

    Mountain, Desert, Wadi, Sea

  • Activities:

    Trekking, Culture, Easy Walking, Canyoning

  • Overstay:

    Hotel, mountain hut, etc...

  • Difficulty:

    Endurance level
wadi-sahtan

Day 1

- Transfer Muttrah Ar Rustaq (2 h 190 Km)
- Transfer Ar Rustaq - A hamlet in Wadi Sahtan (1 h - 35 Km)

Hike across villages in Wadi Sahtan under the northern face of Jebel Shams (4 h ). Wadi Sahtan is an impressive valley with Jebel Shams towering over it. Its north face is a 2000m cliff which evokes the feeling of being in the Himalayas. We walk along centuries old paths linking remote villages built over the mountain. We pass 3 villages before arriving at our camp. The path sometimes goes through screes which might be a bit difficult.

- Level 3
- Walking time : 3 to 4 h
- Height difference : +200m/-400m

Bivouac in Wadi Sahtan. A wonderful campsite with unbelievable views over the north face of Jebel Shams. Individual camping tent.

wadi-sathan

JDay 2

Hike across villages in Wadi Sahtan, in the heart of the bowl (6 h). We start hiking from our campsite and walk up and down several valleys. Almost each valley harbours a village which has its own charm. Palm gardens, falaj, terraced fields, beehives... We hike in traditional Oman. Some few passages might be a bit difficult.

- Level 4
- Walking time : 4 to 5 h
- Height difference : +700m/-800m

- Transfer a hamlet in Wadi Sahtan - Bimah (1 h - 30 Km)

Mountain hut Bimah. A very nice and pleasant place to stay, located in the heart of Wadi Bani Awf, only a few steps from the Snake Canyon and a 5-minute drive (or 5-hour hike) from Balad Sit. It's a rustic but beautiful mountain hut with 4 dormitories (4 to 10 persons on bunkbeds), 2 private rooms, and 3 bathrooms with hot shower. Located in a natural and peaceful environment, you'll find many places to relax after hiking... Dormitory. Dormitories from 4 to 10 persons with bunkbeds and A/C. breakfast and dinner at the hotel.

balad-sit

Day 3

Hike From Bimah to Balad Sit (5 hours ). We start in Bimah and walk up the wadi until the village of Selmah where only 3 families (3 brothers) are living. We then walk our way up through the palm gardens and go on until we reach a very narrow path. From there we see Balad Sit, another bigger village. We walk down to the village and enjoy a tour in the gardens. We finally find a very narrow gorge which we follow until we get to the car.

- Level 3
- Walking time : 4 to 5 h
- Height difference : +600m/-500m

- Transfer Balad Sit - Misfat Al Abreyeen (1 h 45 - 60 Km)
- We cross the mountain through Sharaf Al Alamain Pass. That's the only pass which allows to cross the Western Hajar by car. There is tarmac road on the southern slope, but on the northern side, a steep track goes down to Wadi Bani Awf offering stunning views.

Guesthouse in Misfat Al Abreyeen. We spend the night in a traditional Omani house that recently has been refurbished : here we find ancient architecture and modern comfort. Located inside the palm garden, it is an enchanting place. The guesthouse is located a few minutes walk away from the parking ; so, please plan a small bag with only the stuff you need for that night. Also, to respect the inhabitants of the village, it is forbidden to bring alcohol into the village and to smoke inside the house ; we thank you in advance for respecting these rules! Standard Room. Rooms with A/C and a simple and rustic decoration typical of mountain houses. Shared bathroom. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel

white desert

Day 4

Short walk along the gardens of Misfat Al Abreyeen (2 h). Misfat Al Abreyen is one of the most beautiful mountain villages of Oman. It is located on the southern side of the mountain, on the slope of a canyon. The gardens were built all around the old village on man-made terraces. Situated at an altitude of 800 meters, we there find a wide variety of tropical fruits : bananas, papayas, oranges, limes, dates, pomegranates, etc... The old village is here still inhabitated.

- Level 1
- Walking time : 1 to 2 h
- Height difference : +100m/-100m

- Transfer Misfat Al Abreyeen - Khaluf's Desert, between rocks and sand (4 h - 400 Km)

Sunset between White desert and rocky hills (2 h). We walk up a small plateau next to our camp. On the one side we perceive the White Desert which we will cross the day after On the other side the sun sets on rocky hills.

- Level 1
- Walking time : 1 to 2 h

Bivouac in the desert. We set up our camp at the start of the sand dunes. Individual camping tent.

white desert

Day 5

Hike across sand dunes and rocky outcrops (6 h). A very beautiful day : we walk across sand dunes and see many rocky outcrops on the way. The sand is sometimes red, and sometimes white. We arrive at our camp around noon and enjoy some rest in the shade. Late in the afternoon, we walk to the top of the sand dunes to see the sunset over this spectacular landscape with trees, rocks and sand.

- Level 2
- Walking time : 4 to 5 hours

Bivouac Desert. We set up our camp in the sand, in an 'acacia forest'. Around us are some rocky hills and sand dunes. Individual camping tent.

images/articles/circuits/desert-blanc-1.jpg

Day 6

Hike across White desert (6 h). We have a long hike in a wonderful and unexpected landscape. We start from our campsite where the sand is red. We cross several small plateaus. Between them we find sand ; the more we walk the whiter the sand. Finally we discover the most wonderful (wholy) white sand dunes. It is an breathtaking landscape… We walk across the dunes and arrive at the sea around noon… We set up our camp, have lunch, and enjoy swimming in the Indian Ocean. Late in the afternoon, we start walking again across white sand dunes to enjoy the sunset.

- Level 12
- Walking time : 3 to 5 h

Bivouac in the White desert, next to the sea. We set up our camp in the first dunes of the White Desert, just 50 meters from the sea. This place is magical and extraordinary : on one side we have pure white dunes, whereas on the other side we have the Indian Ocean. Individual camping tent.

white desert

Day 7

- Transfer White Desert on the sea - Khaluf (36 min - 21 Km)
- We go to the fishermen's vilage of Khaluf. On low tide we drive all the way on the beach and we see hundreds of seabirds

Stop in Khaluf (1 h). Khaluf is a very picturesque fishing Beduin village : it feels like being at the far end of the world: old 4WD are covered with algaes and shells tow small boats coming back from fishing.

- Transfer Khaluf - Qihayd (village at the foot of the dunes and on seashore) (3 h - 300 Km)
- Transfer Qihayd - our camp in Wahiba Sands (4 hours - 180 Km)
- A spectacular crossing of the Wahiba Desert by 4WD. The track is usually well marked, but sometimes sand, blown by the wind, hides it. We start at the sea and cross the desert towards the North. The more we drive, the higher the longitudinal dune.

Sunset in the dunes (1 h). We start a walk across the dunes in the late afternoon. The heat isn't too strong anymore and the sunlight is the most beautiful. The setting sun always turns changing the sand and the shades into stunning colours. This is a great unforgettable time.

Safari Desert Camp. A very nice camp which lays the middle of the sand dunes, in a quiet and wild area. There is no electricity, which makes this camp more authentic. Tea, coffee, water and soft drinks are complimentary. There are also some nice lounges where you can relax and smoke sheesha. Arabic Tent with private bathroom. Arabic tents nicely done up as hotel rooms : bed, carpets, table, chairs. Private bathroom.. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel.

wadi-bani-khalid

Day 8

- Transfer Our Camp in Wahiba sands - Bidiyah (30 min- 30 Km)

Aquatic hiking in Wadi Bani Khalid (5 h). An easy aquatic hike in one of the most beautiful wadis of Oman. We start from the village of Bidah. We walk across its luxuriant palm garden to reach the entrance of the garden. We then walk between large boulders to arrive at 2 wonderful pools with waterfalls. Into one of these we can jump from 10 meters. We keep on walking in the water and swimming in several long pools (until 300 meters). The valley then widens and we discover Seeq's garden which we cross to arrive in the village.

- Level 1
- Walking time : 3 to 5 h

- Transfer Seeq (Wadi Bani Khalid) - Muttrah (3 h - 280 Km)

Mutrah Hotel. Mutrah Hotel is the first hotel built in Oman. It is only 20 minutes walking distance from the Souk and Corniche. This hotel offers comfortable rooms each with its own decoraction and character. The hotel has Wifi, Laundry service, minibar in the room, 4 bars, and a restaurant. Standard room. Comfortable and well decorated room. Room facilities : minibar, 24-hour room service, satellite TV, iron, hair-dryer, coffee and tea making facilities.. Breakfast at the hotel.