Nature reserve and mountain retreat
Jabal Akhdar is right at the heart of the Al Hajar Mountains. Jebel Shams (the highest mountain in Oman) and Wadi Ghul (AKA the Grand Canyon of Oman) put the region on the tourist map. But even away from these giants, you can expect a dramatic landscape that soars up to 2,000-metre-high craggy peaks and then plunges back down to terraced valleys, fortress-topped ravines and rural hamlets.
Lodgings around here are remote – but that’s the best thing about them. Hotel sun terraces and swimming pools peer over canyons, while activities tend towards guided hikes and rock climbing. But although far-flung, the hotels in Jabal Akhdar are still only three hours’ drive away from the seafaring capital of Muscat.
Jabal Akhdar also has its own microclimate. It’s less desert and more Mediterranean, so you’ll come across unexpected finds like pomegranate and walnut orchards, plus mountainside rose terraces that turn pink in spring. These local specialities pop up all over Omani cuisine – watch out for Damask rosewater and apricot-sweetened curries.
Flight time from the UK to Oman starts at 7 hours 30 minutes.
Transfers from Muscat airport to Jabal Akhdar take between 2 hours and 2 hours 30 minutes.
The best time to visit Oman is in autumn and spring. Temperatures waver between 23°C and 30°C, although nights can cool down considerably. That’s down to the desert climate, which also contributes to Oman’s very dry summers. The winters see occasional rainfall that appears in short, sharp bursts.
Temperatures frequently soar past 40°C between June and September. Wondering where all those dunes come from? Winds blow through between March and August, whipping up the desert sands.
You can expect plenty of sunshine all year round, too: at least eight hours a day on average.
British nationals don’t need to get a visa in advance. You’ll receive one when you arrive in Oman.
It’s best to tip around 10% in high-end or hotel restaurants. Elsewhere in Oman, a tip isn’t expected – but rounding up the bill to the nearest rial for good service is appreciated.