Nizwa, one of Oman’s oldest cities, rises up out of the desert like a colorful mirage against the backdrop of some of the country’s highest mountains…
AT A GLANCE
A picturesque city decorating the face of the desert, Nizwa is known for its lively souks and overall relaxed way of life (a way of life that stands in direct contrast to what the imposing Nizwa fort suggests). Surrounded by a verdant green belt of date palms, it’s a beautiful oasis that is fiercely independent, having once been the capital of Oman itself in previous centuries. Still, all is not lost, it’s now the capital of the ‘interior’ regions (those not along the coastlines) and it’s easy to see why…
WHAT TO SEE
As a city that has fought off invaders in pursuit of its wealth of natural resources for centuries, it’s unsurprising that the area is dominated by the astounding Nizwa Fort. Constructed in 1668 AD, this incredible structure is a must see on any trip to Nizwa (well – it’s pretty hard to miss). Climb atop the fortresses for a panoramic view over the city and wander the beautifully restored rooms for a brief history lesson on this enchanting culture.
Whilst here it’s pretty imperative to make a visit to one of the souks, infamous in Nizwa for their electric atmosphere. If you’re around on a Friday especially, you’re in for a real, albeit smelly, treat. The Friday goat market is an energetic example of Omani traditions and watching as the locals barter fiercely over the noisy and slightly apprehensive livestock proves to be a lot of fun.
Now, perhaps the crowning jewel of this Omani district has to be its close proximity to Wadi Ghul, Oman’s very own ‘Grand Canyon’, the sheer scale of which is breathtaking. When you get to the top and look down upon the uninterrupted landscape at such an astounding height you’ll realise just how vast and beautiful Oman really is. Our tip: no trip to Oman would be complete without experiencing these dizzying heights and wonderful views, so don’t miss out.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Getting away from the coastal regions, Nizwa is a refreshing sight amongst the sun bleached tones of the deserts and mountains. Home to the likes of Jabal Al Akhdar (also known as the Green Mountains), an area that produces a variety of fruit, including pomegranates that have been classified as being among the finest of its kind in the world, you’ll be left awe struck by the sheer geographic diversity of the region. A flush of green against a predominantly yellow landscape, it’s not hard to imagine the relief of caravan traders as they reached this serene oasis in years past. From forts to souks to the incredible Wadi Ghul, Nizwa offers a unique insight into true Omani culture and history. We love it.