by WAFAA AL ABRI
How about a quick itinerary from Muscat to some of the most visited towns in Oman? Sounds like a great plan to me. Nizwa and Bahla in Ad Dakhiliyah region are destinations with rich, revered history and lots of wonderful sights to see and places to visit. Here is a simple full-day guide for a much-needed weekend escape.
07:00 am: On a good morning, pack a couple of clean shirts and pants and hit the road to Nizwa (use Google Maps or Waze for location). It will take around 1 hour and 40 minutes. If you haven’t had your breakfast at home, then make sure to stop at Ahlain Café at the petrol station nearby Al Sahwa Roundabout for a hot cup of the cardamom-infused karak tea.
08:45 am: Arrive at Nizwa and start your tour by visiting Nizwa Fort, an ancient castle that’s been celebrated for generations. Explore the insides of this concrete beauty and visit the museum that’s located within.
11:00 am: Head over to the adjacent Nizwa Souq, a traditional market and bazaar where you can find handmade pottery, traditional Omani daggers, sweet halwa, dates, spices, traditional rifles and many other items. Spend a couple of hours in the narrow alleys of the market, it’s an experience like no other.
01:00 pm: By now your stomach is growling. Take a rest and have your lunch at Al Masharef restaurant in the main road of Nizwa town, about 4.5 kilometres away from Al Khanger roundabout.
02:00 pm: Drive to the neighbouring town of Bahla to visit Jibreen Castel, a very huge building that has a number of secret rooms, go to the top of the castle and enjoy a beautiful view of Bahla.
03:30 pm: Continue the forts-of-Oman tour with a visit to Bahla Fort. It’s about 10 kilometres away from Jibreen Castel. Bahla Fort is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the has been renovated and is considered one of the oldest forts in Oman. Make sure to take a photo of the palms trees that surround the fort.
05:00 pm: Go to Falaj Daris, which is about 15 minutes away from Bahla Fort. Located within Falaj Daris Park, this Irrigation system is one of the largest in Oman and packs a lot of history for the locals.
06:00 pm: Drive back to Muscat, safe and sound.