Jebel Akhdar, Oman, is a green area on the Sayq plateau, which is considered by many, especially the locals, as one of the top things to do in the Sultanate.
Also known as Al Jabal Al Akhdar or the Green Mountains, they offer wadis, agricultural terraces and stunning mountains views.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with tips, map, photos and places to visit.
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Why visit the Green Mountains of Jebel Akdhar in Oman?
Situated at the top of the Hajar Mountain range, Jebel Akhdar (which translates to Green Mountains in Oman) is the area around the Sayq Plateau (at 2000m of elevation).
The journey used to take 6 hours, but now a road has been built all the way to the main village making. It easy to climb to Jebel Akhdar (but only with 4WD). This is why it has become a top touristic destination for foreigners and locals.
It offers cooler weather (to escape the Summer heat), old villages, canyons and terrace plantations.
Below is a photo to show you why you should visit these mountains. Magnificent, isn't it?
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning tips & Map - Jebel Akhdar, Oman
Where is Jebel Akhdar - Map & location
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of region and planning info) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Oman road trip:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
How to get to Jebel Akhdar - Do you need a 4WD?
- The road to Jebel Akhdar is fully paved.
- However, it is only accessible to well maintained 4WD with a maximum of 6 people inside - at the checkpoint you must have your driver license, car insurance and ID ready.
- They won't let you go up without a 4WD.
- Make sure your breaks are in good condition - the road is steep
- From the checkpoint, the climb to the plateau is a 45 minute steep drive to the main village - the road is steep but in good conditions (see photos further in the article)
If you don't want to rent a 4WD, you can:
- leave your car at the bottom carpark and then hitchhike
- leave your car at the bottom carpark and take a 4WD taxi to a specific place
- leave your car at the bottom carpark and hire a 4WD and driver to go exploring the area
- or join a day trip from Muscat that will take you to the beautiful villages and mountains - Check out the program
Need to rent a car in Oman?
Best time to visit Jebel Akhdar
- Spring is the best season, when the plantations are lush and vibrant and the roses bloom
- The Winter months are the most busy with tourists
- Avoid Summer, as locals are looking for colder climate and visiting the mountains
- Don't forget to stop at the visitor's center near the checkpoint to get the map (photo below)
- Wear "respectful clothing" which means cover shoulder and knees
- It can be visited on a day trip, but I recommend staying one night to enjoy sunset and sunrise
- And the area can also keep you busy for several days with villages and hikes
Where to stay in Jebel Akhdar - hotels
- Jebel Akhdar Camping - wild camping is allowed but because of the altitude camping can get cold - Practical information on my article about Wild Camping in Oman
- Jebel Akhdar hotel - there are several places to stay at Jebel Akhdar. I stayed at the Sahab Hotel - it was really great for the views at sunset and sunrise. A beautiful building with a hot tub in a great location. Check out photos and availability
- Or you could opt form the recent and luxurious Anantara Al Jabal resort - Check out photos and availability
- You can also consider the Alila Jebel Akhdar, further away in the mountains - Check out photos and availability
- Or you can compare the accommodations in Jebel Akhdar
More accommodation ideas around Oman in my Oman Hotels and Accommodation article.
Best places to visit in Jebel Akhdar - Map
Jebel Akhdar tourist map
I recommend for you to stop at the checkpoint's visitor center to get the map of the mountains with all the places to visit in Jebel Akhdar Oman.
They also include GPS coordinates of the main places. However, there are not many roads, so don't worry, you won't get lost.
Things to do and places to visit in Jebel Akhdar
There are many attractions in the area: hikes, old villages, wadis, water sources...
Some of the most famous include:
- Admiring the views from Diana's point - viewing point was made famous by the late Lady Diana
- The old village inside Wadi Bani Habib
- The Rose hike from Al Ayn to Al Aqur rose village (especially in Spring)
But you can also find:
- Hikes inside wadis
- Hikes along Falj (irrigation system)
- Ar Rus, with mud houses on the cliffside of mountains
- Geological features for those ready to explore (fossil waterfalls, extinction evidence...)
- Several natural caves (but be careful and consider hiking a guide) - e.g. Al Sahil, Al Biban, Al Mawel...
Road to Jebel Akhdar and the Sayq Plateau
Considering some roads I took in the French Alps with normal cars, I did not think that the climb to the plateau was that steep.
But access is limited to 4WD.
The road is in very good condition and well-maintained, as you can see below.
After heavy rain, rocks might fall on the road, and you might have to slow down because of roadworks.
And on your way down, you have big emergency lanes in case of problems, as you can see in the picture below...
Viewpoint on the road to the Green Mountain Oman
On the way, you might notice this parking space. Stop here !
Elevation is 2090 meters.
From there you can see the Sayq plateau, where we are heading next and its main white village.
As we were driving up, I had noticed the view behind, so from that carpark I climbed the hill (starting with stairs). Be careful, it is slippery!
And I ended up with this beautiful view!
Wadi Bani Habib
Wadi Bani Habib is one of the top places to see in Jebel Akhdar Oman.
When you reach the carpark at end of the road (GPS coordinates in the eBook), you can take stairs to admire the view of the canyon and the old village.
The path can actually take you to the old village of As Sab but I had seen many abandoned ruins in the days before and decided not to go for the hike.
At the bottom of the wadi, there are many trees: peach, almond, pomegranate, olive and walnut...
Hike at Al Ayn and Al Aqur (rose village)
I completed a short hike that took me from the local Al Ayn village (not the other Al Ayn with the Unesco site) to the Al Aqur rose village.
On the Al Aqur side, the path was clearly marked with the yellow white orange flag.
But crossing from Al Ayn was really a challenge.
I recommend stopping in Al Aqur and walking down the village enjoying the many beautiful views.
Here is the view from just above the Al Ayn village.
You can see Al Aqur just across, the hotel where I stayed on the left (Sahab Hotel) and the big hotel complex they are building on the other side.
The village of Al Ayn has beautiful views of the mountains.
You can walk in the old streets and tunnels until you reach the plantations.
And, as you cross to the other village, you get great views of the terraces:
And this is the view of Al Ayn from Al Aqur:
Diana's Point at Jabel Akhdar
One viewing point was made famous by the late Lady Diana.
I quickly stop at the viewing platform, but I thought the views were better from the terrace of my hotel.
And I was tired and just wanted to relax, as you can see with the very poor photo I took!!!
Sunset & Sunrise from my Jebel Akhdar hotel
My Jebel Akhdar hotel was the Sahab Hotel. It has a great location for views, especially at sunset and sunrise. After enjoying the views from the jacuzzi, I put on layers (remember it is cold in the mountains) and set up for sunset.
Sunrise at Jabal Akhdar
In the morning, no magical colors, but the light was great to really see all the terraces for the plantations:
Want to see more of Oman?
- Best tThings to do in Oman - read article
- Best of photos from Oman - Landscapes - read article
- Where to stay in Oman - read article
- Best days trips from Muscat - read article
- Planning a road trip in Oman - read article
- Renting a car and Driving in Oman - read article
- Best things to do in Muscat - read article
- The impressive Wadi Shab - read article
- The Bimmah Sinkhole - read article
- The desert of Wahiba Sands - read article
- The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserves - read article
Planning a trip to Oman?
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