Balcony Walk, Wadi Nakhur

  • Jebel Shams, above Wadi Nakhur - © William Mackesy
  • The abandoned village"s bowl - © William Mackesy
  • The abandoned village"s terrace - © William Mackesy
  • Up Wadi Nakhur toward Jebel Shams - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Campsite near wadi rim, receiving goat visit - © William Mackesy
  • Jebel Shams, above Wadi Nakhur - © William Mackesy
  • Can you see the trail? - © William Mackesy
  • Down into Wadi Nakhur from the balcony - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • The abandoned village"s terrace - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Down Wadi Nakhur form abandoned village - © William Mackesy
  • Abandoned village"s pool - © William Mackesy
  • Across top of Wadi Nakhur - © William Mackesy

Key information: Balcony Walk, Wadi Nakhur

  • The Balcony Walk on the rim of the vast Wadi Nakhur near Jebel Shams is one of Oman’s finest walks.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating93.5
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest14
  • Charisma32.5
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating93.5

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 3hrs
  • Maximum Altitude: 1,900m
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
The abandoned village's bowl - © William Mackesy


In the far west of Jebel Akhdar, the finest and highest region of the Western Hajar Mountains, is Wadi Nakhur, also known as Oman’s Grand Canyon, a huge and truly spectacular hole with vast cliffs dropping to its deep and, in its lower reaches, lush bottom.

The Balcony Walk from Al Khitaym on the high rim plateau to As Sab abandoned village is justly famous and undoubtedly one of Oman’s finest walks.

This straightforward (if at times a tad vertiginous) but exciting and enormously atmospheric trail (W6 in the Explorer guide) follows a wide, sloping ledge/fault in the vast cliffs of the canyon’s western side to a superbly sited village in a corner-bowl.

The village had permanent water (there is a gorgeous pool under the cliffs which screams for a dip) so was self-sufficient, with terracing still surviving along with the mainly stone houses under a high overhang; but it was very inaccessible, so occupied during mediaeval times of unrest. It was abandoned in the early 1970s.

3 hrs including exploration of the village. 

You can link this walk with the Grand Canyon Rim Walk to make a long but marvellous day.

Oman Trekking (Explorer) and Adventure Trekking in Oman (Anne Dale and Gerry Hadwin) have worthwhile sections on some of these walks. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Western Hajar Mountains walk page. See also our Jebel Akhdar page.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Up Wadi Nakhur toward Jebel Shams - © William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© William Mackesy...

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more

All material on this website is © Walkopedia Ltd 2008 - 2015, unless specified otherwise.