Best walks, hikes and treks in Oman [View list of walks]

About Oman

There is so much more to Oman than its location on the map might suggest: yes, much of it is desert, and empty and desolate desert at that, but there are also Arabia's highest mountains, varied ecosystems and surprisingly rich flora and fauna (helped by Arabia's greenest government), a long and fascinating history associated with trade routes (frankincense in particular) and  supported by ancient falaj irrigation systems.

Oman sat on great trade routes, on sea and land, and these brought several periods of wealth. The green, irrigated valleys of its mountains, and the nearby plains, display a wealth of ancient settlements protected by unlikely forts, many mountain villages now abandoned, and the sophisticated falaj irrigation systems which supported their prosperity.

The Hajar Mountains form the central and south-eastern reaches of that rocky spine which climbs out of the sea in the remote and magnificent fjordland of the Musandam Peninsula on the strategically vital Straits of Hormuz and marches, parallel to the Gulf of Oman, until it stutters out south of Sur in the far east. This is the highest mountain range on the Arabian Peninsula, with views to boot. On each side, low plains hoard many of Oman's cities and most of its people. Westward, slopes riven by wadis descend to the great deserts of the interior.

Dhofar, in the far south, is very different, much greener by the coast as a result of having its own monsoon.

Oman is home to a huge range of plant and animal life, which is somehow counterintuitive considering how arid the country is – and is testament to its green credentials. That said, you will be lucky to see many mammals other than wild donkeys; and birds can be elusive even though Oman sits on major migratory routes and is a bit of birdwatching heaven. 

So, Oman has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours you can make in Oman is as a result huge. 

Walking, hiking and trekking in Oman

Oman has some of the world’s best walks, hikes, treks and climbs, ranging from famous mountain trails in the Western Hajar Mountains, and the Jebel Akhdar in particular, to geological absurdities like Wadi Nakhur and Wadi Mistall, to the dramatic interiors of numerous other wadis, often with delicious swimming pools, to walks along historic falaj irrigation systems.  

Walking, hiking, trekking  and climbing tours and holidays in Oman are so varied that everyone’s taste and energy levels  can be met. Walking in Oman isn’t just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing. And there are a multitude of tour operators offering services ranging from providing vehicles and guides to fully-supported treks.

Best times for walking vary by region (Dhofar is cooler year round), but in the north are the winter, ie October to March, although October and April can still be pretty hot. Summer gets up to nearly 50˚, so isn’t realistic for walking. It was still too hot for comfortable walking in lower areas when Walkopedia was in the Hajar Mountains in early November, but the highlands were perfect, or the warm side of, with a hint of breeze most of the time.Weather is generally fine in season, but come prepared for unpredictable mountain weather and cold nights.

See the list below for a (currently incomplete – please give us your recommendations!) list of the best walks, treks and hikes in Oman.  Various of these are in our world’s Top 100 list.

Famous walking regions include:

The most famous walking, hiking and trekking region in Oman is the Western Hajar Mountains, and the Jebel Akhdar, Oman’s finest walking region, in particular.

Other fine walking regions are:

We intend that our walk pages contain detail and photos on walking, hiking or trekking routes, including books, best times and weather, how to get there, possible problems, walking, trekking and hiking firms, organisers and guides in Oman, accommodation in Oman and useful links. But this takes a lot of research, so if they are not "there" yet, please give us any suggestions you may have.

Upper Wadi Mistall
Wukan - © flickr user - Juozas Salna   Across the Selma Pateau (E35)
High plateau, upper tributary to Wadi tiwi - © William Mackesy Wadi Bani Khalid
© William Mackesy

Best walks, hikes and treks in Oman

You can sort the walks by category by clicking on the category titles.

(The rating of walks marked * is currently provisional.)

Region Walk Name Walkopedia Rating Difficulty Day Walk

  Hajar Mountains
Variable Yes
 Dhofar Dhofar Mountains
Variable Yes
 Eastern Hajar Mountains Across the Selma Pateau (E35)
Strenuous Yes
 Eastern Hajar Mountains Eastern Hajar Mountains
 Eastern Hajar Mountains Wadi Bani Khalid
Moderate Yes
 Eastern Hajar Mountains Wadi Shabs
Moderate Yes
 Musandam Musandam Peninsula
Variable Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Balcony Walk, Wadi Nakhur
Moderate Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Central Akhdar routes W8, W9, W10
Variable Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Jebel Akhdar
Variable Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Jebel Shams
Strenuous Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Qiyut to Ar Roos Traverse
Difficult Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Rim Walk, Wadi Nakhur
Strenuous Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Southern Sayq Rim Villages
Straightforward Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Upper Wadi Mistall
Variable Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Wadi Muaydin
Moderate Yes
 Western Hajar Mts: Jebel Akhdar Western Hajar Mountains
Variable Yes

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