Introducing Jebel Akhdar
Without a guide or some inside information, Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) may seem something of a misnomer to the first-time visitor. Firstly, Jebel Akhdar refers not to a mountain as such, but to an area that encompasses the great Saiq Plateau, at 2000m above sea level. Secondly, the jebel keeps its fecundity well hidden in a labyrinth of wadis and terraces where the cooler mountain air (temperatures during December to March can drop to -5°C) and greater rainfall (hailstones even) encourage prize pomegranates, apricots and other fruit. With a day or two to explore this ‘top of the beanstalk’, the determined visitor will soon stumble across the gardens and orchards that make this region so justly prized. Ask your hotel for a hand-drawn map picking out some of the highlights of the area.