At the first bend in the road that leads through Wadi Bani Kharus from the village of Al Awabi, there's a great slab of smooth pale-grey rock on the opposite side of the wadi. On close inspection of the overhang, you'll see some of the ancient petroglyphs dating from around 3000 BCE for which the wadi is noted. Although some have sadly been defaced by vandals, it's possible to make out a clear sequence of figures on horseback and camels.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oman attractions

1. Wadi Bani Kharus

0.51 MILES

Famed for its geological interest, this dramatic wadi has only recently become readily accessible to visitors with the construction of a paved road along…

2. Al Awabi Castle

0.64 MILES

Functioning less as a sight in its own right, picturesque though it may be, this fort as an excellent landmark for the slightly obscure entrance into Wadi…

3. Wadi Bani Awf

3.35 MILES

This spectacular wadi is a major artery through the mountains and often flows year-round with spring water. It looks particularly gorgeous when mountain…

4. Thorn Tree Copse

5.53 MILES

Where the paved road through Wadi Bani Awf ends, a magnificent stand of trees comes into view. These are Ziziphus spina christi, or 'Christ thorn trees' –…

5. Rock Arch

8.69 MILES

Referred to locally as a rock arch, this striking natural feature is in fact a fissure in the cliff. There is just enough space at the bottom of the crack…

6. Qasra Museum

9.31 MILES

Tucked into the unlit and crumbling old quarter of Rustaq, behind the fort, this unique museum is the personal project of the owner, Zakia Al Lamki. Left…

7. Rustaq Fort

9.47 MILES

Two cannons mark the interior courtyard of this enormous fort – the entrance alone signals its former importance. Built on top of pre-Islamic foundations,…

8. Wadi Mistal

10.16 MILES

Less wadi and more an extension of the Batinah Plain, Wadi Mistal leads through a narrow gap in the mountains to an enormous desert basin. Dotted with…