Wadi Bani Kharus

Natural Feature in Al Awabi

Famed for its geological interest, this dramatic wadi has only recently become readily accessible to visitors with the construction of a paved road along the entire length of the wadi bottom. The entrance of the wadi is marked by a small, restored fort, Al Awabi Castle, from where the road leads towards the village of Al Aliya, 24km into the heart of the mountains. The whole road makes for a fascinating drive.

A number of pretty mountain settlements are dotted along the length of the wadi, including Stal village with its terraced fields; Sana village with its market gardens anchored to the rock by retaining walls, and Ain Karfas, which features an ancient aqueduct. At Al Markh, there's a pair of venerable old houses that have towered over the plantations for centuries and are much photographed today – to see them, you have to park and walk down into the wadi bottom.