This dramatic, mountainous region is one of Oman's biggest tourist destinations, and for good reason. Historical Nizwa boasts a grand souq and elegant Grand Mosque and acts as the gateway to spectacular mountain destinations including Jebel Shams (Oman’s highest mountain), Wadi Ghul (the Grand Canyon of Arabia) and Jebel Akhdar (the fruit bowl of Oman). Nearby Bahla and Jabreen are famous for their rambling forts – two of the country's best.
Many of the sights around Nizwa can be visited on a long day-trip from Muscat, and all tour companies in the capital organise coach tours. The region deserves more than just a fleeting visit, however, especially if adding 4WD excursions into the mountains. One scenically rewarding two-day 4WD excursion from Muscat involves an overnight stop in Nizwa and an exciting off-road mountain drive via Hatt and Wadi Bani Awf to Rustaq and the Batinah Plain.