Wadi Bani Khalid

Top choice in Oman

Justly famed for its natural beauty, this wadi just north of the town of Al Kamil makes a rewarding (and well-signposted) diversion off the Muscat–Sur road (Hwy 23) or as a destination in its own right. The approach road, which climbs high into the Eastern Hajar Mountains, zigzags through some spectacularly colourful rock formations, green with copper oxide and rust-red with iron ore, and passes by an ayn (natural spring), which is accessed via steps by the side of the road.

Wadi Bani Khalid comprises a long series of plantations and villages that lie in or close to the wadi floor. All year round, water flows from a natural spring in the upper reaches of the wadi, supporting the abundant vegetation that makes it such a beautiful spot. A few shops and coffeeshops in the villages near the wadi sell basic supplies. There are public toilets and a park at the base of Wadi Bani Khalid and at the picnic site at the pools.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oman attractions

1. Tourist Service Centre


For a panoramic view of the wadi plantations, stop at the Tourist Service Centre on the approach road to Moqal Cave. The centre has been closed for years,…

2. Wadi Bani Khalid Pools

0.98 MILES

Most people visiting Wadi Bani Khalid head for the springs that collect in a series of deep pools in the narrow end of the wadi. The pools have been…

3. Moqal Cave

1.17 MILES

If you want to beat the crowds at Wadi Bani Khalid, then Moqal Cave in the upper reaches of the wadi is a curiosity to head towards. There's not much to…

4. Jaylah Tombs

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The 90 or so meticulously crafted stone towers scattered across the Selma Plateau are tombs dating back to the Umm An Nar culture of 2000 to 2700 BC…

5. Wadi Tiwi

18.41 MILES

With its string of emerald pools and thick plantations, Wadi Tiwi almost rivals its neighbour, Wadi Shab, in beauty, especially in spring when the…

6. Wadi Shab

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7. Bibi Miriam's Tomb

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The ruined tomb of Bibi Miriam is about all that remains of the 2nd-century settlement of Qalhat, one of the most ancient sites in Oman. There’s not much…

8. Al Mintirib Fort

21.9 MILES

In the days before the housing of Al Mintirib encroached on its space, this solid-walled fort with its sunken door must have been an impressive sight,…