Thorn Tree Copse


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' – a tree associated with the biblical crown of thorns. These gnarled and knotted old specimens are a welcome sight in the middle of an arid section of the wadi and are thought to be hundreds of years old. Near the junction for Hatt, they are perfectly located for a shaded picnic.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oman attractions

1. Rock Arch

3.17 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…

2. Wadi Bani Awf

4.28 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…

3. Wadi Bani Kharus

5.21 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…

4. Snake Gorge

5.27 MILES

Slithering through the heart of the Hajar Mountains, this narrow slot canyon doesn't give up its secrets easily: in fact, it is hard to get a sense of its…

5. Petroglyphs

5.53 MILES

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…

6. Hatt

5.88 MILES

This traditional mountain village is something of a landmark along the remote off-road route from Wadi Bani Awf to Sharfat Al Alamayn. With the most…

7. Al Awabi Castle

5.94 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…

8. Bilad Sayt

6.21 MILES

Tucked into a limestone pleat in the mountains, Bilad Sayt is a beautiful traditional Hajar Mountain village. Trimmed with neat allotments of corn and…