Bring out your trekking shoes and stretch those summer lazy muscles to explore exciting new trekking routes in the popular Jabal Akhdar mountain range.
Jabal Akhdar, the popular summer destination, has several aces up its sleeves to make it a year round attraction, more so for trekkers seeking adrenaline-boosting experiences. In the wake of the development of a 7.5km long trekking path earlier this year, Alila Jabal Akhdar has introduced six new routes that take hikers on an adventure through Oman’s magnificent mountain landscape.
Interestingly, these routes are ideal for trekkers of all levels of fitness, providing access points to explore the surrounding areas on their own or with the expertise of a guide. All the trails are well marked, traversing through the stunning scenery of the mountain; it winds into the wadi and through canyons, caves, abandoned villages, farms and plantations. Alila has also opened its new Via errata, which goes through the canyon side.
Offering experiences to suit every taste, the trails include different levels of difficulty, whether it is the gentle three-hour hike, which most will find manageable, or the longer, more challenging routes that will satisfy and even challenge those with previous mountain hiking experience.
Mirage in the Mountains
This is a beautiful walk that takes you to the abandoned village of Sirab. Once home to the original members of the community, Sirab is said to have provided much inspiration for Alila Jabal Akhdar’s design. Keep a lookout for herds of goats and sheep that roam wild, while you make your way to Ali’s cave, which is a 60m deep pothole, featuring breathtaking formations, and also Wadi Tallah, a fresh wadi that gives guests a chance to enjoy a cool swim in its pools.
The Discovery Trail
The Discovery Trail starts from the nearby village of Hayl Al Hadab. From there it heads deeper into the mountain backdrop taking you on a fairly gentle 8km hike, passing by two abandoned villages as well as a small but very picturesque dam, and Ali’s cave.
This is a 4-hour guided trek down an easy via ferrata (iron road) that is sure to get one’s adrenaline pumping right from the start with a steep descent and the aid of climbing equipment. The path then leads steadily down into the wadi, passing some of the most stunning mountain scenery to the hidden village of Al Khutaymi located in a cave on the wadi floor. Walk a little further and discover the best swimming pool in the Green Mountain.
Aqbat Steps Trail
Trekkers looking for daylong trips should opt for the 5 to 7-hour routes, which are packed with spectacular sights along the way. One such leads from the Aqbat Steps Trail. Follow the trail down a steep slope, passing through the rocky canyons to Masirat Al Jawamid, a remarkable abandoned village in Oman located at the bottom of the wadi. The trail continues to the top of some Bedouin steps that lead down to the gardens below, ending at the top of a jaw-dropping waterfall.
Many of these sights can also be experienced on The Donkey Trail, which starts at Aqbat Al Biyut, about a 40-minute drive from the resort. As its name suggests, it follows a well-marked donkey trail, covering 8.6km with even more stunning views across the valley.
Lost Village Hike
This 7.5km Lost Village Hike starts at the small village of Mahaibis five minutes from the resort. Passing through the abandoned cave village of Al Khutaymi, the trail then drops dramatically by 600m to the beautiful plantations of Masirat Ash Shuraqiyn that lie below. Here, deep in the wadi, you can swim and refresh yourself in preparation for the uphill hike back.