The 10 most beautiful wadis in Oman

Depending on whether they have water, the wadis in Oman turn into dreamlike oases with Caribbean flair or lonely desert valleys with bizarre rock formations that are only accessible by off-road vehicle.

Hardly anywhere else in the world is the palette of wadis as diverse as in Oman. The dry valleys are covered with gnarled incense trees or Caribbean-looking palm trees, built up with mud huts and concrete bridges, barren and dry or lushly green including ponds and waterfalls.


PICTURES: The 10 most beautiful wadis in Oman

Photo gallery: The 10 most beautiful wadis in Oman

Bathing, hiking and wild camping, off-roading over scree or simply enjoying the solitary beauty of nature - a holiday in Oman offers the right destination for every wadi adventure!

Wadi Shab

You can walk for over an hour along the paradisiacal backdrop of Wadi Shab, Oman - © Ivan Pavlov / Shutterstock
© Ivan Pavlov / Shutterstock

The picturesque Wadi Shab impresses with its vertical rock faces, at the bottom of which turquoise pools glisten in the sun. Fruit trees and palm trees on the shore add to the idyllic flair of Wadi Shab. The best way to explore Wadi Shab is on foot; a 15km hiking trail is signposted.

Article: Wadi Shab
Photo gallery: Wadi Shab

Wadi Tiwi

Approx. 10 kilometers off-road vehicles can drive into the Wadi Tiwi, with high water level on the runway can be also earlier final stop, Oman - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The picturesque Wadi Tiwi is right next to the equally gorgeous Wadi Shab. The air is fragrant with mangoes, bananas and figs and filled with birdsong and fluttering butterflies. The Wadi Tiwi can be explored by off-road vehicle. A stony road connects several small villages.

Article: Wadi Tiwi
Photo gallery: Wadi Tiwi

Wadi Suwayh

In the scenic Wadi Suwayh you will find lots of pools and palm trees that invite you to stop, Oman - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

In Wadi Suwayh, idyllic pools, gardens and waterfalls line an 11km road, with steep walls and bizarre rock formations towering between them. The wadi can be explored on foot or by car, but is a dead end.


Article: Wadi Suwayh
Photo gallery: Wadi Suwayh

Wadi Nakhar

The Wadi Nakhar Gorge is also called the Grand Canyon of Oman and can be reached from Nizwa via Al-Hamra - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Less green and idyllic but all the more impressive is the Wadi Nakhar. It is not for nothing that the spectacular gorge is also called the "Grand Canyon of Oman". A former donkey trail leads along the abyss, which can be up to 1,000 metres deep, and hikers are usually accompanied only by vultures. The most beautiful view of the Wadi Nakhar is offered by a high plateau at an altitude of 2,000 metres.

Article: Wadi Nakhar
Photo gallery: Wadi Nakhar

Wadi bani Khalid

In Wadi bani Khalid, the most famous oasis in Oman in the middle of the mountain desert of Al Hajar, you can relax wonderfully all year round - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

If you are planning a bathing holiday in Oman, Wadi bani Khalid is the place to go. In the middle of the Al Hajar mountain desert, the most famous oasis in Oman has water all year round. Its centre is a huge palm-lined pond with natural rock pools inviting visitors to take a dip in the cool water.

Article: Wadi bani Khalid
Photo gallery: Wadi bani Khalid

Wadi Dhayqah

The Wadi Dhayqah can be explored in the course of an approximately 6-hour hike, Oman - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

Wadi Dhayqah, with its spectacular cliffs, is an ideal day trip from Muscat. It is the largest wadi in Oman that has water all year round. The vegetation in Wadi Dhayqah is correspondingly lush. The 15km long hiking trail is lined with tall reeds growing along a crystal clear river. Its highlights include the Devil's Gorge and the largest dam in the Gulf States.

Article: Wadi Dhayqah
Photo gallery: Wadi Dhayqah

Wadi bani Habib

The houses built entirely of mud in Wadi bani Habib are now completely abandoned, Oman - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The Wadi bani Habib is less scenic, but more interesting from a historical point of view. In the middle of the Jebel Akhdar mountain range lies a lonely mountain village that was once built entirely of mud and is now completely abandoned. The decaying houses nestle against the steep flank of the mountain like toys.


Article: Wadi bani Habib
Photo gallery: Wadi bani Habib

Wadi Shuwaymiyah

Wadi Shuwaymiyah is one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman, but due to its remote location it is hardly mentioned in any travel guide - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The completely natural Wadi Shuwaymiyah is one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman, but due to its remote location it is hardly mentioned in any travel guide and is therefore still considered a real insider tip. Located in the middle of the inhospitable stone desert Jiddat al-Harasis, it can be explored by off-road vehicle. On the coast, a kilometre-long sandy beach beckons, which is one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Oman and is also mostly deserted.

Article: Wadi Shuwaymiyah
Photo gallery: Wadi Shuwaymiyah

Wadi Dawkah

The Wadi Dawkah in southern Oman has been considered the place of origin of incense since ancient times - © Maros Markovic / Shutterstock
© Maros Markovic / Shutterstock

The Wadi Dawkah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because, as the "cradle of frankincense", the precious gift of Allah has been extracted here for 3,000 years. Along the legendary Incense Road, which leads to Petra in Jordan, the approximately 5,000 incense trees are still cultivated using purely traditional methods. The frankincense from the Wadi Dawkah is not quite as valuable today as it was back then, but it is still considered the best frankincense in the world.

Article: Wadi Dawkah

Wadi Afawal

The Zig Zag Road leads up this rock face, Oman - © FRASHO, franks-travelbox
© FRASHO, franks-travelbox

The rocky Wadi Afawal is home to a masterpiece of Omani road construction. The so-called Zig Zag Road climbs an almost vertical rock face in tight hairpin bends. Over a length of 5 kilometres, the impressive "zig-zag road" overcomes 500 metres in altitude!

Article: Wadi Afawal


Recommended accommodations: Oman


Show accommodations