The two wadis Shab and Tiwi are without doubt among the most beautiful wadis in Oman. Located only three quarters of an hour north of Sur, the wadis are a must-see for every Omani traveller.
The two paradisiacal wadis of Shab and Tiwi are located on Oman's coastal road from Muscat to Sur in the Sharqiyah region. Both wadis were severely devastated by the devastating cyclone that hit Oman in 2007. However, nature has repaired most of the damage in the wadis and both valleys are now resplendent with their usual scenic beauty.
Table of contents
PICTURES: Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi
Photo Gallery: Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi
With its vertical rock faces, emerald green palm trees and turquoise blue pools, the Wadi Shab is one of the most 10 most beautiful wadis in Oman. In 2012, a 27m high platform in the picturesque Wadi Shab acted as the last stop for Red Bull Cliff Diving.
The Wadi Shab is best explored on foot; cars can be parked directly at the mouth of the wadi. The subsequent hiking trail of almost 15km is signposted.
After a 20-minute hike through secluded gardens and lush vegetation, you reach the most spectacular part of the wadi. Amidst steep, snow-white cliffs with crevices and caves, the turquoise-blue stream ripples over several waterfalls and supplies settlements and orchards with vital water all year round.
A bath in the desert
You can walk along this paradisiacal setting for over an hour, after which the path leads over a steep hill to a pool of crystal-clear water deep enough to recover from the exertions of the hike with a refreshing swim.
Tip: At the back of the pools is a hidden cave where a waterfall rushes down the rock face. However, this can only be reached by swimming.
The fishing village of Shab, which is part of the wadi, has meanwhile grown together with the neighbouring larger settlement of Tiwi, at the end of which the next extremely charming wadi opens up.
The mouth of the Wadi Tiwi is located in the village of the same name only about 3km away from the Wadi Shab and is in no way inferior to it in terms of scenic idyll. At most, it is a little wider than the Wadi Shab and therefore perhaps not quite as enchanting.
A few small villages have sprung up in the Wadi Tiwi, strung along the stony track like pearls on a string. The vegetation is as lush as in Wadi Shab and forms an interesting contrast to the rugged rocks of the wadi. Besides palm trees and bushes, banana, mango and fig trees thrive in Wadi Tiwi, with birds and butterflies frolicking among their branches.
Modernity's greeting in the original valley
In the paradisiacal Wadi Tiwi, you almost forget that you are in civilisation. Accordingly, the sudden sight of bulky concrete pillars of a motorway bridge in this fairytale setting is shocking. But what sacrifices one makes for infrastructure!
Off-road vehicles can drive into the Wadi Tiwi for about 10 kilometres, but if the water level is high or rainfall has not occurred in the distant past, the road may end sooner. At the end, the road climbs steeply again and offers an overwhelming view over the paradisiacal rocky valley.
Tip: The attractiveness of the wadis is, of course, also well known among the locals and can be quite busy on weekends or holidays.