In full bloom: Jabal Akhdar’s unmissable rose season

Lifestyle Tuesday 10/May/2022 09:23 AM
By: Gautam Viswanathan
In full bloom: Jabal Akhdar’s unmissable rose season

While the Jabal Akhdar is well visited throughout the year by campers, hikers and tourists alike, the verdant green of the mountain intermingles with another colour during this time of the year: pink.

Every spring, the mountain slopes of Jabal Akhdar in the Al Hajar mountains in Northern Oman come alive with indigenous pink Damask roses.  Found exclusively on the hillsides of Jabal Akhdar, the Jabal Akhdar rose is unique to the Green Mountain in Oman.

Known in Oman and outside the country for its fragrance, the pink rose is traditionally harvested in March and April, and is widely used in fragrances and herbal remedies, and is also a favourite in spa treatments in the Sultanate.

Hotels in the area make sure to incorporate the famed roses into their guests’ experience to ensure their stay on the mountain is even more unforgettable. While up in the rarefied atmospheres of Jabal Akhdar, visitors can also see first-hand how these roses are harvested and then turned into oil for exotic perfumes, and fragrant, refreshing rosewater.

During rose season, which runs from mid-March until early May,  tourists get an opportunity to learn how the flowers are used to make oil for perfume and rose water, explore the rose-covered slopes with an expert mountain guide, and meet the local rose-pickers for a truly immersive experience.

Guests can visit one of the area’s oldest rose water distilleries, where they can discover the ancient technique of extracting pure rose water from the harvest petals.  They can join local rose-pickers plucking the blossoms from the stems, which are then placed inside traditional mud ovens, known as ‘Al-duhjan’, for distillation.