Story: Felicia Campbell
Photography: Mehdi Taghavi
On the Western slopes of the Hajar Mountains, the oasis-like village of Wakan perches 2,000 metres above sea level overlooking Wadi Mastal near Nakhal in Al Batinah South. The farming community harvests pomegranates, corn, apricots, dates, and more, and have generously opened their land to tourists who can enjoy a 30-45 minutes hike along the paved walkways that wind through the lush greenery, leading to the starting point of the Jebel Akhdar Nature Reserve (a hike to Jebel Akhdar would take an additional four hours over uneven terrain). At only an hour-and-a-half from Muscat, the cool mountain air and tranquil environment make it the best place for a quick hike.
How to Get There
Take the Expressway to the end and turn towards Nakhal and Rustaq. 5-10 minutes passed Nakhal, turn left in front of a watertower and follow the road towards Wadi Mistral. The paved road will wind up the mountain and continue un-paved to Wakan Village at the top of the mountain. You need an AWD or FWD vehicle to make the assent.
Best Times to Go to Wakan
Escape the heat in the summer time, or visit in February and March to see the Cherry Blossom-like blooms of the apricot trees.
Average Summer Temperature
25C and cloudy.
What to Bring
Bottled water, lunch or snacks (there are no restaurants in the area), and a camera.
The village is home to local inhabitants and the orchards are their livelihood. Appreciate and respect the villagers by not diverting from the path or taking fruit or produce.