28 March 2023

Nizwa and the Mountains – finest forts in Oman

Already with our own car, we left Muscat to the historic towns of Nizwa and Bahla. Nizwa, also called “the pearl of Islam”, is the second tourist destination in Oman and it is famous for its XVIIth century fort. Nizwa Fort is an interesting place to visit, with many informative panels and other displays inside the different rooms and cells. If you climb the walls, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of Hajar Mountains.


After Nizwa, we followed the same road for 45 minutes to go to visit Bahla and its impressive XIIth century fort, maybe my favorite one. Bahla Fort, a Unesco site, has been closed for restoration for many years. Now it can be visited again but only until 4pm, which was too late for us. Still, we could take nice pictures of the fort outside and the old dwellings around.


We left (on purpose) the best for the end of the day: Al Ayin. This is a burial site on the hills with beehive shape tombs made of stone. Scholars don’t know much about these tombs except that they were constructed during the Hafit and the Umm and Nar cultures (2000-3000 BC). The only thing that I can add about these tombs is that they were very impressive at sunset. Tired but happy to have seen this site, almost unknown by tourists, we left the beehive tombs with the sun and headed back to Muscat.