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Distance from Muscat – 120 km
Time taken to reach – 1 1/4 hours
How to get there – By car, which can be hired from Car rental agencies.
From the Batinah Coast to the west of Muscat along the base of the jebels are several key towns of special interest. Along the coast is the town of Barka with an impressive fort and Bait Al Naman Castle, an early home for the Al Bu Said dynasty(the current ruling family).
Further along the coast is the Jazir Sawaidi, a small chain of islands near the shore where beach combing, fishing and exploring are the prime activities. Closer to the mountains lie the majestic fortresses of Nakhl, Rustaq and Al Hazm. restored by the government and preserved as national treasures.
For those bent on trekking, there are many wadis running through the foothills and mountains, many of them with running water. Wadi Abyadh is ideal for picnicking, while Wadi Bani Awf, Wadi Hajir, Wadi Haylayn and Wadi Bani Kharus offer challenging trails for those keen on canyoning. Wadi Sahtan and the Ghubrah Bowl extend into the upper reaches of the Western Hajars, while Wadi Hoquein and Wadi Ghafir offer challenging drives through lush low lying valleys.