with Adventure Emarat
At an altitude of 2,000 meters in Wilayt Nakhal, Wakan Village is considered to be one of the most enchanting places in Oman. In many ways, it remains the untamed natural wonder, with its spectacular mountain ranges, and fresh produce. Today, local inhabitants rely largely on farming and agricultural terraces for their livelihood. The wonderfully terraced gardens in Wakan are home to fruit trees, grapes, apricots, pomegranates, and green vegetables.
Objective: A challenging day hike from the Wakan village (about 1400m) to Wakan Pass (at about 2400m) with lots of lush date plantations and farms.
The village sits at 2,000 meters above sea level in Wadi Mastal in Wilayt Nakhal, located in Al Batinah South Governorate. 150 kilometers separate this village from Muscat. The road leading to the village passes through a number of valleys where the villages can only be reached by a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
This region enjoys moderate temperatures in summer and low temperatures in winter. Visitors will observe many agricultural terraces supporting fruit trees, including grapes, pomegranates and apricots, as well as some legumes.
Turn off Route 13 shortly after passing through Nakhal, following a wandering wadi until the road gives way to a dirt track. You will be able to glimpse Wakan far in the distance high on a cliff as you approach.
Wakan is very easy to find. It is signposted along the way and even if it is your first visit, you should be able to reach this destination with no problems.
After leaving the asphalt road behind, there is a steep climb towards the village along an extremely narrow dirt track. You will need 4-wheel driving experience to get up to the village parking area.
At the village entrance is an Information and Visitors’ Centre. A trail has been built stretching for 1,100 metres, comprising 700 steps rising to the top of the mountain, surrounded by a protective fence and containing service areas as well as observation towers that look like castles and umbrellas. You’ll also find sitting areas, and a rest shelter overlooking the village and its terraces.
The only bathrooms for tourists in the village are located here, at the base of the observation tower.
The best way to explore Wakan Village is by foot. There are several walking tracks in the village, starting from the observation platform. Among them, the trail across the village is considered to be the easiest and most popular. Across several beautifully terraced gardens and along a falaj stream, this stunning footpath takes you up into the watchtower, where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the mountain range and the picturesque Wakan Village. A walk along the path will also allow you to experience verdant shrubs, crumbling terraces, fruit trees, and vineyards, where birds sing and butterflies flutter among the apricot flowers.
Waken Village is a very productive farming community, so on your way through the village you are very likely to pass local farmers tending to their crops and expanding and maintaining the agricultural terraces. You will be greeted warmly and may even be invited for coffee and tea.
To get though the village to the mountain hiking path, you must walk a beautiful 1.1km paved trail, made up of 700 steps to the topmost point of the village.
Hundreds of steps later you will find yourself gazing from the top of the village down into the valley below. A truly breathtaking view and the sense of peace and quiet in this area is very special.
Eastern Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Al Dakhilivah is a 4-9 hour roundtrip hike from Wakan. This scenic hike involves a roundtrip around the wonderful terraced gardens in Wakan, a walk up to the Saiq Plateau rim where you will have a stunning view of the Gubrah Bowl, a descending to Hadesh through rock balconies, and further down to Wakan via Al Qurah. For adventure and outdoor enthusiasts, this trail is a must.
Aside from a walk to Eastern Al Jabal Al Akhdar, there are also two other delightful footpaths that lead you to the Central Al Jabal Al Akhdar through the terraced gardens with the sweeping vista of Wadi Muaydin in the distance.
Unlike Muscat, this tiny Village may not be able to provide you with luxury hotels and guesthouses (there is no accommodation at all), but it still has a lot to offer. From its natural resources, and stunning walking paths, to its hospitable communities, and the sustainable ecosystems, it is a fascinating place to respite. It also has many great mountains and postcard-quality landscapes.
What an amazing day hiking up and over the mountain, and becoming more impressed by the graciousness and hospitality of the Omani people. All you really need to do is tell any local the truth, that Oman is an amazingly beautiful country, and a glow of gratitude and a humble pride in their country will beam from their faces.
Wakan Village. In the end, you will realize that it is not just the destination, but the journey to the destination that makes your Wakan Village trip unforgettable.
Always a pleasure to visit!
Thank you to Adventure Emarat for letting me join you on this adventure.