Since my visit to the Jebels last year I’ve had a hankering to go back and then when I discovered that the daytime temperature at the top was around 25C in July, as opposed to 46C here in Al Ain, plans for a camping trip were promptly put in place! Here’s our lowdown on the area.
We traveled along Road 21 from the Mezyad/Hafeet border crossing at Al Ain detouring to drive up Jebel Shams. It’s an interesting drive, 4×4 a must; unlike Jebel Akhdar there are no police to stop 2wds from trying to ascend the “sunny mountain”, physics eventually will! We paused at the top to take photos from the edge of a huge canyon, then continued our journey back down the mountain and onwards to Jebel Akhdar.
Stopping for some last minute food purchases at Lulu, Nizwa (which is the largest supermarket for many many miles), we then resumed our journey and shortly were on the approach to the Green Mountain.
There’s a police post which stops any non 4x4s from attempting the climb, and a young police officer took details from our car registration card and my driving license. I could see in his eyes that me driving and my husband as passenger “did not compute” but he wished us an enjoyable stay up the mountain as he waved us on our way. The road up to the top of the “hill” is an impressive feat of engineering, It climbs 1700 metres via a series of hairpin bends and the steepest of gradients, yet has crash barriers all the way to the main town at the top; for most of the way it is 3 lane, allowing overtaking which is essential on the way up – trucks use this road too! We were glad our car was newly serviced and had its brakes checked – you will see what I mean on your way down the mountain at the end of your holiday! There are a number of viewpoints with parking but we didn’t stop on the way up as there had been bad weather the previous day and it was very hazy.
It was quite a relaxing couple of days as you have to find your own entertainment. We parked up beside small villages on two occasions and explored the tiny streets and the farm area – after being cooped up in the villa at home for most of the time it was wonderful to be able to wander around outdoors. We took photos, read books, and rested. Here’s some of my favourite pictures from our trip
Hints and tips for fellow adventurers:
Fuel up in Nizwa – we favour Shell petrol in Oman as our cars run best on its “Super” grade – we used an amazing amount of petrol, thank goodness it is super cheap in Oman!
If you are camping, take all your food and drinks with you – there are limited shopping options once up the mountain. You will be able to buy basic necessities such as bottled water, yoghurts, soft drinks etc, and of course in the fruit season there will be many roadside vendors selling pomegranates, pears, apples, walnuts and the like.
Pack sunscreen – although considerably cooler up the mountain, the sun is still every bit as strong as we experience in Al Ain. Take insect repellent, citronella candles and tiger balm – I swear the mosquitoes were lying in wait for me!
Don’t forget your walking shoes – there isn’t very much to do up the mountain apart from walking and enjoying the views!
You can get a 3G signal in many places on the mountain, but speeds are quite slow. We always use our Hayyak pay-as-you-go simcards from Omantel and can get a week’s internet for 3 OMR.
Jebel Akhdar Hotel – N23 05.336 E57 41.554
Sahab Hotel – N23 04.368 E57 40.115
Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort – N23 08.549 E57 31.949
Petrol Station -(Al Maya) – N23 04.746 E57 40.391
Shops – N23 05.075 E47 40.542, also N23 04.691 E57 40.338
Picnic Area, playpark, toilets – N23 05.369 E57 41.283, also N23 06.865 E57 35.578
Things to see:
Diana’s view as listed in the guidebooks is very near to the Sahab Hotel but currently a luxury resort is being constructed on the site, however there are many other beautiful views to enjoy on Jebel Akhdar.
In the Jebel Akhdar Wars of 1957-59, a lancaster bomber crashed and you can see what remains of it close to the road at N23 04.765 E57 40.208. It’s right on the corner, behind a fence.
Village/Farm walk – N23 04.135 E57 38.327
Terrace View – Parking at Al Ayn Village – N23 04.415 E57 39.737
Terrace View – from the village at the foot of the hill – N23 03.968 E57 39.835
Amenities at the foot of the mountain:
Golden Tulip Hotel – N23 03.968 E57 39.835
Lulu Supermarket, Nizwa – N22 52.561 E57 32.249
Sanayia (Industrial area), Nizwa – N22 50.540 E57 32.601