A vacation at The View Oman is a delight for history buff as the resort, tucked away in the mountainous offers easy access to multiple forts, castles, ancient ruins, and villages of historic import. From a simple drive down to explore the Nizwa Fort and Souq to visiting the Bahla Fort, Jabreen Castle, Al Hamra Town and the prehistoric caves at Al Hoota, you will always end up wishing that you had a little more time to stay at explore the surrounding delights at The View Oman.
A tour of the Al Hoota Caves
Situated at the base of Oman‘s highest mountain, the Jabal Shams the caves extend over 4.5 km having been been created over a period of more than a many centuries, forming stalactites and stalagmites that hang from the ceilings and reach up from the floor. Theseare the only cave system in the Arabian Peninsula that is open to visitors and a visit her makes for a fantastic experience. The four lakes here create a fascinating ecosystem that is home to various creatures, the most famous of which are the blind fish which are endemic to Al Hoota and are only found here in Oman. Known by locals as ‘Bu Naseh,’ these unique fish lost their eyesight and pigmentation and are also transparent, allowing you to see their skeletons as they swim past.
A visit to Al Hamra Town
A 400-year-old town that lies close to the View Oman, the town is built on a tilted rock slab and is host to some of the oldest houses in Oman. With ceilings made of palm beams and fronds topped by mud and straw, These houses can be more that three stories high. Those interested in the history of Oman should also visit Bait Al Safa, a living history museum, where locals demonstrate old Omani traditions in a restored mud-brick house.
Nizwa Fort and Souk Visit
The Nizwa Fort and Souq lie only a short drive away from the resort and make for a fascinating day outing. Originally built in the 9th Century and later renovated in the 17th Century by Sultan Al Yaribi, the fort’s designs are entrenched in the context of cannon-based warfare whose most imposing structure is the circular tower, 36m in diameter and over 30m tall. The maze of rooms and false doors were architectural deceptions against the enemy, but they now house artefacts, tools and utensils that were in use during the significant years of the fort’s history. One can stroll through secret tunnels, narrow winding staircases, spike-studded doors that had holes above them from which hot date syrup or burning oil was poured on intruders. The roof offered a lovely 360-degree view of the Al-Hajjar mountains and the town below, and was a strategic advantage for the fort. The turrets, battlements and cannon positions, which once thwarted many an assault, were now a great photo-op.
Right at the doorstep of the fort is one of the oldest, most authentic souqs or markets places — the Nizwa Souq. While some portions of the souq have been restored or modernised, it is the original souq that with its winding alleyways, stone arches and tiny shops with wares spilling onto the passages have a charm that no modern facility can emulate. This is a great place to shop for handicrafts, pottery, frankincense, silverware, and of course, the infamous silver khanjars or daggers
Bahla Fort Visit
The Balha Fort is one of the most ancient and largest forts in Oman and the only fort in the country that has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fort was restored a number of times through history with major restorations taking place in the 13th, 17th, and 19th century under various tribes and in the 21st century by the Government of Oman. The Bahla Fort and oasis settlement with its perimeter fortification are supposed to be an exemplary specimen of the defensive architectural setup used in the Arabian Peninsula during the late medieval period. The fortress is surrounded by a 12km long wall, and there is much to explore within.
A Tour of Jabreen Castle
Unlike the other forts, Jabreen Castle was a palace constructed during peacetime to be a resplendent example of the art and structure of its time making it one of the most beautiful castles found in the Sultanate. This three-story tall castle is in possession of two towers, numerous receptions halls, dining areas, meeting rooms, a courtroom, a library, and classrooms. The interior design of the castle features decorated windows, wooden balconies, arches with inscribed Arabic calligraphy, and breathtaking ceiling artwork. It is a must-visit just to take in the beauty of it all.
These are some of the most popular historic destinations to visit around The View Oman. Let us know which of these would you like to visit during your stay.