A short drive, less than 15 km away from The View Oman lies the mountainous village of Misfat Al Abriyeen. Set some 1,000 m above sea level on the foothills of the Jebel Shams mountains, this village derives its name from the Al Abri tribe who were the ones who settled in the area some 300 years ago. The village is best-known as an authentic, Omani mud village which was built into a mountainside in the Al Hamra region and whose dwellings are not abandoned to time. Made up of houses, a maze of shaded passageways, beautiful gardens and open terraces, Misfat Al Abriyeen is a delight for visitors both local and international.
The most interesting aspect of the village is its incredible mud architecture, wherein huge rock slabs have been used to create the foundation of the houses here which are built up into towering, multi-level creations using smaller rocks and stones excavated from the mountainside which is fixed together with mud and finished with an adobe-like plaster. The gigantic size of the foundation stones goes to provide evidence for the excellent skill and craftsmanship of the ancient stonemasons and it is a testament to their skill that many of these houses are still standing even after many centuries of neglect. While the houses may appear makeshift, they braved time eating away at them to persevere. The decaying houses are possibly the most interesting to look at, as they reveal the inner anatomy of sticks, grass, and stones that sit beneath every building’s veneer, while many other inhabited houses are better maintained.
Many of those residing in Misfat Al Abriyeen depend on the terrace farms for their livelihood, where bananas, pomegranates, papayas, mangoes, citrus trees and of course palm trees are grown. Agriculture on these terraces along the mountain slopes is irrigated through an intricate falaj system that has been carved through the hard rocks of the mountain, and is supplied from a spring that can be found by following the short track along the falaj system.
The simple beauty of this village and its surroundings is what has earned it the title of a mountain oasis by those that have enjoyed these gardens. There are clear paths marked for tourists to explore by the usual yellow, green and red flags that designated hiking tracks in Oman.
The village of Misfat Al Abriyeen is popular among both local and international visitors, both due to its historic importance and beauty. A beauty easily enjoyed from the viewing platform in the village, which is a quick walk from the entrance to the village. Close to the platform, visitors will find a map of the historical part of the village of Misfat Al Abriyeen and information, points of interests and general tips for visiting tourists.
The traditional mud houses with palm frond roofs, unique toMisfat Al Abriyeen in that they are built on solid rock foundations, is one of the most popular attractions around Al Hamra, amongst others such as Al Hoota cave, Wadi Ghul, Jabal Shams, or Nizwa.
It is only about 200 kms from Muscat and a mere 6 kms from Al Hamra via a meandering uphill road, paved all the way to the village entrance.