The Governorate of Al Batinah

The Governorate of
North & South Al Batinah

Facing the Sea of Oman along a coastal plain that runs from the north of Muscat to the border of the United Arab Emirates lie the governorates of the Al Batinah region of the Sultanate.

Al Batinah North Governorate is an expansive coastal area that hosts a fertile agricultural plain. The region is renowned for its fortresses and copper exports that have been in operation since early times.

Sohar, Oman’s capital city in ancient times, is located in this region and rumoured to be the hometown of the legendary Sindbad the Sailor. Today, the city is one of the largest in the Sultanate, housing one of the region’s largest ports and many of the country’s main industries

South Al Batinah Governorate extends between sea of Oman  in the east foothills of the Western Hajar Mountains in the west. Dotted with historic sights and breath-taking scenery, South Al Batinah is considered the green belt of Oman with most of the country’s fresh produce harvested on plantations in the area.

South Al Batinah Governorate is a home to many beautiful wadis and villages, such as Wadi Mistal and Wakan Village, and attractions such as Nakhal Fort and the hot springs of Ain Al Thowara.


Main Cities of North Al Batinah:


Main Cities of South Al Batinah:





The Sawadi Beach & Islands

Situated in Barka, the Sawadi Beach from afar looks as though a carpet of pink and white has been spread out on the shore, which on closer inspection turns out to be a blanket of thousands upon thousands of shells, that are home to tiny mollusks and button tops. With stunning golden sands and an uninterrupted view of the Sultanate’s pristine waters, escaping to the Sawadi beach is a perfect activity to unwind and relax. A short boat ride from the coast lie the Sawadi Beach Islands, a secluded island paradise where you can camp overnight under the millions of stars.

Tips: Carry all your provisions and gear when camping out on the Sawadi Beach Islands as there are no facilities available. Once you are ready to return to the shore, call for your boat to take you back.

The Little & Big Snake Canyons

With spectacular views and taking its name from its shape, the Little Snake Canyon is the perfect place for tourists to explore in order to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air. Situated about 16 kilometers into Wadi Bani Auf, the Little Snake Canyon is accessible to all for the first few 100 meters. For the more adventurous and very experienced hikers, the Big Snake Canyon, close to the village of Al Zammah is a true challenge, with boulders to climb over and pools to swim through.

Timings: Daily, mornings to evenings

Location: Between Rustaq& Al Awabi

Tips: Carry a waterproof camera at all times when photographing the Snake Canyon, since there is simply no escaping the water in some parts. Do not venture if you aren’t confident.

Wadi Bani Kharus

Probably one of the most well-known of all wadis in Oman, Wadi Bani Kharus lies at the town of Al Awabi, and is a journey into some 600 million yesteryears in geological time. Blessed with fascinating flora and fauna, the beautiful landscape casts a magical spell over visitors. The floor of the wadi is etched with rock art that predates the Islamic era, and further up the canyon walls are ancient fossils of snails and clams.

Timings: Daily, mornings to evenings

Location: Al Awabi

Tips: Check out the enchanting little village of BaladSayt in Wadi Bani Auf which can be accessed through a short canyon on foot, or by a four wheel drive. While exploring the wadi, be ready to jump or swim at any given time, since some areas cannot be crossed otherwise.

Wadi Bani Auf

Popularly known as ‘The Suspended Road’, lovers of adventure will find pleasure in the challenging mountain roads of Wadi Bani Auf that climb 2000 meters from the Al Batinah plain through the stunning Al Hajar Mountains to the base of Jebel Shams. Wires connect both ends of the wadi which the daring use to cross from one end to another. Spectacular views all around guarantee a never-ending photo session.

Timings: Daily, mornings to evenings

Location: Between Rustaq & Al Awabi

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