Any visitor traveling through Oman will no doubt notice the characteristic sight of palm groves covering the landscape of the most towns. This is especially true in the town of Nakhal (نــخــل) in the South Batinah region, about 100 kms from Muscat, which is most famous for its numerous date palm groves that the town derives its name from.
These palm groves cover the entire view of Nakhal against a backdrop of the Western Hajar Mountains presenting a beautiful landscape, and the best place to view this is from Nakhal Fort. The fort is located prominently on top a rocky hill, and offers spectacular panoramic views of the Nakhal and the surrounding date palms.
Ain Al Thawarah (عين الثوارة) is another popular attraction in Nakhal. The spring is tucked away among date farms a couple of kilometers from Nakhal Fort, and it flows year round with warm mineral water collected in the site pools. Several chairs and shades are provided in the “picnic area” near the pool; unfortunately, the place gets very crowded and dirty due to the large number visitors who don’t clean after themselves, so we wouldn’t recommend you to plan a picnic here but you can have a quick walk along the place to have a look.
In addition to these, there are a couple of wadis to explore in the vicinity, such as Wadi Al Abyad, Wadi Mistal and Wadi Bani Awuf that are just off the road connecting Nakhal to Al Rustaq. Going through Wadi Mistal eventually leads to the beautiful and picturesque Wakan village. Another place that might be worth checking out is Harat Al Sufalah (حارة السفالة) which is just outside Nakhal. The neighborhood compromises of old houses and alleys surrounded by a wall, we didn’t find much to see there but it seems they are aiming for it to be a sort of “tourist village”.
Places To Stay
Just like most small cities/villages in Oman, there really aren’t many accommodation options in Nakhal. However, Nakhal can be an easy day-trip from Muscat, or combined with a multi-day visit with over-night stays in Sohar or Mussanah.
How To Get There
Nakhal is almost 100 kms away from Muscat, take the Batinah Highway from Muscat, and make a turn to Nakhal from Barkah.
View Nakhal – OmanTripper in a larger map
Overall, Nakhal is a nice and enjoyable place to visit with a few of attractions. You may want to visit it together with other destinations (e.g. Wakan Village or Al Rustaq) as you may not be able to fill a whole day’s activities there.