Adventure Time, Uncategorized

Hiking in Muttrah

March 9, 2013

When I think of the Muttrah area of Muscat I picture the Souk (market place) and the Corniche along the sea front, little did I know that there is a hiking trail very close by.

In serach of this trail I rounded up a couple of friends together, packed a picnic and headed off on an adventure.
Oman’s Ministry of Tourism is promoting these kind of outdoor activities for people to get out of their cars and explore this beautiful country. To make it easier and accessible to people, the trek routes can be found on their website. So there really is no excuse not to pull on some sturdy shoes and get hiking. You can find these routes by clicking here.

We chose the Muttrah hike as no one in our group had done it before and it was listed as ‘easy’ so we thought it was worth checking out. At 2.5km we set aside a good 2 hours as us ladies like to walk and tallk 🙂
This particular hike begins from the parking area at Riyam Park in Muttrah. Look for the big gold coffee cup things, maybe they are jugs?, on the roundabouts.

Once you are parked, it is not obvious at all where to go. There are steep mountains all around. Luckily, Rach figured it out, the map forgot to mention the part where you should cross the road out of the car park and go up the small hill in front of you. You will reach a yellow house with a wall all the way round the perimiter, follow the wall all the way to the back of their house and you will see a stone path going steeply up the hill next to an old diesel pipe. This is the start of the hike up the hill alongside the rusty pipe, this is a reminder of days gone by when supplies of diesel oil were pumped from a ship anchored in Muttrah harbour.

This initial hike is possibly the hardest part of the entire walk. It was worth every step, though, for the spectacular views. From the top, the next landmark you can see is the distinctive Incense Burner monument. 




There are ‘flags’ painted onto the rocks along the way guiding you where to go, though some are a little faded so an eagle-eye is advised. Here are a couple of examples of what you should be looking for:


The route cuts through a wadi (valley) area for a time. This could be quite treacherous if it had rained recently, with bigger water pools and a slippery surface underfoot, so watch your step.
We stopped for a snack and a well-earned drink of water whilst in the wadi, where you can shelter from the sun.




Though it’s rated an ‘easy’ walk, I would personally give it more of a ‘moderate’ rating. They should really recommend that you wear sensible footwear as it can be pretty steep and there are lots of areas with loose rock underfoot. Perhaps the person who rated it ‘easy’ had the balance and coordination of a mountain goat. I don’t. At times, we found ourselves having to scramble and hold onto higher rocks for balance while moving our unsteady feet down the path. I sensibly wore sneakers, which were perfect for the job.

The end of the walk will take you through what is actually a grave yard, although it doesn’t look like the kind of graves we are used to, and back into the streets of Muttrah again where you can stop off for refreshments. If your heading back to your car then get back onto the main street again and turn right and follow the road back to Riyam Park.

This is the grave yard:


Surprisingly, we only saw two other people during our trek. It seems that people are unaware of this amazing hike in the city and tend to head further out to places like Wadi Shab for their adventures.
If you are interested in trekking this Muttrah route and others then you can find and print the route map on the activities section at www.omantourism.gov.om



This week my article on hiking has a two page spread in Y magazine or you can read it online by clicking here.

– If you have any adventures that you would like to recommend or want me to try for you then please feel free to get in touch by using the “contact me” icon. I love a new challenge!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) March 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Ooh! So glad you posted about this! I did that hoke about five years ago now? Totally forgot about it. Something nice to do on a not so hot day for sure:)

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