Adventure Time, Expat Life

Wadi Abyad


Fresh, clear pools of water supplied by streams flowing from the mountain high above and mature palm trees lining the valley walls, Wadi Abyad is yet another of Oman’s beautiful locations worth visiting.

This attraction has been on my list of places to see for some time now and this weekend I finally got to experience it for myself.
The tour books sell this Wadi as a great location to please the whole family – located just over an hour from Muscat it is easy to get to, clear pools to swim, places to hike and a lovely backdrop for family picnics. I was excited to check it out.

My adventure buddy was my friend Erin, her request for the day was to visit somewhere that she hadn’t been before, nothing too crazy and somewhere she could swim. Wadi Abyad ticked all of those boxes.

We set off bright and early from Muscat in an attempt to beat the heat. Realistically it made no difference what time we left, it’s currently May and the temperature is around 40 degrees every day now. Eeekkk.

001 Date Palm

Heading towards Barka and turning in land from there it wasn’t long until we arrived in the town of Abyad. Following the brown sign for “Wadi Abyad 3km”, little did we know that this would be the last sign along the way. The Sat Nav had given up and didn’t register that there were any roads here. For last 3kms we were on our own to navigate through the town and down into the mouth of the wadi.

Abyad is a really sweet and traditional little town with plenty of charm. We passed by farmers tending to their crops, a donkey chilling in the shade and children playing in the street watching in amazement at the new arrivals in the big car. The roads are narrow, very narrow. Following the maze of teeney tiny streets it was a tight squeeze to get the Pajero round some of the corners, don’t attempt to head into the village in a larger car. We were getting quite lost and confused so we stopped to ask for directions from some friendly locals who helped us on our way but I get the feeling that this happens to them frequently.

001 Wadi Abyad

001 Wadi Abyad 2

Driving down onto the rocky valley floor and chundering through the rubble we followed the track deeper and deeper into the impressive valley. These are the foothills to the famous Jebel Akhdar mountains. Despite it being early in the morning there were several people dotted around claiming the best water holes with their BBQ’s smouldering away and already taking a dip. From leaving the village we travelled about 2km into the wadi until found a tranquil place that was perfect for us.

001 Pajero in Wadi

On the journey the air conditioning inside the car had blowing at a very comfortable 18 degrees, well, that is comfortable for a Scot and Canadian anyway. Stepping out of the car into the 42 degree heat was intense, looking at the clock it was still only 9.30am. Pretty sweaty!

01 Wadi A

The intense sunshine didn’t allow for any strenuous hikes or exploration, instead I chose to lie in a cool refreshing pool of water and enjoy the tranquillity watching the fish swim by.

001 Wadi Abyad stones

There hasn’t been rain for a long time now (it’s currently May) so the pools of water are reasonably shallow. Where the water flows the plants and palm trees thrive but in the parts of the wadi where water hasn’t flowed for a long time the land is cracked and dry. When the abundance of water returns after the summer I would like to visit again to see how the land changes.

001 Wadi dry bed

After an hour in the wadi our tranquillity was cut short as a jeep packed with 8 teenage boys rolled up. Their idea of fun was leering at women and shooting fish with an air gun, not really my thing so it was time to move on and leave them to it. As we were leaving the temperature rose to a blistering 46 degrees.

001 Wadi Abyad with Erin

01 Heather Wadi Abyad

From my Facebook a few people have commented on my jazzy shorts, they are a little ‘out there’ but I love them. You can buy them from Nike.

Wadi Abyad certainly was a lovely place to visit but for me it still doesn’t compare to some of the more impressive places like Wadi Shab – It depends what kind of adventure you are looking for.

If you want to visit this wadi then a 4 wheel drive is essential to get anywhere near the parts worth seeing. The stones on the wadi floor are smoothed from the rushing water and are very easy to get your car stuck. Remember to bring water and tell someone where you are going.

When visiting these beautiful locations please remember to take your trash home with you, these places deserve to stay beautiful.

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  • Reply Ayshe 13/05/2015 at 9:23 AM

    This place looks beautiful! I haven’t heard of this wadi before. One for the “to do in winter” list. I still haven’t been to wadi Shab too, although I heard you can do that in the summer because it is a bit cooler there.

    • Reply Heather 13/05/2015 at 7:31 PM

      Hahaha, don’t be fooled into the stories of Wadi Shab being cooler. That place is a little hot pocket when there is no wind, it’s trekking in burning hot air but the water pools are lovely.

      Wadi Abyad is lovely but go to Shab first, it’s more impressive 🙂 x

  • Reply Nakhal Fort ~ The Duncan Adventures 14/05/2015 at 4:33 PM

    […] Located 120km from Muscat in the town of Nakhal it is easy to reach and a nice trip for all the family, well the ones that can climb stairs anyway. I stopped in to visit the fort on my way back from Wadi Abyad. […]

  • Reply OPNO 15/05/2015 at 8:04 PM

    Wow, I haven’t been here since 2011?

    I went late in the da though, so I’ve never seen it in the day. Looks nice in your photos, more water than when I went.

    • Reply Heather 20/05/2015 at 5:30 PM

      You are a rare thing around here my dear, still Blogging strong after all these years! Abyad was nice but not my favourite place so far. I have more places on my ‘list’ but I’m always open to suggestions 🙂

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