Snapshots: Khor Najd in Musandam

Khor Najd, located 15 minutes past Khasab

If you see a photo of Musandam, it’s probably a photo of Khor Najd. With the winding road in the foreground, turquoise water and rocky mountains dropping into the sea, it makes for a lovely picture!

There’s not a whole lot to do at the lagoon itself, unless you’re taking a boat from there. It’s a working beach, full of slimy rocks, boats on trailers and a few boat slips. There’s one area where you could theoretically camp, but it’s rocky and there’s zero privacy. It also get hotter than hell once the sun comes up because there’s no breeze.

A photo stop at Khor Najd definitely needs to be included on your Musandam itinerary!

The rocky green beach at Khor Najd

 

This lagoon off Khor Najd was full of black-tipped reef sharks and sting rays

Fishing boats inside the lagoon

Mountains dropping into the sea

Fjords past Khor Najd

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Snapshots: Khasab Castle

The Khasab Castle

As far as castles and forts in Oman that teach you about what life was like in the area when the castle was built, Khasab Castle is a clear winner. There are lots of neat exhibits with signs in English, both indoors and outdoors, and kids love running around and exploring. There’s also a nice, clean bathroom.

Cannons at the main entrance

The courtyard inside the castle

A rock house (explained here) and a summer house

A not-at-all-creepy exhibit inside the castle

The bathroom is handicap-accessible!

The central keep and palm trees

The view from the castle walls

Snapshots: Bimmah Sinkhole

Bimmah Sinkhole, with the Hajar Mountains in the background

I don’t even know how many times I’ve been to Bimmah. It’s always a fun place to stop on the way to Wadi Shab or Fins beach, and there’s a playground that M really enjoys. There are clean bathrooms and spigots to refill water bottles, plus some nice shaded picnic pavilions.

There used to be a rope tied to a rock at the back of the swimming hole so you could easily climb the wall and jump off, but the last time I was there the rope and rock were gone. Even without the rope, it is still possible to carefully scale the wall and jump off one of the ledges. The water is also full of tiny little fish that will nibble on your toes and give you some free skin exfoliation. Yet another reason we love Bimmah!

The stairs down into the water

Another view of Bimmah

Snapshots: Muqil Pools at Wadi Bani Khalid

The first large pool at Muqil Pools

First, a housekeeping note. I’m introducing a new series of posts on the blog called “snapshots” (super inventive, I know). There are lots of neat things do to in Oman that don’t require a lot of explanation, or, even though I enjoy them, I simply don’t have much to say. But what I do have is lots of neat photos! First up is the Muqil Pools at the northern end of Wadi Bani Khalid.

Swimming in the crystal blue pools further up the wadi

The best way to finish off a desert glamping trip is with a stop at the Muqil Pools. It’s about an hour away from the major desert camps in the Wahiba Sands, and you can enjoy the beauty of a wadi without any of the work. You can find it easily in Waze, and then it’s just a quick walk. There’s a restaurant where you can get lunch and there are also a number of nice picnic spots.  Keep walking up the wadi to find some nice swimming spots. If you want to do a real wadi hike, Wadi Bani Khalid goes in the other direction too and is called Wadi Hayer or Hawer. OmanTripper has a good post about that. We haven’t checked it out yet, but we hope to before July!

The view of the pools, looking in the direction of the parking lot

Looking towards the parking area, from even further back in the wadi

The wadi gets a lot prettier the further in you go. There are also a lot less people.

The big pay-off: swimming in the beautiful pools all by yourself!