Located deep in the heart of Oman you can find Misfat Al Abriyeen, nestled up in the higher ranges of the Jebel Sham mountain range. It was built more than 300 years ago by nomadic tribes travelling throughout the region.
They used large boulders as the base of their homes, as well as hardened mud bricks to create the unique architecture found there today.
The town is well known for being an interesting place to visit. Many of the homes there are a variety of different colours, with large fragrant gardens and open terraces to relax in.
Even though it sees a higher amount of tourism, when compared to other locales in the region, it’s still fairly calm and quiet year-round.
The village itself is quite small, you need to park your car outside since the cobbled streets and paths can only really be travelled on foot. Here is what you can expect from Misfat Al Albriyeen, this iconic Omani town.
The history of Misfat Al Abriyeen
This ancient town is hundreds of years old. The villagers that live here have relied on their agriculture for all these years to make a living. Easily one of the most beautiful aspects of the town is the terraces, in which all the fruits are grown.
The terraces make use of a centuries-old irrigation system known as an aflaj.
This is essentially a winding river that has been carved into the rock of the mountain that transports fresh spring water.
It runs from higher in the mountain, down into the terrace gardens where the dates, mangoes and other trees are cultivated.
The settlers of the village itself originally come from a nomadic Omani tribe known as the Al Abri tribe. These settlers created the village hundreds of years ago and started to farm the land as a natural Omani oasis was found here.
The mud-brick houses that make up the majority of the village have stood strong for hundreds of years. This shows the quality of the architecture that can be found here.
Many of the village houses in Oman use this traditional architectural design.
Hiking around Misfat Al Abriyeen
The countryside around the town is the perfect place to go hiking! There are many paths that can take you further up the mountain, or along its length.
The height of the village and its paths also allow you to see beautiful vistas stretching for miles. The area is relatively safe as well, the village only has a small population of around 1000 people.
When it comes to hiking in the area, the most iconic place to do so is the famous Jebel Shams Balcony Walk.
The Jebel Shams Balcony Walk
Jebel Shams translates to English as “The Mountain of the Sun”. It is the highest mountain in all of Oman, and just a short 40 minute drive away from Misfat Al Abriyeen.
The Jebel Shams Balcony Walk hiking trail skirts the mountain and runs right next to the canyon. Some of the best sights in this area can be seen along this thrilling walk.
There are many hiking paths that you can take, however, the easiest one is The Balcony Walk. I recommend that you bring a fair amount of water, sunblock and food with so that you keep your energy up during the trek.
The entire hike will last around 3-4 hours and the entire trail is around 6km depending how far you wish to walk. We did the whole walk alone, but you can also do a guided hike if you prefer.
Where to stay while visiting Misfat Al Abriyeen
Being such a small town and fairly off the main tourist radar, there aren’t many accommodation choices in Misfat Al Abriyeen. However the guest houses that are in Misfat Al Abriyeen are sure to give you an authentic Omani experience.
Let’s look further into some of the accommodations and what amenities they offer travellers from abroad.
Hissen Al Misfah – Oman
This beautiful hotel offers much to those looking to stay here for their visit. The rooms have a cave-like appearance and mattresses on the floor, in true Omani style! The staff all speak English as well and room service is always available.
Hissen Al Misfah stands higher in the village and has a great rooftop view of the surrounding land. The rooftop is also where you will be served buffet dinners and halaal breakfasts for those staying there.
The Misfah Old House offers the feel of a traditional Omani home. It is one of the most famous accommodations available in the area, seeing many tourists annually.
The main breakfast patio overlooks the beautiful date palms and lush Omani countryside. The owner of the Old House inherited the building from his parents and it has been in his family for over three generations.
The building has undergone renovations and expansions in order to provide a more luxurious stay for travellers.
Breakfast and dinner are included while staying in the Old House and all the meals are prepared using locally grown ingredients and traditional recipes.
The building is situated in the heart of the village and gives you the freedom to explore at your own leisure while offering a comfortable place to relax during the day if need be.
How long do you need in Misfat Al Abriyeen?
Since we only had one week in Oman we only spent one night in Misfat Al Abriyeen.
We arrived around mid-afternoon and left around mid-morning the following day to go hike the Jebel Shams Balcony Walk, and we then drove off to continue with our itinerary.
If I had longer in Oman I would have spent at least one additional night in Misfat Al Abriyeen.
The town is adorable, and I feel like I could have spent hours just wandering around the narrow alleys and streets, as well as into the surrounding fields and hiking trails.
However if you don’t have long in Oman one night is enough. It will give you a feel for what Oman’s Mud Village is like, and provide a bit of a change from the canyons, wadis and deserts that you’ll see during your trip.
Final thoughts on Misfat Al Abriyeen
This beautiful mountain village has stood for many centuries and is bound to grow with time.
The rustic lifestyle and unique feel of the locale make it a fantastic place to go on holiday, especially if you’d like to experience life out in the Oman countryside.
The peace and quiet of the village can be a welcome change to the noise and crowds of major metropolitan areas giving you time to rest.
Misfat Al Abriyeen is the perfect haven for those who want to try something different and experience village life.
If you’re looking for something new to experience on your next holiday then I wholeheartedly recommend that you look at visiting the beautiful Misfat Al Abriyeen!
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