Hiking the beautiful Wadi Shab
Located 150 km from Muscat (1.30 hrs drive) and only 50 km from Sur, the Wadi Shab is a very popular outdoor destination, a stunning canyon lined with palm trees including a number of hidden pools ideal for swimming (Do you want to know other Omani pools where you can swim? Check our articles about Bani Khalid and Bimmah Sinkhole).
After reaching the parking lot situated under the bridge of the Highway, you have to take a short boat ride to cross the small Wadi pond (1 OMR) where you can start your hike.
From here you’ll walk into the spectacular canyon along palm groves, steep rocky cliffs and indeed pools. The path is not challenging, be careful because in some points is rocky and in other lines the mountain with a short dig on the side.
It takes around 40 minutes to get to the first pool where you can finally start your swim and relaxing. If you go on (and you should), you’ll find other pools that follow each other until you get to a small hole in the rocky wall in which you will swim through into a fantastic cave with a waterfall.
There are also some ropes in the cave which you can use to climb up the waterfall and jump into the pool. A local guide told me that now and then the water level is too high because of the rain and you have to dive under the water to pass through, so be careful especially when the weather is raining. The cave is a real wonder of nature hidden in these mountains, surely a spot not to be missed but only if you can swim.
Need to Know about Wadi Shab
The Wadi is very popular, well worth a visit, but it gets jam-packed during the weekend and late morning. We do recommend an early start.
Wear walking shoes or trainers, definitely not flip flops as the terrain is undulating and rocky.
2) How to get there
The Wadi is very accessible, situated next to Tiwi village. If you are coming from Muscat or Sur, you have to drive along the highway 17 and exit at Tiwi. You’ll find it on google map as “Wadi Shab parking” (GPS: 22.839176, 59.246142). We visited the wadi on our way from Sur to Muscat. Leaving the Wadi, you can stop at Hawiyat Najm Park (only 30 km) and have a look or a swim at Bimma sinkhole.
Close to the parking lot, there is a small stand with tables and chairs that sells coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. The public toilets are at the entrance of the car park. Bring water and food with you since you won’t find anything along the path.