Nakhal (Nakhl)
Nakhal (Nakhl)

Nakhal (Nakhl)

Nakhl, Al Batinah

The basics

Nakhal’s two star turns—Nakhal Fort and the Al Thowarah springs—lie deep in its palm-fringed residential lanes. Visit Nakhal Fort to see its towers, antique weaponry, and battlements, then head for the hot springs to paddle in their thermal waters. Many travelers also add trips into local wadis, such as Wadi Mistal and Bani Awf, to enjoy their natural pools and rugged scenery.

Nakhal is a fixture on many private western Al Hajar mountain tours from Muscat. These typically cover Nakhal Fort and Al Thowarah’s springs, while some also include visits to nearby wadis like Wadi Bani Awf, considered one of Oman’s most stunning canyons. Nakhal is also featured on select multi-day Oman tours from Muscat, which spend a week or more visiting highlights like Nizwa, the Wahiba Sands desert, and more.

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Things to know before you go

  • Nakhal will appeal to history and culture aficionados, and anyone interested in life in a small Omani town.

  • Nakhal Fort is inaccessible to wheelchair users. People with limited mobility will also find it difficult to reach the hot springs’ waters.

  • Bring sunscreen for sightseeing, plus wet shoes for Al Thowarah.

  • The entry fee to Nakhal Fort includes use of an audio guide.

  • Restrooms are situated at the fort and near the hot springs.

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How to get there

Nakhal lies in Oman’s Al Batinah region, about 54 miles (87 kilometers) from Muscat. No public buses run to the town, so it’s only accessible by car, cab, or joining an organized tour. If you’re driving yourself, take the Muscat-Al Batinah Expressway from the city before turning southward onto Route 13.

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Trip ideas


When to get there

Nakhal Fort is open early morning to evening Saturday–Thursday and part of the morning on Fridays. While it’s usually quiet, aim to visit early, when it’s cooler. The hot springs get busy on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so consider visiting on other days or early morning to beat the crowds.

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Highlights at Nakhal Fort

Nakhal Fort is unusual among Oman’s forts for its irregular shape, which follows the contours of the rocks below it. Believed to date from more than 1,500 years ago, and rebuilt and extended between the 17th and 19th centuries, this imposing castle offers plenty to see. Check out the gaps where hot date oil was poured onto attackers, admire the majlis meeting rooms and weapon displays, and soak in the stirring mountain-and-oasis views from the ramparts.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Nakhal (Nakhl)?
A:
Attractions near Nakhal (Nakhl):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Oman?
A:
As well as visiting the Nakhal (Nakhl), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: