We drove around a long, winding waterway that snakes its way over 30km through dramatic Wadi Bani Kharus. It has only recently become accessible by constructing a paved road along the entire length of the wadi. The wadi has been a prominent agricultural spot in Oman for hundreds of years. High mountains on both sides consist of limestone formations, ranging from 90 million years old at the entrance of the wadi to 600 million years old in the distant parts of the wadi.

Several pretty mountain settlements are dotted along the length of the wadi, including Stal village with its terraced fields, Sana village with its market gardens anchored to the rock by retaining walls, and Ain Karfas, which features an ancient aqueduct. At Al Markh, a pair of venerable old houses have towered over the plantations for centuries and are much photographed today – to see them, you have to park and walk down into the wadi bottom.

Parking location – Al Ulyah: 23.183427N 57.640307E