One of Oman’s most impressive fort cities, Nizwa sprawls across a plain in the Northern Hajar mountains and makes a popular day trip from Muscat, under two and a half hours away. Nizwa’s landmark fort is doubtless its most remarkable attraction, with its 24-meter central tower built to watch over the one-time capital and center of Islamic teaching. Dating back to 1668, the circular stronghold is one of Oman’s oldest and the largest fort in the Arabian Peninsula, showcasing some of the country’s most sophisticated feats of engineering.
Another important fort that lines the ancient route to Nizwa is the Bahla Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site, notable for its 7-mile long fortification walls and long history, stretching back as far as the 3rd millennium BC. A little further west, the magnificent Jabreen Fort is celebrated for its elaborate interiors and 4-meter thick walls. Built for Al Immam BilArab bin Sultan Al Y`aribi in 1670, Jabreen Fort remains one of the most undeniably beautiful palaces in the Arab world, richly decorated with paintings, Islamic inscriptions and carved stonework.