Nizwa Fort and Souq with visit to Al Hamra
Nizwa is a town steeped in history. Once the stronghold of Islamic conservatism in Oman, it remained a formidable city for its enemies for centuries, flanked by the mighty Hajar Mountains and utilising clever mediaeval technology to keep invaders out. The fort itself has now been carefully restored to its former glory using traditional methods and provides a real insight into the lives of Omanis in previous centuries.
Along with the Fort, Nizwas other main highlight is its Souq, again reconstructed in the traditional style. Items of interest are spices, silver, and pottery, all of which are handmade in the area. On Friday, the souq really comes to life as locals travel into the city to trade. The market is a bustling mix of livestock and handmade goods, and the air is fragrant with spices.
Close to Nizwa is the large village of Al Hamra. One of Oman's oldest and most traditional villages, Al Hamra, is a great place to see the traditional architecture of old Oman: mud construction houses, some hundreds of years old but still standing, and all with intricately carved wooden doors, the signature of the region.