Jebel Shams, Wadi Ghul & The Balcony walk

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Part of the Jebel Akhdar range, Jebel Shams is the highest point in Oman at just over 3,000 metres. The actual highest point of the mountain is given over to a military radar station with no access allowed – fortunately this is not the main attraction of Jebel Shams. A tarmac road now reaches all the way to an area called “The Balcony”, a flat area of rock not far below the summit which gives way to a 1km straight drop down Wadi Ghul, The Grand Canyon of Oman. As you stand on the edge of this drop, clinging to the barriers, it’s almost impossible to get a sense of perspective and scale, so huge is the drop and so vast are the mountain slopes opposite you. A little further on from here, a scruffy mountain village marks the start of the balcony walk under the lip of the Grand Canyon. The balcony walk follows an old donkey trail to a small natural pool and the abandoned village of As Sab. The walk is well-marked and will take around 1.5-hours in one direction across an easy and relatively flat trail (with the odd rock to walk over). We recommend taking a packed lunch with you so that you can stop to admire the stunning panoramic views of this secluded and quiet mountain escape.

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