Ancient villages, a UNESCO heritage site falaj system, and a chance to take a picture of the aqueduct made built from stones, the very same scenery found on the new 100 baisa, give anyone an excellent reason to take part in a heritage tour to Jayla along with other nearby villages.
Saleh Said Musalem Al Habsi from Quick Challenge specialises in arranging trips to this hidden gem of the Sultanate of Oman and the meeting point for the trips he arranges is about 15 minutes from Sur.
Jayla Village can be the tour's first stop after going up a steep, winding, dirt road. One can't help notice the rock formations with their different shapes, random holes inside, plus the unexpected bush that hangs alongside them. It is a mystery how these plants can survive on these rocks.
While making your way to the falaj, make sure to stop and get a picture of the 100 baisa scenery. The aqueduct, comprised of a series of stone arches, have palm trees and mountains as background. Pomegranate trees also surround this area. Do not be surprised if some of the children from the village follow along. Since many visitors do not come here, they are curious.
After walking about fifteen minutes from these arches, the first part of the UNESCO falaj system appears. Continue to walk on the other side, and another part of the falaj is visible. Here you will pass through a small pool of water coming from the falaj. The water is refreshing, so fill your water bottle and cool off. While going back to the village, the locals may invite you for coffee and dates, so take a rest and enjoy.
Ghamb is another village to visit. Depending on your time, most likely, this will be the lunch stop. The lunch spot is about a five-minute walk from the car.
Said Hamdan Al Muqami, the man who built the new off-road shortcut to link Al Jayla with the main road to Al Gumha, is from this village. If he is there, it is possible to ask him questions about this road and the area.
After a short rest, it is time to walk around to find another falaj. While walking, you will notice the jagged rock formations, the mountains, and farms along the way. After seeing the falaj, it is easy to keep walking up and around it. The goal is to get to the source of the water. While it may be a little warm, it is worth going up to find it.
Finally, take some time to go to Jahal. Upon arriving, it is easy to take in the palm and date trees, uneven rocks, grey and black slated colours along the boulders while appreciating the water coming from the top. While walking through the dry wadi, going left will lead you to where the water is coming out from the rocks. This path is about a ten-minute walk. Unless you plan to continue climbing up the mountain, you can turn back and walk the same way down. A few donkeys carrying food might also be on this trail.
Going right of the wadi will lead to an easier pathway made easy by stairs. This area makes for some good pictures of the farms, falaj, and the view of the wadi.
This trip needs an entire day. If you arranged trips through Saleh, included are breakfast and a traditional lunch along with drinks and snacks. We also visited the ancient beehive tombs but did not spend too much time here.
When making arrangements with Saleh, let him know what places you wish to see. Contact him on Instagram @quick_challenge.