There is a huge influx of tourists in Wakan village from inside and outside the Sultanate of Oman. Located in the Wilayat Nakhl of South Al Batinah Governorate, Wakan Village attracts large number of tourists who come here to enjoy the season of apricots and peaches which begin blossoming in January and continue till the beginning of March.
This is the season when there is huge tourism and commercial activities. This is one of the few areas in the Sultanate where these types of trees grow. This is because the village is situated on the heights and is relatively cold.
These fruits are known for their taste and quality, because they are grown without chemical additives. They have a unique taste as people of the area use organic materials to grow them. When these trees blossom and the crops are ready, they give the entire area a picturesque look worth watching.
Attractive Tourism Elements:
Surrounded by high mountains, Wakan Village is one of the most popular tourist destinations. This is due to its elements combined with natural mountains and plains. It also has archaeological sites which show that the entire area is deeply rooted in history. Its agricultural terraces spread along the wadi from the borders of the village to the heights of the mountains. The village, located 2,000 metres above the sea level, has a unique weather. The temperature is moderate during summer and dips further during winter. Overlooking the Wadi Mistal, the village gives most magnificent view.
Various types of agricultural crops of Wakan Village are also a factor of attraction for tourists. This is in addition to apricots and peaches. There are also a number of other fruits which are different in taste compared to those of other places. These fruits include grapes, pomegranates and cherries locally known as “Sakura,” as well as legumes and mountain herbs such as lavender and wild thyme or Zatar.
The people of the village reap the harvest of apricots and peaches etc from the end of April till May every year. These fruits are also the source of income for the people of the areas as the tourists purchase them. The local people also get benefitted due to the promotion of the village as a tourist destination.
The Ministry of Tourism has improved the services and infrastructure of the village. It has constructed a walkway to climb to the highest peak in the village. It has around 700 steps covering 1.1 km distance to reach its top to watch the wadi starting from the borders of the village to the end of the foothills of the mountains around Wilayat of Nakhl, which is called Wadi Mistal.
The ministry has also set up a fence along the road leading to the Wakan Village to ensure that there are no unfortunate incidents taking place. It has also provided areas designated for various types of services. It has made monitoring towers in the shape of forts as well as shades and chairs for tourists to rest while climbing to the heights.
The Ministry of Tourism is also providing all necessary information about the village in various languages to help tourists enjoy every attraction available there. Public conveniences are also made at the entrance of the village. There is also one guest house known as ‘Wakan Guest House’ which also has a restaurant for the tourists and their families. Wakan village is one of the best areas for hiking. The walkway leading to the highest peak in the village is helpful in this. The entire area is very promising for various types of sports tourism such as climbing and organising mountain competitions.
Agricultural Crops A Tourist Attraction:
Amir bin Salim al Sobhi, one of the residents of Wilayat Nakhl, said the people of Wakan Village focus on the agricultural crops which do not grow in other areas of the country. When these crops blossom, the entire farms are covered in white colour which attracts tourists coming here from within the Sultanate and abroad.
Al Sobhi said the tourists keep coming to Wakan Village throughout the year, particularly during winter as this is the season of blossoming of the apricot. The farmers sell their crops in the nearby markets, most of them in the Souq Nakhl.
Al Sobhi said the various types of agricultural crops are the sources of income of the people of the village. He said that the Omani apricot was sold only in the local markets and are not exported even to the neighbouring countries. The seedlings of apricot are also sold locally and are never exported.
Local and foreign tourists:
Al Sobhi said the Wakan Village has recently become a major destination for tourists coming here from within the country or abroad. They come here particularly in the season when the farms are clad in apricot flowers and the weather is moderate. Wakan Village is known for the stunning scenery and aroma of beautiful plants, such as lavender and wild thyme, spread all across mountain ranges.
Faisal al Mawali, a tourist, said when I first visited Wakan Village, I was amazed by the splendour of its scenery. In my view, it is one of the most important tourist attractions in the Sultanate. While on the walkways, you can see the beauty of untouched nature on the both sides. You would also see the splendour of mountainous terrain.
Al Mawali said that one of the most important features of the village was its apricots, peaches and other trees. They are major attractions for those who visit the village to spend beautiful time. This strengthens domestic tourism of the Sultanate.