Nakhal Fort: Now THAT’s What I Call A Fort!

  Nakhal Fort is by far the most impressive fort/castle I’ve seen in Oman!  Some tourists  & expats may feel that “once you’ve seen one fort in Oman, you’ve seen them all” but that is SO wrong!  I agree that there are some pretty pathetic forts out there, but Nakhal, in my books, is a definite MUST SEE in Oman!  The town of Nakhal is about 100 kms from Muscat or about 70 kms from Seeb City Centre (I clocked it!).  Once you reach Barka (about 40 kms from Seeb City Centre), it’s another 30 kms to Nakhal.  Something that I just learned is that the name “Nakhal” originates from the Arabic word “Nakheel” meaning “date palm“!  The main entrance to the impressive fort with the guard awaiting guests to pay their 500 baiza entrance fee.  This restored fort is at least 1000 years old (I was told) and some believe it is even pre-Islamic.  If you get a chance to visit Nakhal, give yourself plenty of time to walk up and down the walls and to climb the tower stairs of this fortress.  I was there almost an hour taking in all the sights before the guard kicked me and an Indian family out.  The sign said “closed at 4pm” but I was there from 5-5:45pm on a Thursday evening.  This was the only fort I’ve been to that has been open even beyond the posted hours!  This room was labelled as the “Summer Sitting Room” or “Barzah“.  Nekhal boasts one of the largest date palm plantations in Oman.  The surrounding palm trees really add to the beauty of the fort and everywhere you turn seems like a postcard view!  Inside the fort are living quarters for the Wali (regional leader), kitchen, date store room, male and female majlis and this spooky looking jail that looked like it had quite a few spots for hanging prisoners on the walls.  This seemed to be some sort of punishment or containment device for prisoners. (?)  This friendly guard, Masoot, was kind enough to pose by one of the fort cannons on my first visit (and hopefully not the last) to Nekhal Fort.  I love how the guard’s dishdasha seems to match the color of the fort walls in this pic!  One last look at Nekhal Fort as I walked towards my car for the almost one hour drive back to Muscat. 

For those of you who prefer videos, enjoy this short clip: If you live in Oman and have never been to Nakhal Fort, I highly recommend a visit sometime soon.  You will definitely not be disappointed!  🙂

12 responses to “Nakhal Fort: Now THAT’s What I Call A Fort!

  1. My first in Oman, and still my lasting favourite. And the villagers here are so kind.
    Shout out to Aflah and his family!!!!!
    And that family who gave me shua one Eid, whose name I forget.
    This is a MUST in my opinion for Oman.

    • Thank u dear

      You talked about a person named AFLAH

      Would you like to communicate with him?

      He misses you a lot

      he is I

      a b u o m a r 9 9 8 8 @ h o t m a i l . c o m

  2. Princess,
    I totally agree. A definite MUST SEE in Oman!!! 🙂

  3. Beautiful pictures !!!
    But obviously I have to go and see the fort myself.
    How to get there from Muscat is the next question…

  4. Tamara,
    Yes, I would highly recommend visiting Nakhal Fort during your upcoming visit! If you have a license you should rent a car for the day as it would only cost you 10-20 rials/day.

  5. We stumbled upon this fort today whilst getting lost. I think I’m going to head back and have a look inside. Stunning place

  6. Jorenshaw,
    Cool what you can find when you get lost sometimes, huh?! 😉 Yes, definitely worth going back to look inside! I’m sure you’ll love it. Cheers!

  7. Definitely going there now that i have read this! just hope it wont be a wasted trip being Eid and all….. lovely pictures!

    • Nice to know the pics have inspired you to visit this splendid fort. I’m sure it won’t be a wasted trip (God willing!) as Nakhal Fort is one of the few forts that is very reliable when it comes to opening and closing hours and doorguards actually showing up! 🙂 Too many people want to see this fort for them to close it down. Enjoy! Thanks for the great comment!

  8. Small comment:
    Nakhal sounds like Nakheel (Date palm) but it’s really different word !

    Nakhal means “perforated” so it dosent catch the rain water

  9. hi, can i use your information and images for my report

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