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You know the stories and fairy tales from 1001 nights? Have you heard of small villages in oases where ripe sweet fruit hangs from the trees and water sources provide a thriving life in the dust-dry and lonely desert?
We discovered such a place. The oasis village of Misfat Al Abryeen and the local, authentic and charming Guesthouse Misfah Old House [ad] are really places of longing in which tourism has so far not found much influence.
The Misfah Old House is located in Misfat Al Abryeen. The place is located in the north of Oman in the Al Hamra district, which belongs to the Al Dakhiliyah region. It takes about an hour to drive to Nizwa, and about two and a half hours to Muscat.
The approach to the Misfah Old House already suggests that it is a mountain village. The place, which consists of many small houses made of clay, sticks to the side of a mountain. The Misfah Old House is located in the middle of the small sleepy town.
There is peace here because no cars are allowed in the mountain oasis. You would have to park in front of the mountain village, because parking spaces are unfortunately a bit scarce or reserved for local residents, because 200 years ago when the place was built, cars and parking spaces were probably not yet on the screen.
For the overnight stay in the Misfah Old House, it's best to pack a small daypack, because the small oasis town lies on the slope and nobody wants to lug heavy suitcases over the countless stairs in the blazing sun.
As soon as you walk through the city gate, the incredible tranquility of the oasis begins. Only the rustle of the palm leaves and the chirping of the birds break the calm in the oasis. Especially the sunsets on the roof terrace are unstoppable in terms of relaxation and romance.
The enchanting Misfah Old House is halfway up the slope and is the ideal starting point for leisurely but grandiose walks in the oasis. Everywhere small water ripples ripple through the village and ensure blooming flora and fauna.
The place is crisscrossed by palm trees and fruit trees. Everywhere there are all sorts of fruits that are best known at home from the supermarket.
Thick yellow and green bananas hang on the green shrubs, ripe dates fall from the palm trees. Black plump figs and glowing red pomegranates hang down the narrow paths from Misfah Old House down into the valley. Again and again you walk through the clouds of fragrant yellow lemons and bright green limes, which secrete some oil in the midday sun and provide a wonderful smell. If milk would flow in the streams instead of water, Misfat would be the land of milk and honey. It was very fascinating for us - like in paradise.
Of course, in addition to the oasis walks, where you will also sweat a bit due to the warm temperatures, you can also take real hikes.
It is certainly interesting to hike from Misfah Old House out of Misfat Al Abryeen to the life-giving springs. The springs in the mountains were led into Misfat by the town's founders and ensure the water supply and are therefore the livelihood of the oasis.
But keep in mind that you are leaving the protection of the oasis and are exposed to the scorching sun of Arabia. Be well informed and take sufficient provisions and water with you on your tour. It's best to take a guide.
The valley at the foot of the oasis and the opposite village also have their charm. It's just fun to explore the area there.
If exercise in the heat is not your thing, then simply enjoy the spacious roof terrace and relax with one of the delicious homemade lemonades.
The Misfah Old House has been family owned for decades. Especially from the breathtaking roof terrace, where dinner is served, you have a brilliant view of the surrounding mountains and the oasis.
Sensational drinks and juices are served throughout the day. This is how you imagine the Orient.
The rooms are simple and authentic. Comfortable mattresses on the floor, as is common here in the mountains of Oman, gave us a good night's sleep. Fresh bed linen is of course always available.
The thick mud walls of the guest house keep the warmth of the day away from the bedrooms and create a pleasant atmosphere.
Depending on which room you book, you have your own bathroom or share one with three other rooms.
Overall, the decor is simple but authentic. If you are looking for luxury, you will find it in nature and silence - rather not in accommodation.
You don't have to do without WiFi. Every evening from 7 pm the owner turns on the router and you can surf.
Booking a room at Misfah Old House includes half board.
Breakfast is served in the lobby area. In addition to toast and pancakes, there is honey and jams. Various fruits from the oasis as well as delicious juices, tea and coffee are also on offer.
Dinner is served on the roof terrace with a sensational view. Look forward to a delicious buffet with typical Arabic dishes, such as falafel, humus, various vegetarian and meat curries, vegetable side dishes, Omani flatbread as well as sweet cakes and Omani tea.
As a culinary souvenir, the Misfah Old House offers many products from the oasis for sale, for example rose water, dates or date honey (note: you should only transport and store the honey jars upright. They are not completely sealed).
The area around Misfat al Abryeen is so beautiful. The oasis really transports you to the world of 1001 nights. If we come back again, we would like to stay a little longer and do a longer hike. The delicious food and the calm and coolness of the oasis really let you slide into another world - a small parallel world in the hot desert of the Oman.
If you are traveling in a 4WD car, you can visit the Jebel Shams massif from Misfat and return in the evening dusty and exhausted from the heat of the day to your little oasis - the Misfah Old House. We definitely recommend the Misfah Old House and a visit to the oasis town of Misfat Al Abryeen.
All in all, the Atana Musandam is an excellent choice for your stay in Khasab and the ideal starting point for your adventures on Musandam. If we come back to the Musandam Peninsula, which we definitely intend to do, we will stay at the Atana Musandam again, because here we felt in good hands, it tasted good and we didn't get bored. What more do you want when you can be a guest in a very remote area with breathtaking nature? In any case, we enjoyed it very much and would therefore be happy to recommend the hotel to you.