Muscat Treks: Bandar Al Khayran

Description of the trek at Bandar Al Khayran beach in Muscat

Muscat Treks Series in this series I will be writing about some of the treks and unmarked trails in and around Muscat, ones that can be completed in a relatively short time making them ideal as an easy weekend outdoor activity or a post-work trek for anyone living in Muscat. For similar posts of this series check out my posts on Aint TrekFanja Tabletop Mountain, Muttrah GeoTrekSa’al MountainSidab Coastal Trek, and Ruwi Mountains Trek. Now, let’s get into Bandar Al Khayran Trek!

Bandar Al Khayran (بندر الخيران) is a stunning rugged coastline at the Western side of Muscat that is quite popular as a weekend destination, whether it is to go kayaking, snorkeling, camping or hiking. I have been there often (and consider Bandar Al Khayran beach as one of my top five places on Muscat’s Coastline), but I have never tried the Bandar Al Khayran Trek (مسار بندرالخيران) until recently, found it to be a great short trek that gives you a chance to see a bit more of this stunning coastline of Muscat and access some of the beaches hidden from the view-point, and that seem to be mostly accessible by boat.

Bandar Al Khayran Trek Considerations

I would describe the Bandar Al Khayran trek as easy. The trail is reasonably easy to follow, even though it is not marked, and quite straightforward with gentle slopes and not requiring much of scrambling or climbing at all. You might need to scramble a bit and/or walk along the cliff-side to reach some of the beaches (as I have I have highlighted on the trek sketch on Google Maps below), but this is not necessarily required to reach the first beach.

The trek distance or timing is really a question of how long you want to spend, as you can spend as much time on the first beach as you like and make it a full-day picnic, or just continue the trek to reach the beaches even further – but the rough sketch of the trek I did during my visit was ~2km and took less than 40 mins (with photo-stops). I would say that allowing half a day to trek along the area, and possibly enjoy swimming will be a great first visit to Bandar Al Khayran 🙂

Unfortunately, Bandar Al Khayaran beach is also inflicted with the tragic event of being a beautiful place visited by careless people – as there is lots of rubbish thrown around, whether on the beaches by the picnic goers, at the car-park by visitors, or blown away at the the hillside 🙁 So if you visit the place, please collect your rubbish after you, if you like to make a positive change, take a bag with you and collect some of the rubbish you see as well 🙂

And for your packing considerations:

  • Good footwear, some areas are really slippery
  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Sunscreen and sun-hat/sun-protection – as it is going to be hot walking under the sun as there is no shade throughout the trek
  • Your swimming clothes/bathing suites – you are going to access some nice beaches!
  • Picnic considerations if you intend to maximize your trip (but please, PLEASE, collect the rubbish after yourself!).

Is there a Via Ferrata at Bandar Al Khayran?

I received an email from one of my readers who was asking about the condition of the Via Ferrata found in Bandar Al Khayran, and my first thought was what “Wait, there is a Via Ferrata route in Muscat??!” He then shared with me the link to a French article about it from 2009 (Thanks Juan!) – which has basically all the information you need about it. However, the article was from a long time ago so I thought its worth checking out the place with a couple of friends. You need to get a boat-ride from the shores across as the route is on an Island just to the NE of Bandar Al Khayran view-point. Unfortunately, we found out that the ropes and anchors to the Via Ferrata route were mostly damaged, and most were removed at either end of the route, most likely by whoever put them in the first place so that no one would attempt it and endanger themselves (I assume?). My friends, being good climbers unlike me, ended up checking out the route which required some technical free-climbing in parts to traverse, but I would not advise the place for the average person. Either way, pictures in the gallery below are from the trip to that Island 🙂

‘Wild Life’ at Bandar Al Khayran

How to Reach Bandar Al Khayran

Bandar Al Khayran beach can be reached in about 45 mins from Muscat (note: I am considering driving time from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque), and the view-point of the beach where the car-park is found can be reached with a normal car – so a 4WD car is not necessary.

Bandar Al Khayran Gallery

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