Al-Hotta Cave in brief
Al Hotta cave is located at the foot of Jabal Shams, in the vicinity of the Tanuf Valley in Al Hamra district. It is more than 5km long traversed by underground River.
The Omani Ministry of Tourism have undertaken an initiative to make the lower part of the cave an environmentally sound tourist attraction. A socio-economic development approach aiming to contribute to the welfare of the locals.
After more than 3 years of work, from planning to implementation, Al-Hotta show-cave is now outfitted with high standard facilities and tourism related services.
Walking tour of Misfat
Entrance is free. Opening hours are daylight. There is no guard, no official notices or placards.
When you arrive at this pedestrian-only town, park just on the outside and walk in. Follow the beaten path into the old corridors. Do not wonder into any homes unless you have permission. Do now walk in any of the terraced fields. Do not pick or eat any fruits that you see since this is the locals' homes and livelihood.
There is a map upon entry of the town so you may get your orientation and plan your walk. While you are in the town, there are painted markers as shown in the picture here. Follow them so you will stay on the 'official' path and not wander into private areas.
The donkey is an important transportation in the mountain areas of Oman where vehicles cannot reach. They are used to transport goods among different towns, as well as carry supplies for tourists going for mountain trekking in Oman. You will see some donkeys in Misfah, which the locals allow them to roam about the town.
The Falaj (water channels)
The Falaj is a very vital component of the rural towns of Oman, including Misfah, as these man-made channels provide fresh water from the mountains to the towns. A visit to Oman will not be complete without seeing the Falaj and you can see (as well as walk along it which the locals do) it in Misfah.
Misfah: Agriculture & Cliffs
If you are walking around Misfah, you will realise that there are some simple agriculture in this town since there are crops being grown on the terraces of the slopes. Across the other slide of the deep gorge next to the town and terraces, there is a steep cliff of the mountains which makes the entire scene looks very awesome.
The narrow streets of Misfah
The streets of Misfah are narrow and historical. Exploring this town is like going back in time where people used to live many centuries ago. The architecture of the old buildings are very interesting and you can see the local people going about their daily life. It is generally safe to visit Misfah as the locals are very friendly.
View of Misfah as you approach this mountain town
The view off the road as you approach Misfah is indeed very beautiful with the town jutting out of the Western Hajar Mountains. Msifah remains one of the most historical town in Oman where not much have changed throughout the years.
Exploring the town of Al Hamra
You should explore the old town of Al Hamra and experience the locals going about their daily life, the interesting architecture of the buildings and the many palm trees in this area. When driving, you have to pay extra attention as the roads here are very narrow.
Watch tower at Al Hamra
There is the remains of an ancient watch tower on the plateau overlooking the town of Al Hamra. This watch tower is worth a visit, and you can sit around and admire the beautiful scenery from up here.
Bird's eye view of Al Hamra
As you approach the old town of Al Hamra, you will reach a plateau with a fantastic bird's eye view of the town and the Western Hajar Mountains as the backdrop.