Times of Oman
Nov 28, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 08:27 AM GMT
Bandar Al Khyran: Get into rewind mode
April 2, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Bandar Al Khyran. Photo - Aftab H. Kola

The serene waters and the chirping of birds are just the right company for a relaxed day where in the lap of virgin nature, Bandar Al Khyran sits quietly.

If you are looking for fresh air and the purity of nature which can rejuvenate your body and soul head straight to Bandar Al Khyran, a picturesque spot within easy reach if you happen to live in Muscat.

Located about 20kms southeast of Muscat Bandar Al Khyran is a haven of tidal creeks and sheltered bays fringed in places by dense growth of mangroves. The place is beyond Yiti which can now be reached in much less time if you take the road  to Yiti from Barr Al  Jissa roundabout. Otherwise, the normal route is to go from Hamriya roundabout and take the Yiti road.

Bandar Al Khyran is really quiet in every sense.  Green environs, complemented by the placid  water and framed by the copper-coloured mountain, make for delightful experience. Yeti and Sifah, both scenic coastal villages, fall on the route if you are coming from Hamriya roundabout   and thus you can combine this trip with the two exciting places.

Most visitors to Bandar Al Khyran are awestruck by its serene charm and the slow pace of life. If you are lucky you will spot spinner dolphins which are found between Fahal Island and Bandar Khayran.

People from far off places, and especially from the Capital Region, regularly visit Bandar Al Khyran  for camping, diving and snorkeling. What soothes one's eyes is the calmness of the area. No sound pollution, no vehicle pollution, no traffic jams... you feel you are in a different world where serenity reigns.

It is the largest semi-enclosed bay, surrounded by steep rocky hills and cliffs, on the western coast of Oman with an area of approximately 4 sq kms. This island separates the western side from the open sea forming two narrow channels serving as the main inlets to the bay. The maximum depth of the bay is around 16 mtrs.

Besides serving as a rich habitat for mangroves, fish and corals, it is also home to turtles and nesting birds such as the white-cheeked tern, osprey and heron. More than 200 fish species, most of which are coral fish, and about 40 coral genera live in the bay. Local fishermen will provide boat rides for those interested in venturing into the calm waters of Bandar Al Khyran.

And for diving Bandar Al Khyran is one of the hot spots in Oman. There are diving companies which take you in a boat from Marina in Muscat to Bandar Al Khyran where you can dive if you are licensed to or simply you can snorkel (no licence required). Here an amazing world of coral reefs beckon you.

Bandar AL Khyran  is a place where you can commune with nature.

Ready Reckoner

How to go: Bandar Khayran can be reached both by boat and by road.  It lies beyond Yiti and on the way to  Al Sifah. From Hamriya roundabout take the Yeti road and drive towards Sifa. A small bay that cuts deep into the coastline unfolds before you. And you arrive in Bandar Al Khyran. A new road from Barr Al  Jissa roundabout takes you  to Yeti which reduces considerable amount of  time.

What to do: Camping, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, picnicking.    

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