Last Updated on April 11, 2023
“I am not only selling the guesthouse, but also the experience of being inside the town of Misfat Al Abriyeen (Oman),” owner Yaqoob Al Abri says as he shows my friends and I around his Misfah View Guesthouse.
Yaqoob is a local from the more than 1,500-year-old village located a little over two hours north of Muscat in the higher ranges of the Jebel Sham Mountain range. A four-wheel-drive vehicle, however, is not needed to reach the remote area.
Misfat Al Abriyeen Oman
Old residences in the village are mud houses made from clay and stone, and the falaj – a sophisticated water irrigation system for farming running through houses, streets and farms. These historic homes of Misfat Al Abriyeen are the main draw for visitors. The village boasts amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks.
While guests can stay in the old area of Misfat, Misfah View situated in the new village is only a two-minute drive by car.
Misfat Al Abriyeen’s beautiful date trees and palms, the falaj irrigation system and traditional houses with décor such as hanging clay pottery jugs, surround this fascinating village. I could have easily spent hours wandering through the alleys and taking photos of the wooden doors embossed with flowers and other lovely patterns.
Misfah View Guesthouse
My friends and I first noticed the shared terrace with plenty of natural sunlight peeking through the room. From the terrace window, the stacked homes of the old village stand protected by dozens of mature date trees in the background.
The terrace is a good spot for relaxing or eating, with three kitchen tables and a sitting area. About four people can also rest on the yellow rug backed with black and red pillows.
The guesthouse also includes a refrigerator, a one-burner stove top, coffee, tea, and snacks. I enjoyed coffee early in the morning while listening to crowing and chirping sounds of the local birds.
The five-room guesthouse built for tourist demand features three rooms with two twin beds and two rooms with a double. Each room has a flat screen TV, mini refrigerator, kettle, and water heater in the bathroom. Parking and Wi-Fi are complimentary.
The best part about the rooms is the covered balcony with two wicker chairs and a sofa with bright neon yellow cushions. The mountains and old stacked-house views, date trees and vegetation across the way make it hard not to stay on this comfortable balcony all day.
I recommend bringing cards or other games for night entertainment since most of the village is closed after 10PM.
Misfat Al Abriyeen tours
Because Yaqoob wants his guests to live the experience of the old part of Misfat Al Abriyeen, he offers cultural and agricultural tours, a real benefit to those wanting to get the real feel and history of the village.
I highly recommend the village tour because there’s so much to learn about this historic area. For example, clay and stones were used to build homes over 1,500 years ago. Now they use cement and concrete.
Yaqoob told us the village once relied on selling lemons for their livelihood.
As we strolled through the town on our tour, we passed one of my favorite houses. The ancient stone building was once a meeting room for men called a majlis. Massive date trees around the house appear to have protected the faded stone walls and its turquoise-colored door.
At the conclusion of the tour, my friend declared it to be the best one he’d had been on in Oman.
Yaqoob also offers tours to nearby places less than an hour away, such as Nizwa and Bahla. These historical cities have shopping souqs (marketplace or bizarre) and historic forts.
During Ramadan, restaurants and coffee shops open in the evening after sunset, and the buffets will start after the first call to prayer breaking the fast.
Restaurants in the Old Village
Guests can enjoy a buffet dinner at Misfah Old House or Misfah Hospitality Inn in the old village. Bit Al Belad also makes great Omani food.
My friends and I dined on the rooftop at Misfah Old House, the first house opened for tourists in 2009. I enjoyed the Old House decor with hanging, circular wicker placemats and red and black tablecloths. More placemats lined the wall along with old used clay pottery water storage jugs.
Two of my favorite dishes here were the spinach-flavored lentils and the cauliflower fry. The cauliflower was lightly and crispy with perhaps a hint of paprika. If you dine here, try the date cookies with coconut flakes on top if they are on the buffet menu. They are amazing.
Rogan Cafe’s three floors are likewise decorated with hanging clay water jugs, wicker bags, silver kettles, and clay water pitchers. Visitors can enjoy the falaj, local foliage and mountain views while sipping a delightful cup of coffee.
Shopping in the Village
If you’re heading inside the old part of Misfat, be sure to stop at the Al Misfah honey shop. One of my favorites is the frankincense-flavored honey, with a slightly smokey taste.
Guests can buy rose water and other gifts, including wicker bags and mats.
Visiting an Ancient Settlement
One site not to be missed while heading to or from Misfat Al Abriyeen is the ruins at Birkat Al Mouz, an hour and 10-minute drive away. With two sets of ruins, banana farm and scenic surroundings, the site is also home to the old falaj irrigations system now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Harat Al Siybani is the name of the old settlement comprised of nearly fifty abandoned homes with narrow passages, staircases, and three entrances.
Check out the mud house remains with traditional wooden doors. A five-minute stroll from the ruins leads to a date tree farm.
Relax and explore this traditional village and get a glimpse into a piece of ancient life when you visit.
Yaqoob Al Abri from Misfah View ensures visitors feel very comfortable at his guesthouse.
Don’t be surprised when he says “This is your second home, so you are welcome anytime.”