From Ibra to Wadi Bani Khalid
Wadi Bani Khalid is quite a detour from the main Highway 23 to Sur. With construction in the area, the turn-off onto the side road is a bit elusive. Driving in from Ibra, you will pass a vast empty desert on your right going beyond the horizon. Many choose to stay in a tent deep inside the desert for a night, and this excursion is quite well developed with bookings available on the large international travel websites.
You will drive up the Eastern Hajar Mountains and a town emerges on the other side.
Despite the arid surroundings, there is plenty of water to form pools for swimming. Head beyond the town and the road will descend to cross the river (there is no bridge). After a couple of kilometres more, and you will see a stream of cars parked on both sides. The entrance is at the end of the paved road.
You will see a lot of tourists wandering about here. A paved path leads deeper into the valley. As this is not a long drive from Sur and relatively accessible, the water pools can get crowded on holidays.