Barka is the first of the beautiful havens along the Batinah’s fertile coast. It borders on the wilayats of Seeb to the south, al Musana’ah to the north and Wadi’al Ma’awil to the south, and the Gulf of Oman to the east. It has 63 villages and 29 schools with 21,858 male and female students. The wilayat has 38 forts, towers and other ancient buildings, including the forts of Barka, al Felaij and Bait al Nu’man.
Al Felaij Fort Theatre is in a pretty village and is one of the district’s tourist attractions. A few years ago it was just an abandoned fort, but today it stages performances by leading Arab and international theatre companies.
Al Sawadi beach, in the Wilayat of Barka and about twenty Kilometres from Barka itself, is one of the Sultanate’s most popular and attractive beaches and its three rocky offshore islands provide a refuge for migrant birds like herons, black-headed gulls and waders which stop there in January and February every year. Visitors to al Sawadi also have a chance to observe the crabs and other marine life in its lagoon.
To reach al Sawadi beach you drive for about seventy Kilometres from the Clock Tower Roundabout along the main Batinah road, then turn right and continue for eight Kilometres towards the sea. The beach is just past al Sawadi village. The three little islands, which lie just offshore in the blue waters and are usually covered with seabirds, are among the beach’s main attractions.
Another reason for al Sawadi’s popularity is the fact that it is near the Governorate of Muscat and at the end of the Batinah North Governorate. Although it attracts hundreds of visitors, it never feels crowded and its soft sands, coconut palms and picnic shelters make it a perfect place for a day out or a tranquil stroll along the shore.