The Sultanate of Oman is home to a diverse set of attractions, which, unless you’re familiar with the country, come as quite a surprise. The atmosphere is peaceful and it is a safe country to visit in the middle east. Oman offers a whole spectrum of activities, from cliff jumping to scuba diving, camping under the stars in the desert, enter one of the biggest cave in the world or simply discover the white empty beaches scattered between rocky cliffs. If you are not yet convinced why you should go, check out our blog on reasons why you should visit Oman!
We will share with you information and pictures of the things we were lucky to experience.
More amazing sights in Oman
Oman is famous for it’s numerous Wadis, an arabic term for valley or mountain ravine. The most famous is Wadi Shab, which is only 3 hours drive from Muscat. It’s a perfect daytrip from the city but we recommend arriving as early as possible since the sun hides behind the cliffs in the afternoon.
From the small village Tiwi your journey will start with a boat ride (costs 1 rial or 2.5$) to enter the beginning of your hike into the valley.
The boats that will take you to the beginning of the Wadi
Great place for swimming and cliff-jumping
Friendly man we met in the hills of Wadi Shab
The hike is really beautiful and peaceful. Along the way you will see brightly green water, white cliffs and unique stone formations. After 45 minutes you will reach the end of the wadi. Then you will find a perfect place to go swimming and cool down after the hike. This place is a paradise for cliff jumping. Be careful to not miss out on the cave at the end of the wadi, to reach there you have to swim further past small waterfalls, through a narrow slit for several meters. That will take you to a large water-filled cave with a waterfall inside. We truly recommend spending a whole day in Wadi Shab and remember to bring your swimsuit!
On your way to Wadi Shab we recommend a stop at the Bimmah sinkhole. This enormous sinkhole is mesmerising, its wonderful geological shape and still green-blue waters.
Bimmah Sinkhole – We had the place to ourselves when we were there!
The sinkhole from above, a nice spot for cliff-jumping
The sinkhole is connected to the ocean through a 500 m underground tunnel, filling the sinkhole with a mix of salt and fresh water, forming the unique color of the water. There is a stairway that will lead you down to the bottom of this 40 m wide basin. For the daredevils it’s possible to jump from the cliff that is 20m high.
A few hours drive from Muscat is the largest desert in the Arabian Peninsula, Wahiba sands, with rolling dunes of deep-red to orange colors. We recommend an overnight stay in the desert with one of the many companies that guide you through the sand dunes on 4×4 wheels. You can also go camel riding or sandboarding. If you are lucky you might meet the traditional Bedouin people, a nomadic tribe that has for many years adapted to the harsh conditions of the desert. If you are not looking for the off-road dune-bashing experience we recommend driving along the coastline from Sur to Mashira island. This road lies at the edge of the desert so you can easily park your car and run up and down the sand dunes without the expense of a guided tour. Along the way you will meet wild but friendly camels.
Reached the sand dunes
Camels close to Wahiba desert
Pose for the camera !
Tiwi White Beach
Just few minutes from Bimmah Sinkhole and Wadi Shab you’ll find the stunning Tiwi white beach. The beach is one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen. It’s a perfect spot to spend the day for a swim and a picnic, or you can camp overnight for the sunset and stargazing.
The sand is perfectly white and the sea is bright turquoise colored. It surprised us that the beach was perfectly empty when we arrived, we had the whole beach for ourselves. However it’s a popular spot among locals during the weekends.
Tiwi White Beach
Amazing spot for watching the sunset
Nizwa – Fort
Nizwa is Oman’s former capital. In the city you will find lively souks (Arabic word for bazaar or market) where you can buy copper and handicrafts. However we truly recommend going there on a friday morning when the livestock market takes place. Then the local farmers bring their goats, cows and camels to be sold to the highest bidders.
There are 500 forts (castles) in Oman and the 400-year old Nizwa fort is the biggest in the Arabian peninsula. From the highest point of the castle you will get a nice view over the city and the surrounding mosques.
400 year old Niswa fort
Misfat al Abryeen – Mountain Village
Misfat al Abryeen is a hidden treasure up in the hills of Jebel Sham mountain range. This mountain village is one of the most beautiful and scenic places to see in Oman. Discover valleys, plunging canyons, local farmers, mountain cliffs and fantastic hiking trails. Untouched by the modern world, the friendly farmers of this village grow bananas, rice and the best dates you will find. It’s easily reachable by car (4×4 not required) but you will have to park outside the village (to avoid disturbing the peace).
The people of the village will gladly welcome you and some might even invite you in for coffee and dates, but bear in mind to respect their culture and dress appropriately. If you are interested in staying there overnight, some of the locals are offering a homestay for a small fee.
We even found a natural fish spa deeper in the valley where we relaxed our sore feets in the afternoon
Leifur being eaten alive!
Local villager carrying her harvest
Ras al-Jinz Turtle Resort
Oman has five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles, including the largest breading place for the rare Loggerhead turtles, making turtle watching one of the main tourist attractions. A 3o minutes drive from the town Sur you will find the turtle resort located on the Ras al-Jinz beach. From there you can find organized evening-tours to see the turtles lay their eggs in the sand. If you are lucky you might see the baby turtles hatch from their eggs and crawl towards the sea.
However since this is quite popular among tourists you will be guided in a group of 10 – 20 people to see the turtles. However a less touristy option is to enter the Ras al-Jinz beach at daytime and go snorkeling along the coral reefs and hope to meet the turtles. Yet another option is to visit Mashira island, a perfect spot for turtle watching.
Tiny Loggerhead turtle baby
Visit the capital to get a true feel for Oman. Check out the old Muttrah Souk (market) and haggle for gold, silver or traditional clothing. Visit the Qurum park to see the local families picnic and relax. Enjoy the sunset by the beach and walk down Al shati street to see the young locals flirt and show off their fancy cars.
Sunset view in Qurum park, Muscat
Beautiful fauna in Qurum park
The enormous Grand Mosque is one of the main attractions in Muscat with the largest crystal chandelier in the world (weighs 10 tons, with 1222 lightbulbs ) and the second largest hand woven carpet in the world, made by 600 Iranian carpet weavers in one piece (and it took them 4 years!).
This picture doesn’t even come close to showing its real size (14 meter long)
Inside Grand Mosque
Read more about our Oman adventures here!
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