What are the top ten things to do in Oman?
Oman is a diverse, exotic, and beautiful destination with fantastic outdoor opportunities, ancient architecture, and beautiful beaches. There is a large variety of excursions and activities you can enjoy in the country, no matter which part of Oman you visit. To help you make the most of your time and choose options that are perfectly tailored to your interests, here is our list of the top 10 things to do in Oman.
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1Go on a Mountain Hike by Jebel Shams
Jebel Shams in the Hajar range is the highest mountain in Oman, set near the town of Al Hamra in the northeast. From its summit, you can see spectacular views of the rugged Wadi Ghul, known to many as The Grand Canyon of Arabia. It’s a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts, with quite a few well-trodden routes such as the popular Balcony Walk that runs the rim of the canyon, passing, by old villages and waterfalls.
2Discover Oman’s History at Nakhl Fort
Although the current structure was built in the 18th or 17th century as a way to defend the nearby town and trading routes, the Nakhl Fort stands on the foundations of a castle that predates Islam. As you explore the fortress, you will find centuries-old history come alive in these walls..Located in Oman’s Al Batinah region, the fortress houses a museum where you can view a unique exhibition of guns. Every couple of weeks the local goat market too is held within these walls.
3Explore the Fascinating Bahla Fort
If you are looking to explore more historic sites in Oman, Bahla Fort at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar mountains is a must. It was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site for being a perfect example of both a medieval fortified oasis settlement and a testament to the water engineering skill: Banu Nebhan, the tribe that constructed it between the 12th and 15th centuries, built this with mud-brick rather than stone. It may not have a museum where you can learn about its history, but it is nonetheless worth a visit due to its atmosphere and sheer historic value.
4Walk in the Footsteps of Bedouins in Sharqiya Sands
Sharqiya Sands, known locally as the Wahiba Sands, is a spectacular, seemingly endless expanse of desert sand dunes. To a casual observer, it may seem devoid of life, and yet these beautiful dunes have witnessed thousands of years of history and still offer a glimpse of the traditional Bedouin way of life.
Enjoy an overnight stay in one of the Bedouin or visitor camps, where you can meet Bedouin people and learn about their traditions. Not just culturally enriching, watching a beautiful desert sunset, and then spending a night under the starlit sky is truly one of the most spectacular things to do in Oman.
5Help Preserve a Species in Ras al Jinz
Ras al Jinz, the easternmost point of the Arabian peninsula, is a key nesting area for endangered green turtles where you can witness the hatching of eggs in April and May and again in September and October. Boasting a turtle reserve, the region also offers a resort where you can stay and observe these fascinating and rare animals in their natural habitat. Apart from watching the turtles, you can also swim in the sea, go dolphin watching, or explore the many hiking routes nearby.
6Visit the Tropics in Dhofar
Located in the south of the country, Dhofar is a verdant paradise during the ‘Khareef’ or monsoon months, far removed from the rugged sands and landscapes of northern Oman. In fact, the area around the region’s capital of Salalah even has banana plantations and lush landscapes. What’s more, the coast of Dhofar is home to a number of gorgeous white sand beaches like Al Mughsayl Beach, flanked by imposing mountains. The region is one of the best places to visit in Oman, not just for it’s lush scenery but also for the abundant outdoor opportunities.
7Cruise in the Fjords of Musandam
Partially due to the area’s dramatic, rocky landscapes and mountainous terrain and fjords (or ‘khors’ as they are locally known) that tower over the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the area of Musandam is known as ‘the Norway of Arabia’. You can enjoy this majestic scenery by boat or on a ride through the mountain road leading from the city of Khasab to Bukha. The area is also filled with quaint traditional fishing villages, some accessible only by sea, as well as the picturesque Khasab Fort.
8Enjoy Retail Therapy in Mutrah Souq
There are few places better than Mutrah Souk (a traditional market) for traditional arts and crafts. As you enter the souk, enticing aromas of perfume, food, and coffee wash over you. Sit down at a cozy coffee shop or take a leisurely stroll through the market as you listen to the lively hustle and bustle of market vendors and customers chatting and haggling. At the colorful shops, you will find that nearly everything is on offer, from handcrafted pieces and clothing to children’s toys or kitchenware! Oman’s souks have been the heart and soul of each region for centuries and few more so than the Mutrah Souk. No wonder a visit can offer you a true sense of the country’s past and present.
9Explore the Hajar Mountains
If you love adventure, Oman’s Hajar Mountains should be at the top of your list!. Aside from spectacular mountain views, the Hajar Mountains contain many surprises: hidden away behind the rocks and mountain peaks, lie sites of cultural and historic interest, such as well preserved prehistoric beehive tombs of Bat Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn, the bombed-out ruins of old Tanuf, or the ancient village of Misfah, which clings to the mountainside. Explore all this and more as you hike up stunning mountain trails.
10Go Hiking and Swimming in Wadi Bani Khalid
Wadi Bani Khalid is a gorgeous ravine that is popular with both locals and international travelers. As you walk through the Wadi’s footpaths, you’ll pass natural pools of fresh blue water, plunging waterfalls, and fascinating rock formations. It is an excellent place for a refreshing swim, or just sitting on a rock and enjoying a picnic or barbecue. Just a two and a half-hour drive from Oman’s capital city Muskat, Wadi Bani Khalid can make a brilliant day out.
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