The Sultanate of Oman will give you so much variety of experiences: canyon, beaches, wildlife, history and architecture. This intriguing desert country, located on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, offers infinite natural beauty, from spectacular mountains and ancient forts to a pristine coastline.
Jebal Akhdar is one of Oman’s most spectacular areas. The highest point, Jebel Shams is around 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) high. The area is famous for its terraced plantations and a rose water distillery that maintains the traditional method of extraction. It is also the site of honey bee breeding for much of Oman. Near Jebel Shams there is Wadi Ghul, which forms "The Grand Canyon of Arabia", known for its remote, scenic hiking trails.
Wadi Shab is another popular outdoor attraction. People come here to see the waterfall in the cave and swim in the turquoise fresh water pools. You can combine your trip here with a visit to Wadi Tiwi, known for its emerald pools and thick plantations. Wadi Bani Khalid is another river valley, the only one accessible by car. It's famed for large pools of water, boulders and underground chambers.
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Oman:
- 4 in 1: Oman, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines from Manchester for £454 >>
- 4 in 1: Oman, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand in one trip from Manchester for £437 >>
- Spain to UAE, Kuwait or Oman from €180 >>
Where to stay:
We encourage you to stay at 3* Riyam Hotel Muscat with very good reviews. Situated 20 minute drive from Muscat, the hotel has an outdoor pool and barbecue. Certain units have a private bathroom with a hot tub, while others have bath robes and slippers. Some rooms feature a seating area where you can relax. Certain rooms include views of the sea or pool. Extras include free toiletries and a hair dryer. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is available.
In the seaside town of Sur we recommend you to book the beachfront 3* Al Faisal Hotel Suites. This well-rated property offers fully furnished rooms and suites with free WiFi. It features a 2 km beach promenade, room service and a business centre. Maritime Museum is 10 minutes’ drive away. All accommodation is bright and equipped with flat-panel televisions mounted on the wall. They come with a private bathroom, and suites also include living and dining areas and kitchenette. Indian Ocean beaches are just 10 minutes’ drive away and free private parking is possible on site.
What to do:
Oman has some of the best dive sites with the colourful coral and marine life to explore. Water sports enthusiasts can also enjoy surfing, kite-surfing, sailing or windsurfing. In the numerous canyons you can swim through turquoise pools and climb up waterfalls. Oman is also a cliff-jumping haven and fantastic canyoning destination. Jebal Shams is a treat for hikers. Caving enthusiasts should visit Majlis al Jinn, the second largest cave chamber in the world by surface area. It can only be accessed through a small opening at the top.
In the deserts you can go on a 4×4 dune bashing excursion. You can also choose quad biking or camel rides. Sand boarding is also a very unique desert experience. Visit a local Bedouin family and spend some time learning all about their nomadic lives in the Omani desert.
Take a dip in the Bimmah Sinkhole, considered one of the most visually appealing natural pools in the world. There is a staircase available to go down to the spectacular sinkhole and swim. The clear turquoise waters are really irresistible!
Spend a night in an ancient mountain village, surrounded by agricultural terraces. Misfat Al Abriyeen boasts houses built years ago from rock and stone on solid rock foundations. Bilad Sayt is another mountain village, located near Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman. This village is only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
Oman is notorious for having some of the most epic stargazing spots far away from the busy cities. Some hotels even have their own telescopes for guests to use. At Jabal Al Akhdar the night sky looks like a twinkling wonder. Another great spot for stargazing is the desert town of Bidiya, as it has low humidity, the key to a clear sky.
Explore the oil wells in Fahud. Go to the Sur Dhow Factory to see the ancient Arabic boats – a symbol of the Omani craftsmanship. Visit Al-Baleed ruins, see the Tomb of Job or head to the Incense Market in Salalah. You can also travel to Musandam Peninsula, an enclave in the UAE separated from the rest of Oman. It is famous for desert mountains, breathtaking fjords and the Khasab Fortress. To get to Khasab, you can take the fastest ferry boat in the world, connecting to the capital Muscat.
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