The best things to do in Oman are out of this worldby Rubi Ahsan Associate S.E.O Consultant
On the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the third-largest nation. It is renowned for its endless miles of coastline, formidable mountain ranges, rough canyons, lush oases, and vast deserts. It is also noted for the warm welcome given to visitors.
Due to the remarkable variety of its landscapes, Oman has long attracted adventurous travelers. However, easing visa requirements have made this desert sultanate more accessible to a wider range of people. In addition to Oman's natural beauty, you'll find strong traditions, a rich heritage, and cities that blend history and tradition with a modern perspective.
Looking for an epic adventure? These are the best experiences in Oman that you shouldn't miss.
Stroll the Mutrah Corniche in Muscat
Oman's capital, Muscat, is probably the closest you'll get to stepping back in time to the Arabian Peninsula. Unlike its opulent neighbors, Dubai and Riyadh, which are renowned for their glass-and-chrome-encrusted skyscrapers, this historic port city has a legal ban on tall buildings. Low-rise, whitewashed structures are what you'll find in its place, with unhindered views of the rough Hajar Mountains that flank the city to the south.
A stroll along the Mutrah Corniche, the wide promenade that stretches along the Gulf of Oman at the northern tip of Muscat, is a great way to get acquainted with the city's picturesque waterfront. Along the way, you can browse the stalls of Mutrah Souq, stop for a cup of sweet cardamom tea known as karak chai, and admire the impressive Masjid Al Rasool Al Adham, a blue-domed 15th-century Shia mosque.
With our weekly newsletter, you can receive more travel ideas, advice, and special deals right in your inbox.
Be humbled by Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Oman's massive mosques are notable exceptions to the country's "no tall buildings" laws. In the heart of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with its 91-meter-high minaret, is surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and a labyrinth of intricate archways.
The mosque was opened in 2001 to mark Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said's 30 years in power. Oman was brought into the modern era by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said after abundant oil reserves were discovered in the 1970s. The Grand Mosque used to house the world's largest Swarovski chandelier and the world's largest hand-woven carpet, but those titles have recently been snatched from the chandelier and carpet at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Snorkel with whale sharks in the Damaniyat Islands
A short drive and boat ride from Muscat, Damaniyat is a chain of nine uninhabited islands off the Gulf Coast. The islands are home to an impressive variety of wildlife, both above and below the water, and are dotted with calm, shallow coves and immaculate beaches.
Sea turtles, sharks, migratory birds, and historic coral reefs coexist in great numbers in the protected archipelago of Damaniyat. This makes it a great place for snorkeling and diving. The peak season for seeing whale sharks is from September to November, and it is an unforgettable experience.
Stop for fresh fish at Qurayyat
The small fishing village of Qurayyat is a must-see on the way to the eastern coastal city of Sur to experience the fishing culture of the Omani coast. Throughout the year, fishermen catch a wide variety of fish in the Arabian Gulf and Sea, including grouper, snapper, yellowfin tuna, and mackerel.
The busy fish market in the town center is the place to look at the day's catch, and any fish you buy can be grilled at a nearby roadside café. As part of a large development project, new hotels and restaurants are planned to be built along the coast of Qurayyat, giving tourists more of a reason to stay for an extended period of time.
Float in the Bimmah Sinkhole
One of Oman's most beautiful natural sights, the Bimmah Sinkhole plunges 20 meters, creating a serene spot for swimming and snorkeling from the cliffs inland from the coast on the road to Sur. In contrast to some locals who think the sinkhole was created as a result of a meteorite impact in the area, geologists think this culvert was created through a more logical process of erosion as water ate away at the limestone bed.
Fresh water mixed with the salty waters of the Arabian Sea gives Bimmah its stunning turquoise hue. Getting a free pedicure from the army of Garra Rufa fish that inhabit the well is a bonus.
Discover the history of boatmaking in Sur
Oman's rich seafaring traditions date back to at least the 3rd century BC. Omani ships are mentioned in Sumerian texts as transporting copper to Mesopotamian markets from the kingdom's former capital, Sohar. Although historians have theorized that the renowned sailor Sinbad the Sailor may have come from Oman, there is ample proof that Omani explorers have navigated the choppy waters of the Indian Ocean for the majority of the past two millennia, even if Sinbad were just a legend.
At the height of its glory, Oman's trading empire stretched from present-day Pakistan to Zanzibar, and the coastal city of Sur was the epicenter of its trade in slaves and spices, supplying the sultanate with long wooden ships called dhows. The tradition of dhow-building lives on in the dhow-building yards of Sur, and visitors can stop to see the boat builders in action.
Watch the turtles hatch in Ras Al Jinz
Seeing sea turtles' nests and hatchlings on Oman's remote beaches is an experience not to be missed. Five of the seven species of sea turtle are found in Oman, and the endangered green turtle comes to nest on the beaches of Ras Al Jinz, the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula and one of the largest turtle nesting sites in the Indian Ocean.
While turtles visit Omani waters year-round, summer is when these giant tortoises emerge from the sea to dig their nests in the sand. A few months later, tiny puppies crawl back into the water, making the most perilous journey of their lives. A stay at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, an eco-lodge with tented accommodations and a science center devoted to marine research, will make turtle watching in Ras Al Jinz an even better family activity.
Swim and have a picnic in Wadi Bani Khalid
Carved into the eastern flank of the Hajar Mountains, Wadi Bani Khalid is one of Oman's most picturesque wadis (gorges). This small valley is a true oasis, known for its emerald waters, numerous waterfalls, amazing rock formations, luxuriant vegetation, and vibrant villages.
Unlike most other river valleys in the Sultanate, Wadi Bani Khalid and its tidal pools have a constant flow of water, making it a hugely popular spot for swimming and picnics all year round, especially on weekends, weekdays, and public holidays. Walking to the pools further out in the wadi offers a more private experience.
Haggle for halwa at the Nizwa Friday Market
The Nizwa livestock market, held every Friday on the fort ramparts, is a fixture in the community. Nizwa is Oman's historic capital and most vibrant cultural hub. The market works as it did centuries ago when buyers and sellers from the surrounding villages gathered under a circular tent to exchange cattle, goats, sheep, camels, and the latest knick-knacks.
By mid-morning, the Cattle Market gives way to the bustling Nizwa Souq, where you can find delicacies like Omani halwa, a sweet staple made from saffron, cardamom, rosewater, and walnuts. It's also a good place to buy a khanjar, the curved ceremonial dagger worn by many Omani men.
Created on Jan 29th 2023 08:42. Viewed 397 times.