Mutrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in the Arab world. This antiquity has perhaps increased its beauty, magic and allure. Mutrah Souk or Al Alam Souk has been named after darkness because the crowded stalls and lanes do not allow the sun rays to infiltrate through during the day and the shoppers need lamplights to see where they were going. The market used to be a source of supply for Omanis where they could buy their needs in the 1960s for simpler life requirements.
Mugsail is a long stretch of clear blue water with white sand and beautiful cliffs on either side of the water. It's a magnificent and picturesque landscape! Perfect for a picnic and a quick swim, you can even drive through the beach! There are also many cute traditional huts at the beach where you can have your own barbequed lunch.
Also called Hawiyat Najm, Bimmah Sinkhole is located in the ‘Muscat governorate’ of Oman. Situated between the towns of Bimmah & Dibab, it is ideal for swimming and enjoying the beautiful landscape of the region. The local municipality has created the Hawiyat Najm Park that surrounds the Bimmah sinkhole as a form of protecting the attraction. Visitors passing through the area often stop here for a few hours of respite from the scorching sun.
Known For : Bimmah Sinkhole Wadi Shab Hike Wadi Tiwi
The beautiful Wadi Shab is an extremely famous outdoor attraction for locals and tourists in Oman. The beautiful wadi, surrounded by picturesque hills, date palms and the gorgeous waterfall inside one of the caves in the mountain is what keeps this place packet during peak season. However, to reach there you will need to hike for about 40 minutes. The hike takes you through a beautiful but rugged path where you will see two to three pools where you can swim. You could even dive into the pools from the mountain cliffs or from inside the cave!
Best Time: Late February to early April
Known For : Tawi Attair Sumhuram Mirbat
A beautiful scenic spot for all nature lovers, Wadi Darbat, has picturesque hills surrounding it and a beautiful waterfall. Wadi Darbat is a splendid lush green valley with the surrounding hills having small caves which people can hike up! It's the perfect spot for a little family picnic or a friendly gathering. During the Khareef (monsoon season), the wadi is packed with locals and tourists that have come to enjoy the green landscaped hills. There are many small stalls and restaurants at the valley selling street food like shawarmas, popcorn and ice cream.
Best Time: June to August
The Royal Opera House is Oman's premier destination for music, arts, and culture. The complex consists of a theatre, auditorium, landscaped gardens, an art centre, and cultural markets and can accommodate up to 1100 people. The Royal Opera House has been ordered to be built in 2001 by Sultan Qaboos of Oman, who is a huge enthusiast of classical music and art. The house officially opened in 2011 and serves as a centre for excellence in the arts and enriches its heritage by culturally diverse programs and events.
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Musandam is rich with modern architecture as well as serene beaches. It is a much-loved destination for scuba divers because of the clear waters and the amazing facilities at the destination. This Omani peninsula is bordered by rugged mountains and turquoise water bodies and guarded by two gulfs – the Arabian and the Omani. Rich in Arabian culture, mixed with that of Iran’s, Musandam is rich in its ethnicity as well.
Known For : Hilf Jabal Al Humr Masirah Beach Camp
Being the largest island in Oman as well as the most relaxing destination for a weekend getaway, Masirah Island is filled with stunning beaches and exciting water sports. The island has a population of about 12,000 people and was only recently open for tourism. This island is known as a "paradise for kitesurfers" as it is always windy, with cool breeze pouring in from the Arabian Sea. There are four different species of turtles whose habitat is on the Masirah beaches, including around 30,000 nesting female turtles!
Best Time: November to April
Nizwa Fort is Oman’s most visited and most famous monument and fort. Unlike its counterpart the Bahla Fort, this 17th century fort has not yet been included under UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. What it lacks in prominence, it makes up for in exhibits and study conducted intended to reveal the glorious past of the city.
Known For : Khasab Fort Jebel Al Harim Dolphin Watching and Snorkelling
Home to Jebel Harim or the 'Mountain of Women', sandy beaches, beautiful corals and a Portuguese fortress, the city of Khasab is a quiet town oozing with history. Tourists can enjoy a cruise through the 'Fjords of Musandam' and swim in the turquoise seas. Or, if they prefer, snorkel and explore the stunning corals and sealife. History buffs will enjoy trekking the mountains of Musandam and visiting the abandoned houses in the deserted towns close to Khasab. The city is old but cared for by its residents. A city like no other in Oman, Khasab is a humble city which has retained its charm for centuries.
Best Time: November to March
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat is Oman's biggest mosque with an area of 416,000 m2 and has a capacity of over 20,000 worshippers; 8,000 people can fit inside and the courtyard can easily hold up to 12,000 people. This mosque is one of the few mosques in Arabia which allows entry for non-Muslim visitors. The mosque is a wonder of modern architecture and is a fusion of Omani, Islamic, and Middle-Eastern architectural styles.
Known For : Dune Bashing Camel Safari Sand boarding
Found when taking a diversion on the road between Sur and Muscat, the mighty Wahiba Sands also known as The Sharqiya Sands is home to the bedouins, exciting sand sports and night camping in Oman.
Best Time: November to March
Located to the east of the Arabian Peninsula, Ras Al Jinz is a serene fishing village that is situated in the Ras Al Hadd. The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve houses the endangered turtle, Chelonia mydas. Apart from researching about this endangered species, this eco-tourism environment also adeptly combines educational projects and tourism services. This turtle reserve is also the only place in the world where people may witness the miraculous nesting process of these gigantic sea creatures.
Being one of the most famous Wadis of the Al Sharqiyah region of Oman, Wadi Bani Khalid is popular for its large pools of emerald green water surrounded by tall palm trees. Unlike other wadis in Oman that are dry in the summer months, Wadi Bani Khalid is known to have a constant flow of water throughout the year. The rocky canyon and cliffs of the Hajar Mountains make it breathtakingly beautiful and is often touted as the "desert paradise". This is considered a favourite amongst hikers and is also a famous picnic spot.
Now that we've listed the top things to do in Oman, where will you be heading do in this rich Arabian country?
This post was published by Shalaka Sreekesh