The Sultanate of Oman is beautifully located along a scenic coastline, near the edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Housing some of the most stunning landscapes, thrilling adventure sports, and exotic tours; it is often a gem overlooked by many. Oman offers both contemporary activities along with views of deserts, mountain ranges, architecture, and more. The warm hues of Oman speak for themselves as culture and tradition is preserved with great care. Visitors get the chance to not only explore the beauty of the landscapes of Oman on offer but also get a taste of the ancient culture and local lifestyle.A land rich with history, here’s a look at the most scenic landscapes of Oman -
1. Musandam Peninsula
Often referred to as the “Norway of Arabia”, the Musandam Peninsula is located farther away from mainland Oman, surrounded by turquoise waters. Truly a sight to behold; the Musandam Peninsula is a landscape of Oman which is separated through the United Arab Emirates. With zagged and edgy mountains, clear skies, waters of blue and green hues; Musandam Peninsula houses a stunning view not just for tourism but to also absorb the distinct culture. Visitors enjoy taking boat trips, exploring around the peaks and coastlines, along with spotting dolphins, scuba diving, and more. Diverse wildlife can also be found, and the Musandam Fjords are nothing less than postcard worthy shots. Whether a nature lover or curious soul, the Musandam Peninsula is an out of the box region waiting to be explored. Travellers enjoy residing at the local resorts which are also eco-friendly, and initiate several environmentally conscious activities!
Enriched with biblical roots, the city of Salalah in renowned for its stunning landscapes, along with mysterious legends. With its raw beauty, untouched by commercialization, Salalah is one road trip away from mainland Muscat. Travellers come to enjoy its plains, rolling hills, streams of blue water, along with its abundant wildlife. The Jebel Samhan plateau is a renowned destination which is also home to the Wadi Dirbat hanging valley. Visitors will surely spot the exotic vegetation, waterfalls, rocky slopes, and more!
Another intriguing element of this landscape in Oman is the “home of the birds”, locally called the Tawi Attir. It is a natural sinkhole with splendid biodiversity. Moreover, Salalah stays true to its mythical reputation as it conceals a surreal Boabab forest with lush greenery. Perhaps the best time to visit is from June to August when rainfall occurs due to the onset of the monsoon clouds from India. During this time, visitors are bound to catch a green oasis, complemented with waterfalls and streams. Other activities include souvenir shopping, exploring the Al Baleed Archaeological Site, sightseeing the Qaboos Palace, and more; a destination where there’s something for everyone.
3. Empty Quarter and Wahiba Sands
A stretch of sand dunes coloured with golden hues, the Empty Quarter and the Wahiba Sands are one of the most iconic places to witness true Omani beauty. The Wahiba Sands, forming one of the most sought after landscapes of Oman, is usually explored through a four-wheeler, bursting through the bright coloured dunes. Ranging from Eastern Hajars to the Arabian Sea, this 120 miles long region is an endless exploration. Moreover, the area offers desert safari camps, which are one of the best ways to soak in authentic Arabian culture.
The Empty Quarter, on the other hand, is no less as visitors make their way up to the red hues. With a majestically large arena filled with dunes, it is famously considered one of the largest deserts. The dunes are nature at is best as travellers indulge in sightseeing the fauna, along with riding the camel. Being nothing less than a scene out of the Arabian Nights, the Empty Quarter and the Wahiba Sands are landscapes which cannot be left unexplored.
4. Misfat al Abriyeen
Apart from the untouched natural landscapes which Oman has to offer, it is equally equipped with gorgeous village sides and city scenes. Misfat Al Abriyeen is the go-to place in Oman to experience the traditional and well-preserved culture of the proud Omanis. Nothing less than the Italian mountainside, Misfit Al Abryieen is a mountain landscape, home to a prosperous village. With smooth roads leading up and down the village side, corner markets, plentiful banana trees, and ancient buildings; this landscape is undoubtedly a traveller’s delight. Visitors take a trip to the famous watchtower along with a hilltop view of the entire village. With easy connectivity, the village offers convenient accommodation such as Holiday Inns and beautiful guesthouses.
Masirah Island is a stunning beachside landscape of Oman, just off the coast of its mainland. A ferry ride away, it offers excellent connectivity and is a true paradise for all beach lovers. Masirah Island will surely make anyone fall in love with its breathtaking sunsets, diverse wildlife, and even rich history! The Omani airbase is located on this island, which becomes another intriguing spot for tourists to explore. Visitors usually indulge in several relaxing activities such as swimming across the shore, photographing the shipwrecks, lounging around, and more. The best part about Masirah Island is that if one is lucky enough, they’ll witness the annual hacking of 30,000 turtles; truly a once in a lifetime experience. The island has beautiful luxury resorts along with beachside hotels for comfortable accommodation.
Bahla is a city of Oman located on the northern end which is of significant historical importance. Situated quite interestingly, in the middle of the desert, Bahla plays host to a large number of travellers, stopping by even for a little while. This city landscape of Oman is known for its incredible fort, dating back to the 13th century. During that time, the area was under the control of the Banu Nabhan tribe, and remnants of the ancient culture can still be traced today. Visitors enjoy exploring the old city, capturing shots of the fort walls, shop around the local market, and most importantly, indulge in pottery, for which the city is popular. While travellers head up to Bahla for a day’s tour, it nonetheless offers scenic hotel apartments for overnight trips.
7. Jebel Akhdar
Proudly boasting of being the highest point of Oman, the Jebel Akhdar is quite literally translated as “Green Mountain”. This mountain top is unlike any other and breaks away from the preconceived notions of cold, dry peaks. The Jebel Akhdar is a picturesque landscape of Oman, almost entirely built of limestone. The mountain top has a cool and calm atmosphere, with immense potential of agriculture. Visitors take on the adventure of hiking up the beautiful mountainside and even see exotic fruits on the way. A scenic top with the perfect weather, Jebel Akhdar is a good break away from the deserts down below.
8. Ras al Jinz
More than just a tourist spot, the Ras al Jinz has immense ecological importance. Situated on the eastern tip of Oman, this landscape serves a dual purpose of both tourism and a turtle reserve. Ras al Jinz is a popular region known for protecting the Indian Ocean sea turtles. The best time to visit the beach and see the turtles hatch is between May and October. While the beachside is preferred to be a day spot, staying overnight at the luxury beach resorts to take in the calming atmosphere, is a popular choice of tourists. Many also visit the museum located nearby and the Turtle Visitor Centre.
Usually the first city tourists lay their eyes on, the city of Muscat is a landscape of Oman with an intricate mix of culture and modernity. Best known to be a city where travellers explore forts, palaces, museums, local streets, and famous markets; tourists are in awe of both its natural beauty and architectural masterpieces. Muscat also has a harbour which allows scenic boat rides along the waters. Famous forts now serve as museums, and the incredible Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace looks right above the waters. One of the most popular destinations in Muscat is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque renowned for its grand chandelier and the second largest Persian carpet ever made. With a variety of accommodation options such as Holiday Inns, resorts, hotels, and more, a day is never enough to take in the splendour of Muscat.
Any adventure across the landscapes of Oman is incomplete without exploring the former capital city of the country. Nizwa is best known to be the ancient capital of Oman during the 6th and 7th century. With a mountainside backdrop and clear blue skies across the city, it is also home to the famous 17th-century fort. Nizwa Fort is a popular destination explored by the tourists, especially unique because of its cylindrical tower. The most sought after activities in Nizwa include discovering the fort museum, exploring the local markets, and especially the goat market situated central to the city area. The best available accommodation in Nizwa include the heritage inns, city side hotels, along with resorts.
11. Al Hajar Mountains
A sight which is reminiscent of a painting, with rigid mountain texture, lush green trees on one end, and the bluest of the skies on the other; the Al Hajar Mountains conceal a beautiful countryside within. The peaks are located 6,500 feet above the habitant area and also form hidden caves for travellers to explore. Nature lovers and architecture geeks find true paradise here as the mountains are popular for its unique biodiversity and especially the endemic plants. This destination is ideal for a day tour away from the city area.
12. Damaniyat Islands
Oman is a country of heritage and culture; a land filled with contrast and uniqueness. The Damaniyat Islands are no less than an adventure as the most stunning horizon line can be viewed from this destination. The islands have crystal clear waters and house a cluster of nine islands. These islands have been a nature reserve since the year 1996, and are renowned for preserving coral reefs. All nature lovers must tick this one off their list as the Damaniyat Islands have an untouched underwater jungle which is every diver’s delight. You will find exotic seashells, beautiful fauna, and breathtaking coral reefs. It is rich in marine life and is also known as the Aquarium. There is accessible accommodation near the islands such as the beach resorts or hotels.A country with hidden landscapes awaiting the most exciting experiences, Oman is the perfect destination for families and solo travellers. From nature, to architectural wonders, and even adventurous activities, there is something here for everyone’s delight. Plan your next trip to Oman and make memories worth a lifetime.