Every sophisticated traveller dreams of having a beach holiday in Oman. It truly serves as the perfect vacation destination, whether you have a penchant for fossil hunting, scuba diving, frankincense, desert camps, turtles or ancient forts. Oman is home to a spectacular diversity of landscape that translates into a myriad of exciting and culturally enriching adventures.
So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to ten beautiful places to visit in Oman—the country that combines modernity with mystique.
1. Muttrah Corniche
The perfect time to visit Muttrah Corniche, Muscat is before the sunset. Go for a stroll by the stunning seafront and feast your eyes on the mosques and white buildings set against a backdrop of forts and rocky mountains. You will be delighted to see how the late afternoon light gives them a golden glow.
While you’re taking your leisurely stroll, don’t forget to shop in the lanes of Muttrah Souq. As one of the oldest markets in the country, this is the perfect place to hunt for ceramic incense burners, frankincense, pashminas, silver jewellery and turbans, among many other finds.
2. Nizwa Fort
Another popular tourist destination in Oman, Muscat is Nizwa Fort. This 17th-century circular tower has been refurbished recently, becoming home to historical artefacts like tools and jewellery. If you climb the fort, you will enjoy the rewards of the stunning views of the rocky mountains in the distance, the mosque, souq, and the date palms surrounding the oasis city. Nizwa Fort also features locals baking bread over an open fire, along with women making crafts.
3. National Museum
Opened in July in 2016, the National Museum, in the heart of Old Muscat, showcases the incredible Omani history and heritage. The emphasis is on quality rather than quantity. With over 13,000 square meters of floor area, the museum features multiple galleries that illustrate the culture and history of Oman. Some of the exhibits you can explore include The Land and the People, Oman and the World, Maritime History, Intangible Heritage, Prehistory and Ancient History, among many others.
4. Wahiba Sands
Discover the rolling sand dunes, which are constantly moving – up to 10m a year – making permanent roads impossible. Embark on an exhilarating 4WD adventure and get the authentic desert experience with a camel ride in the Wahiba Sands. You can watch the sunrise and sunset from on top of a towering dune, enjoy dinner under the stars beside a traditional Bedouin style camp. Observe camels wandering around, drink tea by the fire and lounge peacefully whilst gazing up at the stars.
Visit Sur and discover the place where the desert meets the sea. Immerse in the culture as you tour its long, empty beaches, as well as Al Ayjah, a picturesque fishing village. Up north, you will find the turtle reserve at Ras Al Jinz. Every year, 200,000 endangered green turtles head to this natural reserve to lay their eggs. Relax on the golden sands whilst you watch the turtles dig their nests and lay eggs. If you’re lucky, you might even get to witness the small turtles heading back to the crystal waters of the sea.
6. Wadi Bani Khalid
For those familiar with wadi (a dry riverbed that contains water in heavy rains) but at Wadi Bani Khalid the water flows all year round. When you think of Oasis, you can visit a real live oasis that is not a mirage. A desert paradise, Wadi Bani Khalid, features crystal clear water lined by date palms and surrounded by rugged mountains. You’ll have a refreshing dip amidst the desert heat when you swim in its large pools. If you want to have a relaxing afternoon, this is the perfect place to be.
7. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
If you’re going to the capital city of Oman, Muscat, you shouldn’t miss paying a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This spectacular mosque is expansive enough to accommodate over 20,000 worshippers. The grand main prayer hall has a large, stunning chandelier. The mosque is intricately adorned with blue mosaic tiles. It also features the second-largest Iranian rug in the world, which 600 women wove by hand for four years. Have an enjoyable stroll in the mosque as you feast your eyes on the harmonious lines and archways of the building.
8. Qantab Beach
There are many fishing villages in Oman and Qantab is among the best ones to visit. The small, sandy beach is located on the rugged coastline of Muscat. It is popular amongst locals, but plenty of tourists go to this place to catch a boat ride and cruise along the shore. You’ll love walking up the small hill that overlooks the sandy beach and village. This is an especially fantastic location to watch the sunset.
9. Al Alam Palace
A perfect example of modern Islamic architecture, the Al Alam Palace (Sultan’s Palace) features a single flagpole extending from the flat roof along with funnel-like blue and gold pillars. Built in 1972, the palace is one of the six royal residences of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. You will find it between the Jalali and Mirani forts, along the coast of Old Town in Muscat. The Al Alam Palace has received plenty of renowned visitors, including Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Queen Elizabeth of England. Of course, the public is not free to access the palatial buildings. However, when you go to the palace, you can roam around the surrounding gardens to witness Imam Sultan bin Ahmed’s masterpiece.
10. Al Jalali Fort
Built in the 1580s during the Portuguese occupation, Al Jalali Fort served as a protection for the entrance to the harbour to the east. You will only be able to access the fort via a steep flight of steps. So, get ready to have a good cardio workout when you visit this place. That said, it is the perfect place to learn about Omani heritage. While it served as a prison for several years, it now houses a museum which features exhibits reflecting Omani culture and history.
A holiday getaway in Oman can quickly turn into a nightmare when you don’t have the proper itinerary. So, if you want to have an enjoyable experience, let Exotic Destinations tailor a travel package that suits your thirst for adventure and lifestyle. Contact us today and let us plan your Oman escapade!