Best cities to visit in Oman:Oman can be taken as the most underappreciated travel destination in the world. Especially while most people are visiting the Middle East, but don’t care about visiting Oman. Oman is a very attractive country that is rich in stunning deserts, ancient and historic castles, mesmerizing coastline, and a variety of forts.
So, here are some must-visit travel destinations in Oman.
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1. Empty quarter
2. Hajar mountains
3. Jebel Akhdar
5. Masirah island
8. Ras Al Hadd
9. Ras Al Jinz
12. Wahiba sands
13. Misfat Al Abryeen
15. Jebel Shams
The Rub, al Khali or as its famous name, Empty quarter, is one of the most attractive travelling destinations in Oman. As Arab is world-famous for its deserts, this Empty quarter is on the top of those desert lists. It’s because of its golden sand. This desert covers almost a third of the Arabian Peninsula. The desert is 2,600ft up from the sea level in the northeast.
This Empty quarter is very famous for its gigantic sand dunes. Some of them are highs up to 250m. These sand dunes are magnificent because of its, unique reddish-orange colour. Even though there is a high wind and sand blows, still those shapes of those dunes remained undestroyed. It says that these Empty quarter’s sand dunes have their specific moisture level.
If you are planning to visit the Empty Quarter in Oman you can enjoy the camel rides! They provide you with pre-scheduled camel rides across the desert. And you can have the 4×4 drive experience among these sand dunes too. And you can camp safely in this desert while watching the sunset.
The most exciting part is, visitors can enjoy their camping time with the Bedouin people. They live in the desert having a nomadic life. They are the tribesmen of the desert Empty quarter. You can listen to their king’s stories, and customs of Oman, and the ancient stories about the desert. Not only that but also, they will present the details of their lifestyles, houses and food cultures.
Hajar mountains will be the best place for the ones who love outdoor activities. Especially for the ones who adore exploring nature. Because not like other places in the middle east or Arabia, these Hajar mountains are very rich in flora and fauna. This mountain has several endemic plant species and fruit species. You can have some fresh pomegranates and apricot when you travel to these mountains. And there are various kinds of beautiful and rare bird species like Egyptian and lappet-faced vultures. Not only that but also there is a very unique kind of lizard named Oman blue-tailed lizard which can be only found in these Hajar mountains. So, don’t miss the chance!
These Hajar mountains are located a very short distance from Dubai too. You can make your business trip into a nature exploration too. That will be a good escape from your busy lifestyle. You can breathe some fresh air with a little bit of excitement there. These Hajar mountains or the ‘Oman mountains’ have a breathtaking view from up there. So don’t miss this place. This trip should be travelled at least once in a lifetime.
And you don’t have to just wander and return. You can camp there too. The only prohibited places are the cultivated areas. But you have to be aware of the temperature in these mountains. Because sometimes the temperature can be dropped to below 0 degrees Celsius during November and December. And your van gets chills even in the hot summer during the night. So don’t forget to bring coats and blankets. And since it is far from human habitats, you have to bring your cooking and sleeping necessaries.
If you travel to the Hajar mountains don’t miss this place. This is a part of the Hajar mountains. The English name for the ‘Jebel Akhdar’ is ‘The Green Mountain’. This mountain is 9,780 ft high. Jebel Akhdar is famous for its maze of terraced woods and valleys which have pomegranates, apricots, and wildly grown roses. Kind of mysterious look. These roses are growing even in abundance because of the place’s Mediterranean climate.
But when you put the first steps to Jebel Akhdar or The Green Mountains the name seems to be a bit misleading with all the rocky view. But when you walk further into the mountain you can have that amazing view. And you will be astonished by the panoramic view experience from the top of the mountain. The view is truly breathtaking. Small traditional villages, rose-water distilleries, and the shore!
The most suitable time of the year to visit Jebel Akhdar is April and march. You will be amazed at the sight of damask roses!
Here is a note if you are willing to travel Jebel Akhdar, ‘Don’t forget to bring clothes which can bear the cold at the top of the mountain.
Oman has an unbelievable natural beauty. So, in that crown of beauty Khaluf can be named as the jewel. If you are planning to visit Oman, don’t miss these glorious pristine white sand dunes of Al Khaluf. There are popular as the Sugar Dunes which are located in the fishing village of Al Khaluf.
You can see hundreds of miles of beautiful white sand dunes. And you can confirm why they call them Sugar dunes. Since these sand dunes are located on the seashore the view is breathtaking. These brilliant white sand dunes contrast with the crystal blue seawater. The view is kind of magical.
The village is located 400km far to south from the capital of Oman and if you would like, there are some mesmerizing caves further south the dunes too.
This is another best camping place to escape the hustle of the city. You may experience the best night of your life among these milky white sand dunes and under a sky full of stars. And at night the sand is so cooled down. Without a bet, that night will be the best.
And it is better if you travel at least with three other vehicles. Because in case your tires get to sink in the sand you must need the help.
Masirah island must not be very famous among tourists. It is the latest area that has opened up to tourism in Oman. So, if you hurry, you can be one of the first travellers who visited Masirah island. And as a bonus, you can enjoy an unspoiled coastline.
This Masirah island came famous because of its kitesurfing area. If you love kite surfing in the beautiful summer breeze, then this is the place. The monsoon winds can blow your kites over 20 knots in this spot.
This is the largest island of the country Oman. The surface area is about 649 km² and the island has 12 villages on it. The total population is about 12,000. Since the island is recently opened to travellers, most of the island is still deserted. The only possible way of travelling is a small ferry or an airbus of the Royal Air Force of Oman. And don’t worry! You can always find a rental car on the island whenever you want.
And another key attraction activity here is water sports. The lagoons are very shallow and the water is warm. So, you can play for hours. And the island is very rich in wildlife. There is a non-migrating school of humpback whales in the sea. The island also has its unique bird species. Latest accounts say it has about 300 varieties of birds. And many of them are considered as rare.
Muscat can be taken as one of the most ancient cities in the Middle East. You may already be aware of the name because it is the capital of Oman. The city is very famous for its picturesque sceneries and its age. The city has been known since the 1st century AD for its importance as the trading port between east and west.
Low-lying white buildings, Portuguese-built forts, blue-domed mosques, royal palaces, and souks typify Muscat’s landscape. All these things together with a bit of sunset, give the sense of a lost Arabia to the city during the evenings.
Even though the city has gone through modernization, still they have maintained its old Arabic charm. It is through that the city has crystal blue beaches and five-star hotels that include various water sports, still they have that Arabian touch in every bit of the city.
Things to do in Muscat
· Tours & Sightseeing
· Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours
· Specialty Museums
· Outdoor Activities
· Cultural & Theme Tours
Nizwa considers as one of the oldest cities in Oman. The city is famous for its Jama, the grand mosque. It considers as the former centre of Islamic learning. The city has been the meeting point of ancient times. The city is working as the link between the capital and the other parts of the country. Nizwa is the centre of date growth in Oman.
You can find so many ancient ruins of the country including a giant fort and high-walled Souq. This place is surrounded by a thick growth of palm trees and some of the countries highest mountains. The city is known as the ‘Pearl of Islam’
Ras Al Hadd
The village Ras Al Hadd is at a point at the entrance to the Gulf of Oman. The village became famous for its turtle reserving beach. During the time of the year, we can see hundreds of turtles come to the shore to lay eggs. According to the accounts the turtles lay around 6,00 – 13,000 eggs.
And not only that, the village’s beach is consists of some remarkable bays and rock formations. You can see a large number of various birds in these bays. The human habitats have been recorded since the third millennium BC in the village Ras Al Hadd. The place has been served as a safe place to the ships from storms and the military planes took the shelter during the world wars. You can see the runways they used in the ground.
Ras Al Jinz
As same as the village Ras Al Hadd, this village is also a well-known home to the green turtle reserve. And not only that, this place has been recognized as an important ancient archaeological site that discovered ruins of the Indus Valley civilization.
And there can be found some ruins of wooden boat construction. According to the records, those ruins are dated to the mid-3rd millennium BC. There can be seen some asphalt fragments and slabs which have been used for reed industry also. They say that Ras Al Jinz was an important landmark for the merchant ships. We can say that is true because it remains the same as the date for the Pakistan and Indian ships.
Other than that, you can watch thousands of green turtles come to the shore and lay eggs in Ras al Jinz. The main nesting season is considered as from July to September. Don’t worry. It is only the main season, but you can see them almost all year.
You can camp on the beach at night. But for that, you need special permission. If you can contact a guiding company, you can grant that permission very easily. They will arrange everything for your convenience. This permission is a must because the title reservoirs are bound to ensure minimal disturbance to the turtles who come ashore to lay the eggs.
And if you are lucky enough you may be able to see some amazing hatchings make their way back to the sea.
Salalah is the largest city of the southern Omani government. Salalah is famous for its monsoon season. That season lasts from June to September in Salalah. No like in other regions of Oman, the climate in Salalah allows it to grow some vegetables and fruits. So, in your travel through Oman, the visit to Salalah will be a refreshing sight. Because you may see many vegetable and fruit gardens. Some green to your eyes!
Because of the climate, the mountains in Salalah turn green. And you will be amazed by the sight of waterfalls in Salalah. There are so many of them. It is like a different world among those deserts. And there are some popular tombs of Islamic prophets. There are four of them.
The most exciting event in this Salalah city is their Salalah Carnival. It includes so many cultural events and concerts. Annually it attracts around 60,000 tourists to the city. And Salalah is the biggest seaport in the Arabian Peninsula.
So, the best time to visit Salalah is their monsoon period, from July to September.
If you love to spend some peaceful hours near the sea, then this is the place.
Sur is a city that is located about 150 km southeast of the Omani capital Muscat. The city is famous for its historical value. From ancient days to the date, the city remains as an important sailors’ destination.
Even though many people visit the turtle reserve, many skip the city of Sur. Probably this city should be a destination for every Omani traveller. It is the most peaceful town in Oman. The city is oriented by boats that you may think Sinbad will magically appear somewhere. To get to this magical city you just can rent a car from Muscat.
You have so many places to visit in Sur. Here are some popular travel spots.
· The lighthouse & the old town
· Ayjah Watchtowers of Sur
· The 3 fort castles in Sur
· Dhow Yard in the town
· The traditional Omani Ship ‘Fatah Al Khair’
· The corniche & beach
The Sharqiya Sands is the modern name for the Wahiba sands. This is another amazing region of the desert of Oman. This region is named after a desert tribe that lived long ago.
Not as many deserts, this desert, or this Wahiba sands are notable because of the amount of flora and fauna they have.
The place is full of beautiful sand dunes. Like an ocean of sand dunes. The colour is very unique in these Wahiba sands. It is shiny gold in colour at the noon and with the sunset, you can see a colourful ocean of yellow and orangish copper. The place considers as the heart of Oman.
The place is the best place for a family adventure. You can have a lot of fun there.
And a fun fact about these sand dunes is that they move about 10m per year due to the constant wind blow. So, if you have already visited Wahiba sands, then you must plan another visit to check whether the fact is true!
Misfat Al Abryeen
This is city is the best place, if you are adoring calm and peaceful night walks on cobbled streets.
If you go so much to the centre of Oman, you may find the town ‘Misfat al Abryeen’. The city has built by the ancient nomadic tribes of the region. Their architectures are marvellous and innovative. They have used hardened mud bricks to build their basements. And even today you can see them standing strong after hundreds of years.
Even though this is another point of tourist attraction in Oman, you can find this place a bit quiet and calm place. The village is too small that you have to park your vehicles outside of the village. At night you can explore the cute streets of this small traditional village.
If you love the sea, this is your place!
Khasab has been known as the “Norway of Arabia” because of its widespread rocky bays and abandoned mountain escapes.
This beautiful city is surrounded by the Hajar mountain range. The city is like an isolated island. You can watch so many ancient ruins of British telegraphs in this city.
The ocean here is very famous for schools of dolphins. You may watch some very closely if you try their scuba diving service!
They have recently entered these scuba diving sessions for visitors. So, if you would like to be one of the first scuba divers you better hurry up! But it is highly advised for the visitors to dive with professional divers because of the unpredictable currents in the area.
Other than that, you can visit Khasab Castle, Alkmazrh Fort, Khasab Dhow Port, Iranian Smugglers, and Khasab Palm Groves.
Jebel Shams is a magnificent mountain located in Oman’s Al Hamra town. And this is the highest mountain in Oman. The name ‘Jebel Shams’ formed the mountain because this mountain is the first place that receives sunlight. So, the mountain is so famous among travellers as a perfect sightseeing area.
And the mountain also has the popular Al Nakhur Canyon, which makes the mountain called the ‘Grand Canyon of Arabia’. The canyon has some of the best viewpoints of the whole country. You can experience so many exciting activities here. And one of the most favourite and popular ones is the Balcony Walk. It is located right below the canyon rim.
While enjoying your family picnic here, you can experience some adventurous hikes too. And after night you can wake up to the most spectacular sunrise in the world!
Oman is one of the few countries which have the most loving welcomes to their visitors. If you prefer a small, travel-friendly country as your destination in the new year tour, Oman is our best suggestion!