15 Beautiful Places In Oman That Should Your plan
With so many seriously beautiful places in Oman, it’s tough to know where to start when planning your visit.
1.Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat
A gift to the nation from the Sultan himself, the Grand Mosque in Muscat is a truly spectacular complex, with richly engraved sandstone, exquisite tile work, the world’s second largest Persian rug, and the world’s second biggest crystal chandelier.
2.Mutrah Corniche, Muscat
Joining the locals and enjoying a cool breeze while walking along the Mutrah Corniche as the sun sets and the city lights up is a highlight of a visit to Muscat.
3.Mermaid Cove, Bandar Kharyan
Half an hour east of Muscat, Bandar Kharyan offers a range of diving and snorkelling sites that are literally teeming with sea life; one site is Mermaid Cove. While conditions and visibility can be changeable, you’re guaranteed to see healthy coral reefs and of course, one or two of the cheeky local clown fish.
4.Sunset Dhow Cruise, Muscat
With more than 3,000 kilometres of coastline, the sea has always been an integral part of Omani life. The country’s proud seafaring history can still be experienced today with a trip along the Gulf of Oman aboard a traditional dhow boat. Head out at sunset for glorious views back towards a dramatic mountain landscape dotted with historic fortresses.
5.The East Coast
The dramatic coastal highway between Muscat and Sur provides plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the glittering Gulf of Oman as you skirt the Eastern Hajar Mountains.
6.Hawiyat Najm (Bimmah Sinkhole)
Back in 2012, the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper declared Hawiyat Najm the world’s most stunning sinkhole. Just off the Muscat to Sur highway, it’s almost impossible to resist the temptation to jump into the inviting turquoise waters of this picturesque inland pool, where tiny fish nibble at your toes.
7.The City Of Sur
The photogenic city of Sur lies just two hours southeast of Muscat, overlooking the Gulf of Oman. Steeped in maritime history, Sur remains the centre of Oman’s dhow building industry, with traditional dhow building yards still in operation. It’s also a great base from which to explore local wadis and castles.
One of the undisputed highlights of Oman, Wadi Shab can easily be reached from both Muscat or Sur. After a sweaty 45-minute hike through a stunning gorge, and just when you think you may spontaneously combust in the heat, you’re rewarded with the first of the wadi’s turquoise pools. Wade and swim a little further and you’ll find what all the fuss is about as you pass into a hidden cave complete with rushing waterfall.
It’s worth taking a trip into the Sharqiyah Sands, if for no other reason than to sit atop a huge dune in complete silence as you watch the sand change colour and the sun dip beyond the horizon. The sands are a fantastic place to test your 4WD skills, and to experience Bedouin hospitality with an overnight stay in a camp, where you can marvel at the stars while sipping tea by the fire.
10.Landscapes Around Nizwa
Just a couple of hours from Muscat, the town of Nizwa is blessed with spectacular scenery, ancient tombs, and and some of Oman’s best preserved forts, like the impressive 17th century Nizwa Fort, with its 40-metre tall tower that dominates the skyline. The Hajar mountain views from the top of the immense tower are well worth the climb.
12.Al Ayn Beehive Tombs
The UNESCO-listed beehive necropolises at Bat and Al Ayn have watched over the rugged mountain landscape near Nizwa for more than five thousand years. While precious little is known about the civilisations that built the tombs, or their purpose, they are an enduring and beautiful reminder of how ancient this land really is. Exploring Al Ayn at sunset was one of the absolute highlights of our trip to Oman.
13.Al Hoota Cave
Located in the foothills of Jebel Shams, the Al Hoota Cave and museum is a must-see for geology fans. While only 500 metres of the 4.5 kilometre cave system is open to the public, there’s still plenty of opportunity to see beautiful stalagmites and stalactites, as well as rare blind fish that live in the cave’s waters. As the cave can be subject to flooding, it’s always worth checking ahead to make sure it’s open.
Just a short drive from Nizwa, the UNESCO-listed Bahla Fort dominates the oasis town bearing the same name. That such an impressive structure could have been built using mud bricks on a stone foundation is testament to the power of the Banu Nebhan, the tribe who built it.
Look carefully and spot the ancient mudbrick village that climbs over the side of the Hajar mountain backdrop. This is a view of Al Hamra, famed for it’s Yemeni-style adobe houses, and one of Oman’s oldest villages.