Exploring the capital of Oman, Muscat, is the perfect starting point for any adventure in Oman.
Begin the day hiking the Riyam Walk, which is a trek that crosses the mountains surrounding Old Muscat. While it normally takes two hours, you can take a detour and find a small abandoned village along the way. The Riyam Walk ends at Muttrah, so why not enjoy a walk along the corniche to visit Muttrah Souq.
The afternoon can be spent watching dolphins frolic in the sea, followed by a beautiful Dhow cruise at sunset starting from Marina Bandar Al Rowdah or Al Mouj Muscat.
The Daymaniyat Islands are located about one hour offshore from Muscat and are a great place for unforgettable underwater adventures.
Comprising of 19 islands, the Damaniyat Islands is a nature reserve with restricted access, with the actual islands off bounds from May until end October. The surrounding waters, however, can be explored throughout the year and offer unforgettable diving and snorkelling opportunities.
Oman’s highest mountains awaits with its very own ‘Grand Canyon’ and views that turn any photo into a masterpiece. A 4WD vehicle is required.
A good place to start is the Rim Walk, an easy hike along the mountain’s rim, high above Wadi Ghul, to the abandoned village of As Sab. Goats still wander the area, often resting near the ruins of the village and its old terrace fields.
After a quick photo stop to take in the Grand Canyon panorama, Misfat Al Abryeen awaits upon your descent. With terrace fields and mudbrick buildings, this mountain village just begs to be explored.
The final stop for the day is Al Hoota Cave, where an underground lake with blind fish and amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations make the complex a must-see when in the area.
JEBEL AL AKHDAR
Jebel Al Akhdar offers spectacular views along its many hiking paths. Roses, pomegranates and other crops thrive in the moderate temperatures here. A 4WD vehicle is required.
The most popular trek is the village walk, which crosses several mountain villages and their surrounding terrace fields – all the time offering amazing views of the mountain.
Many hotels in the area offer a variety of climbing or hiking options, but one of the most unique is the Via Ferrata available through the Alila Jebel Akhdar Resort and Spa.
ASH SHARQIYAH SANDS
Just under a three-hour drive from Al Jebel Al Akhdar, the Sharqiyah Sands are a unique eco system with it a wide range of exciting activities for all. The desert awaits! A 4WD vehicle is required.
Bedouins in the area continue to breed camels for races, beauty competitions and the favourite of all desert activities – camel riding. Excursions from short walks to longer treks can be arranged through your travel agent or directly at one of the desert camps in the area.
Prior to your visit, you should choose from a wide range of desert activities such as dune driving or quad biking. Visitors are asked to take extra precaution for their own safety and that of their surroundings and it is advised that visitors sit back and relax as a professional driver takes the lead while scaling and descending the dunes. Full safety equipment must be worn while using the quad bikes.
After such a busy day, there is nothing like relaxing by seeing the night sky in the desert. Visitors can either book one of the existing desert camps or camp independently.
ASH SHARQIYAH SANDS
Desert crossing by 4WD vehicle can easily be arranged with a travel agent or local tour operator and should be undertaken by a convoy of properly equipped vehicles. Having an experienced guide is always recommended.
A two day, one-night desert crossing is a breath-taking experience. Not only does it provide a unique insight into the Bedouin lifestyle, it also presents the opportunity to enjoy the stunning desert landscape and camp under the stars. The trip usually ends near the ocean, close to Al Ashkhara.
DAY 8, 9 & 10
Located just a two-hour drive away from Al Ashkhara is the port of Shannah – the gateway to Masirah Island. The island itself is a great place to visit for thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. There are plenty of beaches between Al Ashkhara and Shannah to enjoy shore line fishing and during the summer months, Masirah Island enjoys moderate temperatures and consistent winds. That, together with its shallow waters, makes it perfect for kite surfing. A well-known secret in the community, kite surfers from the around the world flock here every summer.
Masirah Island’s beaches are also the nesting ground for many sea turtles, including the gigantic loggerhead turtles. While visitors are welcome to witness this miracle, extra caution is advised not to disturb the animals and use special flash lights only.
Jebel Humr is Masirah Island’s highest mountain and although the ascent is not too demanding, caution must be taken as the fossilised coral found along the way break easily. That’s right, all these peaks were once on the bottom of the ocean!
Reachable via the coastal highway, the blue waters and white pebble beach outside of the village of Tiwi are the perfect camping spot.
The roads close to Wadi Tiwi are twisty and narrow – the perfect excuse to park the car and explore the area by bike. Villages along the route are surrounded by date palms and still use the falaj, a traditional method of irrigation.
Close to Wadi Tiwi is Wadi Shab, which can only be reached by boat or by wading across during low tide. Natural water pools, a waterfall and hidden cave await those that hike into the wadi.
About 150km north of Tiwi and closer to Muscat, you will find the beautiful sandy beaches of As Sifah. A perfect place to end a great journey.
En-route to As Sifah, you’ll find Wadi Mayh which can easily be crossed by 4WD vehicle, but it is the many unique geological formations that visitors should try and spot. Signs along the road point out special sights.
Oman has several world-class golf courses, and Jebel Sifah runs one of them. If you have never tried golfing with a view and feel like stopping off for a while, now is the perfect chance.
Once back in Muscat, why not visit the Muttrah Souq. This too can be an adventure, especially when hunting for the perfect souvenir. Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest on the Arabian Peninsula and its narrow alleyways and Frankincense-laden smell invites exploration.