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7 Day Culture Itinerary

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If you have a bit more time, why not head to Oman’s far south and explore Salalah – the Gulf’s only tropical destination.

Day 1 – 2

Salalah

Oman’s southern governorate of Dhofar is most famous for its trade with Frankincense, a practice that has been flourishing for centuries. As a result, it is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the region. A detailed history of the trade of Frankincense in Dhofar can be found at the Land of Frankincense Museum, just a short drive from Salalah International Airport. Al Baleed Archaeological Park is right next door. Altogether, there are four sites that comprise of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the ‘Land of Frankincense’ – the Frankincense trees of Wadi Dawkah, the remains of the caravan oasis of Shisr/Ubar and the ancient ports of Khawr Ruri and Al Baleed. Al Husn and the Al Hafah souq have remained almost unchanged since they were first built and are the perfect place to buy authentic Omani Frankincense. There are also a number of tombs and ruins in close proximity to the city that can be visited before you return to Muscat.

Al Fizayah Beach

Stunning white sand

Located west of Salalah, past Mughsayl Beach, a hairpin road leads to the stunning white sand of Fizayah Beach.

Fazayah Beach (also spelled as Al-Fazaiah or Al-Fizayah) is one of the best beaches in Oman. Its a 5 kilometers long pristine white sand beach with clear water and a stunning landscape at the back-ground. Experienced driver in 4×4 vehicle will take you there. The journey of Salalah is incomplete without a trip to white sand beaches of Mughsayl and the blowholes overlooking Marneef cave. The blowholes are also referred as Mughsayl Natural Fountains by the tourists. The water jet from the blowholes vary according to the season, but can get as high as 28m in the sky in Khareef season. Unique path leads you to journey by foot where you start your walk from beach and go up to a cave and end up at blowholes.
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Razat Spring

a preferred picnic spot

Razat Spring is especially rich in vegetation and water, making it a preferred picnic spot throughout the year.

Salalah: The Dhofar Governorate has a collection of natural springs some of which are perennial while others are seasonal and come into action during the monsoon season. The one such spring that is popular with visitors to Salalah throughout the year is Ain Razat. It is one of the main sources of water in Salalah today. Ain Razat continues its prominent role providing water for farms . The white and magenta water lilies add to the serenity of the ambience. Another attraction of Ain Razat is its cave which would have been very difficult to have an access to during the monsoon as the ground becomes slippery, but the Dhofar Municipality has built steps to the cave. Once there one can enjoy the view of Ain Razat’s surroundings.
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Khawr Taqah

a quaint fishing village

West of Taqah, a quaint fishing village, this lagoon (khawr) combines freshwater plants with other varieties that require higher levels of salinity to thrive. The result is an abundance of marine life here, as well as many different types of birds.

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Hallaniyat Islands

historic shipwrecks that dot the sea bed

Humpback whales and other marine life have made the water surrounding the Hallaniyat Islands home. These, together with several historic shipwrecks that dot the sea bed, provide great opportunities for any diving enthusiasts.

The Hallaniyat Islands offer untouched dive sites, and new ones are being discovered all the time. Tourism in the area is relatively new and the islands are only visited by liveaboard, giving you the chance to be one of the first to explore this untouched area. The reefs are covered with hard and soft corals with colourful residents including plenty of macro life. The seascapes include walls, spur and groove and some overhangs with a lot of fish life. Diving highlights are undoubtedly the opportunity to be in the water with the resident population of humpback whales but may also include encounters with manta rays and other whales. Anything is possible here. The islands boast a healthy marine life and you’ll see huge schools of fish at most dive sites. Huge pods of dolphin are often seen as are honeycomb morays and green turtles. There are also opportunities to explore some wrecks. The diving in the area is exploratory and suited to experienced divers.
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Day 3

Muscat

The capital of Oman and the perfect place to experience the old and new of Omani culture. Old Muscat has a lot to see, from the Al Alam Palace and old forts, to several l museums in the area. Nearby Muttrah Corniche is a great place to visit, especially after sunset, to enjoy sparkling waterfront views and shop at Muttrah Souq. A concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat is always a special opportunity, with artists from around the world and region performing anything from opera to world music.

Salmah Plateau

Camping Hot Spot

For a real off-road adventure, a trip to Salmah Plateau offers a great mix of panoramic views, traditional villages and sights such as the Beehive Tombs of Al Jaylah/Shir or the entrance to Majlis Al Jinz, one of the largest cave chambers in the world.

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Yiti Beach

Frequented by locals as well as tourists

The Yiti Beach, located beyond the village of Yiti, is a small beach - about one kilometre long - that can be easily reached by car. Frequented by locals as well as tourists, it is a great spot to enjoy barbecues, camping, and fishing.

Jagged rocks formed by sea salt winds and waves stick out of the Sea of Oman creating the sheltered bay of Yiti Beach. Just 28-kilometres from the centre of Muscat, the beach is known as a place of solitude and relaxation – an escape from the hectic city. The sand takes on an orange hue and the water changes to a deeper blue as the sun sets and the light changes. Lay on the rocks overlooking the beach at twilight or find an area along the strip of soft sand.
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Wadi Dayqah Dam

An amazing picnic area

Wadi Dayqah Dam is one of the largest on the Arabian Peninsula and a source of irrigation and protection for the surrounding villages, as it reduces the number of flash floods in the area. A picnic area has been built atop the dam with great views for all to enjoy.

Wadi Dayqah Dam is quite a spectacular sight! Set in the rugged limestone Wadi (valley) this huge construction is a real contrast of natural Omani beauty and impressive human engineering. Opened in 2012 the dam was built to collect the periodic rain fall from the high peaks above and control the volume of water flowing through the narrow torrent, ‘dayqah’, to the villages below. This still maintains the ancient “Falaj” irrigation system whilst controlling the surges of water rolling off the hillside. The dam is quite a spectacle for Oman and is by far the highest in the country. The water lake is 8 kilometres (5 miles) long and can hold 100 million cubic meters of rain water.
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Bimmah Sinkhole

a beautiful attraction

Part of Hawiyat Najm Park, Bimmah Sinkhole is a beautiful attraction along the Muscat – Sur road, perfect for a picnic in the park or even a quick photo-stop.

Geologists have confirmed the 65-foot deep pool is in fact a sinkhole, but locals hold on to the legend that a meteorite hit the spot. When the local municipality developed the area into a park to preserve and protect the hole, the name Haweat Najm (The Falling Star) Park was chosen. A large concrete staircase sticks out among the natural landscape, but offers a less precarious way down to the picturesque pool. Many folks just go to admire its beauty, or dip their feet in the vividly blue-green water for a fish-administered pedicure of sorts. Still some take full advantage of the salty water, diving from the cliffs within the cavern.
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Day 4

Nakhl & Al Rustaq

Al Batinah has plenty of attractions on offer, here a few highlights for a day trip. Perched atop a large rock, the Nakhal Fort was constructed on the remains of a pre-Islamic structure in the 19th century. The hot springs of Ain Thowarah are just a short drive away, through Nakhal’s beautiful date plantations. Halfway between Nakhal and Al Rustaq is the turn-off to Wadi Mistal and Wakan Village. Though not for the faint hearted, a stopover in this mountain village is definitely worth it. Once the capital of Oman, Al Rustaq was an important trading hub between the Interior and coast. Its fort is one of the largest in Oman. The old souq opposite the fort and the Ain Al Kasfa hot springs are also worth a visit.

Wadi Shab

A famous waterfall and crystal clear water pools,

Located just off the Sur-Muscat coastal road, Wadi Shab can be reached via a short boat ride. A short hike will bring visitors to the wadi’s famous waterfall and crystal clear water pools, and even a partially submerged cave.

Visiting Wadi Shab is one of the top things to do in Oman and you need to include it on your list. Think a fantastic gorge, warm blue pools, and a hidden waterfall!
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Al Awabi

Nestled at the foot of the Al Hajar Mountain range

Located between Nakhal and Al Rustaq, Al Awabi is a quaint traditional-looking Omani town nestled at the foot of the Al Hajar Mountain range.

The small village of Al Awabi straddles Hwy 13, the road that links the important towns of Barka with Rustaq. With some attractive modern houses painted in pastel hues in defiance of the national 'white only' regulation, this is a typical Batinah Plain village. It boasts a fort but not very much else by way of sights, but it has an important function as the gateway to Wadi Bani Kharus.
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Hallaniyat Islands

historic shipwrecks that dot the sea bed

Humpback whales and other marine life have made the water surrounding the Hallaniyat Islands home. These, together with several historic shipwrecks that dot the sea bed, provide great opportunities for any diving enthusiasts.

The Hallaniyat Islands offer untouched dive sites, and new ones are being discovered all the time. Tourism in the area is relatively new and the islands are only visited by liveaboard, giving you the chance to be one of the first to explore this untouched area. The reefs are covered with hard and soft corals with colourful residents including plenty of macro life. The seascapes include walls, spur and groove and some overhangs with a lot of fish life. Diving highlights are undoubtedly the opportunity to be in the water with the resident population of humpback whales but may also include encounters with manta rays and other whales. Anything is possible here. The islands boast a healthy marine life and you’ll see huge schools of fish at most dive sites. Huge pods of dolphin are often seen as are honeycomb morays and green turtles. There are also opportunities to explore some wrecks. The diving in the area is exploratory and suited to experienced divers.
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Ain Al Thawarah Hot Springs

Enjoy the therapeutic properties of the mineral water

Close to the Nakhal Fort, along a winding road framed by palm trees as far as the eye can see, are the Ain Al Thawarah hot springs. To this day, locals use the springs as a trusted water supply, and there is even a small pool to enjoy the therapeutic properties of the mineral water.

Beyond the date plantations that surround Nakhal Fort, this hot spring emerges from the wadi walls and is directed into a falaj (immigration channel) for the irrigation of the surrounding plantations. There are usually children and goats splashing in the overspill. Look out for the flash of turquoise-winged Indian rollers, among other birds, attracted to the oasis. Picnic tables with shelters, a store and toilets make it popular at weekends.
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Day 5

Nizwa

Oman’s interior awaits. The historic town of Nizwa is surrounded by date plantations and mountains and the starting point for today’s cultural adventures. Like Muscat, Nizwa holds a sprawling souq – complete with old and new part. Nearby is one of Oman’s most famous forts, Nizwa Fort. Both are worth a visit, especially on Friday, for the weekly animal market. Nestled at the foot of the Al Hadjar Mountains, Al Hamra has numerous mudbrick buildings making up its old centre. Best explored on foot, the settlement includes Bait Al Safah – a museum where locals show visitors first-hand the daily household routine of a traditional Omani house. Misfat Al Abreyeen, a stunning mountain village, is just 8 km from here. Jebel Shams, 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.

Al Alam Palace, Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts

Located in the heart of Old Muscat

The ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Al Alam Palace was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972 and is located in the heart of Old Muscat. It is flanked on either side by the impressive twin Jalali and Mirani Forts originally built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Both of these majestic buildings are still in use, and although they are not open to the public, tourists can admire the architecture from the yard and at the gates.

At the heart of Old Muscat is Al Alam Palace (“Flag Palace”), the most important of the six royal residences of the ruling monarch, Sultan Qaboos, which are dotted around Muscat, Salalah and Sohar. Built in 1972, the palace is Oman’s most flamboyant example of contemporary Islamic design, with two long wings centred on a colourful, cube-like central building, its flat, overhanging roof supported by extravagantly flared blue and gold columns. The palace isn’t open to the public, although you can get a good view of the facade from the iron gates at the front. The palace complex is impressively stage-managed, approached via a long pedestrianized boulevard framed by two arcaded colonnades, with copious amounts of highly polished marble covering every available surface. On either side stretches a cluster of impressive government buildings: huge, snow-white edifices sporting crenellated rooftops, traditional wooden balconies and window shutters. Look right as you approach the palace and you’ll also see a fine section of the original city walls snaking up the hillside, punctuated with three large watchtowers en route.
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Oman Natural History Museum

Located at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture

The Oman Natural History Museum provides a fascinating insight into the geological heritage of the Sultanate and its impressive flora and fauna, with displays of mammals, insects and birds as well as a beautiful botanical garden outside.

Highlights include the Whale Room, which features the large skeleton of a sperm whale which washed up on Oman’s shores in the 1980s. Natural History Museum of Oman was opened on 30 December 1985,  . The Museum shows the Omani environment diversity through offers of terrain, geology, plants, insects, wild animals and marine life. Despite the small size of the Museum but abounding of facts dealing with biodiversity of the Sultanate of Oman. The Museum features stuffed animals rarely found in the wilds of types and species living in the land of Oman, skeletons of marine organisms, birds and reptiles lived in Omani environment.
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Royal Opera House Muscat

A beautiful example of modern Omani architecture

The Royal Opera House Muscat hosts world-class shows and brings artists from around the world to Oman, including ballet, operas, musicals and more. Luxury shopping and fine dining is available at the Opera Galleria next door.

Royal Opera House Muscat is the leading arts and culture organization in the Sultanate of Oman.The vision of the Opera House is to serve as a centre of excellence in global cultural engagement. We strive to enrich lives through diverse artistic, cultural, and educational programs. The multidisciplinary work of Royal Opera House Muscat showcases rich and diverse artistic creations from Oman, the region, and the world; provides a space for culture and socioeconomic development reflections and actions; inspires audiences and nurtures creativity with innovative programs; fosters cultural vitality and unleashes talent; promotes cultural tourism; and puts cultural diplomacy into practice by reinvigorating global and multi-disciplinary collaborations and exchanges.
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Bird Watching in Quriyat

a favourite with bird watchers

The fishing village of Quriyat, en route to Sur, is a favourite with bird watchers. Species such as kingfishers and grey herons are known to frequent the surrounding lagoons.

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Day 6

Bahla to Old Minzafah

Bahla Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest fort in Oman – from there, the road leads to Ibra. Having been restored according to ancient methods since 1987, Bahla Fort is now open to the public, just opposite Bahla Souq. Jabreen Castle was built in the 17th century and commands panoramic views of the surroundings date plantations. Over three storeys tall, Jabreen Castle was a private residence, not fortification, and its intricate ceilings and clever layout are a sight to behold until today. The old part of Ibra known as Al Minzafah once enjoyed great prosperity, with merchants building large houses from money made with trade. Today, Ibra’s old quarter lays mainly in ruins, but the surrounding watchtowers and old buildings are evidence of its former importance. Ibra also has a souq which, on Wednesday’s, is only open to women.

Jarzeez Spring

Deep in a forest of trees

Nestled in a deep forest of trees, Jarzeez Spring is especially popular during Khareef – monsoon season – when the surrounding Iteen Plain turns into one of the greenest areas of Dhofar.

Dhofar is famous for the presence of springs distributed on the mountain brows and the edges of mountains adjacent to the coastal plain. Most of these springs have water all year round. Seasonal rains, known locally as AL Khareef, are the primary source of the underground reservoirs in the mountain and plain areas. Rain falls regularly on the plains region and the mountains adjacent to it from the end of June to September every year. Jarzeez Spring is one of the most attractive water spring for many tourists because of its proximity to Iteen plateau. From the intersection of Iteen plateau, the distance between Jarzeez Spring and the city of Salalah is about 7 kilometres. What distinguishes this spring is the forest of shady trees that sits at the foot of the surrounding mountains.
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Rub Al Khali – Empty Quarter

One of the largest sand deserts in the world

One of the largest sand deserts in the world, the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) is teeming with wildlife, ranging from reptiles to various birds of prey and smaller mammals. In Al Buraimi, the wilayat of A’Sunaynah is known for its mega-dunes.

Located on the eastern edge of the Rub Al Khali desert, Umm Al Samim is a stretch of saltmarsh that has been seen by few. The solid-looking crust can be deceiving because beneath lies quicksand, so visitors are better off travelling with a guide.

Umm al Samim (Arabic: أم السّميم‎) (also known as the Umm as Samim) is a quicksand area on the eastern edge of the Rub al’khali desert largely within Oman’s borders. The waters, such as they are, drain into this brackish low-lying closed basin area off the Omani mountains and the wadis of the Rub al’khali. The Al Samim (known locally as the ‘Mother of Poisons’ or the ‘Mother of Worries’) is a salt marsh with a solid-looking crust but can be very treacherous when broken through. There is little vegetation.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger was the first European to see the area in the late 1940s after his travels from Salalah in Oman.

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Al Araqi Fort

Beautifully atmospheric

North of Ibri, along the road connecting Ibri and Al Rustaq, are the twin settlements of Al Araqi and Al Aynayn. Their forts provide a beautiful contrast - one newly restored, the other beautifully atmospheric and showing all the signs of its history.

Situated in the town Ibri, Hisn Al Iraqi dates back to many centuries and played an important role in the political history of Oman. Approximate distance from Muscat to Hisn Al Iraqi is 234 Kilometres.
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Hasik Cliffs

breath-taking limestone formations

Located two hours from Salalah, the cliffs of Hasik form part of the breath-taking limestone formations that run along most of Dhofar’s coastline – this area makes for a spectacular drive.

Positioned at the most eastern end of the Dhofar coast before the cliffs of Jebel Samhan interrupt, Hasik is worth the two-hour drive from Salalah for the journey more than the destination.
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Day 7

Sur to Muscat

This coastal road has breath-taking views and offers plenty of interesting stops to fill the day.

Amouage Factory

Amouage is a world-renowned luxury fragrance brand

Founded over a quarter of a century ago, Amouage is a world-renowned luxury fragrance brand with origins in the Sultanate. In the Amouage Factory, visitors can get behind the scenes and garner an insight into the creation of some of the world’s most exclusive scents.

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Qurum Beach

clear waters and swaying palm trees

This impressive stretch of sand is a local favourite with its clear waters and swaying palm trees. An array of water sports is on offer to visitors, including jet skiing, banana boating and parasailing, as well as snorkelling and scuba diving excursions. Along the popular coastal road, there are a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops that look out over the beach.

Escape the heat, hustle and bustle of the city and head to the coast. And where better to go than the popular Qurum Beach? Catch some sun on the beautiful sandy beach or lie in the shade of a palm tree. It’s free to enjoy as you wish. Need to cool off? Then submerge yourself in the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman. And once it’s time to rehydrate you’ll find a great choice of cafes and coffee shops close by. Our Hop-on, Hop-off Muscat Bus Tour takes you almost right onto the sand. Then jump back on board for a ride to the neighbouring Mangrove Lagoon. A thriving city beach Located in the upmarket neighbourhood of Qurum - the beating heart of modern Muscat – the beach here is a busy centre of activity. Ride the waves on a jet ski or see and be seen along the coastal road – a classic, scenic strip popular with strolling locals. Other interesting facts about Qurum Beach, Muscat
  • Qurum Beach stretches for four kilometres (2.5 miles) along the Muscat coastline
  • Watersports like jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking can be booked at the Crowne Plaza end of the beach
  • You can also book snorkelling and scuba diving excursions here
  • There’s no great tidal range and waves are small, so bathing is relatively safe at Qurum Beach
  • There’s a good selection of international refreshment and dining options along the coast road
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Quriyat

a favourite with bird watchers

The fishing village of Quriyat, en route to Sur, is a favourite with bird watchers. Species such as Kingfishers and Grey Herons are known to frequent the surrounding lagoons.

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Wadi Al Arbeieen

most beautiful wadis in the Sultanate

Wadi Al Arbeieen is one of the most beautiful wadis in the Sultanate, experiencing a constant flow of water from the eastern Hajar mountains and providing a source of irrigation to the surrounding villages and date palm farms.

Wadi Al Arbaeen provides the ultimate soundtrack of nature, that refer to the sounds of running water, birds and the wind flowing through the narrow channels. You can go there to swimming, BBQ, hang out and picnic and the waterfall deep inside the wadi, reaching to there will take 2.5 exhausting hours but it is worth it to experience, It’s not every day you take a shower under a waterfall. This is an incredibly enjoyable wadi, with lots of rock-crawling and water crossing with the car. The weather is very good there, especially in winter, with the sun reaching the bottom of the canyon for a short time of the day, the temperature is noticeably, so you can get outdoors for an adventure to the fantasy.
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  • 1 Day
  • 3 Days
  • 7 Days
  • 12 Days
  • - 1 Day

    1 Day

    One day may not feel long to experience everything Oman has to offer but with some careful planning and clever selections you can certainly make the most of every minute.

  • - 3 Days

    3 Days

    Whether an extended weekend, stopover or short city break, three days in Oman can deliver lasting memories and build anticipation for your next visit.

  • - 7 Days

    7 Days

    If you have a bit more time, why not head to Oman’s far south and explore Salalah – the gulf’s only tropical destination.

  • - 12 Days

    12 Days

    A longer trip to Oman allows you to go further, see more and do more. With 12 days, you can fully appreciate the wonders Oman has to offer from boat trips to mountain hikes, immersing yourself in the culture and creating an unforgettable experience.