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7 Day Family 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

Muscat to Sur

The coastal road to Sur has several attractions along the way worth a small detour, including one of the largest water dams in Arabia. Wadi Dayqah Dam is one of the largest dams in the region and, thanks to its visitor friendly facilities, a great place to bring the family for a picnic overlooking the dam. Misfat Al Abryeen is a hidden gem and an easy wadi to explore, although a 4WD vehicle is required to reach it. Water pools and green vegetation all-year round make it a favourite with locals and visitors alike. Close to Bimmah Sinkhole and the village of Tiwi, Fins Beach is a great place to let the kids enjoy the white sand and pebble beach while setting up camp.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

An architectural masterpiece

This architectural masterpiece is Oman's pride and joy. Located in Bawshar, the mosque is home to the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet as well as a one of the largest chandeliers in the world which is decorated with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. The mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday between 8am and 11am and a dress code applies.

Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The main prayer hall is breathtakingly beautiful. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Mwasalat buses stop outside the mosque. The mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, including 750 women in a private musalla (prayer hall), is an active place of worship, particularly for Friday prayers. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair. An abaya (full-length dress) and scarf can be hired from the mosque cafe and gift shop for OR2.5; some form of ID is required as a deposit. Tours are available.
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Oman Children’s Museum

a scientific museum

Set in two distinctive domes in the north of Qurum, the Oman Children’s Museum is a scientific museum that delves into biology, interesting optical illusions, and other interactive displays for children.

The Oman Children's Museum is a children's science museum, located near Qurum Nature Park. The museum was established by the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture and opened on November 17, 1990 by Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said on the 20th National Day celebration in Oman. The museum has 45 exhibits and two demonstrations and comprises 10,000 square feet (930 m2). It was the first science museum in Oman. The museum has many hands-on displays. These include experiences of a fake electric shock, trigger a lightning bolt, launching a hot air balloon, photographing your own shadow, and sending message through a whisper dish. There is also a display named "Eye Spy", which is series of perception panels with illusions designed to offer some insight into how your eyes and brain see things differently.
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Wadi Al Khoud

great for off-roading

Located close to the old village of Al Khoud, Wadi Al Khoud is great for off-roading, with its stony bed and small water pools. It leads to the village of Fanja.

“Wadi Al Khoudh” is located  in Wilayat Al Seeb, and is considered one of the largest wadi basins in the Sultanate. Pools are formed in the wadi following heavy rain. It is well worth a visit, to enjoy the green salience, the beautiful rock formations surrounding and its clear water pools and springs of water of the valley
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Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre

Learn about the oil and gas industry

The Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre highlights the journey of the discovery, extraction, and use of fossil fuels in Oman through interactive displays.

Established in 1995 under Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the centre particularly appeals to visitors interested in learning about the oil and gas industry and how it has contributed to the growth of infrastructure throughout Oman.

The PDO planetarium lies adjacent to the centre and boasts a “full dome” digital system to teach kids and adults about astronomy in an engaging way.

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Day 2

Sur & Ras Jinz

A day exploring Sur’s maritime history and turtle watching. If you ever wondered how Dhows were built, the last remaining Dhow yard in Sur offers a unique insight into this ancient tradition. The nearby Sur Maritime Museum is also worth a visit. Overlooking a lagoon and the ocean, the Al Ayjah lighthouse or watch tower was once built by the Portuguese. A walk through the neighbourhood of Al Ayjah, with its old merchant houses, offers a glimpse of Sur’s former importance as trading hub. The Ras Al Jinz nature reserve has been set up to allow for sustainable viewing of turtles in their natural habitat. At night, Green turtles scamper up the beach to lay their eggs. Rangers ensure that visitors do not harm the animals or their environments.

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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Dolphin Watching

teeming with marine life

Muscat’s coastline is teeming with marine life, including numerous dolphin pods. Dolphin watching trips can be organized by local tour operators.

Alongwith exploring dophins you have the chance to view the scenic beauty of Oman's coastline over the prestine waters of Oman's capital area and experiance the breaktaking views of some of it's landmarks. The most commonly encountered species off Muscat are spinner dolphins, which delight the viewer with their spinning leaps. The Spinners are often joined by long-nosed common dolphins, in mixed groups. Also encountered off Muscat, but on a less regular basis are Bryde's Whales, Humpback Whales, Risso's Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, False Killer Whale and the occasional Killer Whale group amongst others.
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Bait Al Baranda

historical displays from across the ages

Bait Al Baranda is located in Muttrah in what used to be the residence of a prominent merchant in the early 20th century. Exhibits include art and historical displays from across the ages.

Converted from a 1930s house, this museum details the history of Oman and the Muscat region. Covering topics from the geology of the country and plate tectonics to Oman’s military and political history, a visit to Bait Al-Baranda (translates to ‘villa with a verandah’) is a great way to get an overview of Omani culture and tradition. Multimedia exhibits include interactive screens and videos as well as a photo history and a variety of art and posters on display. There are models of and artifacts from ancient Oman. Tracing history back to prehistoric Oman, the exhibits tells of the country’s early Islamic period, Portuguese occupation and current dynasty. A presentation of dinosaurs’ bones found 10,000 years ago in the Al-Khoud area is particularly noteworthy.
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Daymaniyat Islands

Snorkelling and Diving

Located off the coast between Barka and Al Seeb, the Daymaniyat Islands are surrounded by turquoise waters that are perfect for snorkelling and diving. The islands are a protected area, home to endangered sea turtles, untouched coral reefs, and exotic fish.

The main tourist draw between Barka and Sohar is the Sawadi and Daymaniyat islands (and the adjacent Al Sawadi Beach Resort), one of the country’s leading dive spots, but equally rewarding to visit for a snorkel or swim. The rocky and windswept Sawadi Islands lie just offshore. The largest of the seven islands lies almost within spitting distance of the beach, a large rocky hump topped by a string of watchtowers, while the other smaller islands lie further out to sea. It’s possible to walk across the sand to the main island at low tide, though take care you don’t get stranded when the tide comes back in; at other times boat trips can be arranged by bargaining with the local fishermen on the beach for around 5 OR, while snorkelling trips can be set up through Extra Divers at the Al Sawadi Beach Resort. The beach here is littered with exotic-looking seashells, perfect for a stroll and a spot of beachcombing.
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Day 3 – 4

A’Sharqiyah Sands

Setting off from Raz al Jinz, the desert awaits but not before a refreshing swim at one of Oman’s most well-known wadis. Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the most scenic in the Sultanate. Natural pools are hidden in beautiful rock formations and invite a refreshing swim. Locals live nearby, so please dress modestly at all times. There are plenty of activities in the desert to keep the entire family entertained, from camel riding to dune driving, from sandboarding to quad biking. Stargazing at night, around the campfire, is a favourite with all and offered by most desert camps in the region.

Al Mudayrib Village

This traditional village is home to an old centre

Complete with aflaj (waterway) system, watch towers and mud brick buildings. The village is surrounded by date palms and its heritage souq has recently been restored.

Al Mudayrib has managed to keep its atmosphere and character. The historical center is surrounded by small hills with watchtowers which are visible from afar. Al Mudayrib is still inhabited as it always was, although here too new buildings are emerging around the old settlement. In the middle of the hollow the houses cluster around the only falaj. The oldest extant buildings in Al Mudayrib are from the 18th century. The comparatively good condition of the walls is thanks to the solid manner of construction – the stones were bound together with a mixture of clay and plaster. The large buildings equipped with defensive towers were used by the various clans as meeting points. In times of war they served as a defensive refuge for individual members of the tribe or for large families.
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Bidiyah

At the edge of the Sharqiyah Sands

Located 233km from Muscat, Bidiyah is a collection of villages at the edge of the Sharqiyah Sands. Home to Bedouin people from the desert, it is the perfect place to experience traditional camel or horse races or visit its famous Eid market.

A three- to four-hour drive from Muscat, Bidiyah is in the Sharqiyah Sands, the most popular destination in Oman for dune-bashing, desert-crossings, and camping. No visit to Oman would be complete without seeing these spectacular seas of sand.
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Wadi Tiwi

best explored on foot

Not far from Wadi Shab is Wadi Tiwi, which is lined by small villages and date and banana plantations. Although the wadi can be accessed by car, it is best explored on foot, with a two-day hike possible across the mountains to Wadi Bani Khalid.

A couple of kilometres south of Wadi Shab lies the almost identical Wadi Tiwi, another spectacularly deep and narrow gorge carved out of the mountains, running between towering cliffs right down to the sea. It’s less unspoiled than Wadi Shab surrounded by lush plantations of date and banana, and criss-crossed with a network of gurgling aflaj.
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Sharqiyah Sands

experience the desert first hand

The Sharqiyah Sands allows visitors to experience the desert first hand, with dunes reaching as far as the horizon and the area teeming with wildlife. Dune bashing is one of the many favourite activities for visitors to the Sharqiyah Sands.

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Day 5

Jebel Shams

Oman’s highest mountain offers vistas to remember. The hike along the cliff edge, known as the Rim Walk, to the abandoned village of As Sab is a fairly easy hike, but not to be undertaken with smaller children. In such cases, we recommend smaller walks atop the plateau to enjoy the view of the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’.

Jebel al Harim

A haven for biking enthusiasts

Offering spectacular views and adventurous paths, Jebel Hareem is the Musandam’s highest peak and a haven for biking enthusiasts. Local tour operators offer guided mountain biking tours.

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Umran’s Grave

Right in the heart of Salalah

The long rectangular tomb of Prophet Umran is a sacred site for Muslims, surrounded by a small garden right in the heart of Salalah.

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Al Ansab Wetlands

a protected area

Set in the middle of Muscat, the Al Ansab Wetlands are a protected area and an ornithologists dream. Over 293 species of birds stop over at different times throughout the year, with over 80 resident species.

Muscat: Colours and fragrance fill the air at Al Ansab Wetland where winter sees the best of plants and trees bloom. The wetland has 113 species of Omani trees and shrubs. “The wetland has been there since mid- to late 80s but it was not the way it is now. At that time, may be it was used for treating purposes. Since 2011, The company ( Haya ) started focusing more on it and made a lot of changes. It is now all treated water and therefore you do not have any smell in the wetland areas. “With the addition of shrubs and trees, the area of wetland is attracting more birds. Initially, 150 bird species were reported. Now, it is more than 300.” The wetland has five lagoons, the biggest of which has a depth of four metres. The water, besides attracting birds, also supports greenery. Most of the trees and shrubs are naturally grown. But Haya Water team planted 300 trees to create a forest area, which have all grown and today provide extended shade. In the process, there have been other trees that have sprouted naturally such as banyan trees and date palms. A little further away, adjacent to the nursery of the wetland, the team planted more trees.
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Bait Na’aman Castle

perfect for visitors to catch a glimpse at past times

Constructed in the 16th century as private residence for visiting imans, Bait Na’aman Castle is perfect for visitors to catch a glimpse at past times. This is thanks to the many traditional furniture and fittings on display, as well as other features such as the underground falaj system.

Rather more interesting than Barka’s fort is the beautiful old fortified house of Bait Na’aman. The unusually tall and narrow house, with alternating square and round towers, is thought to have been constructed around 1691–92 by imam Bil’arab bin Sultan (or possibly his brother, and successor as imam, Saif bin Sultan), and was used by both imams during their visits to the area. According to one tradition, this is also where Sultan Said bin Sultan murdered his unpopular predecessor Badr bin Saif in 1806 with a single blow from his khanjar. The entire building was beautifully restored in 1991. Unlike most of Oman’s forts, the house has been fitted out with a lavish selection of traditional furnishings and fittings, giving the place an engagingly domestic atmosphere and making it much easier to imagine what life was like for its former inhabitants than in most other Omani heritage buildings. Downstairs you’ll find the original bathroom and stone toilet, both connected to an underground falaj which formerly brought water all the way from Nakhal. There’s also a storage room, in which dates were pressed (the holes in the floor were used to siphon off the juice), as well as a pitch-black ladies’ jail. The main living areas are situated upstairs, with a sequence of rooms attractively furnished with traditional rugs, cushions, crockery and jewellery. These include the men’s and ladies’ majlis, plus a quaint bedroom with four-poster bed and a wooden hatch in the floor through which water could be drawn up from below. Nearby is the private majlis of the imam, equipped with a secret escape passage, and a watchtower with pit-like jails for miscreants. Further stairs lead up to the roof. The main tower is supported by beautiful teak beams, with old pictures of ships scratched onto the walls. The tower originally housed six cannon, backed up by three more cannon in the house’s second tower – an impressive array of firepower for what was essentially a private residence rather than a proper fort. To reach the house, drive around 5km north of the roundabout by the Lulu hypermarket along the main coastal highway then turn right off the highway, following the signs to A’Naaman and (just afterwards) the Barka Health Center, following the road as it twists back towards the coast. The house is about 3km down the road on your left – it’s not signposted, but is instantly recognizable.
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Day 6

Al Hoota Cave & Wadi Bani Awf

A visit to Al Hoota Cave is fun for the entire family, followed by crossing the mountain in a 4WD vehicle. An underground lake with blind fish and amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations make Al Hoota Cave a must-see when in the area. Not to mention the magnetic train operating inside the cave that brings visitors to the cave entrance. The mountain crossing to Wadi Bani Awf by 4WD vehicle is not for the faint hearted and should be undertaken by experienced drivers only. Visitors can expect amazing vistas and secluded mountain villages. Alternatively, there is a highway from Nizwa to Muscat.

Al Baleed Archaeological Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is part of the Land of Frankincense. Al Baleed Archaeological Park in Salalah is a large area with remains of what was once a very important trading port from the 8th to 16th century, enabling the widespread distribution of Frankincense grown further inland.

Standard opening hours are from 8am to 8pm with a modest entrance charge per car.
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Khawr Najd

Oman’s most scenic fjords

Picture-perfect Khawr Najd is one of Oman’s most scenic fjords, accessible via a road surrounded by high cliffs and leading to crystal clear waters below.

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

An architectural masterpiece

This architectural masterpiece is Oman's pride and joy. Located in Bawshar, the mosque is home to the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet as well as a one of the largest chandeliers in the world which is decorated with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. The mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday between 8am and 11am and a dress code applies.

Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The main prayer hall is breathtakingly beautiful. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Mwasalat buses stop outside the mosque. The mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, including 750 women in a private musalla (prayer hall), is an active place of worship, particularly for Friday prayers. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair. An abaya (full-length dress) and scarf can be hired from the mosque cafe and gift shop for OR2.5; some form of ID is required as a deposit. Tours are available.
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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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Day 7

Muscat

Time to unwind and explore Oman’s capital. Including some time at one of the many city beaches, such as Qurum Beach which is great for beach walks or a swim. The Children’s Museum is a science museum housed in two unique, domed buildings not far from the beach. The Children Public Library is just opposite. What better way to end a family holiday than with a sunset Dhow cruise, offered by several tour operators. You might even spot dolphins!

Stal Gallery

modern visual arts

This art gallery was created to promote modern visual arts and aims to bring local talent into the spotlight and provide a platform for internationally acclaimed artists. Visitors can find the gallery in Madinat Sultan Qaboos, close to the British Council.

Stal Gallery is home to many exciting Art Exhibitions. From contemporary artists to famous classic works, hosting local and international art collections - it always has something interesting to see. Explore Stal Gallery Collections, Exhibitions, Artists, Art Classes and Art courses, life painting sessions, Residency Calls for artists.
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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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Muscat Gate Museum

One of the most photographed landmarks

One of the most photographed landmarks in the Sultanate, this museum is set over a road that marks the entrance into Old Muscat. Visitors can view general and historic information about Oman and enjoy stunning views of Muttrah corniche from the terrace.

Spanning the road between the old walled city of Muscat and the Corniche nestles the Muscat Gate Museum. The museum transport visitors to a different world, an enriching journey of the emergence and evolution of the Sultanate of Oman, also stands testament to Muscat’s history and artifacts. The gates of the museum formerly marked Muscat city’s boundary for the city was once enclosed within the fortified walls. The gateway was used until 1970 to keep intruders out of the walled vicinity. Though the museum houses limited exhibits, it is more popular for being an excellent vantage point offering breathtaking vistas of the Diwan and the Corniche. Once you are done exploring the historical artifacts, take a drive up to the aerial mast to the neighboring hillock to enjoy a panoramic view of the Muttrah area and the Muscat city before it merges with the horizon of the Al Riyam Park.
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Hiking – Riyam Walk

spectacular views over the sea

Starting opposite Riyam park, the Riyam Walk begins with a steep climb at the end of which hikers are rewarded with spectacular views over the sea and surrounding area. The path gradually descends into an old abandoned village and takes you through to Muttrah, a great way of exploring the old part of Muscat first hand.

Hiking in Muscat, a capital city? Yes it is possible. One of the particularity of Muscat is that it is composed of neighborhoods separated by rocky hills. This means that you can climb those hills to get nice views, especially on trail C38 between Riyam and Muttrah.
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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.