Things to see in Oman
A trip to Oman is an opportunity to discover a country that is unknown, safe, and above all full of hidden treasures.
Here’s an overview of the major attractions and tips to make your stay easier.
The bustling capital is a good place to start. Stroll along the cornice where small restaurants, mosques and shops follow one another.
Go through the fish market and souk of Mutrah. Some short hikes are possible to see Muscat from above if you are ready to face the heat.
The false grand canyon of Arabia is the destination.
Several hiking trails are possible, some of them horizontal, therefore without any climb like the Balcony walk.
The canyon is free to visit like all natural attractions. It is possible to drive to the edge of the canyon and camp there.
A magical experience to live.
On my list of must-sees, the cattle market which takes place on Friday morning from 7-9am at the Nizwa public market will make you live an extraordinary experience.
The rest of the market is also very interesting and surprisingly clean.
Superb natural oasis for bathing.
You will have to pay for a small boat to cross the river from the parking lot and then follow an easy trail (accessible for families) to get to this little piece of paradise. Swimming in the clear water, jumping from the rocks, and if you go up the river in the water, you will come to a hidden cave. In the cave there is a small waterfall from which you can jump and even make tarzan rope.
You’re sure to fall in love!
Another natural and sublime place to cool off.
First an ideal park for picnicnicks, you can then soak in the turquoise water of this little hidden treasure. Located directly on the side of the road and requiring no approach steps. What more could you ask for?
Wadi Bani Khalid
Sea resort to bathe in a natural environment, with a fitted restaurant. Accessible for all because directly next to the parking lot.
It is possible to bathe in the different baths. Ask the locals working on site where the hidden waterfall is or the way to the cave (15 min walk).
In the cave, you can experience two different temperatures from one room to another and even swim.
Wadi Dayqah Dam
A short stop at the Wadi Dayqah Dam will not disappoint you. Breathtaking scenery and a small grassy road stop for a snack.
Bait Al Safah Museum
Located in the village AL-Hamra, this small traditional house is transformed into a museum. Not so well marked, but everybody in the village will know where it is.
The guide introduces us to the traditional Omani way of life. The women on site show us how they used different products and get us involved.
Excellent opportunity to take a culture bath and ask all our questions.
This peninsula in the northeast of the country also called the little Norway of Arabia because of its fjords is a real delight for the eyes.
Crystalline water, high sand-coloured rocky mountains, vertiginous serpentine roads, vintage boats and diverse marine fauna; this is what awaits you in this little corner of paradise.
Take the opportunity to make the scuba diving, you won’t be disappointed.
Excursion in a traditional Dhow boat
Several options are proposed:
- one-day tour,
- fishing trip,
- 2 days and one night on the boat, etc.
Personally, we chose to sleep on the boat. Even though we had trouble sleeping, we would make the same choice again. Sleeping under the stars on the water was a great experience.
You will certainly have the opportunity to see dolphins, swim, fish and enjoy an excellent typical meal.
This was my favorite activity on the peninsula.
This excursion is rather a 4×4 tour in the mountains to enjoy the beautiful views, but does not include animals. We have chosen to make this trip on our own by renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
You have to be comfortable driving on winding, even bumpy, rocky roads. However, some views impressed us like the one of the Khor (fjord) An-Njad.
We also went through the small forest Khalidiya, the only green land we saw on the rocky peninsula.
Finally, it was interesting to look for the petroglyphs visible on the rocks of the village of Tawj.
My advice for a successful trip to Oman
- For Canadians, an entry visa is required. It’s easy to do it over the internet. Choose the site that links to the Government of Canada’s Oman page. Only really reliable link in my opinion.
- Public transport is not very developed, even for tour operators. You will need to rent a car to visit the country. In this regard, several global companies are established in Muscat. However, on the Musandam peninsula, you will have no choice but to rent with a Mohamed rent-a-car company.
- Roads are excellent in Oman and it is tempting to drive fast, but beware, there are photo radars everywhere.
- It will be recommended that you rent a 4×4. In my opinion, only the desert part of Sharqiya sands and the Musandam really requires one, although it was practical in the Jebel Shams canyon.
- To get to the Musandam peninsula, there are affordable internal flights that last one hour. I recommend this option rather than driving, as you will then have to pass through the UAE, drive about 20 hours, and apply for a multi-entry visa for Oman.
- For accommodation, there are hotels in major cities, but they are still few in number. You’ll find some nice Airbnb, though.
- Oman is a Muslim country with very strict morals towards their people. That is part of the reason why the country is so safe. People are law-abiding. They are very tolerant towards foreigners and will not stare at you like a fairground phenomenon unlike some other countries. However, one must be respectful in return by covering one’s shoulders and knees.
- In the same line of thought, swimming is done with a water sweater (rashguard) and surf shorts. Save yourself in a bikini.
- For swimming in the wadi, but especially for exploring them, I suggest you bring water shoes or boat shoes as the bottom is made of rock.
- Communication and wifi component: it was practically impossible for us to connect to wifi besides the hotel’s, as they require a password to be sent by text message or email. So I suggest you take a card SIM (available at the airport) and a small inexpensive package.
Books on Oman
- La carte du Oman disponible dans Maps.me est très utile et complète, indiquant en plus les sentiers, les points d’eau et j’ai même vu une plage « idéale pour les femmes car très privée »
- Finalement, le livre Oman off-road de Explorer est très pratique pour la conduite et la planification des itinéraires. Il est généralement mentionné dans les blogs comme indispensable.
Vous pouvez également consulter tous les guides de voyage consacrés à Oman auprès de notre partenaire Ulysse !
Additional comments from milesopedia
Where to stay?
The member hotels of Marriott Bonvoy
À Oman, il existe quelques hôtels faisant partie du programme Marriott Bonvoy:
Généralement, ces hôtels ne seront pas onéreux en argent: il sera donc intéressant de payer vos nuits dans l’un deux avec la Carte Marriott BonvoyMC American ExpressMD afin d’accumuler 5 points Marriott Bonvoy par dollar.
Si vous souhaitez obtenir des points Marriott Bonvoy, le plus facile est de souscrire à la Carte Marriott BonvoyMC American ExpressMD dont voici l’offre actuelle:
Best Western Rewards member hotels
Il y a un hôtel membre de Best Western Rewards à Oman, il s’agit du Best Western Premier Muscat.
Si vous souhaitez obtenir des points Best Western Rewards, le plus facile est de souscrire à la carte de crédit MastercardMD Best Western RewardsMD dont voici l’offre actuelle:
Hilton Honors member hotels
Il n’est pas possible d’obtenir facilement des points Hilton Honors au Canada. Par contre, il est possible d’avoir le statut Hilton Honors Gold qui permet d’obtenir un surclassement et les petits-déjeuners gratuits dans tous les hôtels membres d’Hilton Honors!
A credit card with no conversion fee
N’oubliez pas d’avoir avec vous une carte de crédit sans frais de conversion pour vos opérations en devises étrangères ! Il s’agit de 2.5% d’économie sur chaque transaction!
Voici les deux meilleures cartes du marché pour les voyageurs: