Why Oman Should Definitely Be on Your Bucket List!
By Muhammed Aladdin
At the mouth of the Persian Gulf lies one of the most picturesque Arab countries within the region; The Sultanate of Oman, which is renowned for its numerous attractions as well as historical monuments.
When thinking of an off-the-beaten-track travel destination, Oman does not ring a bell. However, because of its superb infrastructure, awe-inspiring nature, and hospitable people, it recently has been gaining traction. Furthermore, Muscat is ranked as one of the safest cities in the world.
Here is our list for the Omani destinations that should be on every traveler’s bucket list when visiting Oman.
Located at one and a half hour drive from the capital Muscat, Wadi Shab is a beautifully-quiet gorge with a myriad of emerald-green water pools; it is one of the most popular destinations on the Omani route.
The easily-reached wadi is situated on one side of the highway. Once there, travelers can go on a 2-minute boat ride to get to the starting point of a small hike. Some 45 minutes later, hikers reach the last part of the gorge, where they can swim to cool down after their climb and see the waterfall at the end.
In winter, travelers can visit the Omani Desert, a part of the larger Empty Quarter, where they could camp at the Wahiba Sands site, located at the tip of the desert. There, they can enjoy a car ride through the shifting sand dunes.
The Bedouins would help visitors explore the area on camelback and prepare traditional dinner for them. Among the dunes of the Wahiba Sands, travelers gaze at the plentiful night sky, shifting between the constellations.
It’s highly discouraged to visit during the summer months as the temperature can rise up to 50 degrees.
Perhaps one of the most breathtaking mosques in all of the world, Sultan Qaboos Mosque is Oman’s most prominent spiritual center. In 2001, the mosque opened its doors to the public, stunning them with its beautiful architecture and attention to detail.
All visitors are required to wear long sleeve tops and long pants to the ankle at all times. The mosque has no entrance fees and is open to all Oman’s visitors every day except for Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 11 A.M.
The Nizwa Fort is one of Oman’s oldest and most picturesque castles. There, visitors can wander for an hour or two throughout the different pages of Oman’s rich history. The property has a myriad of signs telling of the fort’s history, purpose, and defenses.
Furthermore, the castle has one of the best views in all of Oman, overlooking the green oases and their palm trees. It is a wonderful place that tells of a heritage unknown to most.
For travelers seeking the authentic Omani experience, a stay at the local mud village, Misfat Al-Abriyeen, built into the Omani mountainside in Al-Hamra region. The houses there have roof terraces overlooking the beautiful gardens where locals grow fruits like bananas and dates.
One of the underrated destinations in all of Oman, Jabal Akhdar gives visitors a rarely-seen view of nature that is sure to take their breath away. The remote mountainous area is awe-inspiring, to say the least.
There, the roads are well-marked; however, the slopes are quite steep and dangerous, so make sure to have a guide with you.
The exceptional view will encourage travelers to go for a hike or perhaps do some rock climbing to grasp the whole scenery. Make sure to pack warm clothes because during winters the temperatures could get below zero.
The story goes that this natural water pool was formed millions of years ago by a huge meteor impact. Bimmah sinkhole is located near the main road of Wadi Shab. After a long hike, this place is one of the most serene to take a calming dive.
Built in 1675 by Imam Bil-Arab bin Sultan, Jabreen Castle was more than just a fortification; it was an important learning center in astronomy, medicine, and Islamic law. The vast battlements of this enormous castle have a myriad of history to discover.
Jabreen is one of the most well-preserved castles in all of Oman with a whimsical atmosphere that is sure to inspire adventure in the hearts of its visitors. The rooms have painted ceilings with latticed windows, and a vastly beautiful courtyard that would bring history back to life.
The majority of Muscat’s visitors come to the Mutrah Corniche to visit this old souq, which has the traditional Arab market vibe with shops selling Omani and Indian artifacts together with a few antiques, in addition to traditional textiles.
The best thing about Mutrah’s Souq is that bargaining is allowed, so expect some haggling with the shopkeepers. Cards are generally accepted in most shops, but bring cash for better deals.