The 7 Most Beautiful Sights in Oman
Strong fragrance of incense, huge bags of colorful spices and a bustling souk – welcome to Oman. This mysterious, multifaceted country boasts paradisiacal white sandy beaches where you can bathe in translucent waters. Immerse yourself in this magical, fairytalelike world of the Arabian Nights and find out what you can do on your next adventure in Oman.
Oman has three million inhabitants and has been an absolute monarchy since 1996. The official language in the sultanate is Arabic, but you can always get by with speaking English.
Oman is on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Due to its location, the weather in Oman is summery and warm, perfect for your vacation there. However, climatic conditions vary from region to region. On the northern coast, extremely hot summers prevail, during which temperatures can reach up to 47 °C. If you want to escape the European winter, then the south of Oman is a good option for you. There, it is pleasantly warm all year round and temperatures are around 27 °C. Besides, the monsoon season from July to September makes the natural landscape almost unrecognizable, and the entire region shines in a very fresh green color. For these and many more reasons we are about to explore, Oman is an incredibly interesting holiday destination worth considering for your next vacation.
Muscat – The Capital of Oman
Oman boasts breathtaking scenery, and its capital and most populated city, Muscat, is an amazing starting point for your trip. Certainly, you won’t be able to take your eyes off the magnificent buildings and imposing mosques on your drive from the airport to your accommodation.
The most famous sight is the Sultan Qabus Grand Mosque, which is a must-see during your visit. Go there in the morning for a more peaceful and quiet experience. The mosque is one of the largest in the world and has an imposing 47-ton prayer rug.
The Royal Opera House and the Qasr Al Alam Palace are also buildings worth a visit. If you are interested in history, the National Museum provides you with a deep insight into the country’s culture. After going there, you can mingle directly with the crowds at the souk. The Mutrah Souk is one of Muscat’s highlights, as strolling through the alleys lined with stalls full of jewelry, clothes, spices, and Arabic specialties is a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Muscat is directly on the coast and, therefore, ideal for boat trips of any kind. There, watch dolphins and snorkel to explore the coral reefs.
This is not all, though! One more highlight is still missing: the Bimmah Sinkhole, a lagoon formed by a meteorite. Because of its formation, another name for the crater is Hawiyat Najm, which in English translates to shooting star. The lagoon is in the Hawiyat Najm Park, which offers decent infrastructure for visitors to have a wonderful time there. You can go swimming in the sinkhole’s turquoise waters and spend the day enjoying the park’s stunning view.
Not far from the capital lie the breathtaking Hajar Mountains, where towering mountain ranges and green wadis dot the landscape. So, in addition to your flip-flops, pack sturdy shoes and go hiking through these mountains. If you feel adventurous, go on a trekking tour through the mountains and stay overnight in camping tents. This is a truly unforgettable experience.
The so-called Empty Quarter of the Sultanate is a must when you’re in Oman. It is a sand desert that reaches not only into Oman, but also the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. It is the largest sand desert in the world. Understandably, hardly any people have settled there, but nonetheless, it is worth taking a desert tour to check out the spectacular scenery. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of sleeping in the desert under a starry night sky? But please note: only take such a tour with a local guide who knows the area well. It goes without saying that deserts are extremely dangerous for people who are not familiar with it.
Dhofar – South Oman
The district of Dhofar is in the south of Oman. This region is famous for its frankincense trees. Besides, a stunning coastline, wadis and the Dhofar Mountains are waiting for you.
Salalah was once the Sultanate’s capital and is in Oman’s Southwest. Salalah has an insanely beautiful coastline which attracts many visitors. Thus, make sure to plan an extended to enjoy the dreamlike beaches to the fullest. Very fine white sand stretches for miles and is perfect for hours of beach walks. If you are lucky and go to the beach early in the morning, you can even spot dolphins there.
If you’re into museums, visit the Frankincense Land Museum, where you can learn about the region’s history. On the way there, you will notice fruit stands on the streets. Definitely stop by those and have a cup of their fresh, delicious coconut milk, buy bananas, or try other yummy delicacies.
In the evening, you can stroll through the city and the alleys and watch and enjoy the hustle and bustle while sipping a cup of tea. At the souk, you can buy traditional Arabic specialties and some souvenirs.
Wadi Darbat is Salalah’s most famous wadis and one of Oman’s most scenic landscapes. Especially during the monsoon season, the wadis glow in amazing greenery and the rain transforms the region completely. Waterfalls cascade down from the rock walls, filling the wadis with water. You can rent pedal boats at Wadi Darbat and have the perfect experience for nature lovers.
If it is not the rainy season during your stay, go hiking along the valley. If you’re lucky, you might come across a donkey. Other wadis worth seeing are Wadi Shab, Wadi Tawi, and Wadi Bani Khalid. The latter is near Muscat and is one of the most beautiful wadis in the country.
Marneef Cave and Blowholes
At the end of the popular Mughsail Beach you will find the so-called Blowholes, from which meter-high water fountains shoot up into the air. A spectacular unforgettable sight worth experiencing. The Marneef Cave is nearby, and from there you have a magnificent view of the deep blue ocean. This is a great place for you to take amazing souvenir photos.
Travelers and locals are unanimous: Mughsail Beach is paradise on Earth. The eight-kilometer-long sandy beach is the ideal place to relax and unwind. You are likely to see dromedaries while sunbathing there because they also like this part of the beach.
Oman is also the perfect destination for those who like spending time in the water. The country’s marine fauna is diverse: turtles, leopard moray eels and bluespotted ribbontail rays are just a few examples of animals you can see in Oman. Thus, don’t miss out on snorkeling and diving there. If you can’t snorkel, that’s not a problem whatsoever: some hotels even have their own diving school.
As you see, Oman is full of surprises and will certainly captivate you with all its beauty.
In Oman, the focus is on quality tourism instead of mass tourism. Therefore, it’s a great place for you to escape the tourist crowds on your vacation. Besides, as Oman’s government see biodiversity preservation as crucial, you can even learn about protected areas for sea turtles there.
Locals are always friendly and approachable. Don’t be surprised if you are invited to dinner or a sightseeing tour – this is part of Omani hospitality. Accept the invitation and spend a lovely day or evening with the locals.
You can also easily rent a car in Oman and explore all the places mentioned in this article without depending on a tour group, for example.
The Sultanate surprises with a landscape that could not be more diverse. Mountain ranges, desert regions, green wadis and endless, dreamy beaches are Oman’s main natural attractions. Let yourself be enchanted by the fairytalelike Arabian flair and discover this dreamlike destination in Asia – Oman!