Over the past two decades, Oman has become one of the most attractive destinations in the Middle East. Even though Oman is not a tourist destination, it still attracts outdoor enthusiasts and adventure-seekers.
Oman’s landscapes are particularly noteworthy. Not only are there mountain valleys, rugged canyons, and rolling dunes, but also opportunities to relax on beaches and coastal ports. In addition, there are many other attractions in Oman, such as historic forts and archaeological sites. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive countries you will ever visit.
16. Jebel Shams
The winding road to the summit of Oman’s highest peak is as exhilarating as the mountain itself. The curvy road leads to a spectacular view of Wadi Ghul, the “Grand Canyon of Oman.
We recommend spending at least one night in Jebal Shams. There are many campsites at the top, and you can enjoy the spectacular view while gazing at the stars at night. The “Balcony Walk” along the mountainside is also a thrilling experience.
15. Fort Jabrin
Built-in 1670, this beautiful Jabrin Fort once served as the residence of Imam Bil’arab bin Sultan. The fort’s military defense system remains largely intact, and weapons and cannons can be seen throughout the complex. Visitors can also wander through the rooms and chambers where the Imam and his wives lived.
Explore the intricately carved ceilings of the rooms, the rooftop mosque and Koran school, and even the tomb where the Imam was buried.
14. misfit al-Aberdeen
Nestled high in the Jebel Sham Mountains, the village of Misfat al-Abrieen is charming and inviting. As you pass through a maze of cobblestone alleys, you will come upon the lush gardens, agricultural terraces, and mud houses for which Misfat al-Abriyeen is famous.
The striking contrast between the greenery of the palm trees and gardens and the brown mud architecture makes this village one of the most charming places in Oman. It is easy to walk for hours just admiring the buildings and scenery of this picturesque village.
13. Nakar Fort
Visit Nakar Fort to learn about Oman’s military history; originally built in the 7th century to defend against invading tribes, it was also the residence of the Imams of Wadi Bani Harus and the Ya’arba dynasty.
Fort Nakar is now a museum. However, you can still see the spiked gates, towers, weapons, traditional furniture, and local artifacts that have been used for centuries. Also, if you visit on a Friday, you can see the weekly goat market within the fort’s walls.
12. massira island
For a true desert island experience, look no further than the rugged Mashiro Island. Its windy shores are ideal for kite surfers and kayakers, and the quiet town of Hilf has charming cafes and guesthouses. Visitors can also relax on the uninhabited beaches that dot the island.
Masirah Island is also an excellent place for wildlife viewing. Not only can you see the largest colony of loggerhead turtles that nest on Masirah Island, but you can also encounter bottlenose dolphins and flying fish.
11. the ancient city of samram
The fortified city of Samram is one of Oman’s leading archaeological attractions. Once an important trading port in South Arabia, the city has been abandoned and in ruins for over 1,500 years.
Most of the city has been reduced to a few ruins and limestone slabs, but various buildings, gates, and temple forms can be seen. Also worth seeing is the spectacular view of the rapids of the Wadi Darbat River from the observatory at the top of the mountain.
10. wadi bani ahu
Take the spectacular scenery at Wadi Bani Ahu in Oman’s South Batinah Governorate. One of the largest wadis in the country, Bani Awf offers rugged canyons, rural villages, and adventurous hiking trails. Of course, winding dirt roads and pathways also make for an exhilarating off-road experience.
However, Wadi Bani Awu’s highlight is the picturesque Snake Canyon. The narrow canyon walls are so close together that you can simultaneously stand in the middle and touch both sides. Crystal Pools and waterfalls also gush out from the canyon’s rock formations.
Located in the middle of Al Dakhla is the site of Al Ain. In this area, 19 beehive-shaped mounds, believed to date back to 3100 B.C., can be seen lined up along the spine of the highest hill. Each stone structure housed as many as 30 bodies, a unique construction for its time.
There are two other necropolises nearby, but Al Ain is the best preserved of the three. The site of Bat contains 100 tombs, and Al Qutum has a huge stone tower.
8. Wadi Nakhl Canyon
If you are interested in outdoor adventure, visit the breathtaking Wadi Nakhl Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of Oman. Located just two hours from Muscat, Wadi Nakhl Canyon is a vast mountainous area with waterfalls, limestone rock formations, and small villages.
There is plenty of hiking, climbing, and off-roading, but many visitors come for the panoramic views. The sheer cliffs, which rise to a height of 1,500 meters, make it one of the most impressive places in Oman.
7. Nizwa Fort
The Nizwa Fort is arguably one of Oman’s most popular tourist attractions. Built-in the mid-16th century, the Nizwa Fort was the administrative headquarters of the ruling Imams. It also served as a defense system against tribes and forces attempting to invade the city.
At the center of the fort is a vast circular drum tower, the top of which can only be reached by a spiral staircase leading from the top to the interior. Many other structures oppose the enemy, including traps, spiked doors, and secret tunnels. Once you set foot inside the fort, you will understand why it was able to withstand the impending attack.
6. Muttrah Souk
The colorful Muttrah Souk is a shopper’s paradise. Muscat’s main market, Muttrah Souk, is crammed with stores and stalls selling everything. Most of it is an indoor market, but the back alleys are lined with non-touristy stores.
A maze of stores offers various goods, including incense, jewelry, traditional handicrafts, and souvenirs. Don’t forget to bargain when making purchases. Half the fun of shopping at Muttrah Souk is being able to bargain for your prized possessions.
5. Jebel Halim
Take a road trip to Jebel Halim and admire the pristine mountaintop views. Oman’s highest peak, Jebel Halim, sits at an elevation of approximately 2,000 meters and is one of Oman’s most iconic landmarks. Although the summit is off-limits, visitors can enjoy breathtaking canyon views and rocky terrain as they make their way around the mountain.
You will also pass petroglyphs carved into the mountain cliffs. It is also possible to see fossils of mollusks, fish, and shells from thousands of years ago.
4. Khor Ash Sham
Unlike the rest of Oman’s arid mountainous landscape, the shimmering blue waters of Khor Ash Sham are a sight to behold. Not only is Khor Ash Sham home to rich marine life, but rural trails along the coastline are also waiting to be explored.
Also worth a visit on your journey is Telegraph Island, which was used by the British in the mid-19th century. Although now in ruins, it is possible to climb to the top of the ruins and get a panoramic view of Khor ash-Sham.
3. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
No trip to Oman would be complete without a visit to the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Built of Indian sandstone, with colorful woven carpets and Italian chandeliers, it is truly an architectural masterpiece, built to accommodate 20,000 worshippers, including a private prayer hall for up to 750 women.
The prayer hall is open to non-Muslims at certain times of the day. However, even if you do not visit the mosque’s interior, you will be amazed by its imposing appearance as you look out over the city of Muscat.
2. Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve
At Ras Al Jinns Turtle Reserve, you can get up close and personal with some of Oman’s loveliest creatures. Located a 15-minute walk from the beach, Ras Al Jinns Turtle Reserve aims to protect the weak sea turtles that come to nest on the beach.
Since they are rarely seen during the day, signing up for a night tour is your best chance to see the turtles. At Las Algines Turtle Reserve, you can observe various turtle species, including the endangered green turtle, loggerhead turtle, olive ridley, and hawksbill turtle.
1. the Wahiba Sands
The Wahiba Sands is a vast arid area stretching as far as the eye can see. Located in eastern Oman, this vast desert is one of the most impressive attractions in the country. Copper-orange and golden dunes create huge ripples, some over 90 meters high.
Camp under the stars or explore the depths of the desert on a camel. For a more exhilarating experience, rent a 4×4 and drive through the desert at your own pace, speeding across the vast dunes.