Oman has long been an Original Travel favourite, with its heady combination of desert, mountain and coastal scenery, fascinating Arabic culture and beautiful luxury hotels. In case you need any more convincing (surely not), here are our top five Oman experiences…
Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat
This magnificent mosque, located in the capital Muscat, was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark the 30th year of his reign. A fabulous example of modern Islamic architecture, the elaborate artistic detailing complements the precise mathematical symmetry and is bound to leave you impressed. The carpet in the main prayer hall is the second largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world - measuring a whopping 230ft by 200ft. It only took four years to weave… however that was with the help of 600 hard-working women (with amazingly nimble hands, one can assume). As this is an active place of worship, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, visitors are expected to dress respectfully.
The Sandy Deserts of Oman
The Wahiba Sands stretch over 110 miles from the North of Oman to the south, and are an accessible four hour drive from Muscat. This dramatic land of vast emptiness feels other-worldly, and provides the perfect back drop for some family friendly adventures. Explore on an exciting 4x4 tour, taking in the cinematic and ever-changing views as the day progresses, before spending the night in a desert camp under a densely star-studded sky. The more adventurous can head to The Empty Quarter, the largest continuous sand sea in the world, which has been used in films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Matrix.
Explore the Hajar Mountains
Dominating the north eastern corner of Oman, the Hajar Mountains (also known as the 'Oman Mountains') are the highest mountain range in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, and allow for some serious hiking (while staying in some luxury accommodation, of course). Explore Jebel Shams, the highest mountain of the Hajar Range, which provides some phenomenal sightseeing opportunities over the rugged landscapes. It is particularly famous for its dramatic views into the spectacularly deep Wadi Ghul, commonly known as 'The Grand Canyon of Arabia'. One of the top things to do in Oman is the Balcony Walk, a particularly established hiking route which goes via an abandoned village in the depths of the canyon.
Swim In The Gulf Of Oman
Surrounded by the arid Hajar Mountains, take to the warm waters of the Gulf of Oman for some fabulous aquatic activities. Head out on a boat to see dizzyingly acrobatic spinner dolphins as they dance in and out of the water hunting for sardines and tuna to eat. If you're more of a water baby yourself, go snorkelling and dip your mask beneath the water to see a plethora of sea life and coral thriving in the warm, balmy sea. This is also a great option for divers, as the calm, nutrient rich waters provide a plentiful variety of marine life.
Visit Oman’s Wadis
Dotted around Oman are a number of beautiful wadis. These little oases often boast turquoise waters, rocky caves, and trickling waterfalls, punctuated by swaying palm trees. Wadi Shab is one of the most spectacular, featuring breathtaking views and a vast amount of biodiversity, including a submerged cave. The wadi also provides ample opportunity to do some swimming, hiking, rock climbing and camping. An easy 1h 40 drive from Muscat, it is absolutely worth a visit and definitely one of our top things to do in Oman.
If you would like help planning an amazing trip to Oman, please do get in touch.
Oman Air offer runs from 4th September - 30th September 2019