25 Feb Top 10 best things to do in Oman
With so many highlights it can be hard to figure out what to do in Oman, especially when you only have a few days in your busy schedule. That’s why iDrive 4×4 shares the top 10 best things you can do whilst visiting Oman. This is the start of your perfect itinerary for Oman!
1. Walk around Muscat
Walking around the city center of Muscat gives you a great introduction to the Middle East. This safe, beautiful and easy to get-to city should be the start of every trip to Oman, to get a better understanding of the local culture.
Enjoy typical Omani food, visit the gates to the Palace of the Sultan, walk around Mutrah (the old city of Muscat), visit the Mutrah souq and the old fort.
2. Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, is a must-visit for everyone visiting Muscat. The stunning carpets, chandeliers, detailed masonry artwork make this one of the most beautiful mosques in Oman, or even the Middle East. The educational center, adjacent to the mosque, gives you the opportunity to learn all about the mosque itself and the religion of Islam.
Dress code & code of behavior:
Whilst visiting this place of worship for many Omani, it is important to understand how to dress and behave in an appropriate way.
- You are not allowed to smoke, eat or drink inside the mosque area. Ensure you’ve enjoyed some good Omani food and sipped on a cup of mint tea (link to ‘food of Oman’) before you enter the mosque.
- Dress code for men is long-sleeve shirts, long trousers, no shorts. …
- Dress code for women is long trousers or long skirts, long-sleeve shirts or tops and a scarf to cover your hair. Ensure you don’t wear anything too tight.
3. Conquer the sand of Wahiba Sands desert
The most beautiful desert of Oman is without a doubt Wahiba Sands. Just a three hour drive from Muscat, the desert is perfect for a two day trip from Muscat, or as a stop in your longer itinerary.
The endless sand dunes look like a sea of sand, with waves rolling all around you. Imaging stargazing here at night as you camp out with your 4×4 and rooftop tent. PLEASE NOTE: You should NEVER, ever, drive into a desert by yourself. Always make sure to drive with at least two other 4×4 cars in a group, to ensure you stay safe in case of getting stuck or a car breakdown. Read all about Safe Travel in Oman here.
Did you know bedouin tribes still live in this area?!
4. Dive into Wadi Shab
One of the most beautiful wadis of Oman, is also one of the easiest accessible. Located in the Al Sharqiyah Region in Oman, only a short 2 hour drive from Muscat, you will find this piece of paradise.
It is a very popular place for both locals and expats, so don’t expect to be the only one visiting. However, if you visit during the week, changes are you won’t see many other visitors. About 3 natural pools are lined by towering cliffs and lush greenery, making is a truly spectacular sight. You can imagine why this is such a popular destination!
Do you prefer more quiet and secluded Wadis, read our blog about these little hidden treasures here.
5. Go on a 4×4 expedition around Oman
You shouldn’t explore Oman without a 4×4. The rough landscape really makes it a necessity to upgrade your sedan to an off-road machine. Really, you won’t be able to visit many of the most beautiful spots if you can’t drive off-road.
It might be even better to book one of our fully organized expeditions. Without any prerequisite for off-road driving experience in a 4WD, this is the way to go to discover the most beautiful parts of Oman.
You simply follow the experienced guide who drives his own 4×4 in front of the group. You will drive through the desert, drive up steep mountain paths, camp on the beach, put up your rooftop tent under the stars and enjoy dinner around the campfire. Does it get any better? Check out all our 4×4 Oman Discovery tours here.
6. Hike down Wadi Ghul: the Grand Canyon of Arabia
Near Jebel Shams, the highest mountain peak of Oman, lies the Grand Canyon of Arabia. From the viewpoints at the top of the mountain plateau you will be treated to stunning views down the gorge. But, you are an adventurer, right? So why not hike down?!
You shouldn’t take this hike too lightly: the heat and steep descend can be challenging. Ensure to stock up on plenty of water and food, and make sure you’re fit! That way you’ll enjoy an amazing hike!
7. Wakan Village
Explore Oman’s fruit gardens in one of the most picturesque villages, nestled on the cliffs of Jebel Akhdar, in Wadi Mistall. Wakan Village is one of the most stunning places you will see in Oman, with terraced farms, local houses and majestic views of the mountains surrounding you.
The famous 700 steps will take you along the streets of the village up to the lush fruit garden and a viewing platform with breathtaking scenery below you. Explore local lifestyle and interact with a few locals.
iDrive 4×4 offers day trips to this beautiful village. Check out our activities for more information.
8. Smell the roses of Jebel Akhdar
The lands of Jebel Akhdar (the Green Mountain) have been farmed for at least a 1,000 years because of its mild climate.
The mountain is particularly famous for Damask roses, growing on the cliff hanging terraces. The rose petals are used to make some of the best Omani rose water. Walking around the rose gardens, you will learn about ancient irrigation system used on the mountains and you can explore the narrow streets of an old Omani village’
During March – May the roses will be in bloom, so make sure to plan a visit to this stunning part of Oman those months!
9. Balcony walk
One of our founders Rob’s most favorite hikes in Oman is the Balcony Walk. This is a pretty easy-going trek with limited elevation, but it offers amazing views over the Grand Canyon of Oman: An Nakhur. The trek leads to abandon village and a natural pool and several caves. You will hike along a ledge on the edge of the Grand Canyon to the abandoned village of As Sab. The hike is also called “W6” by the Ministry of Tourism.
To reach the start of this hike you have to drive all the way up Jebel Shams towards the Jebel Shams Resort. Afterwards you continue the track and drive up to the small village of Al Khitaym. Al Khitaym is the starting point of the hike.
If you want to know more about this great walk, read our dedicated blog about the Balcony Walk here.
10. Visit Salalah in Summer
Salalah, about a 1.000km south of Muscat, is the only destination in the Middle East which is suitable for visiting during the hot summer months. Due to Salalah’s unique micro climate, it is much cooler (and greener) here compared to other destinations in the region.
Salalah boosts an amazing amount of interesting natural attractions like waterfalls, wadis and beautiful beaches like Wadi Uyun, Ayn Hamran Waterfall, Wadi Darbat and the Sugar Dunes. Read our blog about all these natural wonders in which we give you way more details on all these beautiful areas. Or, even better, join our 8 day Salalah 4×4 Summer Discovery!