Top 10 things to do in Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is home to a diverse set of attractions which, unless you're familiar with the country, come as quite a surprise. Whether you are looking for fun or adrenaline-pumping adventure, there is no dearth of things to do. You can spend a fun day with dolphins or turtles, or opt for retail therapy in the popular souks. The more adventurous can choose from off-roading, camping, diving and Wadi-bashing, among other activities.

Dhow cruise

A day-long dhow cruise acquaints you with the diverse landscape of Oman—ranging from soaring mountains merging out of the sea and villages settled amidst rocky outcrops to sandy beaches and azure waters. Embark on a traditional dhow cruise to the coastal area of Muscat or the beautiful fjords of Musandam.

Desert camping

There is so much to keep you occupied in Wahiba Sands. It is the perfect venue to indulge in camel riding, quad biking, dune-bashing and much more. Pack snacks and refreshments and head to the top of a sand dune and watch the sky change colours—from sunset to moonrise. Stay overnight at a Bedouin camp and enjoy the silence and calmness—rare in cities.

Souk sojourn

Dotted with a number of souks, Oman is quite a shopper's paradise. For artefacts and souvenirs, Muscat's Muttrah Souk is the ideal place to head to. Equally popular is the Nizwa Souk, which comprises a labyrinth of alleyways selling an array of items—especially antiques—which make great souvenirs. Frankincense, dates, honey, miniature dhow, traditional craft and jewellery can be purchased as well.

Wadi fun

Go hiking or simply spend a leisure Indulge in hiking or swimming or spend quality time with loved ones at the Wadis (valleys and riverbeds) of Oman. Whether you choose to visit Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Shab or any other Wadi, you are sure to have fun at these gorgeous places.

Admire Dolphins

Muscat and Musandam are cetacean hotspots, where spinner whales, long-nosed common dolphins and humpback dolphins can be spotted. Many tour operators in the region organise dolphin-watching trips.

Adventure activities

This is what you don't expect in Oman: water sports. There's an absolute surfeit of scuba diving sites as well as fantastic places to go kayaking, snorkelling, sailing and swimming with whale sharks, turtles, dolphins and other marine creatures. Add to that vast stretches of coral, and the underwater milieu is fabulously well-rounded.

Off-roading 

Jebel Shams—Oman's highest mountain—can be visited at any time of the day and affords breathtaking views of the gorge. Also known as 'The Grand Canyon of the Middle East,' the mountain is a popular spot for hiking, trekking, biking and other adventure sports. Those looking for some excitement can opt for off-road drives: a word of caution though—these can get pretty bumpy, and aren't for the faint hearted.

Splendid Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

The popular Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque boasts of one of the world's largest chandeliers as well as the second-largest Persian carpet in the world (the largest is in the Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi). This religious edifice in Wilayat spreads over an area of 416,000 square metres and can accommodate 20,000 people.

Museum visit

The museums provide a glimpse into the rich culture and heritage of Oman. Every item on display, ranging from artefacts, firearms and textiles to jewellery and costumes, has a story to tell. Some of the popular museums are National Museum, Qurm Museum, Children's Museum, Oil and Gas Museum, Natural History Museum, Bait al Zubair and Oman Museum.

Turtle watch

Sea turtles visit the beaches of Oman from Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and Somalia to lay their eggs annually. Ras al-Jinz beach is the nesting ground of the endangered green turtles. Guided tours are organised here by Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve that are quite popular among tourists. Other sea turtles like Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and Leatherback can also be seen at Masirah Island, Ad Daymaniyat Islands and other Omani beaches.

Source: happytrips

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