Oman keeps popping up as one of the best countries to visit over the last few years. It’s a stunning destination that has a lot to offer in terms of culture, food, natural beauty and more. This part of your Oman Travel Guide lists the best outdoor activities in Muscat as well as day trips around the capital city. Ready to have some fun in Oman?
Also make sure not miss out on learning about Omani culture and marvel at traditional architecture with this travel guide of Muscat’s Cultural Highlights. Muscat is also great for Middle Eastern food (it’s so delicious!) and I’ve compiled a list of authentic food spots for you.
Cool off in crystal clear water at Wadi Shab
You can’t miss Wadi Shab when you’re in Oman. It’s like paradise, really. You will have to go on a little hike into the wadi, a dry valley/ravine, but then will be rewarded with turquoise pools where you can cool off. The three times I went, it looked different every single time due to changes in weather. Heavy rainfalls and floods can change the whole landscape.
It’s about a 2 hour drive from Muscat and on the way you should stop at the Bimmah Sink Hole on the way.
Beach day and snorkeling at Oman Dive Centre
ODC is great for a beach day. It’s a private beach so you need to pay a small entry fee but it’s worth it. You can rent some snorkeling gear and explore the rocky reefs or maybe take a diving lesson. I loved simply chilling on a lounger, smoking a shisha and eating a camel burger. It gets busier around 5pm when people flock there for a few drinks and shisha at the bar so maybe bring a change of clothes.
Take a boat trip and camp in one of the small bays
This is one of my fondest memories of my time in Oman. My friends took us out on a boat to explore remote bays and islands. We snorkeled and even went on a short guided dive. The owner of the boat caught some fish which we cooked over a fire. Watching the sunset from the boat was really magical. On a second trip, we hired a taxi boat to a remote bay where we camped for the night. Imagine lying on the beach and staring into a starry night sky… Perfect!
These stunning dunes between Muscat and Sur are home to the Bedu. You will get to see their traditional way of life and learn more about their nomadic lifestyle. You can drive through the dunes in a 4×4 just as a day trip. But consider staying in a desert camp overnight. The starry night sky will surely amaze you.
Quad biking in Bawshar Sands
Bawshar is a neighbourhood in Muscat with sand dunes. You can rent quads or bash up the dunes in your 4WD. It’s really fun going with the quads and there are different routes you can take, some easier than others. We also went with a bunch of friends one night in their 4WD – what a bumpy ride… It’s actually super difficult to get your car to go up those dunes. But when we made it, we were rewarded with some cool views over Muscat. We even ran into two guys of which one was playing us some traditional Omani music.
Half-day trip to Al Sawadi Beach
If you’re looking for an activity filled day, you can head to Sawadi Beach. You can rent jetskis, go kitesurfing or horseback riding. With the many islands around it, it’s great for snorkeling, too. When it’s low tide, you can even walk to a little island which has a fort. Sawadi Beach is about 75km north of Muscat and when I was las there, there weren’t many shops around so make sure to stock up on water and snacks.
Explore the Fort of Nizwa
The impressive fort was built in the 17th century by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’ribi and gives you an insight into Omani tradition. Walk through Nizwa’s palm oasis and head to the souk to marvel at the beautiful Bedouin silver jewellery. With a 1.5 hours drive from Muscat, Nizwa makes for a great day trip.
Picnic at Jebel Shams
With 3009m, Jebel Shams is Oman’s highest mountain. It translates to Mountain of the Sun and the views from the top into the deep Wadi Ghul are spectacular. Wadi Ghul is also known as the Grand Canyon of Arabia and has vertical cliffs of 1000m and more. It’s a very popular place for camping and picnicking – but make sure to bring enough supplies as there are no shops or facilities.
Get your sweat on at Qurum Beach
Qurum Beach is a long stretch of beach that’s really great for running, working out or playing some football. When you’re done sweating, relax underneath the palm trees in the sand or get a milkshake from a cafe in Shatti Al Qurum.
Stay tuned for more posts on what to do in Oman!