Are you desperately searching for a cool new travel destination? Perhaps this time you would like to visit an unconventional and untouristy place? Then Oman is ideal for you! Let’s cut to the chase, and provide you with our list of 10 things to see in Oman.

This fascinating country has been striving to become one of the main tourist destinations of the Arabian Peninsula for some years. Over the next few years, we expect it to become a leading destination, like its UAE’s neighbours. Would we be the ones not to find you a guide? Before mass – tourism kicks in, we want you to visit a mysterious land full of history.

Absolutely, not! We just couldn’t be that mean!

So, let’s start by telling you that you’ll be amazed by the warm and friendly welcome of the Omanis. They let you fall in love with this country. And while we’re on the subject of expectations, if you think Oman is just desert and sand, well … You’re on the right track! Mostly, it’s just like that, but the best part is discovering the wonders that the desert hides! Personally, I was impressed by the number of magnificent places I stumbled upon. Oases set among rocks and mountains, such as the famous Grand Canyon of Arabia. Cities packed with history and unforgettable locations, which run down from the dunes to the blue of the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. A wild and extreme nature, but also metropolises such as the capital Muscat, as well as history-rich fortified towns such as Nizwa and Bhala.

And if you think we’ve only included Omani dunes and cities on our list of things to see, you’re wrong! We have so much more planned! Bring your swimsuit because there are magnificent beaches in Oman. You can lay turtles eggs or dive into the wadi, the freshwater springs of Oman. And let’s suppose you don’t like marinating in water. Not a problem! There are also hiking trails up to 3,000 metres above sea level, on the Hajar Mountains and up to Jabel Shams, the highest peak in the country.

In short, I would say that you will have splendid days packed with unforgettable adventures. All you have to do is jot down the 10 things to see in Oman. Are you ready to save this article among your favourites?

Muscat, the capital

There you are, landing in Oman. Once you arrive, leave the international airport and enjoy the capital, Muscat.

Your trip to Oman can only begin from here. This city is unique: every street exudes history and traditions. It is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East; this area has been inhabited since the Neolithic era. Several archaeological remains document the existence in the fifth millennium BC of a small fishing village. Perhaps the precursor of today’s city.

The capital is located on the coast and has the peculiarity of lacking even one skyscraper. I am sure that we all appreciate the wonderful skylines of the most modern cities. But the charm of a capital that has remained true to itself is unique! So, what is there to see in Muscat?

The most picturesque area is the Old Town. You will find Al Alam Palace, the Sultan’s Palace, and the ancient souq (street market) there. Another must is the fish market at the port of Mutrah. A stroll along the waterfront, crossing the shop-lined streets selling food and typical products, will take you to another era. The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is another place to see in Oman. Before the Abu Dhabi Mosque was built, the Omani Mosque was the largest and held several records. Today, some have been lost to other places of worship, but its charm remains intact. In short, one of the 10 things to see in Oman.

People walk in front of the mosque of Sultan Qaabos
The Sultan Qaboos Mosque

Ras al Jinz: Oman’s Turtle Beach

As we’ve said, not only cities and deserts: Oman also offers wonderful beaches.

Case and point, Ras al Jinz is one of the 10 things to visit in Oman. It is located in the Ash Sharqiyah region, 60 km from the city of Sur. This beach was once a safe shelter for ships in bad weather and, later, also a landing place for aircraft during World War II. But what attracts us here today? Turtles! Ras al Jinz is not called “turtle beach” by chance! And who are we to not take a peek?

Part of Ras al Hadd park, this beach has become the Reserve of green turtles. Every year, thousands of specimens reach these coasts to nest and lay their eggs. In the ideal period, at sunrise and sunset, between September and November, you can reach the shore and witness the hatching of eggs thanks to local guides, followed by the strenuous shuffle of the baby turtles towards the sea. Of course, you need a lot of luck. In any case, this wonderful beach is worth the price of the plane ticket and deserves a place on the list of 10 things to see in Oman!

Three turtles on Ras al Jinz beach in Oman
Ras al Jinz: the “turtle beach” of Oman

The forts of Nizwa and Bahla

You shouldn’t miss its fortified cities among the things to visit in Oman. In some ways, these towns are more evocative than the capital itself. They have a unique charm and will allow you to immerse yourself in Omani culture.

Nizwa is the kingdom’s ancient capital, and you should expect a surreal atmosphere. But don’t think about being immersed in splendour or luxury. Au contraire! The city is very conservative and everything seems to belong to a bygone era. Enjoy a mosey through the souq. It is one of the oldest in the country. Keep in mind that there is a cattle market on Fridays. This tradition has lasted for centuries and is very evocative, as the animals are “paraded” out, before starting the auction. (Think shining goats and dromedaries being led, like film stars on Hollywood’s red carpet.) Among narrow streets, luminaries and ochre-coloured buildings, finally visit the famous fort of Nizwa. Dating back to the seventeenth century, it has a characteristic circular plan. Its central tower, 45 metres in diameter, stands out in the distance as you approach the city.

Typical old buildings in Nizwa

Bahla is another wonderful fort, which you cannot miss visiting while in Oman. You should know that it is a UNESCO heritage site, and Bahla’s fort dates back to the pre-Islamic age. So much history, but also so much beauty. After the restoration, which lasted eight years, it is now one of the most majestic structures in the country (considering that it can be seen from miles away). Around the fort, there is now an almost abandoned small village. It’s particular because the houses are built of raw bricks; in short, a tiny Omani jewel.

View of Bahla Fort by day
The Fort of Bahla

Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab: the Omani springs

Ladies and gentlemen, we have included the Wadi among the 10 things to see in Oman. Now you must be wondering what they are. This Arabic word indicates those typical Arab waterways, such as the ones in Oman. Due to the drought, the river beds are often bone-dry, but when the rains arrive, they create real oases of fresh and crystalline water. They create beautiful pools that are even navigable with small boats. Nestled between desert rocks and sand, they create a must-see.

Near the city of Sur, the Wadi Bani Khalid is very trendy with tourists. Also, locals like it because it is easily accessible by parking your car a few metres away. The path will take you along the river in search of a spot that most inspires you for a nice swim. Initially, you come across a picnic area and a small bar. If you are more adventurous, you will arrive at some basins that are not equipped, but in some ways are far more fascinating. Here are small gorges dug by erosion and beautiful turquoise water.

People bathing among the white rocks of Wadi Bani Khalid
The Wadi Bani Khali

Wadi Shab is another Omani pearl and will amaze you with its wonderful spring waters. In this case, bring some rock shoes, because you may have to climb a bit through the rocks. Once you arrive by car, you can reach the other side of the river via a small boat. You will begin an hour-long walk that leads to the first basin. If you are so fearless as to continue, walking and swimming a little longer, you will find a fantastic cave with a waterfall, which carves itself into the rock. I’m already packing. What about you?

The Wadi Shab rocks by day
The Wadi Shab

South, the Omani “shipyard”

After swimming in the Wadi, make a stop in the coastal town of Sur.

This city is located on the east coast, three hours from Muscat. It is an ideal intermediate stop after being in Wadi Shab. Its maritime nature has made it famous all over the world. It is the place where Oman’s typical boat, the dhow, was built.

Taking a trip on this wooden boat is a truly unique experience. If you suffer from seasickness, you can still appreciate the maritime atmosphere of Sur by visiting some of the last traditional construction sites. There, you can see how a dhow is born first-hand.

As in other cities, two forts dominate the scene: Sunaysilah Castle and Bilad Sur Castle. Take a pleasant walk on the seafront of Sur, the corniche. Enjoy the “skyline” and the evocative lights of the sunset.

The city of Sur and the famous dhow by day
The city of Sur and the famous dhows

Jebel Shams, the mountain of the sun

You’ve already decided to visit, haven’t you? So, if you still don’t know what to see in Oman in seven days, remember to include the Omani mountains in your itinerary.

Oman has yet to finish surprising you. Of course, its historic fortified cities and magnificent wadi have already made a breakthrough in your heart. Now it is really time to take it up a notch and get going. Do not worry, the routes are not complicated. Given the vastness of this country, you will still have to make most of the trip by car to the village Al Hamra. Here you will be welcomed by the locals with their handcrafted souvenir stalls and you will find the beginning of the path.

“Everything that is illuminated by sunlight will one day be yours, Simba.” Once you reach the top of Jebel Shams, 3,008 metres above sea level, you will feel like the king of the savannah. But let’s not get confused, we are still in the Omani arid areas. You will come across a lunar landscape, to say the least, breathtaking and you can walk along an impressive gorge. Here you won’t meet many people, (aren’t you a happy lone wolf?) and not even many animals, besides some raptors soaring overhead.

A truly evocative scenery, where you will almost feel like reaching for the sky. It is no coincidence that Jebel Shams is called the “mountain of the sun“.

A person on top of Jebel Shams, the mountain of the sun
Jebel Shams, the Sun Mountain

The white beaches of Salalah

It wouldn’t be a real vacation without a few days at the beach, would it? Oman can welcome you with its wonderful white beaches.

We travel south, to the border with Yemen, specifically to the city of Salalah. It has been the reference point for the incense trade for centuries, but its position, overlooking the Indian Ocean, makes it special. The Dhofar region, which hosts Salalah, is characterised by long and heavenly beaches; white sand and crystal clear water, surrounded by mountain ranges, dunes and desert plateaus. All in all, quite a sight!

In Salalah, you will find extraordinary resorts, with fabulous beaches dedicated to tourists. You should always remember, that women cannot show their bodies by wearing bikinis in Muslim countries. Out of respect, women are invited to use private beaches in Oman, such as hotel ones, where you can sport your swimwear. After all, visiting a country also primarily means respecting its culture.

The white beaches of Salalah by day
The white beaches of Salalah

The “Sugar Dunes”

Let’s just make it clear that you’re going to drive for miles in Oman. It is nothing like the hours you would spend in traffic to get to work, don’t worry. Here from the window, you will see unforgettable landscapes and in the end, you will reach wonderful destinations. Given the above, we can include Sugar Dunes among the 10 things to see in Oman.

This magical place is located 450 kilometres south of Muscat (do you understand my premise now?), but the view is then worth the trip, guaranteed. In this area of the Omani desert, the wind has created large dunes of very light sand, which flow directly onto the beach. The view is really unique!

Among the experiences you can have here, sleeping in a tent on the “sugar” dunes is certainly the most amazing. At sunrise and sunset, the spectacle of sugar dunes is surprising: the colours and atmosphere that are created will wipe away the many kilometres of road.

The fine white sand of the Sugar Dunes
The Sugar Dunes

The Pink Lake

A good traveller needs a curious spirit; this is another destination that distances itself a little from the classic tourist itineraries in Oman. Even in this case, you will need to roam several kilometres, but by now you will have understood that beautiful things must be conquered. And then, straight to Pink Lake!

Let’s say that if you are planning to see the beautiful Sugar Dunes, then you are on the right path for an unmissable intermediate stage! Along the coast, 300 kilometres from Muscat you will find Pink Lake, a real spectacle of nature.

The lake’s colour will leave you breathless. The pink colour, which varies in intensity during the seasons, is due to the presence of algae and bacteria. To think that amid miles of deserts, after white beaches, mountain ranges and fortified cities, one can see such a wonder may seem like a dream. But that is not the case! So what else does this amazing country have to offer? Discover the last of the 10 things to see in Oman.

The pink waters of Pink Lake
The Pink Lake waters

The Daymaniyat Islands

Could we have skipped heavenly islands on your journey? Not a chance! Oman continues to surprise us. Not far from the capital there are the Daymaniyat islands, an archipelago declared a UNESCO natural reserve.

Muscat organises numerous day trips to enjoy these nine beautiful rocky islands. Sailing is an opportunity to spot dolphins. At every possible chance, you can snorkel and observe colourful fish, turtles and an extraordinary coral reef up close. After a swim and a few dives in this marine protected area, Oman will surely have burned a place in your heart.

The sea breaks on the rocks of the Daymaniyat Islands
A landscape of the Daymaniyat Islands

Oman is still unknown to mass tourism, but the sands of time are shifting. All the wonders it has to offer will soon attract travellers from all over the world. Today you can still pick Oman for a unique and alternative holiday. “I’m going to Oman!” is still a phrase that you don’t hear so often and you amaze everyone, but above all yourself, if you choose this destination. You can discover the culture of a Sultanate and witness its ancient splendours: palaces, mosques and souks. But above all, you can experience the welcome of the Omanis. Last but not least, Oman will conquer you thanks to its wild and unique nature.

In short, the 10 things to see in Oman await you!

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team