Oman is really well developed, the majority of the people speak English and are modern in their way of thinking. Infrastructure is one of the best out there but they don’t want to be the next Dubai. The buildings that are built have the original Arab look with a modern touch. If that wasn’t convincing enough, the country is voted as one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world.
Oman Route Guide
Oman is a huge country and to see the whole country you will probably need 2-3 weeks. We narrowed it down to a 10-day self-driving route. This is one of the best countries to drive around yourself. Infrastructure is perfect, people are super friendly and petrol is affordable.
This 10-day route will take you around the best highlights of Oman.
Day 1 – 2: Explore Muscat
Muscat is Oman’s capital city and home to many expats. It hosts the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Muttrah Souq, and the Royal Opera House.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is Oman’s most important spiritual site. This architectural masterpiece opened in 2001. It’s required for both men and women to wear long sleeve tops and long pants to the ankle. For women, bring a scarf to cover your hair.
The mosque’s entrance is free. It is open to non-muslims every day from 8 AM to 11 AM except Friday. Friday is prayers day.
Oman citizens are a big mix of Omani, Indian and African people. You can notice this at Muttrah souq where many shops are selling Omani and Indian items. But also everyday items you use in your kitchen.
Tip: Fridays and Saturdays are weekend days and some parts of the souq will be closed.
Lunch at Kargeen
The restaurant Kargeen is a small great hideout in the middle of the city. Escape from the heat of the sun and have a great lunch at this well-decorated place.
Go on a dolphin-spotting trip
Spend the morning on a boat spotting dolphins just out of Muscat. It is almost guaranteed that you will see dolphins. A morning tour should cost OMR 17 (45 USD).
Muscat has quite a few affordable Airbnb’s. Get $50 discount on your first Airbnb booking.
Day 3 – 4: Muscat to Sur
After those first two days, drive down the perfect route towards the coastline. This is an easy 90-minute drive, all highway.
After a good 90 minutes of driving, you will reach Bimmah Sinkhole. This is probably one of the most incredible natural swimming pools you will ever see. The water is a beautiful turquoise color and one of the best cooldowns during the heat of the day. The story lives that a meteor created the hole.
Wadi Shab meaning gorge between the cliff is a must-visit! From Bimmah Sinkhole, drive about 20 minutes to reach the parking spot.
Make sure to buy some extra water and head to the river. Pay 1 OMR to cross the river, from there it’s a 45 min walk to the swimming point. You will need about 3 – 4 hours here. Book a day trip here or find more information in the link down below.
Sur is formerly known as a trading point where the harbor did a lot of business with East-Africa. Because of this, you will see a larger population of formerly African people in this area.
Sur is a beautiful town surrounds by old architecture, visit the lighthouse, fort and see some of the real local life. Sur is also a good place to spend the night.
Turtles nesting ground
At Ras Al Jinz, which is about 35 minutes from Sur, there is a protected turtle nesting area. You can visit the museum and join the turtle spotting tour during sunrise or after sunset.
If you don’t want to drive back and forward to Sur, you can also spend the night here.
Day 5 – 6: Desert days
From Sur, follow your way to the desert and stop in between at Wadi Bani Khalid. Take a refreshing dip and drive to your desert camp in the Wahiba Sands. Most of the camps can be reached by driving a 4×4 yourself but do ask your host, they might arrange a pick-up. If your planning to drive yourself, deflate your tires a bit at one of the local shops.
Plan to stay two nights in the desert, explore the area by car or camel, go stargazing and experience living between the dunes
Day 7 – 8: Nizwa
On day 7 you will drive the longest distance. Follow your journey to Birkat Al Mouz, one of the old villages surrounded by green banana plantations. Use around 1 hour to explore the ruins here. The drive from the desert takes about 2 hours.
From Birkat Al Mouz, drive to the historical town called Nizwa. See one of Oman’s oldest forts, Nizwa Fort and wander around at Nizwa Souq. Read more about the fort in the link down below.
The next morning, hop back in your car and drive to the Al Hamra region. Set course to Misfat Al Abriyeen, where you can spend the night at a homestay in a beautiful area. Make sure to be early, to fully experience the magical sunset.
Day 9 – 10: Cool down in the Mountains
One your last days, drive up to Jabal Akhdar and spend the night at 2000 meter above sea level. To drive up here you are required to have a 4×4 car. Same as Al Hamra, make sure to be there early to fully experience the sunset.
The next morning, enjoy your breakfast and drive back to Muscat to catch your flight.
Getting around in Oman
Oman is probably one of the best countries to get around by yourself. Infrastructure is very, very good and fuel is cheap. To follow this 10-day Oman route guide you will need a 4×4 in the desert and up in the mountains. Renting a 4×4 costs around $950 for 10 days.
Google Maps turn-by-turn navigation doesn’t work in Oman but on iOS, there’s another app called ‘Here we go’ which works perfectly.
Best time to visit Oman
Oman is best to visit during their winter which runs from October until March. Weather will be between 20 and 30 degrees.
Summer temperatures go anywhere from 35 to 50 degrees.
If you’re planning to visit the mountains like Jabal Akhdar, you should plan a visit in summer when temperatures rise from 0 in winter to 30 in summer.
Food in Oman
The food in Oman is a mix of the Arabian and Indian kitchen. You will mostly find delicious bread, curries, dates, and kebabs.
Oman Route Guide: Oman Visa
Getting a visa in Oman is super easy. E-visa can be requested online. It will costs you around $45 per visa, depending on the country you are from. It takes anywhere from 2 days to 1 week to receive your visa via email.
What to wear in Oman
Oman is very modern and open in what you wear. They don’t give you a set of clothing rules once you enter the country. It is respectful to always cover up your upper body, shoulders, and wear shorts or skirts over your knees.
Again, Omani people are very modern and they will only really ask you to cover up when you are on a religious site.
Costs of traveling in Oman
Oman is not a budget travel country. Prices change depending on the kind of comfort you would like.
- Hotel: 70 USD / night
- Food: 20 – 60 USD / day
- Transport: 950 USD / 10 days
- Water: 0.50 USD / 1.5L
- Fruit: 1.60 USD / bunch of bananas
- Fuel: 30 USD / 60L
For more information about Oman visit visitoman.nl. Be advised: Drones in Oman are not allowed without a license.