As a tourist destination, Oman is shamefully underrated, and isn’t as well-known as (we think) it should be.
But those who are in the know love the Sultanate for its wonderful wadis, gorgeous hikes and diving spots.
Here we’ve rounded up all the famous things in Oman, so you know exactly what the Sultanate is known for.
Al Alam Palace
The late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said’s palace in Muscat is instantly recognisable thanks to its bright colour scheme. Although you can’t go inside, the building is absolutely stunning and you won’t be able to resist snapping a picture outside.
There’s a legend that the Bimmah Sinkhole was created by a falling star - hence its name in Arabic, Hawiyat Najm which means ‘the deep well of the (falling) star’. This spot is ever-popular with tourists, and you’ll see plenty of people swimming in the turquoise waters.
Diving in Oman should be on the top of your to do list, and there’s no better place to go than the Daymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve. Both the Hawksbill sea turtle, which is critically endangered, and the Green Turtle nest on the shores of the nine islands that make up the reserve, so you’ll see plenty in the clear waters. Plus, there’s coral reefs for you to explore.
The Green Mountain is known for two things - the lush greenery (duh), and the incredible sunsets. In fact, Jebel Akhdar was recently named as one of the top places in the world to watch the sun set - thanks to the amazing wadis it overlooks. At its highest point, it lies 9,780 ft above sea level, so it offers travellers a decent hike too.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
There’s so much to see inside the amazing Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque that you might be too wrapped up in all the sights to look down - but you definitely should. The prayer carpet has 1,700,000,000 knots, weighs 21 tonnes and was once the world’s largest single-piece carpet in the world. Although it has since lost its crown to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, it’s still pretty amazing. The show-stopping chandelier in the same room was also once the world’s largest, but Abu Dhabi’s mosque once again took the title when it was completed in 2007.
Bartering for a bargaining in a traditional souq is an essential part of any trip to the Middle East, and the Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest in Oman. Items on sale here are very eclectic, and you’ll have a great deal of fun if you embrace getting lost.
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
Many travellers come to Oman for turtle hatching season when some 20,000 turtles come to the Sultanate’s shores to lay their eggs. The Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve takes tourists on night-time excursions to see the turtles, which include the Green Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, and the endangered Hawksbill Turtle, at work. It’s really something to behold.
There are so many incredible wadis scattered across Oman, but one of our favourites is Wadi Shab. It’s around an hour and 40 minute drive away from Muscat, and you’ll be wowed by the gorgeous pools of clear blue water. Plus, if you’re willing to go on a bit of a hike, there’s even a waterfall cave for you to explore.
No trip to the Middle East would be complete without a trip to the desert, and the Wahiba Sands, or Sharqiya Sands, are just a two hour drive from Muscat. Drive around huge sand dunes, or stay overnight and do a bit of stargazing.