Oman a Hidden Treasure
By Ola Endress
Oman has so much more to offer than you could ever imagine.
It exceeds expectations, it ignites your sense of adventure and fuels your desire to spread your wings and fly through canyons and dive into majestic caves.
Once you step off that plane you are instantly transformed to a place that hasn’t changed in time. It’s as if you were one of the first people to discover it’s beauty of natural landscapes, hidden meandering opal blue waters and the type of oasis’s that can only exist in the deserts found in the Middle East.
I HIGHLY recommend visiting Oman. The beauty is in its people, the country, the food and its alluring presence of natural wonders everywhere you turn. (Don’t worry this place is really safe to travel around, just be respectful at all times)
Sometimes it pains me if its worth even telling people about the places I go to, my fear that it becomes destroyed by ungrateful tourists who seem to think they have a “right” to leave rubbish behind, to destroy and ruin places just because they have no conscience but then I remember why I made this blog in the first place. It was and is to encourage people to do more with their life, to make the most of it and for people to see that time is not given to us as if its a guaranteed routine, like that coffee that you pay for every morning. Money cant buy time and it certainly cant promise you tomorrow. So I hope you visit some of these places I write about or at least put it on your list for now.
Lets dive in..
First recommendation is to get a car if you would like to see these places it makes it very easy and is rather cost effective, especially with how cheap petrol is in the UAE !!. If the information I give is not precise enough, please email me and I will send you more details of how to get to these places via
Heres a video we made (please note this is our first travel video we have ever made, we think we have come a long way since then via quality but excited to show you some of what Oman has to offer)
Bimmah Sinkhole – Is a natural sinkhole which has corroded away over the years which has resulted in the creation of an amazing swimming hole. The carpark is very close to the sink hole and is well sign posted. Make sure you don’t forget your swimmers. We decided to go here first before Wadi Shab and it did not disappoint!
Wadi Shab – Is a oasis going up along side a river, once you get up to a certain point you swim up 200m and squeeze inside a narrow cave which opens up into a waterfall. .What to bring: Loose change to tip the boat driver (who takes you across to start the walk). Walking shoes and be fit enough to walk an hour through canyons. Comfortable clothing and lots of water ! This is a MUST do..
Sur – Is the last stop along the coast after visiting Bimmah sinkhole and Wadi shab. Its an old fishing town thats got forts scattered throughout it. I would recommend this if you still have energy after doing the other two however isn’t too bad if you miss (#fomo)
Nizwa – Is a awesome little town centred around a big fort. Its also has a market with many souqs to have a look around. Highly recommend stopping off here on your way up to the mountains. Just be mindful that the culture is very different to what we are used to in the western world and recommend females to cover up as you may get some uncomfortable looks. (I somehow decided it would be ok if I was wearing shorts because it was so HOT!, I learned very quickly how wrong I was, especially because I am brown (I am expected to know better) and quickly put some pants over them (lol) This area specialises in Halwa which is a must try middle eastern treat. Yummmy!
Tanuf – If ruins is something you’re into I highly recommend driving through this little town on your journey into the hills. We drove through and stumbled across many ruins which we decided to pull over and explore.
Misfat Al Abriyen – This was one of my favourite parts of the trip exploring this beautiful little village located on a hill top overlooking local farms and crops. We had a tea with an amazing view, tasted some local honey and walked down the valley, into a forest of crops. As you can see its a 2hr29 drive without stopping which makes for a long day. We managed to do it all in one day leaving early in the morning however would have preferred to stay the night at a nice hotel over looking one of the valleys somewhere.
*I would recommend getting accomodation somewhere in Misfat al Abriyyin or even, Jebal Shams or Jebel Akhdar. Despite not going to the last two, research tells me they are also really nice and worth exploring. Another additional activity we unfortunately didn’t get to do would have been to visit the Al Hoota Cave which also look really cool. This would give you another day in this area to explore and have a better look around.
Mutrah Souq – Just a 20min drive from the centre of Muscat. It is a huge souq which is very impressive to wander around and do some shopping. I recommend having a look around the fish market (probably not the best thing to see if you are a vegan, so I let James and Amanda do all of that exploring) and then wandered over to the main souq, This will take you for a walk around the Marina where they often have big boats parked up. You might even see a ridiculously huge luxury yacht owned by Sultan Qaboos Al Said, it worth a measly US $300,000,000, chub change right?
Riyam park – Is just a short walk around the coast from Mutrah souq and a good place to relax after the hustle and bustle of wandering around the souqs. There’s water activities and slides etc, however we just lay under a tree to get some shade before our next activities.
Muscat Hills Resort – ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE…I highly recommend spending a night or two, it is absolutely breathtaking and there is so much to explore around the area. If you need to unwind this is probably the best place to do it (with a cocktail or two of course)
Shangri-la Baar AL – Once you come through these doors, you will feel like you are on the set of an Aladdin movie. Everything you could possibly want or need in a hotel is already available to you. There are 6 swimming pools! incase you get bored of some of them, so many activities such as water sports and my favorite mini golf!, a wide variety of restaurants and more. This is a getaway within a getaway.
Shatti Qurum beach – We would end most evenings at this beach watching the sunset. Its an amazing spot to go for a sunset swim whilst watching locals play football and have BBQs on the beach (if you are going to be swimming here, if you are a woman make sure you cover up!)
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – Took 6 years and 7 months to build and it was worth the wait. It is well worth going and having a look at. Be careful however as there are certain times for males/females to enter so make sure you do some research before you go.
Mohammed Al Ameen – If you are staying in Muscat and look up toward the hills theres a high chance you will spot this Mosque at night. As they light it up purple and gold. We went for a walk up to it one night and had a look around it. Recommend doing it if you have time.
Our top tips: would be to hire a car as it makes all these areas easily accessible without having to pay big money to do a tour. We would recommend to dress appropriately especially in areas such as souqs & mosques. Take water when you are out and about because some of the areas we talked about don’t have too many shops.
Food in Oman: Has a massive Turkish influence which we loved. I do warn you everything seems to come with amazing Turkish bread so be prepared to consume some carbs. We found a nice little restaurant which did falafel’s, 3 mains and 3 non alcoholic drinks for less than $12US so try and beat that !!
Thanks so much for reading.
If you haven’t added Oman to your list, I hope I have inspired you in some way to visit.
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Special thanks to Etihad airways for getting us to Oman safely. Hotels featured for providing us with an amazing experience. James for being the ultimate travel partner in all my adventures and to Ali & Amanda for making this trip happen, creating a lifetime of memories.
Until the next blog,