1. The magic of the old town in Muscat
Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, is the starting point for a journey of discovery through the Arab country. With its traditional architecture and the lack of gigantism in other Gulf states, the metropolis is the most humble capital of the Arabian Peninsula. The old town Old Muscat and nearby Mutrah are interesting for tourists.
2. Bait Al Zubair and the historic Highlights
Old Muscat is still surrounded by the historic city wall, the gates of which were closed at sunset until 1970. Modern times have begun today. The new Sultan’s Palace, in which Sultan Qabus ibn Said receives state guests, is a symbol of this. In the old townhouse Bait al Zubair, there is a small ethnological museum.
3. Discover Mutrah
It is much more lively in Mutrah. Hotels, restaurants, and cafes can be found here. Our tip: An evening stroll along the waterfront, when the setting sun colors the nearby mountains golden and fishing boats and cruise ships dock in the harbor.
4. Shopping in the Souq in Murata
The heart of every Arab city is the souq, the market. In the Souq in Murata, you feel like in the Orient of 1001 nights. Traditional handicrafts and silver jewelry are particularly beautiful souvenirs. Exceptional is the traditional curved daggers, which are part of the standard equipment of every Omani. Tip: After great shopping, there are refreshing shakes at the entrance.
5. Visit the great Sultan Qaboos mosque
The Sultanate of Oman is a profoundly Islamic country. The massive Sultan Qaboos Mosque in Al Ghubrah near Muscat is a superlative building: 20,000 worshipers have space here, the 70 x 60-meter hand-knotted prayer rug is worth several million francs, the 8-ton chandelier consists of over 1000 Swarowski crystals. Expensive clothing is required.
6. Have you heard of the Holy Steam?
Holy steam: Oman’s southern region of Dhofar is the Bordeaux of frankincense. Nowhere is the resin of the same quality. There are 60,000 frankincense trees in the desert-like Wadi Dawkah near Salalah. You can watch the harvest from April in the Unesco World Natural Heritage.
7. Spend the night like Sultan
You can spend the night like a sultan in the Sultanate of Oman. The legendary 5-star Al Bustan Palace near Muscat offers a mix of Arabic architecture and Art Deco elements. The 5-star superior hotel The Chedi near Muscat now has an offshoot in Andermatt – in Oman, you certainly feel like you are in an Arabian fairy tale. The Six Senses Hidaway bungalow resort on the Musandam tours Peninsula is a remote Robinson paradise of the highest luxury.
8. Discover the border town of Al Ain
In the middle of the desert, the border town Al Ain is on the side of the United Arab Emirates. The modern city once emerged from an oasis, the remains of which still exist today as a large palm grove in the middle of the town. The camel market, where load and racing camels are sold, is chaotic and traditional.
9. Be there at the camel race
Camel racing is a national sport throughout the Arab world. The most famous races in Oman take place in Al Fulayj near Seeb. The sluggish appearance is deceptive: the top camels can reach speeds of up to 60 km / h. Bloodless bullfights take place in neighboring Barka from November to April.
10. Admire the sunrise
From Oman’s highest mountain Jebel Shams (3000 meters), you have a magnificent view of the barren land. The highlight is the view of the 1000-meter-deep Wadi Ghul valley, the Grand Canyon of Arabia. The summit can be reached with an off-roader over a bumpy slope. Our tip: Spend the night on-site and admire the sunrise.
11. Discover Oman as an outdoor activity paradise
Oman is an outdoor activity paradise. The coast of the Indian Ocean offers excellent diving spots on coral reefs and shipwrecks. In the Hajar Mountains, you can climb, hike, paraglide, abseil, explore caves to your heart’s content. The desert is a giant sandpit for camel trekking and 4WD adventures. The hotels help organize trips.
12. The ultimate desert experience
The ultimate desert experience is in the Sharqiya Sands in the northeast of the country. Here you can ski on the sand, spend the night under the stars, ride camels or try out your driving skills with a 4WD. Tip: The 1000 Nights Camp offers Bedouin experience in tents with appealing luxury.
13. Basic vacation in Oman
Where the sea meets sand and mountains, fantastic and deserted beaches are guaranteed. But: amenities such as showers, toilets, restaurants are usually only available in hotels. The most spectacular beach is Mugsail Beach near Salalah with high cliffs, miles of sandy beach, and countless flamingos. Tip: The small restaurant rents out romantic beach huts.
14. Watch dolphins and whales
Oman is a dream for animal lovers. On a boat tour, you can often see dolphins and occasionally whales. An absolute highlight with Jööö effect is the observation of the green sea turtles on the beach of Ras al-Jinz. July is the high season for egg-laying. Only possible with a guided tour.
15. Visit castles and fortresses
There are around 500 castles and fortresses in Oman. In 1987, the HisnTamah fortress in the oasis town of Bahla was ennobled by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The fort, traditionally built from dried mud bricks, is a formidable example of Arab defense architecture. Souvenir tip: Bahla is famous for its pottery.
16. Experience the desert
Dhofar in the south of Oman is a rain paradise in the desert in summer: the khareef, the southwest monsoon, brings rain, fog, and a green and colorful carpet of plants. Best time to go: September when the mountains are green, but the weather is dry again. The capital Salalah has a worth seeing incense museum and an incense souq. The foothills of the Rub al Khali, the largest sandy desert in the world, extend in the hinterland. An excursion into the misanthropic wasteland is an unforgettable experience. Hotels organize trips.
17. Try a dhow ride
Scandinavia meets the Orient! The absolute highlight of the isolated Musandam Peninsula is a trip on a dhow, a traditional wooden boat, along the rugged coast. The deep cuts are reminiscent of the fjords of Norway. Dolphins accompany the ship, freshly caught fish is grilled at lunchtime – wonderful! Tours can quickly be booked in the main town of Khasab.
18. Experience the Robinson feeling
Feel like a shipwreck on an (almost) lonely island: The island of Masirah on the east coast is far from the tourist crowds. The hilly island is lined with romantic beaches that can only be reached by 4×4. Tip: There is the perfect Robinson feeling when camping on the beach.
19. Gather the experiences of nature
One of the most beautiful natural experiences in Oman is the so-called Wadis Valley, through which rivers gush when it rains. One of the most beautiful wadis is the Wadi Shab near Sur. Between steep cliffs, surrounded by palm trees, there are turquoise-green pools where you can swim. Brave people use high rocks as a springboard.
20. Enjoy the Arabic cuisine
Cardamom, coriander, cumin: Arabic cuisine is rich in hearty spices. If you get involved with the typical local food, you can help your taste buds reach unexpected heights. Beef, lamb, goat, and camel are served on the plate—courage when you are invited to a traditional meal by the hospitable Omanis. Don’t forget: You can only use your right hand to eat!