Scuba-Diving :

Oman is one of the most popular diving destinations in the region. It has an exceptionally diverse marine life and a number of marine cliffs, small islands, bays and caves, as well as a diverse and unique marine life and coral reefs. The best months for diving in Oman are the period from April to July, but diving can be enjoyed at all times.

The most prominent diving areas around the capital Muscat are: Al Khayran, Al Fahil Island, Dimaniyat Islands, Al Makbara Bay (Old Muscat), in addition to Al Jissah Beach. Each of the above mentioned locations contains not less than 11 different diving sites, each with a diverse environment.

    Destinations for Diving

  • Bandar Khayran Reserve
  • Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Al-Halaneyat Islands
  • Masirah Island
  • Al-Sawadi Beach

Cruises :

Cruises in Oman are an inseparable part of its history. Oman is surrounded by the sea and Omanis are famous for their love of their azure waters. Some villages in Oman, like Kumzar village in the far north, can only be reached by boat.

Cruises abound from many beaches and cities, and there are specialized centers such as: Marina Bandar Al Rawda in Muscat Governorate. Many tour operators organize a variety of activities, whether it is watching dolphins or sailing. These tours are not limited to the capital Muscat, as both Musandam and the city of Sur in A`Sharqiyah Region(Eastern Region) are famous for their marine trips. There is barely a beach in Oman that does not organize such trips.

Mountain Climbing :

Omani mountains with their towering heights, rocky and steep slopes and rugged tracks constitute a challenge for any mountaineer. In Oman, there are several climbing areas and their diversity corresponds to the climber’s skill, as there are the paved paths for beginners and the very rugged for the more experienced climber.

Wadi Ghool in A`Sharqiyah Region(Eastern Region) which rises to 300 meters provides an ideal spot for climbing.

Jabal Misht remains the best location for mountain climbing with its rocky front, perhaps the largest in the Arabian Peninsula. Its South-East front extends for approximately 6 kilometers, rising up to 850 meters, providing trails of all levels of difficulty. Musandam Governorate is famous for its many mountains. Also spread around Muscat are hills of various heights for climbing, whether for the beginner or the seasoned professional.

    Destinations for Mountain Climbing

  • Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain)
  • Wadi Damm

Trekking :

Hiking/Trekking season runs from September to May, but the best time for hiking is between October and April. Despite the rough terrain, hiking remains the best way to enjoy the Sultanate’s wonderful mountainous nature.

You can make different excursions of varying degrees of difficulty: from wandering around Muttrah, to walking over the groove edges of Al Shams mountain- Oman`s highest mountain - to reach its peak.

There are plenty of tour operators in the capital and other areas who provide comprehensive tours.

    Destinations for Trekking

  • Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain)
  • Wadi Muayden
  • Wadi AlShab
  • Wadi At Ta`iyeen

Desert Activities :

Deserts differ in their nature and quality of sands, varying from the very soft to the very coarse and dense. This factor constitutes a challenge with regard to desert activities. One of these is called The Badiya Challenge Race. It is given this name due to the extremely soft sand that sinks under your feet as you cross it. The race involves climbing sand dunes from a low area to the top in the shortest possible time, filling participants with a thrilling excitement. Usually these dune races are accompanied by a number of popular and traditional events.

Just as each natural environment has its own beauty and charm, so the desert has its own simple atmosphere and style that are extremely divergent from city life. The desert awaits you with a number of activities, such as cycling with four-wheel drive bicycles, skiing on sand, sand dunning with four-wheel buggies, in addition to the fun of camping under the star-studded desert sky.

    Destinations for Deserts

  • Bawshar Sands
  • Arabian Oryx Protected Area
  • Ramlat Tawq

Camping :

Many people like to take a break away from the hustle and bustle of city life with its pampered lifestyle and go camping to break the routine of their lives. The diverse environment of Oman allows many options when it comes to camping. Camping is enjoyed on Shatti Qantab in Muscat Governorate, Shatti Ras Al Hadd in A`Sharqiyah region, on mountain tops in Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain) or Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) in A`Dakhiliyah region, camping in the desert, both in Badiya sands in A`Sharqiyah, or in The Empty Quarter in Dhofar. This is not to mention the magnificence of camping in Dimaniyat Islands in Al Batinah region, or camping in one of the secluded beaches that spread in Musandam Governorate. Oman is sure to provide versatile options for fans of this outdoor activity.

    Destinations for Camping

  • Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Al-Halaneyat Islands
  • Jabal Shams (Sun Mountain)
  • Wadi Damm
  • Wadi Al Abyad (White Valley)

Caving :

Oman abounds with caves of different sizes, topography and ruggedness, some of which can be accessed with a group of amateurs, like Muqal Cave in Wadi Bani Khalid in A`Sharqiyah Region(Eastern Region), while others need considerable effort, training, experience and specialized equipment, such as Majlis Al Jinn Cave (Salma Plateau) in Muscat Governorate.

Shopping :

Omani markets are characterized by their diversity. Old markets are full of handicrafts such as silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by traditional industries like dagger-making, side by side with modern shopping centers that contain everything the visitor is looking for at the best prices. Shops and precincts open from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon, and from four in afternoon until ten at night for precincts and eleven at night for most retail stores, seven days a week, except Fridays, when they open after four o`clock in the afternoon. For the traditional markets in Oman, the morning hours are the best time for shopping.

    Destinations for Shopping

  • Al Hafah Souq
  • Al Husn Souq
  • Mutrah Souq
  • Nizwa Souq
  • Ar Rustaq Souq

Shopping :

Omani markets are characterized by their diversity. Old markets are full of handicrafts such as silver, gold, textiles and masterpieces produced by traditional industries like dagger-making, side by side with modern shopping centers that contain everything the visitor is looking for at the best prices. Shops and precincts open from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon, and from four in afternoon until ten at night for precincts and eleven at night for most retail stores, seven days a week, except Fridays, when they open after four o`clock in the afternoon. For the traditional markets in Oman, the morning hours are the best time for shopping.

    Destinations for Shopping

  • Al Hafah Souq
  • Al Husn Souq
  • Mutrah Souq
  • Nizwa Souq
  • Ar Rustaq Souq

Bird Watching :

Oman witnesses huge swarms of migratory birds during their seasonal journey between their nesting habitats and the places where they spend winters, especially those birds migrating from Europe and East Asia. Many birds, especially water fowl, migrate from faraway regions like northern Siberia, and travel about five thousand kilometers. Visitors can see many species of birds in each of Oman’s different regions. Al Hikman Peninsula, Masirah Island, Al Wusta region beaches, the Lagoons, the beaches and springs in Dhofar are ideal places for bird observation. Many of these species live in Dimaniyat Islands and in Musandam.

    Destinations for Birds Watching

  • Barr Al Hikman (Al Hikman Peninsula)
  • Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Wadi At Ta`iyeen

Turtle Watching :

Thousands of sea turtles migrate annually from the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and Somalia to lay their eggs on the Sultanate’s shores. Oman has five of the seven species of sea turtles. They are: The Green Turtle, found on most Omani beaches and plentiful in Ras Al Hadd, Ras Al Jinz, Masirah Island and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Loggerhead Turtle that nests on Masirah Island, the shores of Dhofar and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Hawksbill Turtle that nests on the shores of Muscat and Ad Daymaniyat Islands; the Olive Ridley Turtle that nests on Masirah Island; and the Leatherback Turtle which is found in Omani waters but does not nest in the Sultanate. At night, these turtles carrying their heavy shells on their backs, drag themselves out of the water to the beach, and strenuously and with great difficulty, dig a hole in the sand using the tips of their paws so as to bury their eggs and then return to the sea. After about 55 days, the eggs hatch and baby turtles come out to start the most dangerous journey of their lives, trying to avoid hungry foxes, crabs and birds and push their way towards the sea where they can find safety in the waters. Watching the turtles’ night dash to the sea is among the most popular tourist activities.

    Destinations for Turtle Watching

  • Al-Dimaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Masirah Island
  • Ras Al Hadd Beach
  • Turtle Reserve

Dolphin Watching :

Dolphin shoals visit the shores of Oman in large numbers. Muscat and Musandam are famous for dolphin watching, although this pastime is also widespread in A`Sharqiyah Region(Eastern Region)and AlWasta Region (the central region), in addition to Dhofar Governorate.

The types of dolphins that visit Oman are: Indian Ocean Dolphins, the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, Risso`s Dolphins, Common Bottlenose Dolphins, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Rough-toothed Dolphins, Pan tropical Spotted Dolphins, Striped Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, and Long-Beaked Common Dolphins.

    Destinations for Dolphin Watching

  • Bandar Khayran Reserve

Whale Watching :

Whales visit the shores of the Sultanate at irregular intervals, particularly in A`Sharqiyah Governorate and Al Wusta Governorate, in addition to Dhofar Governorate.

The most famous types of whales that visit Oman are: Bryde’s Whales or Tropical Whales, Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Sperm Whales, Dwarf Sperm Whales, Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, Pygmy Killer Whales, Killer Whales, Melon-Headed Whales and False Killer Whale.

VIA FERRATA :

From the Italian, literally meaning ‘Iron Way’ via ferrate are mountain routes with fixed wire cables, metal rungs, and ladders. These allow adventurous walkers and climbers to ascend steep rock faces in relative safety while reducing the amount of climbing equipment required.

The Ministry of Tourism has sponsored the installation of several via ferrate routes in Oman. Via Ferrata users should always be equipped with a helmet, appropriate shoes, climbing harness, and a special tether used for attaching the climber onto the cable to protect against falling.

If used correctly via ferrata climbing can be an exhilarating experience. Via ferrata users, climb on their own judgment and at their own risk. There are three via ferrate in Oman. Presently the Grand Canyon via Ferrata (VF1) near Jabal Shams is operational.

Canyons :

Grand Canyon (VF1) Starting along trekking path W6 at the village of Al Khitaym a high level balcony walk to the abandoned village of Sab Bani Khamis takes around on hour and has stunning views of the Grand Canyon. After Sab, an uphill walk leads to the start of the climb. The climb itself takes around 1 hour.

Snake Canyon (VF2) Snake Canyon is located near Balad Sayt in Wadi Bani Awf. This via ferrata route offers an exciting series of traverses and zip line crossings’ 100m above the canyon floor. The climb takes around 4 hours.

Bandar Khayran (VF3) Located on the Western Island at Bandar Khayran this via ferrata is accessed by sea from the mainland. A short walk across the island leads to great coastal views and the start of the via ferrata. This features around a 2 hour cliff traverse, 40 m above the sea.