While traveling in Oman, everyone will geet you with the words, "Ahlan wa Sahlan ", or “You are welcome!” Ánd that’s exactly what travelers are in Oman, welcome! This small country will fulfill all your dreams of an "Arabian Nights" adventure. Book your trip to Oman with KILROY travels.
Despite the local hospitality, one can still travel to Oman and feel like the only tourist in the country. With a population density that is ten times lower than Europe's, you can even feel like you are the only traveler there. Oman has 2,700 kilometers of desolate sandy beaches and most of the country is covered by desert areas that are easily accessible by road.
Oman, officially known as the Sultanate of Oman, is a modern but conservative Arab country. The people are very pragmatic when it comes to religion and you do not feel bound by Islamic rules like you do in Iran. However, it is important that you dress right; women should cover their shoulders and knees and men should wear long trousers.
On the coast of the Gulf of Oman, wedged between jagged mountains, lies the capital city of Muscat. For many, this neat and uniform city is the first stop on a trip to Oman. Even McDonalds (yes, they are here too) is built in the traditional white Arabic style with domes and arched windows. Though coffee houses are mainly reserved for men, Muscat is one of the few cities in Oman where even women can sit outside and eat at restaurants. Enjoy a meal along the quay that overlooks the large container ships at the port. You will likely spend only a few days in Muscat, so you must visit the beautiful Souq and the city museums.
In Ras Al-Jinz, at the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, thousands of endangered Green Turtles come to breed and lay their eggs. In the middle of the night, you can get close to the vulnerable turtles when they find their way onto the beach and leave their eggs in the sand. It is a beautiful sight and a terrific display of nature.
You haven’t seen Oman until you have stayed under the stars at Sharqiya Sands. The desert spreads over a large area a few hundred kilometers south of Muscat. A typical tour of the area includes accommodation under the starry sky, camel tours, traditional food and entertainment, a bonfire, and speed driving through the desert. A visit to the Shariqya Sands is an absolute must on your trip to Oman.
If you drive through the small town of Ibra on a Wednesday, you're in luck. This is the day of the week when women stage a market there. You will see women dressed in traditional Bedouin clothes. The women come from local villages and sell things like beautiful hand-embroidered gold cuffs. Men are allowed in this market, too!
In the middle of the Hajar mountains lies the city of Nizwa. From there, you can take day trips to some beautiful historic sites and scenic lookouts nearby. The actual city of Nizwa is a friendly place with sidewalk cafes and restaurants that are permissable for both men and women. You should also visit Nizwa’s fortress and the city Souq, where people come from small villages to trade animals, fish, and clothes. Near Nizwa lies the Al-Hoota Cave, which is an expensive but worthwhile experience. Book your visit in advance.
From Nizwah, you can reach Jebel Shams, Oman's highest mountain at 3,075 meters tall. The mountain is less known for its peak than for its steep, 1,000 meter divide. The gap bears the name Whadi Ghul, but is better known as the "Grand Canyon of Arabia". You can drive all the way up there with the fortunate security of an iron railing. No need to worry about a kilometer-deep free fall! At the top, you can enjoy the spectacular views and have a picnic. There are no shops, just the desert, some rocks, and a little breeze.
For one reason or another, most backpackers haven’t discovered Oman yet. It's quite cheap to travel around here, especially if you avoid hotels, rent a car, and stick to camping. This will help you to reduce your daily budget drastically. A liter of petrol costs a mere 25 euro cents!
If you travel to Oman, you can avoid backtracking by flying into Muscat and then back from Dubai or Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The ability to fly to and from several cities provides more flexibility and opportunity to find the cheapest airfare. We recommend that you travel to Oman between November and March, since a drowsy and oppressive heat hangs over the country in summer.
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