The sea and the desert play an important part in the lives of everyday Omanis. They are also the places which attract visitors to come and spend their holidays in this country, which is slowly but surely gaining a good reputation as a travel destination in the Gulf region. Aside from swimming, turtle watching is a very popular activity on the beach as the Omani coastline is dotted with important breeding grounds. Going inland into the wadis (valleys or empty riverbeds) or to the desert either via off-road driving or camel rides, visitors will discover the wealth of landscapes and spectacular scenery in the country.
Oman’s perfectly pleasant climate during the cold and harsh months of European winter makes for a perfect trip to the country’s many beaches. There are many beautiful beaches dotting the Omani coastline. Right within the confines of Muscat is the very popular Al Qurum Beach dotted with hotel chains, jet-ski rentals, picnic areas and other tourist facilities. In Al Bustan Beach, also in Muscat, visitors can check in Al Bustan Palace Hotel for a more elegant holiday experience.
Another beach related activity visitors can do in Oman is turtle watching, something the country is known for. The Omani coastline is lined with beaches considered major breeding grounds for these sea creatures. Ras Al Jinz is the only place in the country to see protected turtles with July to October being the peak nesting season. Sun & Sand Tours takes visitors camping to witness these magnificent turtles coming on shore at night to lay their eggs.
One quintessential Oman travel experience that should never be missed is going on a dhow cruise. A dhow is a traditional sailing vessel used by the seafaring tradesmen of the region and Oman is one of the major centers of dhow-building here. Musandam Sea Adventure Travel and Tourism can arrange for a half-day, one-night, or two-night cruise on the waters of the Musandam Peninsula, an enclave of Oman surrounded by the United Arab Emirates, and its beautifully rugged coastline.
As great as the activities on offer are on Omani waters, there is some great adventure to be had by going inland. One of the best ways to explore Oman’s dry rocky landscape is by going off-road driving preferably on an all-terrain vehicle. Viator is an international tour agency which can take visitors on 4x4 rides along one of the most scenic spots in the country, Wadi Shab. In this expanse of wilderness, visitors will find lush vegetation, turquoise pools, and waterfalls.
No trip to the desert will be complete without getting on the oldest form of transportation in the great wilderness of the desert, the camels. Oman, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia share a region called the Rub al Khali, the Empty Quarter. Here, visitors will see magnificent sand dunes and experience the culture of the Bedouins, the original desert nomads of the region. Muscat Driving & Adventure Center offers camel rides into the Empty Quarter and customizes tours based on schedule and budget.