Oman Trip: Taste of Adventure
Oman, thanks to oil wealth, developed its economy at lightning speed. However, it retained its bedouin heritage, identity and pride. I am amazed by its hospitality, kind people, the architectural and natural treasures they are so keen on sharing with many foreign visitors.
Oman was probably the best and the most easy-going journey I did in the Middle-East. It is a really well developed, safe and beautiful country that takes your breath away! The architecture is amazing, the food is delicious, and the price of the petrol cheap, which makes the trip really affordable for every pocket!
Organising the Trip
It is a huge country. If you would like to visit it, you will probably need about 2-3 weeks. We were travelling with a 2 year-old baby and we spent five days there. You do not need any organized tours, as you can plan and do the trip by yourself. This is one of the best countries to drive around by yourself. The infrastructure is perfect and the local people are super friendly and helpful.
You will need: a map of Oman, the Lonely Planet Guide, credit or debit card, passport, driving license, insurance, fight ticket, appropriate clothing to respect the muslim culture, visa, and rent a car with insurance.
Getting a visa in Oman is very easy. E-visa can be requested online. You need to log into Royal Oman Police website and follow the instructions. It will cost you around 5 OMR (58 PLN) per visa. It takes usually 24-48 hrs to receive your visa via email. Print it, so you can show it to the Oman border services upon your arrival to the country.
Oman is very modern and open in what you wear. However, it is respectful to always cover up your upper body, shoulders, and wear shorts or skirts over your knees.
Best time to go to Oman is during their winter, ie. from October until March. The temperatures at that time are between 20 and 30 degrees. In summer, the temperatures are from 35 to 50 degrees.
Now, you are set! Let’s go on the road!
Sightseeing in Muscat
One day is enough to see the important things in Muscat, which is Oman’s capital city. It hosts the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque, Muttrah Souq, and the Royal Opera House.
The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is Oman’s most important spiritual site. This architectural masterpiece was opened 22 years ago. Both men and women need to wear long sleeve tops and long pants to the ankle. Women need to bring a scarf to cover their hair. The mosque’s entrance is free. It is open to non-muslims every day from 8 AM to 11 AM except Friday.
If you would like to go to the souq (market), note that Fridays and Saturdays are weekend days and some parts of the souq will be closed.
Build in 2001, The Muscat Opera House is set in 80 acres of land and surrounded by a green garden. The modern, Omani architectural style combines different traditions and makes the magnificent building look like a palace of the Arabian Nights. The façade cladding is made of pink limestone from the desert of the country. The interior is furnished with precious marble floors and is adorned with genuine Omani handicrafts.
Drive the perfect route towards the coastline. It will take about 90-minutes drive taking the highway. Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most incredible natural swimming pools I have ever seen. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour and one of the best cooldowns during the heat of the day. Local tales say that the hole was created by a meteor.
Wadi Shab is located 20 minutes from Bimmah Sinkhole by car. Spendings include 1 OMR to cross the river. Then, you will need to hike 45 min walk to the swimming point. In total count 3 – 4 hours to spend on this an amazing hiking adventure. If you are travelling with a your child or children, make sure you have a child carrier. Do not forget to take small breaks and drink plenty of water!
Turtles nesting at Ras Al Jinz
Ras Al Jinz is about 35 minutes from Sur. This is a protected turtle nesting area. You can visit the museum and also join the turtle spotting tour during sunrise or after sunset. I recommend you spend the night there. The food is basic but you have all what you need. It is an amazing experience to see the turtles hatching from the eggs.
Between April and August every year around 20,000 turtles come to Oman’s beaches, especially on the Eastern side. They lay 50,000 to 60,000 eggs during this period that they bury under the sand to protect them. Around 55 days later the eggs hatch and the babies begin their lives.
Once hatched, the turtles have one destination to reach the ocean. I highly recommend you helped the newborn turtles to make their way to the water as quick as possible, as there are predators who love to eat young turtles.
muslim – a follower of the religion of Islam; of or relating to Islam, its doctrines, culture, etc. (muzułmański)
border services – services and information related to the border and travel, customs tariff, trade, security, immigration processing and more (straż przygraniczna)
masterpiece – a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship (arcydzieło)
scarf – a long, broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc. (apaszka)
limestone – a hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement (wapień)
child carrier – any of several devices for carrying babies or very young children within a framework carried as a backpack or on the front of the body (nosidełko dla dziecka)
hatch – to cause young to emerge from (the egg) as by brooding or incubating (wykluwać się)
predator – an animal that naturally preys on others (drapieżnik)