Three Whirlwind Days in Oman

Muscat, Oman

From the moment you arrive in Oman, you’re swept into a world of breathtaking landscapes, diverse experiences, and myriad of local flavours. Exploring the country from its mountains through deserts to the beach and ending in Muscat, we saw in 3 days what most travelers would take in over 7! Our journey took us from Muscat through the A’Dhakiliyah region, home to the former capital of Oman, to Bahlah. A quick visit to one of the oldest fortresses in Oman offered some relief from the desert heat as we made our way up the Hajar Mountains in our 4×4. We arrived at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar just in time to capture an unforgettable sunset on our cameras. This was the perfect overnight stop for us weary travelers. Ultimate luxury in a classically manicured setting, this property is certainly one of the finest in the country.

Our first day set the bar high for the remainder of the trip. We made our way down to Hamra for a quick visit to Misfat Al Abriyeen. This mud walled city is around 300 yrs old and is still home to several villagers. We meandered through narrow walkways, along the village walls, and up winding staircases, all the while remaining respectful of its inhabitants. It was a one hour drive from here to Nizwa, where we stopped by the fort before enjoying a local lunch courtesy of our guide’s friends. Our next stop was the Nizwa Souq, where we had some time to take in the colours and aromas of the spice market and purchase some locally created crafts. By this point, the afternoon heat had us reaching for our water bottles. Luckily, our next stop would be a true oasis in the desert. With splashes of green, blue and brown, Wadi Bani Khalid consists of inviting rock pools and a waterfall, little beaches and bridges. It’s easy to get swept in and never want to leave.

Before long, we were back on the road on our 120km drive to Sur. Our drive offered some light relief as at one point, we all looked to our right and were surprised to see our neighbour’s ‘cargo’ in the back of his small truck, was none other than a camel! A drive past the red sands of the desert, through mountains consisting of copper and chrome brought us at last to the sea. Sur is a port city in Oman and home to Raz al Jinz Turtle Reserve. After a quick dinner at our hotel and we were off to this reserve to witness something spectacular. Treading lightly in the dark down to the water’s edge, we watched as turtles laid their eggs and newborns hurried on their way to the ocean. The perfect end to a long yet fulfilling day.

Our third day in Oman offered us the chance to relax in paradise as we enjoyed an afternoon at leisure at the Shangri-la Hotel in Muscat. Beachside paradise with a most inviting swimming pool, spa with a view, and an interior design fit for royalty, this property is one of the finest in the city. Before we switched our casuals for bathing suits, we got the opportunity to visit – and swim in – the Bimmah Sinkhole. A limestone pool of turquoise and a fascinating structure so close to the City, the approximately 60 steps down to this fun experience was well worth it!

Our stay in Oman concluded with an amazing evening in Old Town Muscat. We started with a walk around the grounds of the Al Alam Palace – the ceremonial palace of his majesty, the Sultan – before some time to shop at the Mutrah Souq. At every store, friendly banter and the joy of purchasing that ideal gift had us all energized for a walk along the promenade before a farewell dinner at Bait Al-Luban. Mouthwatering cuisine, refreshing soft drinks and great conversation brought our whirlwind tour to a perfect close. Whether it’s a sole adventure through the country or an add-on to a Dubai itinerary, Oman has experiences perfectly suited to every visitor.

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