Oman is the perfect example of how “all good things come in small packages”. With oceans of sand, rugged coastal beaches, crystal blue water and Arabian architecture in all its glory – Oman is a place like no other. You will discover deep canyons, magnificent forts, green valleys, old school bazaars and warm Arabian hospitality in this small country. Visit Oman, the Gulf’s undiscovered gem, with Flying Squirrel Holidays’ customised Oman tour packages from India.
While its neighbours run toward the future at break-neck speed, Oman finds comfort in its traditional past and bright present. If you just have a day to spend in Oman you should definitely spend it in its capital city. Muscat, a city of 1.5 million, is low-key and charming.
It is the largest city in the country and the buildings are in traditional whitewashed style and nestle against the rugged mountains. A Muscat vacation will present you with the true experience of Oman.
Exotic, historical, adventurous and naturally stunning, Oman is a treasure trove. You have the Wahiba Sands, an endless ocean of sand, which turns pale gold at noon and switches to rich coppery orange when the sun starts to set. Experience the primal power of the desert from the comfort of homely Bedouin camps here.
Bedouins, a semi-nomadic group of desert-dwellers, are the oldest inhabitants of the deserts of Arabia. These people are known for their hospitality, having survived the harsh conditions of the weather and environment they found themselves in.
You get a dramatic mountain scenery from the mountain ranges like the Al Jabal Al Akhdar or the Jebel Shams. The view features pomegranate fields, rose gardens, scenic fishing villages and mesmerising landforms such as the Bimmah sinkhole. It is a must-see, even if you are here for a few days.
The lush green capital city of the southern Dhofar province of Salalah abounds in archaeological sites, fruit plantations and wildlife, such as oryx, gazelles and migratory birds.
Bordering the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Oman there’s enough coastline in the country to explore. The beautiful coastline near Ras Al Jinz, the Arabian Peninsula’s easternmost point, is a crucial nesting site for endangered green sea turtles. After travelling in the open ocean for years, these remarkable creatures navigate back to the spot where they lay their eggs.
Witnessing a turtle laying a clutch of eggs and then dragging her body back to the ocean is the greatest joy for nature lovers.
Shopping in Oman is best experienced in Oman’s vibrant souqs! The souqs offer you a window into traditional Oman life, with traders and shop owners sitting on the floor with their goods stacked from the floor up to the ceiling. They are the best place to shop for souvenirs like the Bedouin jewellery, silver khanjars, incense burners and frankincense.
Oman’s cuisine has influences from Indian, Persian, North African and Mediterranean food, which makes it a delicious fusion of spices, marinades and herbs. Chicken, lamb and rice are common here, seasoned with ingredients like saffron, ginger and nutmeg, giving it an exotic flavour. With its coastline bordering the Arabian Sea seafood is also very popular.
Flying Squirrel Holidays also provide customisable Muscat tour packages for a Muscat holiday.
Home to the Sultan of Oman, Salalah is a city with rich culture, history and splendid beaches. Famous for lush mountains and greenery, its stunning beaches offer many snorkelling and diving opportunities for tourists.
Among the four historic fortresses in Jebel Akhdar highland, Bahla Fort is perhaps the grandest. One can experience the Arabian majesty whilst wandering around the maze of paths, rooms and corridors in the fort. The Bahla Fort was the first and only listed Fort among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Built by the same architects as the Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House Muscat is worth a visit simply to admire the exquisite Arabian architecture of marble and inlaid wood. Some of the most famous names in opera and ballet have performed within this beautiful building since its inauguration in 2011 and have earned international acclaim.
Al Fazayah Beach is a hidden gem. It takes a long twisty road and an experienced driver to reach the spot. Once you reach there, you’ll find a 5-km long pristine white sand beach with clear water and a stunning landscape in the background. The serene ambience of the beach is because of its sparse population.
Masirah Island is the largest island in Oman. The place is filled with stunning beaches and exciting water sports. This island is known as a "paradise for kitesurfers" as it is always windy, with cool breeze pouring in from the Arabian Sea. The most popular activity here is turtle-watching as there are four different species of turtles whose habitat is the Masirah beaches, including around 30,000 nesting female turtles!
Jabreen Castle, constructed in the late 17th century, is one of the most beautiful castles in the whole of Oman. Jabreen Castle is an impressive sight and is worth making the effort to visit it. For a bird's-eye view of the latticed-window courtyard head for the flagpole.
Wadi Shab is an astonishing gorge situated between the cliffs, in the Al Sharqiyah region. A hike through the undulated mountainous terrain and alongside a river will allow you to finally reach the source of this water body. As you walk up close to the cave, you will discover its stunning waterfall that spurts from inside the cave and gushes down onto the rocky land.
Go shopping in Mutrah Souq. A traditional Arab market, you’ll find numerous shops selling Omani and Indian artefacts, antiques, traditional textile, hardware and jewellery.
Try the Majboos which is a traditional mixed rice dish and is a delicacy in the Arab World. The dish consists of rice, usually basmati, vegetables, meat or chicken and a mix of spices. It is served with either yoghurt or green salad, traditional bread and tomato sauce.
Try Shuwa or grilled meat in Arabic. It's a favourite dish in Oman, especially during Eid. The process of cooking the Shuwa dish takes a long time. The meat is marinated in Omani spices, then wrapped in banana leaves, put in an underground sand oven, where it gets cooked over one to two days.
Take a refreshing swim at the crystal-clear water of Bimmah Sinkhole. This huge naturally shaped swimming pool is right next to the main road near Wadi Shab.
Go camping in the Wahiba Sands. Admire the endless sand dune views, explore the area by a camel, have a great locally prepared dinner or just watch the stars all night! Watch the sunset over Wadi Dayqah Dam. Located on the east coast of Oman, the views at Wadi Dayqah Dam are stunning and it is one of the best places to visit in Oman.
Take the Balcony Walk tour in Jebel Sham which is a spectacular experience.
Your trip to Oman will most likely begin in Muscat and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque should be the first thing you see. The sheer grandeur of the mosque will leave you stunned. The extravagant structure of this mosque stands striking against the backdrop of the city’s skyline.
When the mosque was inaugurated, it broke the then records of the world’s largest chandelier and the world’s largest single piece carpet. The chandelier, now the second-largest in the world, is about the size of a small house. Located in the centre of the men’s prayer hall, it measures a staggering 14 meters and weighs 8,500 kilograms.
The carpet, which stands as the main attraction inside the mosque, covers around 4,343 square meter area of the prayer hall. Now, the second-largest hand-woven single piece carpet in the world, it weighs around 21,000 kilograms. This hand-woven carpet took around four years to produce and brings together the classical Persian, Isfahan and Kashan design traditions.
This ocean of sand, in the heart of Eastern Oman, attracts many tourists because of its extraordinary bare beauty. The endless stretch of dunes seems to go on for miles. Strong seasonal winds have sculpted the sand into surprisingly regular parallel dunes.
An overnight stay here would allow you to truly experience the natural beauty of the desert first-hand. Spend a night in one of the Bedouin camps and gaze at the starry night sky which is clearly visible because of the lack of pollution in the region.
The highest peak in the Al-Hajar mountain range and in all of Oman is Jebel Shams or the Mountain of the Sun. Towering above the northern town of Al Hamra, it rises to a height of about 10,000 feet. Rather than its staggering height, Jebel Shams is rather more famous because of Wadi Ghul, a spectacular 1000m gorge.
Known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Arabia’ it will be the highlight of your trip to Jebel Shams. Definitely take the dizzying Balcony Walk, a 6km round-trip hike which winds around the cliffs halfway up the rim of the canyon and ends at an eerie abandoned village named As Sab.
The Nizwa Fort is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oman and is an amazing example of old Omani architecture. It provides a window to the way Omani people used to live here in ancient times.
The picturesque fort also contains many exhibits and artefacts displayed in each of the rooms of the fort. The most imposing structure here is the circular tower, 36 metres in diameter and 30 metres tall, unlike other Omani fort designs.
(Please note that this is a sample itinerary. Our Oman tour packages from India are customisable to suit your preferences.)
Day 1Muscat is the capital of Oman and your journey in Oman will start there. First on the list is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which is around 12.4 km away from the airport. Another mosque worth visiting is Saeed Bin Taimur Mosque, which is about 6.4 km away from the Grand Mosque. Then, drive for around 10 minutes to Al Qurum Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches distinguished with golden sand beaches and crystal waters. After lunch, head to the Royal Opera House, which is 3.3 km away from the beach. The Royal Opera is the leading venue of culture and art in the country and offers amazing local and international artistic shows and musical performances.
Day 2Start the second day at Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, which are located on the harbour of the city of Old Muscat. A walk through the forts tells you about Muscat's history and the unique ancient architecture. Now drive to Al Alam Palace, which is one of the six royal residences of the Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, who is the current leader of Oman. The public is not allowed to enter the palace but they can still walk around the palace.
Day 3On day 3, head to Nizwa, which is located in Al Dakhliya region and around 158 km away from Muscat. The city has a lot of remarkable natural and architectural attractions, which include Nizwa Fort, Jabreen Castle, Al Hoota Cave, Nizwa local souk, and the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. Take a day tour around the city to experience the authentic Omani culture and ancient history of the country.
Day 4On day four, head to Al Hajar Mountains, the highest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula. They are around 90 km away from Nizwa. En route stop at Misfat Al Abriyyen, a small mountain village, known for the beautiful agricultural terraces, the amazing alleys, and the old houses, which are built on top of rocks. Continue your way to Al Hajar Mountains which are about 50 km away from Misfat Al Abriyyen. The range consists of several mountains, most popularly Jebel Shams (Mountain of Sun) and Al Jebel Al Akhdar (The Green Mountain). There are wadis, towns and villages here which offer amazing hiking trails, and mind-blowing views from the summits.
Day 5Start day 5 with a drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, one of the most beautiful, naturally attractive wadis in Oman. It is a great place for rock-climbing, hiking and swimming. Ras Al Hadd is a natural reserve for the green turtles and several tours organise trips very early in the morning before sunrise to watch the green turtles laying their eggs, and returning to the sea. You can also watch baby turtles hatching their eggs and returning.
Day 6On day 6 visit Salalah. Al Maghseel Beach in Salalah, Sumhuram and Khor Rori, Al Marneef Cave, Taqah Castle and Al Baleed Archaeological Site, are some of the must-visit tourist attractions in the city.
Day 7On your last day visit the Empty Quarter, which is the largest continuous sand sea in the whole world. It is shared by four countries in the Arabian Peninsula- Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The place offers an extraordinary experience. Drive around the golden sand dunes, meet the Bedouins and experience their life, eat traditional Bedouin food, and camp under the shiny stars in Empty Quarter.
Please email me a copy of the sample itinerary
Oman is comparatively more expensive than some other middle eastern tourist places. Travelling to Oman is very easy with direct flights from India and just 2.5 hours of flying time. Visa rules are very relaxed for Indians and a 10-day tourist visa will cost just OMR 5.
1 OMR is equivalent to approximately 180 INR. The cost for a trip to Oman for a 4-day vacation might start from INR 35,000 approx. This is just an average estimate as Flying Squirrel Holidays provides customised Oman holiday packages according to your budget and preferences.
What is the best time to visit Oman?
October to March is the best time to visit Oman. During these months, the weather is pleasant and cool.
What is popular in Oman?
Oman is popular for its seafood, Omani bread, Omani Halva, and old souks.
What clothes are preferred to wear in Oman?
Oman follows conservative dressing standards. All tourists must wear ankle-length clothes and limit wearing swimsuit only to beaches.
With its rich cultural heritage, a strong sense of identity, a pride in the ancient, frankincense-trading past, Oman is a retreat which you won’t be able to get enough of. You will want to go back for more adventure, tranquillity and of course to meet the humble local folks in Oman who’ll welcome you with open arms. Easy-going and slow-paced sounds like an oxymoron for any Arabian country but in Oman’s case, it is true.
Want to visit this beautiful country? Choose from Flying Squirrel Holidays’ tailormade Oman tour packages from India!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest updates and freshest offers!