Oman Photo Gallery - A Road Trip

Oman Flag

Oman is a beautiful country that is slowly being discovered by tourists. Unlike its neighbour the UAE, mass tourism has not reached these shores and the best way to explore is by car. Roads are very well-maintained, petrol is dirt cheap, and traffic is minimal. Many attractions are in the middle of nowhere, and quite difficult to reach by infrequent public transport.

Pick up your car from one of the many international agencies at Muscat airport, and enjoy a week driving around the most common tourist circuit from Muscat to Nizwa to Sur and back to Muscat. My journey was short at only 5 days, barely enough for some highlights in this small quadrant of the country. Going anti-clockwise,

Day 1 : Muscat - Nizwa

The first section of long-distance driving is along Highway 15 to Nizwa, which had the most traffic of all the roads I drove in the country.

Day 1 : Nizwa
Bahla Fort

Bahla was Oman's capital for almost 500 years, so it is no surprise its fort was impressive. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the fort was restored recently and you are free to roam the many buildings and rooms leading from random staircases and passages.

Day 1 : Nizwa
Jabrin Castle

Once an elaborate home by an imam in the late 17th century, look up when inside and admire the intricately-decorated ceilings. Make it up to the roof and enjoy the unobstructured views of the area.

Days 2-3 : Nizwa
Town Attractions

Day 2 : Nizwa

As you head towards Jebel Shams, make a pit stop at this ruined village.

Day 2 : Nizwa
Jebel Shams

The tallest mountain in the country is well worth a visit or even a short hike. Staying overnight here can be a bit expensive, and it is perfectly do-able as a day trip from town.

Day 3 : Nizwa - Sur

The longest drive of my trip was the route towards the coast. I broke it up into 3 sections with 2 stops to make each section more manageable. Along the way, look out for wild camels which may strut onto the road. I really wanted to see some interesting historic residential architecture, and Ibra seem to offer something different from Fanja.

Day 3 : Nizwa - Sur
Wadi Bani Khalid

After some historic architecture, the next stop is nature-related. If you have a few more days to spare, book a night in the desert between Ibra and the wadi. I was short on time and having been to the Sahara in Morocco and Egypt as well, I decided to continue past.

Day 4 : Sur
Town Attractions

Sur was once a major port and remains famous for its shipbuilding yards.

Day 4 : Sur - Muscat
East Coast Drive

The drive from Sur back to Muscat is only about 250km, but there are historic sights and natural attractions along the way that will take up an entire day.

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