Today, November 18, the Sultanate of Oman celebrates its 50th National Day. The country is home to one of the most vibrant cultures in the history of the world and some of the best architectural and natural wonders across the Arab region. Regarded as the oldest Arab state, Oman is known for its rich heritage and abundance of natural beauty, with the capital city Muscat being named as the second-best city to visit in the world by the travel guide publisher the Lonely Planet, and is now a hotspot for tourists and residents.
Those wishing to travel to the Sultanate can do so now, as it was revealed this week that Oman is beginning to re-open its border to neighboring countries, subject to strict regulations and coronavirus testing. So, as we celebrate the country’s Golden Jubilee we round up the must-see wonders for your next trip to Oman.
Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
A must-see experience when visiting Oman. Opened in 2001, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of Oman’s most important cultural landmarks. Located in the country’s capital, Muscat, the stunning piece of architecture is the main mosque of Oman.
Experience the beauty of Wadi Shab
With staggering emerald waters, the Wadi Shab is one of the most picturesque natural wonders of Oman. Located just a 1.5-hour drive from Muscat, the Wadi can provide the perfect location for an idyllic day trip. Explore the area with around a 45-minute walk along the gorge, and cool down in the emerald green water pools, where you can swim through to cave to experience the extraordinary waterfall.
Discover the Nizwa Fort
One of the oldest historical sites in Oman, Nizwa Fort tells the story of the rich history and culture of the country. Construction of the fort is said to have begun in the middle of the 17th century AD, with the magnificent structure taking approximately 12 years to complete. The panoramic views from the top of the fort are worth the visit alone, however, a walk around Nizwa Fort will provide you with the exciting history and stories of the purpose-built defense system of one of Oman’s most beautiful castles.
Go camping in the endless Wahiba Sands Desert
Located in the heart of eastern Oman, the Wahiba Sands is a vision of endless dunes. With magical copper hues when the sun hits the sand at lower angles, an overnight stay in some of the desert’s luxury camping sites will soothe your soul. With the desert a three-hour drive away from Muscat, tackle the dunes in a 4×4 car, or if you prefer, indulge in the endless views with a camel ride.
Swim in the Bimmah Sinkhole
Embrace nature’s beauty and take a dip in the tranquil blue water of the Bimmah Sinkhole, which can be accessed by a stunning coastal drive. Located in Hawiyat Najm Park, the naturally formed swimming pool is a must-see when visiting the country; where those that feel daring can jump off one of the cliffs into the blue oasis.
Explore the Jabal Akhdar Mountains
A visit to the Jabal Akhdar Mountains will leave you with unforgettable memories, seeing nature at its best. Located in the mountain area of Jabal Akhdar, the mountain views are some of the most spectacular in the world, overlooking the expansive mountain range and canyons. For the very best mountain views it’s recommended to drive in a 4×4 vehicle.