• 10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY

    A 2WD ROAD TRIP

    Hidden pool at Wadi Damm, a highlight of an Oman 10 Day Itinerary
  • 10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY

    Hidden pool at Wadi Damm, a highlight of an Oman 10 Day Itinerary

10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY

A 2WD ROAD TRIP

Oman is one of our favourite countries. It’s beautiful, culturally and historically rich, full of friendly, welcoming people, and perfectly set up for a self-drive road trip. It also manages to cater equally well to an adventure-seeking budget camper or a luxury-loving traveller. This middle eastern country offers an incredible variety of experiences: from stunning coastline and deserts to lush wadis and the dramatic mountains of the Eastern and Western Hajar, no two days are the same on an Oman road trip.

So, whether you’re a budget camper or luxury-loving traveller, we’ve put together the ultimate 10 Day Oman Itinerary for you. It’s perfect if you’re visiting Oman on the 10 Day Tourist Visa, and acts as an ideal introduction to the country. In this itinerary we cover many of the best places to visit in Oman, picked after two separate trips and 6 weeks of travel. We’ve also included daily accommodation suggestions, as well as alternative camping options. Opt for one or the other depending on your budget, or mix-and-match for a truly memorable experience.

The main pool of Wadi Bani Khalid, perfectly still and reflecting palm trees and low mountains in the early morning light

The gorgeous Wadi Bani Khalid in the morning, one of the highlights of this Oman itinerary



The main pool of Wadi Bani Khalid, perfectly still and reflecting palm trees and low mountains in the early morning light

The gorgeous Wadi Bani Khalid, one of
the highlights of this Oman itinerary



Given the significant price difference between renting a 4WD and a 2WD, and their varying capabilities, we’ve designed a completely separate itinerary for each. This 10 Day Oman Itinerary is specifically for those road tripping Oman in a 2WD. If you fancy getting off-road, check out our alternative 10 Day 4×4 Oman Itinerary.

Got longer in Oman? Lucky you. After visiting everywhere outlined in this 10 day Oman itinerary, we suggest you head south to Masirah Island and Dhofar Governorate. Check out our Essential Salalah and Dhofar Guide to plan your ultimate Oman road trip!

Finally, we recommend reading our Oman Road Trip Guide for more practical information, especially if you’re planning on camping.

10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY ROUTE MAP

Use the map below to follow this Oman road trip itinerary. Switch between satellite and terrain view for more detail.

10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY

This 10 day Oman itinerary covers many of the best things to see and do in Oman, taking you to wadis, deserts, beaches and mountains, as well as historical and cultural sites. While this itinerary is specifically for a 2WD road trip, not all sections are on tarmac roads so care is still required at times. Opting for a car with as much clearance as possible is a good idea, especially if you’re planning on camping. If you arrive early enough on Day 1, you could start straight away on the Day 2 itinerary. This would give you an extra night in Muscat at the end of the trip before flying out on Day 10.  

OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 1

ARRIVAL IN MUSCAT

ACCOMMODATION

Muscat Hills Hotel
(close to airport)
Naseem Hotel
(perfect Muttrah location)
The Chedi Muscat
(superior luxury)

CAMPING

Muscat Beach
(23.6052, 58.3539)

Darsait Beach
(23.6341, 58.5465)


Welcome to Oman!

We recommend pre-booking your car hire to pick up/drop off at the airport (assuming you’re flying in/out of Muscat). Public transport is pretty limited. It’s best to pick up your car straight away so you can get around Muscat easily. We always get great deals booking through Holiday Autos.

Search Car Hire Options Here


ARRIVAL ESSENTIALS

You can arrange a tourist SIM card at the airport with Omantel or Ooredoo. Then, once you exchange money or withdraw Omani Rials at an ATM, you’re ready to hit the road. Google Maps works great for navigating throughout Oman, and Maps.me is also handy (especially for offline use).

ACCOMMODATION

Muscat International Airport is about 30km west of Muttrah, the historic port area of Muscat and a real highlight. If you’re arriving late, or might be a bit frazzled after a long flight, it’s probably best to book accommodation closer to the airport and drive into Muttrah the following day. We stayed at Muscat Hills Hotel on our last trip, a quick and easy drive less than 8km from the airport. There are numerous other options nearby, too.

Alternatively, base yourself in or near Muttrah for your 2 nights. Naseem Hotel, while nothing fancy, has a perfect location on the corniche. We stayed here on our first trip to Oman in 2014 and loved being able to stroll right out into the heart of old Muttrah. Request a room at the front for wonderful harbour views! Riyam Hotel and Mutrah Hotel are also pretty close by. If you’re looking for luxury, check out Kempinski Hotel Muscat, W Muscat, Crowne Plaza Muscat, or the crème de la crème, The Chedi Muscat.

The Muttrah corniche at sunset



The Muttrah corniche at sunset



CAMPING

We recommend booking a hotel for your first night in Oman. However, if you’re keen to camp straight away there are a couple of promising spots marked on i-Overlander (iOS/Android) (although we can’t vouch for them ourselves). You could scout out Muscat Beach or Darsait Beach. Note that these areas, as with many camp spots in Oman, may be busy at the weekend (Friday and Saturday) with families picnicking or groups socialising until the wee hours.

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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 2

MUSCAT

HIGHLIGHTS

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muttrah

ACCOMMODATION

Muscat Hills Hotel
(close to airport)
Naseem Hotel
(perfect Muttrah location)
The Chedi Muscat
(superior luxury)

CAMPING

Muscat Beach
(23.6052, 58.3539)

Darsait Beach
(23.6341, 58.5465)


A full day to explore Muscat and pick up any supplies for the journey ahead.

SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE

First up, visit the serene Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (8am-11am Saturday to Thursday). Completed in 2001, it is grand and opulent, yet entirely elegant and tasteful. The main prayer hall is home to a 21 tonne single-piece Persian carpet, hand woven and designed perfectly to fit every contour, nook and cranny of the floor. Hanging from the central dome is a 14 metre high chandelier, complete with 600,000 crystals and an inner staircase for cleaning. Outside, Indian sandstone arched walkways are lined with decorative niches, each telling the story of traditional Islamic art and design through the ages, and from all around the world. Take your time strolling the grounds.

Men and women must cover arms and legs, and women must also cover their hair.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman, glowing in the sun and reflected in the mirrorlike surface of the courtyard flagstones.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque glistening in the morning
sun and reflected in the highly polished courtyard tiles



The outlying corridors in the grounds of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. The light and shadow cast by the arches makes an interesting geometric pattern

The arches of the outer walkways casting stunning shadows, with intricately designed niches telling the history of Islamic art



The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman, glowing in the sun and reflected in the mirrorlike surface of the courtyard flagstones.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque glistening in the
sun and reflected in the highly polished courtyard


The outlying corridors in the grounds of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. The light and shadow cast by the arches makes an interesting geometric pattern

The arches of the outer walkways casting
stunning shadows, with intricately designed
tiled niches telling the history of Islamic art



MUTTRAH

Spend the rest of your day wandering the Muttrah corniche and the many alleys of Muttrah Souq. This is a beautiful spot, full of character and history. The setting is very picturesque, low-rise buildings nestled between the port on one side and mountains dramatically situated behind. Fruit juice cafes line the corniche, and the outdoor courtyard of the Royal House Restaurant is a nice spot for lunch or dinner. Climb up Muttrah Fort for a view over the neighbourhood, particularly lovely at sunset.

Two men sit on stone bench on the Muttrah Corniche, looking out to the water and enjoying the afternoon sun

Two gents enjoying golden hour views from the Muttrah Corniche



The buildings of backstreet Muttrah with jagged mountains rising behind

The backstreets of Muttrah seen from the fort at sunset



Two men sit on stone bench on the Muttrah Corniche, looking out to the water and enjoying the afternoon sun

Two gents enjoying golden hour
views from the Muttrah Corniche


The buildings of backstreet Muttrah with jagged mountains rising behind

Backstreets of Muttrah and surrounding
mountains, seen from the fort at sunset



STOCK UP

If you want to stock up on any supplies, best to visit a supermarket here. There are many Lulu or Carrefour hypermarkets around, just search on Google Maps to find your nearest.

OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 3

MUSCAT to SUR via BIMMAH SINKHOLE & WADI SHAB
213 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Bimmah Sinkhole

Wadi Shab

CAMPING

Qalhat Beach
(
22.7074, 59.3635)

Coast Beyond Sur
(22.5568, 59.6521)


Swimmers at the ready for a quintessential wadi experience!

BIMMAH SINKHOLE

Heading south from Muscat on the main Road 17, your first stop will be at Bimmah Sinkhole (approx 125km/1.5 hours). Make a very early start if you want to beat the crowds (the gates open at 8am). There are steps down into the sinkhole and you can swim in the clear, salty water. The sinkhole is surrounded by a landscaped park, complete with picnic tables and toilet facilities.

An early morning view down into the Bimmah sinkhole on day 3 of a 10 day Oman Itinerary. A few people are preparing to swim in the aqua water but it's quiet otherwise.

With an early morning visit to Bimmah Sinkhole you can avoid the crowds



An early morning view down into the Bimmah sinkhole on day 3 of a 10 day Oman Itinerary. A few people are preparing to swim in the aqua water but it's quiet otherwise.

With an early morning visit to Bimmah Sinkhole
you can enjoy it before the tour buses arrive



WADI SHAB

Continue for another 38km south on Road 17 and turn off for Wadi Shab, one of the most picturesque spots in all of Oman! The car park is below an underpass. From here, take the short boat ride across the water (1 OMR per person return) to the start of the wadi hike. It takes 45 minutes to an hour to reach the main pool, with a bit of easy scrambling and walking along falaj (water irrigation channels). From the main pool you can swim through a narrow crack in the rocks (sometimes completely underwater) to reach a hidden cave and mini waterfall. When you’re done, head back the same way. Allow at least 3 hours from start to finish.

This is one of Oman’s most popular tourist spots, so visit early or during the week to avoid the crowds.

A green rock pool of Wadi Shab in Oman surrounded by high rock walls

The main rock pool at Wadi Shab



A green rock pool of Wadi Shab in Oman surrounded by high rock walls

The main rock pool at Wadi Shab



ON TO SUR

Carry on south on Road 17 all the way to Sur (50km), a picturesque coastal town famous for its maritime history and dhow (wooden fishing boats) building traditions. It’s a sleepy little place that’s perfect for a sunset stroll along the corniche. Or you can get up close with dhow boats at the building yard. Be respectful and as inconspicuous as possible though – it’s still a working shipyard.

A dhow in the water at the shipyard, with one of the Al Ayjah watchtowers behind, one of the things to see on our 10 day Oman itinerary

A dhow in the water at the shipyard, with one of the Al Ayjah watchtowers behind



A dhow in the water at the shipyard, with one of the Al Ayjah watchtowers behind, one of the things to see on our 10 day Oman itinerary

A dhow in the water at the shipyard, with
one of the Al Ayjah watchtowers behind



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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 4

SUR to RAS AL JINZ
56 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Sleepy Coastal Towns

Beautiful Beaches

Turtle Reserve

ACCOMMODATION

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
(glamping or room)
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Guest House
(more affordable, walking distance to Reserve)
SAMA Ras Al Jinz Resort
(new, lovely bungalows, 3km from Reserve)

CAMPING

Ras Al Hadd Beach*
(
22.5362, 59.7796)

On Cliffs North of Ras Al Jinz Beach
(be careful in a 2WD)*
(22.4565, 59.8286)

*see note on camping below


Sweeping coastline and turtles.

SUR & AL AYJAH

Take your time wandering the sleepy streets, harbour and shore of Al Ayjah and Sur in the morning. There’s a picturesque lighthouse and three watchtowers at opposite ends of the curved bay at Al Ayjah, just across the suspension bridge from Sur.

the view from Sur across the inlet to the sandy coloured lighthouse and white buildings at Al Ayjah

Looking across the inlet from Sur to the lighthouse at Al Ayjah



the view from Sur across the inlet to the sandy coloured lighthouse and white buildings at Al Ayjah

Looking across the inlet from Sur to
the picturesque lighthouse at Al Ayjah



RAS AL HADD

From Al Ayjah, continue east on the coastal road. Stop off at Khawr Jirama lagoon for a wander then head on to Ras Al Hadd (40km). This area is the eastern most point of the Arabian peninsula, where the land makes a 90° turn and heads south. There’s a small community and a beach curving around the coast.

RAS AL JINZ

After wandering around Ras Al Hadd, head south on the main road, turning off towards the coast for Ras Al Jinz after about 11km. This whole area is the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, a protected area which sees thousands of turtles nesting on its beaches every year. Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead Turtles all come ashore under cover of darkness, to dig a hole in the sand, then lay and bury their precious eggs. General access to the beach here is restricted to the daytime – it’s vital not to disturb nests or leave any rubbish on the beach. 

See More From Oman

A 4x4 vehicle drives towards the Western Hajar Mountains on a 1 month Oman road trip.
Golden sunrise light hits the wall of the Omani Grand Canyon below Jebel Shams. A 4WD and tent sits on the rim of the canyon.
A orange, yellow and pink sunrise rises over Wadi Bih in the mountains of Musandam, Oman
Diving in Oman
Oman Video: walking on the Sugar Dunes
A beautiful coastal scene from our Oman Road Trip Video
Pinks and yellows light the sky at sunrise in the mountains of Musandam. The flat area shows our campsite where the tent and our Toyota Fortuner gleam in the morning light.
The mirror-like blue surface of Khor Najd stretches into the distance, framed by sandy mountains and cliffs

A 4x4 vehicle drives towards the Western Hajar Mountains on a 1 month Oman road trip.
Golden sunrise light hits the wall of the Omani Grand Canyon below Jebel Shams. A 4WD and tent sits on the rim of the canyon.
A orange, yellow and pink sunrise rises over Wadi Bih in the mountains of Musandam, Oman
Diving in Oman
Oman Video: walking on the Sugar Dunes
A beautiful coastal scene from our Oman Road Trip Video
Pinks and yellows light the sky at sunrise in the mountains of Musandam. The flat area shows our campsite where the tent and our Toyota Fortuner gleam in the morning light.
The mirror-like blue surface of Khor Najd stretches into the distance, framed by sandy mountains and cliffs

The Turtle Reserve runs guided tours at 5am and 9pm to see the females nesting and (if you’re lucky) baby turtles hatching and making a dash for the ocean. Turtles come ashore throughout the year, but the highest concentration is during the summer months (when it’s actually relatively cool compared to much of the rest of Oman). Given the times of the turtle nesting tours, the most convenient place to stay is at the reserve itself. However, there are cheaper options nearby.

*A Note On Camping

You must be very careful camping around here, especially close to the nesting beaches at Ras Al Jinz. DO NOT camp on the beach, only on the cliff top and as far away from the edge as possible. The beach is closed from 5pm to 5am and rangers will likely visit you. You must keep light pollution to a minimum, as this could disturb the female turtles and stop them from laying their eggs. It could also disorientate the hatchlings and prevent them from making it to the sea. If you want to see the turtles on the beach, please only go on the guided tour offered at the Turtle Reserve. Don’t go by yourself or with any other locals who may offer.

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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 5

RAS AL JINZ to WAHIBA SANDS via WADI BANI KHALID
234 KM (to Al Wasil)

HIGHLIGHTS

Swimming in Wadi Bani Khalid

Towering Orange Dunes

ACCOMMODATION

Desert Nights Camp
(super luxurious)
1000 Nights Camp
(large established camp)
Sama Al Wasil Desert Camp
(attractive small camp)
Nomadic Desert Camp
(rustic barasti huts)
Legend Desert Camp
(small, low-key)

CAMPING

Not possible in heart of Wahiba Sands without a 4×4

Can park by road or venture a little on packed sand road to camp at edge of dunes
(eg. 22.375, 58.8676)


Wadis and deserts. Does it get any more Oman than this?

WADI BANI KHALID

From Ras Al Jinz, retrace your steps as far as Sur, then head south on Road 23, turning off for Wadi Bani Khalid after about 147km. It’s another 30km to the car park, then a short, easy walk to the first pools. This is one of the most popular wadis in Oman, so get here early and during the week if you want any kind of peace.

Whilst very beautiful, at first it doesn’t seem quite as ‘wild’ as others like Wadi Shab or Wadi Damm. But carry on beyond the first set of pools, leaving the little restaurant, lifeguard and viewing platforms behind, and you’ll find the real deal. Climb up the rocks on the right side of the pools and carry on for 5-10 minutes. Soon you’ll reach more delightful pools, mini falls and lush ferns, with the canyon walls towering above on either side.

A person floating in one of the upper rock pools of Wadi Bani Khalid in Oman

The upper reaches of Wadi Bani Khalid, the perfect place to get away from the crowds and be a bit more adventurous



A person floating in one of the upper rock pools of Wadi Bani Khalid in Oman

The upper reaches of Wadi Bani Khalid,
the perfect place to get away from the
crowds and be a bit more adventurous



WAHIBA SANDS

Your first sight of the expansive Sharqiya Sands (more commonly known as Wahiba Sands) is up next. You’ll have to leave your 2WD car on the tarmac and jump in a 4WD to get to your chosen desert camp for the night.

A figure runs up a red sand dune at sunset in Wahiba Sands, Oman

Sunset fun on the dunes



The wind sculpted red sand dunes of Wahiba Sands in Oman, as far as the eye can see

The distinctive orange red sand dunes of Wahiba Sands



The wind sculpted red sand dunes of Wahiba Sands in Oman, as far as the eye can see

The distinctive orange red dunes of Wahiba Sands


A figure runs up a red sand dune at sunset in Wahiba Sands, Oman

Sunset fun on the dunes



Options vary from simple barasti huts and bedouin style tents to luxurious glamping. Dinner and breakfast are usually included, as is sunset watching on top of the dunes and camel riding (if that’s your thing). A transfer by 4WD to your camp may cost extra – check when you book. Badiya or Al Wasil (50km from Wadi Bani Khalid) are common jumping off points from the main road, but your chosen camp will give you exact instructions of where to meet. We enjoyed our stay at Nomadic Desert Camp on our first Oman trip in 2014, but if we had the budget, Desert Nights Camp would be our top choice!

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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 6

WAHIBA SANDS to NIZWA
177 KM (from Al Wasil)

HIGHLIGHTS

Nizwa Fort

Nizwa Souq

ACCOMMODATION

Antique Inn
(beautiful heritage home)
Nizwa Heritage Inn
(restored traditional house)
Bait Al Aqr
(another elegant old house)
Golden Tulip Nizwa
(nice 4* hotel, short drive from centre)
Falaj Daris Hotel
(Nizwa classic)

CAMPING

Best bet nearby in a 2WD is Wadi Tanuf
(23.0485, 57.4754)


Historic capital and traditional souq.

After being dropped back at your car, continue west all the way to Nizwa (180km). This is the largest city in the region and was once the capital of Oman. It’s an attractive place, with the fort, souq and Al Qala’a Mosque clustered around the centre. We suggest two nights here: one day to explore Nizwa itself and the other to visit surrounding sites.

NIZWA SOUQ

An atmospheric souq and one of the oldest in Oman. It’s perfect for wandering and a bit of souvenir shopping. There are indoor and outdoor areas, with numerous sections dedicated to fresh produce, household goods, Nizwa pottery, textiles, khanjar daggers, dates and much more. On Friday mornings the goat market takes place, with men and women from all around descending on the town to trade livestock. You can visit the souq in the morning, from 6am till 1pm, or later from 4pm till 10pm. On Fridays, the souq is only open in the morning, from 5am till 11am. 

Men in traditional Omani dress shop inside the old souk in Nizwa, Oman

Locals shopping inside the old souq



Stacked shelves of pottery outside the entrance to Nizwa Souk in Nizwa, Oman

Stacked pottery outside one of the entrances to Nizwa Souq



Stacked shelves of pottery outside the entrance to Nizwa Souk in Nizwa, Oman

Stacked pottery outside of Nizwa Souq


Men in traditional Omani dress shop inside the old souk in Nizwa, Oman

Locals shopping inside the old souq



NIZWA FORT

Next door to the souq is Nizwa Fort, with its impressive drum-like tower. It’s beautifully restored, and one of Oman’s most treasured historical sites. The views from the top are wonderful, overlooking the city, mountains, and attractive dome and minaret of the nearby Al Qala’a Mosque. There’s a small museum and plenty of rooms to explore. The colours are particularly nice in the late afternoon, the fort and surroundings basking in a golden hour glow.

The inside of Nizwa Fort in Oman glowing in the late sun, with the mosque minaret and mountains rising behind

Inside the fort’s drum-like tower, the Al Qala’a mosque minaret behind



Inside the sandy coloured inner fort at Nizwa on Day 6 of a 10 day Oman Itinerary

The inner fort within the outer drum



The inside of Nizwa Fort in Oman glowing in the late sun, with the mosque minaret and mountains rising behind

Inside the fort’s drum-like tower,
the Al Qala’a mosque minaret behind


Inside the sandy coloured inner fort at Nizwa on Day 6 of a 10 day Oman Itinerary

The inner fort within the outer drum



Nizwa Fort is open 8am till 6pm, closing between 1130am and 1.30pm on Fridays. Entrance is 5 OMR for non-Omanis (2 OMR for Omanis).

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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 7

AROUND NIZWA: TANUF, BAHLA, JABRIN & MANAH OLD TOWN
121 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Historic Forts

Old Towns

ACCOMMODATION

Antique Inn
(beautiful heritage home)
Nizwa Heritage Inn
(restored traditional house)
Bait Al Aqr
(another elegant old house)
Golden Tulip Nizwa
(nice 4* hotel, short drive from centre)
Falaj Daris Hotel
(Nizwa classic)

CAMPING

Best bet nearby in a 2WD is Wadi Tanuf
(23.0485, 57.4754)


History and Culture.

Day 7 of this 10 day Oman itinerary delves into the history of the country. It’s a day to explore significant sites and scenic spots around Nizwa, including two restored forts, Tanuf ruined village and atmospheric Manah old town. 

OLD TANUF

To start your day’s explorations, head north on Road 21 and turn off for Old Tanuf (20km). This ruined village of mudbrick houses is in an attractive setting, tucked below the mountains at the mouth of Wadi Tanuf. You can wander among crumbling houses, all that’s left after a 1950s bombardment by the British RAF at the behest of Sultan Sa’id bin Taimur during the Jebel Akhdar War.

The runied mudbrick houses at Tanuf , a stop off in a 10 day Oman itinerary

What’s left of the mudbrick houses in the ruined village of Tanuf



The runied mudbrick houses at Tanuf , a stop off in a 10 day Oman itinerary

Mudbrick houses in the ruined village of Tanuf



BAHLA

Carry on looping west on Road 21 to Bahla (23km), home to an impressive fort, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its size is commanding, completely dominating the landscape. From a distance it looks like a giant child’s sandcastle – square with high sided walls and numerous round towers. Around the fort is a traditional mud-brick village, equally fascinating to explore, and palm groves. The citadel and fort date from the 12th to 15th centuries, however extensive renovation and restoration work has been carried out, leaving it in great condition today. It’s open daily from 9am – 4pm, 8am – 11am on Fridays.

The large sandy coloured Bahla Fort dominates the landscape in Bahla, Oman. The fort is surrounded by low houses and date palms, and the mountains rise behind

The dominant Bahla Fort, surrounded by the buildings and date palms of the village itself



The large sandy coloured Bahla Fort dominates the landscape in Bahla, Oman. The fort is surrounded by low houses and date palms, and the mountains rise behind

The dominant Bahla Fort, surrounded by the
buildings and date palms of the village itself



JABRIN FORT

One last fort to visit, just 10km south of Bahla. Jabrin Fort is surrounded by date palms, a beautiful sight against the ochre mountains. It was built in the late 17th century and includes design features different to those seen at Nizwa or Bahla. The interior has intricate painted ceilings, hidden rooms, and numerous staircases and passageways. Entrance tickets (0.5 OMR, card only) include an excellent audio guide, making a visit to Jabrin more rewarding than Bahla if you’re interested in learning about the local history and culture. The view from the top over the surrounding landscape is wonderful, too.  It’s open daily from 9am – 4pm, 8am – 11am on Fridays.

A view over date palms, a village, dusty brown land and a distant mountain from Jabrin Fort in Oman, seen as part of a !0 day itinerary in the country

The view over the surrounding countryside from Jabrin Fort



The interior of one of the plush rooms in Jabrin Fort, visited on day 7 of a 10 day Oman itinerary

The fort’s tastefully decorated rooms



A view over date palms, a village, dusty brown land and a distant mountain from Jabrin Fort in Oman, seen as part of a !0 day itinerary in the country

The view from Jabrin Fort


The interior of one of the plush rooms in Jabrin Fort, visited on day 7 of a 10 day Oman itinerary

The fort’s tastefully decorated rooms



MANAH HARAT AL BILAD

Leaving Jabrin Fort, head east back towards Nizwa, turning south to Manah and its historic neighbourhood of Harat Al Bilad (47km). While many old houses across Oman are left to ruin when their former residents move to more modern homes, Manah old town is being preserved. A government initiative is helping to restore the traditional buildings, and locals act as gatekeepers to the area and informal guides. You can wander the labyrinth of alleys to explore the mudbrick houses and old mosques. Access is from 9am-5pm (closed 11am-1pm Fridays) and costs 2 OMR (1 OMR for Omanis).

BACK TO NIZWA

From Manah it’s 22km north back to Nizwa, completing your loop of historical and cultural sites for the day.

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OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 8

NIZWA to MISFAT AL ABRIYEEN
49 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Traditional Mudbrick Village

Falaj and Terraced Palm Plantation Walk

Staying at Misfah Old House

ACCOMMODATION

Misfah Old House
(wonderfully atmospheric old home)

CAMPING

Misfat Campsite
(23.1378, 57.3066)

Official campsite with facilities
2-5 OMR per person


Visit a serene plantation village.

A magical little village tucked away amongst date palms and mountains, a real highlight of this 10 day Oman itinerary. Misfat Al Abriyeen is a great place to relax by the shaded falaj, or, you can venture out on a day hike.

MISFAT AL ABRIYEEN

Retrace your route north and turn off approximately 14km after passing Tanuf, following the signs for Al Hamra and continuing all the way to the car park above Misfat Al Abriyeen (49km). From the car park, walk down the steps into the village proper – an utterly charming collection of tall mudbrick houses, tumbling down the hillside. Many are abandoned, the walls crumbling away and revealing straw, sticks and stones muddled together. But plenty others are still lived in, with homes having been handed down through the generations. Carry on down the stone steps and narrow passageways and you’ll soon find yourself in the shade of hundreds of date palms, water flowing by in the ingenious falaj irrigation systems.

View of traditional mountain village, Misfat Al Abriyeen, in Oman. Mud brick houses descend the hillside skirted by date palms.

Misfat Al Abriyeen, surrounded by mountains and date palms



A falaj running through date palms in Misfat Al Abriyeen, seen on a 10 day Oman itinerary.

Falaj system among the date palms



View of traditional mountain village, Misfat Al Abriyeen, in Oman. Mud brick houses descend the hillside skirted by date palms.

Misfat Al Abriyeen, the classic Western Hajar
village,
surrounded by mountains and date palms


A falaj running through date palms in Misfat Al Abriyeen, seen on a 10 day Oman itinerary.

Falaj system among the palms at Misfat Al Abriyeen



HIKING TRAIL

The terraced plantations below the village are a delight to wander amongst. If you’re up for a longer hike, follow the yellow, white and red painted markers along trail W9 (or just look up the route on Maps.Me). The trail eventually leads to a high plateau overlooking Wadi Bani Awf (9km one way/9-10 hours return walk). If you are able to arrange a pick-up at the other end, it’s possible to carry on to Sharaf Al Alamayn along trail W10h (7-8 hours one way from Misfat), or Bilad Sayt on trail W8 (9-10 hours one way from Misfat). While you may not have time to complete the whole route, we highly recommend walking even just a little of this trail!

Vegetation filled wadi below Misfat Al Abriyeen

The hiking trail runs through the wadi below the village



Vegetation filled wadi below Misfat Al Abriyeen

The hiking trail runs through the lush wadi
below the village of Misfat Al Abriyeen



MISFAH OLD HOUSE

Misfah Old House is the only accommodation option in the village itself, and a lovely one at that. The original house has been in the family for three generations and, along with a neighbouring building, has been turned into guesthouse/homestay style accommodation. The rooms all vary slightly. Most have shared bathroom facilities, while a limited number are ensuites. We have stayed in both room types, enjoying the balcony of our ensuite room as well as the charm of the shared bathroom room, complete with gorgeous windows. The breakfast terrace overlooking the date palms is serene, and dinner is served on the rooftop terrace (both meals are included in the room rate). The dates from the village are some of the best we’ve ever tasted – we bought four tubs on our last visit!

Soft sunset hues over the layered mountains with date palms in the foreground, as seen on a 10 day Oman itinerary

Soft sunset hues and mountain views from our balcony at Misfah Old House



Soft sunset hues over the layered mountains with date palms in the foreground, as seen on a 10 day Oman itinerary

Soft sunset hues and mountain views from
our balcony at Misfah Old House



OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 9

MISFAT AL ABRIYEEN to JEBEL SHAMS
49 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Oman’s Grand Canyon

The Balcony Walk

ACCOMMODATION

Sama Heights Resort
(nice resort with variety of room types)
Jebel Shams Resort
(great location)
Canyon Rest House
(traditional style)

CAMPING

At The Edge of the ‘Grand Canyon’ Rim
(23.2047, 57.2021)


Spectacular mountains, the Balcony Walk and an epic sunset & sunrise.

Prepare yourself for an awesome mountain drive (do-able with care in a 2WD), epic views, and a stunning walk along the upper cliffs of Wadi An Nakhur, Oman’s Grand Canyon!

GHUL VILLAGE

After breakfast in Misfat Al Abriyeen, head back towards Al Hamra and follow the road west to Ghul village, at the start of Wadi An Nakhur and the bottom of the Grand Canyon. There are usually some colourful hand woven rugs for sale on the corner of the road, and lovely views over to the old abandoned houses of Ghul. They are built into the mountainside, blending seamlessly with their surroundings (bar a few Omani flags draped over them). There are lush palm plantations and fields below the houses too. A very scenic spot.

Abandoned houses in the village of Ghul, built into the mountainside with date palms and green fields below

The abandoned houses of Ghul



Abandoned houses in the village of Ghul, built into the mountainside with date palms and green fields below

The abandoned houses of Ghul



JEBEL SHAMS

After stretching your legs and maybe picking up a rug, carry on up the twisting mountain road all the way to the top. It’s about 50km in total from Misfat Al Abriyeen. The views are spectacular. It certainly is possible to drive this road in a 2WD (we saw plenty up there), but do be careful. At the top, carry on to the small village of Al Khitaym, stopping off regularly for views down into the wadi, across to Jebel Shams (one of the highest mountains in Arabia at 3000m), and beyond.

A view down into the dramatic Oman Grand Canyon and across to the country's highest mountain, Jebel Shams

Looking across the ‘Grand Canyon’ to Jebel Shams



A view down into the dramatic Oman Grand Canyon and across to the country's highest mountain, Jebel Shams

Looking across the ‘Grand Canyon’ to Jebel Shams



THE BALCONY WALK

Park up by Al Khitaym village, pack some snacks and water, and get started on the Balcony Walk. This is officially known as route W6 and takes you on a stunning walk along a balcony-like ledge high above Wadi An Nakhur. It’s a relatively easy 7km return walk, leading to the abandoned village of As Sab, and back the same way. Allow about 3 hours, including time to explore the village. Like the walk at Misfat Al Abriyeen, there are painted markers to follow. The views along the walk are fantastic, an absolute must-do on this 10 day Oman itinerary!

A person with a small red backpack sets out on the balcony walk at Oman's Grand Canyon, below Jebel Shams, Oman's highest mountain. The narrow rocky path falls off to the right in a sheer drop. This is one of the best places to visit in Oman.

Setting out on the Balcony Walk, Jebel Shams rising on the right across the canyon



A person with a small red backpack sets out on the balcony walk at Oman's Grand Canyon, below Jebel Shams, Oman's highest mountain. The narrow rocky path falls off to the right in a sheer drop. This is one of the best places to visit in Oman.

Setting out on the Balcony Walk, Jebel
Shams rising on the right across the canyon



SUNSET & SUNRISE

Whether you’re camping or staying at one of the resorts up top, be sure to catch sunset and sunrise from the edge of the rim. It’s a wonderful sight.


FIND JEBEL SHAMS ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com

OMAN ITINERARY: DAY 10

JEBEL SHAMS to MUSCAT via WADI DAMM
400 KM

HIGHLIGHTS

Bronze Age UNESCO Beehive Tombs

Hidden Wadi Pool

Ancient Petroglyphs

ACCOMMODATION

Muscat Hills Hotel
(close to airport)
Naseem Hotel
(perfect Muttrah location)
The Chedi Muscat
(superior luxury)

CAMPING

Muscat Beach
(23.6052, 58.3539)

Darsait Beach
(23.6341, 58.5465)


One more wadi for the road!

If you’re visiting Oman on a 10 day tourist visa, you are likely flying out on this day. Therefore, your final day itinerary will depend on your flight departure time. We’ve outlined a plan based on a full day’s adventure, getting back to Muscat late in the day. If you need to get back to Muscat airport earlier, driving from Jebel Shams straight to the airport is a 250km journey, taking around 3.5 hours. 

AL AYN BEEHIVE TOMBS

After watching sunrise over the mountains, head back down the road you came, all the way to Bahla, then west on Road 21. Turn off the main road for Al Ayn (approx 109km from Jebel Shams). Continue for another 27km to the village. Here you’ll see a row of stone beehive tombs on the crest of a small hill beyond the houses and fields, the mighty Jebel Misht rising behind. Park up as close as you can and continue on foot to the tombs themselves. These date from the 3rd millennium BC, and are another UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are in remarkable condition and the views are wonderful.

Beehive tombs in front of towering mountain Jebel Misht

The Al Ayn Bronze Age beehive tombs glowing in the late afternoon sun, with Jebel Misht rising behind



Beehive tombs in front of towering mountain Jebel Misht

The Al Ayn Bronze Age beehive tombs in the late
afternoon sun, with Jebel Misht rising behind



WADI DAMM & ANCIENT PETROGLYPHS

From Al Ayn, continue another 14km to the start of Wadi Damm. In a 2WD it’s best to park up on the road, entering the wadi on foot. Pack a picnic and your swimming gear, for a stunning wadi pool awaits! The wadi walk is about 1 hour to the best ‘hidden’ pool, passing numerous petroglyphs (pictorial rock carvings) on the way. These are believed to date from around 600BC – quite incredible! Look out for a particularly impressive collection on a wall on the left behind the falaj, around 15 minutes walk in (before the dam wall). There are more on the right too, but they have some graffiti around them unfortunately. You can spot more on the right further up the wadi if you keep your eyes peeled, not long after the rope/cave section.

Rock carvings of people on animals on a cliffside at Wadi Damm in Oman, part of a 10 Day Oman Itinerary

The petroglyphs on the wall of the wadi, tucked in behind the falaj before the dam



Rock carvings of people on animals on a cliffside at Wadi Damm in Oman, part of a 10 Day Oman Itinerary

The petroglyphs on the wall of the wadi,
tucked in behind the falaj before the dam



To reach the hidden pool, complete with natural shower and cascading curtain of ferns and moss, carry on beyond the first pool of water (about 30 minutes walk from the road), which at first glance seems to be the end point. If the water levels are low, use the rope that is attached to the wall to climb up and drop down the other side. If the water levels are high, you can reach the other side by heading through the cave on the left (or swim through the pool and use the rope technique). Continue walking for about 30 minutes, sticking mainly to the right side of the wadi, until you reach a solitary palm tree. Just beyond here you can drop down into the stunning pool.

An aerial view of the hidden pool at Wadi Damm, one of the best places to visit in Oman. A person relaxes in the aqua waters surrounded by bare blue toned rock and green vegetation.

The secluded, magical, hidden pool of Wadi Damm, like nowhere else in Oman



An aerial view of the hidden pool at Wadi Damm, one of the best places to visit in Oman. A person relaxes in the aqua waters surrounded by bare blue toned rock and green vegetation.

The secluded, magical, hidden pool of
Wadi Damm, like nowhere else in Oman



Allow about 3-4 hours for your Wadi Damm adventure (the return walk itself takes about 2 hours).

Hidden pool at Wadi Damm, a highlight of an Oman 10 Day Itinerary

Inside the hidden pool at Wadi Damm. The ‘shower’ lies through the gap and just around the corner



Hidden pool at Wadi Damm, a highlight of an Oman 10 Day Itinerary

Inside the hidden pool at Wadi Damm



BACK TO MUSCAT

Return to the main road from Wadi Damm, then follow the motorway all the way back to Muscat via Road 21 and 15. It’s about 260km to the airport and takes around 3 – 3.5 hours to drive.

Your 10 day Oman road trip has come to an end! But just like us, you’ll be back, right?

10 DAY OMAN ITINERARY

A 2WD ROAD TRIP

So, are you are excited for your Oman road trip?
Or maybe you’ve been before and have other tips to share?
Let us know in the comments below!

So, are you are excited for your Oman road trip? Or maybe you’ve been before and have other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

ORGANISE YOUR TRIP TO OMAN NOW


Booking.com

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