Oman is a hidden gem of the Middle East. It has contemporary cities, historic forts, awe-inspiring mountain ranges, and deserts. It is located at the edge of Saudi Arabia and offers a life-enriching experience. So with this in mind what to see and what to do.
Visa Requirements for Oman
Unless you are a citizen from a Gulf Cooperation Council state you will need to have a visa to enter Oman. Fortunately, the country has rolled out an Oman eVisa system which speeds up the application process considerably.
If you are from an eligible country and most western countries are, you can apply online for your visa saving the need to apply at an embassy or consulate. Applications take the form of submitting personal details, passport information, and travel details. You will receive your visa by email and you should print this out and take it with you.
So, now you have your visa what to see and what to do.
Muscat has a contemporary western feel with excellent roads and familiar shops, restaurants, and bars. Look beyond this, however, and iconic landmarks in the form of mosques, palaces, and world-class museums show you what Oman is about. For a change of pace, the beach is beautiful and greets the Gulf of Oman. Muscat will help you understand the country and its place in the world.
Misfat al Abryeen
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Head south-west of Muscat and around 60kms later you will arrive in Misfat al Abryeen. This is a mountain town surrounded by banana trees. The town is built on the mountain slope and a steep road grants you access.
Above the town is a watchtower which once reached gives you an excellent view of the surroundings which take the form of fields and dams. A walk through the mountain town is a must and you get a sense of what the country must have been like a few centuries ago.
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Head south from Misfat al Abryeen and you will reach the city of Bahla and you will be awed at the site of the Bahla fortress. This 13th-century fortress dominates and must be visited on any tour. In addition to the fortress, Bahla boasts 7 miles of city walls made from Adobe.
Bahla’s pottery is the stuff of legend and makes perfect souvenirs.
Just 40 km from Bahla is the city and former capital of Oman, Nizwa. Again the city boasts a truly magnificent fort built by the Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’ribi in the 17th-century. Some of the building, however, was actually constructed in the 9th century.
A tour of the fort reveals some unusual defenses including a honey trap, and the museum brings to life 17th-century Oman.
Nizwa gives you a glimpse of contemporary life too especially if you arrive on goat market day.
No visit to Oman is complete without a tour of the Wahiba Sands a massive stretch of desert in the centre of the country. The better tours let you see it by camel and you camp under the stars to give you a glimpse into a nomadic way of life.
The Wahiba Sands are home to the Bedu people and arguably this is the true Oman.