Staying 12 days in Oman and looking for a travel itinerary & guide? Great! 12 days is enough time to see the major highlights in this beautiful country. We just came back from the trip, so we thought, we'd share it with you lovely people. Below is our travel itinerary. It's a great mixture of adventure, sightseeing and relaxation. Oh yes, this time we took it a bit easier.
12 Days in Oman - The Ultimate Itinerary & Guide
Here is our 12-day travel itinerary for Oman:
Day 1 - Arrival to Muscat, Oman
Day 2 - Chill out & exploring Muscat
Day 3 - Exploring Muscat & Pool and Spa Day at the Kempinski Hotel
Day 4 - Nizwa & Arrival to The View Hotel
Day 5 - Enjoying the Pool at The View Hotel
Day 6 - Hiking at Jebel Shams & Sleeping at the Desert Nights Camp
Day 7 - Wadi Bani Khalid & Turtle Watching at Ras al Jinz
Day 8 - Enjoying the Beach in Ras Al Hadd & Arrival to Sur
Day 9 - Sur & Swimming in Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole & Mutrah
Day 10 - Mutrah & Yiti Beach & Bandar al Khayran & & Muscat
Day 11 - Snorkelling at the Daymaniat Islands
Day 12 - Flying back home from Muscat
Let's talk about some details and see some pics too.
Day 1 - Arrival to Muscat, Oman
So, we flew from Zurich to Muscat with Emirates airlines and due to flight delays, we only arrived at about 4 am. The next step was renting our car at the airport and driving to our first accommodation - Villa Lana (recommended!).
Day 2 - Chill Out & Exploring Muscat
After a proper sleep at Villa Lana, we first went to one of the malls (Oman Avenues Mall) to buy some food. Since it was quite hot outside, we decided to stay a bit longer and go for a coffee at one of the cafes. In the afternoon, we drove to the famous mosque in Muscat, called the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is really impressive and you can also make nice looking photos, like the one below.
Day 3 - Exploring another Muscat District & Pool and Spa Day at the Kempinski Hotel
In the morning, we drove from Villa Lana to the nearby beach called Udhaibah beach. It seems to be a place for adventures too. We haven't done it but maybe you want to try it out - you can rent a jet ski here. A few metres awas, there is also a cute cafe - Al Fanajeen cafe, which you may enjoy for your morning coffee.
The next stop was the Al Qurm Park in Oman. I mean, it is not a must see place, however still a beautiful park to stroll around and mingle with the locals. After the park, we went to check out the Qurum beach, near the famous Crowne Plaza Hotel. It's a place to check out, definitely, but unfortunately we could not go swimming due to a huge amount of jelly fish - a problem it has apparently occurred in the past months.
Then we drove to the Kempinski hotel.
The Kempinski Hotel
Usually our trips are filled with lots of activities and sights. This time, we really needed a proper vacation with a few days off and with some relaxation included. Oman, as destination is perfect for that. There are so many things to do and see around the country, but there are also hotels at the seaside, with nice views over the sea and spoiling you pools and spa treatments. The Kempinski hotel is a perfect choice for that! It is located at the beach and has all the facilities you want. We had a great time here. If you want to stay at the Hotel, you can book it here. You can also buy a day-pass and spent the whole day at the pool and use the spa facilities.
Muscat - Nizwa: 156 km, 1 h 34 min car drive
Nizwa - The View Hotel: 58 km; 1 h 4 min car drive
Day 4 - Nizwa & Arrival to the "The View" Hotel
On day 4, we drove from Muscat to Nizwa, which used to be the capital of Oman. With its 72,000 inhabitants, it is a rather small city and thus perfect to explore it on foot. The most famous sight is the Nizwa fort, which comes with an entrance fee. Although it seemed to be an interesting place to see and visit, we didn't go due to the extreme high temperatures. We rather walked around a bit, went for a cold drink and visited the dates shop and bought some gifts for our families. An advance - try to wake up early and visit the city in the early morning hours.
Ascending to a beautiful hotel in the Omani mountains felt like the best idea after walking around Nizwa with an air temperature of 46 C degrees. The View Hotel has about 30 lodges, and we got one of them. What a lovely stay! And yes, it is not the cheapest out there but we would say, it is worth the money!
Beautiful moments in the mountains....
Day 5 - Enjoying the Pool at "The View" Hotel
The second day at The View Hotel was all about the pool and reading books. We must say, it is not a "normal" pool, but an infinity pool with a view of the whole valley and its surrounding mountains. Luckily, we were the only guests in the hotel, so we had the pool just for ourselves. A beautiful day, where we felt relaxed and happy.
The View Hotel - Jebel Shams: 52 km; 1 h 40 min car drive
Jebel Shams - Desert Nights Camp: 269 km; 4 h 5 min car drive
Day 6 - Hiking at Jebel Shams & Sleeping at Desert Nights Camp
Wow wow wow, an incredible stop. The Jebel Shams. It took us quite a bit to drive to the top but at the end, we said: "So happy that we did it!" Once we parked the car, said goodbye to a lovely elderly local that hitched a ride to the top, we went for a short hike and reached quite soon the legendary Grand Canyon of Arabia - this is how they call it. And it is, it is really huge and the views are great. Make sure to take enough water and food with you, and a sun cream as well, if you decide to go for a longer hike. The hike is not difficult and the path is clearly marked, so you won't get lost. At this point it's also worth mentioning that we'd recommend a 4x4 car. You don't need it often, but when you do (mountains & dessert) you won't regret it.
Finally ...drum-roll... desert time! It was a long day on the road, hence the arrival to the lovely Desert Nights Camp was a true relief. The different landscape types make Oman an interesting destination - on the same day we were in the mountains and only a few hours later we walked around the desert.
The Desert Nights Camp is a great place to stay. You get a warm welcome and you get a drive to your lodge - we slept in these kind of lodges - very comfortable and well equipped.
Then we were driven to a top of a dune, where we waited for the sunset to come.
The light over the desert was magical. Then the dinner at the Desert Nights Camp followed, which was crazy delicious and the choice was incredible.
Desert Nights Camp - Wadi Bani Khalid: 74 km; 1 h 10 min car drive
Wadi Bani Khalid - Ras al Jinz: 113 km; 1 h 39 min car drive
Day 7 - Wadi Bani Khalid & Turtle Watching at Ras al Jinz Turtle Beach
Another great day on the road! The Wadi Bani Khalid is a perfect stop when it's hot outside :) It's refreshing water with all the palm trees in the back. Huh. Loved it! Since the Wadi is quite popular among the locals and we wanted to respect their culture, we decided to take a swim with clothes on (it's not really a choice to be honest).
The next stop was the turtle place. Once in Ras al Jinz, we stayed at the Ras al Jinz Turtle Guest House, which turned out to be a great choice! It's a 5 min walk to the famous Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve. The evening tour started at about 8 pm. We walked to the beach and saw a few turtles laying their eggs in the hole, they dug before (can be up to 150 eggs!). It was cute to also see the newborn turtles, trying to find their way to the water.
Ras al Jinz - Ras al Hadd: 16 km; 15 min car drive
Ras al Hadd - Sur: 46 km; 42 min car drive
Day 8 - Enjoying the Beach in Ras Al Hadd & Exploring Sur
On day 8, we saw the greenest sea color, we have ever seen! And the beach is like in paradise. It was in Ras al Hadd, a sleepy town between Ras al Jinz and Sur. The reason, why Ras al Hadd is a great stop - you might spot a turtle or at least admire big holes, where turtles lay their eggs. Well, we saw 2 turtles - a big one and a little one... unfortunately both didn't make it :/ Sure, quite a shocker to see that, but this is mother nature.
In the afternoon, we arrived to the city called Sur. Once checked in at the Sur Plaza Hotel, Jerry enjoyed a bit the pool and afterwards we went for a stroll along the beach. There were locals only, swimming in the water, playing football... it was nice to observe the evening vibe.
Sur - Wadi Shab: 49 km; 40 min car drive
Wadi Shab - Bimmah Sinkhole: 31 km; 21 min car drive
Bimmah Sinkole - Mutrah: 129 km; 1 h 23 min car drive
Day 9 - Sur & Swimming in Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole & Mutrah
On the next day, we took some time to explore some additional parts of Sur. We walked around and visited the picturesque Al Ayjah Watchtower. Definitely a sight, you should check out too! Anyway, the city of Sur, known for its fishing activities, is a lovely stop, well recommendable.
Please, make the effort and go and see the incredibly stunning Wadi Shab. It's a 45 min hike to a real paradise, meaning, green-colored water pools in the middle of the mountains. It was f***ing hot during the hike, but at the end, it was so so worth it! We were swimming around those pools and thought: "that's something we haven't experienced yet - swimming in the pools in the mountains". Make sure to put that on your itinerary too.
The Bimmah Sinkole was a unique and refreshing stop. Haven't seen a natural sight like this before. It is a hole connected to the sea, so expect salty sea water. Swimming in this hole was a great experience, although a bit more crowded than the other natural pools. Still, go for it.
Mutrah - Yiti Beach: 28 km; 29 min car drive
Yiti Beach - Bandar al Khayan: 15 km; 18 min car drive
Bandar al Khayan - Muscat: 52 km; 45 min car drive
Day 10 - Mutrah & Yiti Beach & Bandar al Khayan & Muscat
On one of our last days, we visited the old city, which happens to be also the main port of Muscat - Mutrah. Afterwards we headed to the beautiful sand beach called Yiti. It happened that we were almost alone at the beach, so we decided to go swimming in the sea and have a longer stop here. The water was so refreshing, especially when the air temperature was around 40 C degrees. After the plunge, we drove to one of our favorite spots in Oman - the Bandar al Kyahan bay. Also here, we were alone, swimming in this gorgeous green water. If you have a tent with you, make sure to sleep over here! In the afternoon, we returned back to Mutrah and stayed at the Riyam hotel. For dinner, we recommend eating at Bait al Luban restaurant.
Below is the Yiti beach. It is also a great place to come and watch the sunset!
And here is the aforementioned Bandar al Kyahan Bay, which totally stole our hearts!
Civil Aviation Club in Muscat - Daymaniyat Islands: 40 min by boat
Day 11 - Snorkelling Trip at the Daymaniat Islands
Day 11 was unforgettable! Snorkelling at the Daymaniat islands! We were more than happy with the agency, we chose for our trip to the islands. It was called the Global Scuba. The meeting point was at the Civil Aviation Club in Muscat at 8 am and the trip lasted until 1.30 pm. Swimming with whale sharks and turtles was more than legendary.
This night we spent at the Eastin Residences Muscat hotel.
Day 12 - Flying Home from Muscat
Beee, day 12 is a sad day. The vacay is over and is time to go home. Bye bye, Oman, we had a great time.
Would you add anything to the itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!