Oman Road Trip – A two-week self-drive itinerary

A road trip through Oman should be on everybody’s bucket list. The home country of Sindbad the sailor offers the rare opportunity to dive into Arab culture without the distorting lens of excessive wealth. The towns and villages have retained a traditional charm while the legendary Bedouin hospitality and values can be felt in almost every encounter with locals.

The best way to explore the natural beauty, the great food and the traditional, local Omani life is surely by renting a car and departing on your very own Oman road trip adventure.


 

Oman Road Trip – Key Data

Trip Length: 18 days  |  Distance covered: 4220 km

Overall Costs: 414 OMR  |  Daily Expanses: 23 OMR

 


 

So here is a day-to-day breakdown of our two-week Oman itinerary including some tips and advice on things to see and do. Obviously this itinerary is far from being exhaustive. There is so much more to explore in Oman. I still hope it provides a broad overview of what can be done and seen within a two to three-week self-drive road trip through the Sultanate of Oman.

And for all the outdoors enthusiasts and budget travelers:

Here is some more information on WILD CAMPING IN OMAN including a lot of suggestions on beautiful wild camping spots.

 


 

 Oman Road Trip – A two-week itinerary

Tips and tricks that will help you to plan your two-week self-drive trip through Oman from Muscat to Salalah

 


 

Day 1 – Muscat

Oman road trip - Muscat - 2017

Oman road trip – Muscat

 

  • Fishmarket

    • be there early to witness local life in full swing
    • grab some breakfast and sweet tea from on of the hawkers and enjoy the hustle and bustle
  • Corniche

    • a nice walk from Muttrah to Old Muscat
    • Check out the Sultans Palace and the National Museum before taking a bus back to Muttrah
  • Sultan Quaboos Grand Mosque

    • impressive Mosque
    • open to non-muslims Sat. – Thu. 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    • dress modestly (no shorts, no tank-tops, women have to cover their hair)
    • photos allowed
  • Bin Ateeq

    • sit on old carpets and enjoy some traditional Omani delicacies

 


 

Day 2 – Muscat to Jebel Shams

Oman road trip - Jebel Shams - 2017

Oman road trip – Jebel Shams

 

  • Scenic Drive from Muscat to Jebel Shams

    • a 4WD is advisable to climb the steep, winding mountain road
  • Camping

    • stunning wild camping atop the Jebel Shams Plateau
    • bring proper equipment, it gets quite cold up there

 


 

Day 3 – Jebel Shams

Oman road trip - Jebel Shams - 2017

Oman road trip – Jebel Shams

 

  • Hiking the Balcony Trail – W6

    • 2,5 hr hike from Al Khitaym to Sab
    • bring enough water and sth. to cover your head, sunscreen
  • Camping

    • awesome camping spot right above the abandoned village of Sab
    • bring all the supplies you need, camping equipment, enough food and water

 


 

Day 4 – Jebel Shams to Mudayrib

Oman road trip - Nizwa - 2017

Oman road trip – Nizwa

 

  • Bahla

    • Bahla Fort
    • the Souq in Bahla – great place to shop for pottery,  closed during midday
  • Nizwa

    • Nizwa Fort – very nice fort, only 0,500 OMR entrance fee
    • the famous Souk of Nizwa – great for souvenir shopping
    • Street Food – try the stalls on the side of the main parking lot

 


 

Day 5 – Mudayrib to Tiwi

Oman road trip - Wadi Bani Khalid - 2017

Oman road trip – Wadi Bani Khalid

 

  • Wadi Bani Khalid

    • no entrance fee
    • dress modestly, bring swimming clothes, snacks and sneakers, in case you wanna hike up the wadi
  • Sur

    • Restaurant Zahrat Bilad al Sham, on the main road – mouth-watering fruit juices and delicious affordable food

 


 

Day 6 – Tiwi to Ras al Hadd

Oman road trip - Wadi Shab - 2017

Oman road trip – Wadi Shab

 

  • Wadi Shab

    • amongst Oman’s most popular wadis
    • be here as early as possible (around 8.30 am) to beat the crowds
    • bring snacks and swimming clothes
  • Wadi Tiwi

    • less crowded
    • drive up the road as far as possible and park car before entering the first village, then walk the rest of the way

 


 

Day 7 – Around Ras al Hadd

Oman road trip - Ras Al Hadd - 2017

Oman road trip – beach close to Ras Al Hadd

 

  • Ras al Hadd

    • nice beach town, good place to stock up on supplies and fresh fish
  • Beach

    • between Ras al Hadd and Ras al Jinz
    • perfect camping location
    • if you’re lucky, turtles might come ashore at night to lay their eggs

 


 

Day 8 – Ras al Hadd to Masirah

Oman road trip - Masira - 2017

Oman road trip – Masirah Island

 

  • Masirah Island

    • cheaper, older ferry to Masira leaves from Shanah when full (one way 10 OMR per car)
    • Masira: sand, rocks, salt water, empty beaches and very little people
    • a gas station and shops can be found in the small town of Hilf

 


 

Day 9 – Masirah to Filim

Oman road trip - Road - 2017

Oman road trip – Desert

 

  • Desert

    • scenic drive through a lot of nothing
    • be aware of camels crossing the road
    • be aware of getting stuck in the loose desert sand

 


 

Day 10 – Filim to Ras Madrakah

Oman road trip - on the Road - 2017

Oman road trip – on the Road

 

  • Duqum

    • stock up on supplies in Duqum
    • the Rock Garden mentioned in a few travel guides can be ignored (there’s not much to see)
    • it was impossible to make it to the Oryx Reserve (inland) due to vast, road side construction work

 


 

Day 11 – Ras Madrakah

Oman road trip - Ras Al Madrakah - 2017

Oman road trip – Safe Beach – Ras Al Madrakah

 

  • Ras Madrakah

    • just some small shops in town
    • check out ‘Safe Beach’ (see photo above)a five-minute drive from the town of Ras Madrakah
    • awesome location for camping, beautiful beach, turquoise water, great sunsets
    • get some fresh fish from local fisher man for BBQ

 


 

Day 12 – Ras Madrakah to Khor Rori

Oman road trip - Road - 2017

Oman road trip – on the Road

 

  • Road to Salalah

    • probably the most scenic and impressive part of the road trip through Oman
    • road winds its way through rugged mountains and along the turquoise sea
    • several vantage points along the road offer stunning photo opportunities

 


 

Day 13 – Khor Rori

Oman road trip- Khor Rori - 2017

Oman road trip – Khor Rori

 

  • Taqah

    • medium-sized town with some supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants (awesome fruit juices)
    • fish can be bought from local fisherman right at the beach
  • Khor Rori

    • awesome stretch of sand, located east of Taqah (10 minute drive)
    • 4WD is advisable to reach that beautiful stretch of sand due to spiky rocks and pretty bad and rocky path
    • great for swimming (only in salt water) and camping
    • lots of camels wandering around feeding on fresh greens
    • BE CAUTIOUS: do not swim in the water of Wadi Dharbat as bilharzia is present here
    • local fisherman come in the evening and might sell you some fish

 


 

Day 14 – Khor Rori to Salalah

Oman road trip - Wadi Darbat - 2017

Oman road trip – Wadi Dharbat

 

  • Wadi Dharbat

    • especially beautiful during khareef but worth a visit at every time of the year
    • signs leading you all the way to a small parking lot
    • from there you can either take a small boat up the wadi for a few min. or you walk (way better)
    • bring some snacks and enjoy the beautiful nature
    • words of camels roaming around, therefore the water is contaminated with bilharzia: DO NOT SWIM HERE

 


 

Day 15 – Mughsail Beach

Oman Camping Spots - Mughsail Beach

Oman road trip – Mughsail Beach

 

  • Mughsail Beach

    • according to different resources (like guide books and locals), Mughsail Beach is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the whole of Oman
    • picnic shelters along the beach provide some shadow
    • very little traffic
    • nice place to try some camel meat right on the opposite side of the road (the camel goulash is delicious)
  • Blowholes

    • the blowholes on the western end of Mughsail Beach are active all year round but especially violate during the khareef season
    • no entrance fee
    • there’s a small restaurant nearby that serves some food and cold drinks and juices

 


 

Day 16 – Salalah

Oman road trip - Salalah - 2017

Oman road trip – Salalah

 

  • Frankincense Souk

    • one of the top tourist draws in Salalah
    • take your time, check different shops, talk to the owners and compare prices a little before buying
  • Gold Souk

    • come here in the late afternoon and spend some time exploring the little shops selling jewelry as well as antiques
    • bargaining is part of the game
  • Sultan Quaboos Mosque

    • beautiful mosque, especially photogenic during the blue hour
    • open to non-muslims Sat. – Thur. 8.00 am – 11.00 am
    • dress modestly (no shorts, no tank-tops, women have to cover their hair)
    • there’s different entrances for male and female
  • Baalbeck

    • libanese restaurant serving delicious food at decent pricing

 


 

Any questions or comments? Have you done a road trip through Oman and wanna share your experiences or itinerary? I’d really like to know what you would recommend. Just drop a comment below. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

And if you like what you see, feel free to connect on Instagram for Oman Road Trip photos.

 


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