by SALIM AL AFIFI
Nothing rhymes with Oman more than nature. It’s a country where varied landscapes and virgin nature take centre stage. From the ocean views of Musandam in the North to the sandy dunes of Al Sharqiyah region to the Amazonesque land of Salalah, travellers and explorers are bound to feel right at home as they dive into discovering the hidden gems of Oman.
Here are eight places you need to explore when visiting Oman, off the beaten path.
1. Sugar Dunes of Al Khaluf
Those who are undecided on whether to take a dip in the ocean or to camp atop the dunes they go to Al Khaluf region, where the desert meets the sea. The place is covered with soft, sugar dunes and is less frequented by tourists.
Coordinates: 20.4711° N, 58.0655° E
2. Al Wakan Village
Atop the mountains sits a small village by the name of Wakan Village, a place filled with green oasis of Wadi Mistal and breathtaking views of Al Hajar mountains. If you are a hiking enthusiast with stamina, then this should be in your list of places to visit.
Coordinates: 23° 8′ 34″ N, 57° 44′ 5″ E
3. The Sawadi and Daminiyat Islands
A visit to the Sawadi beach and its beautiful islands of Daminiyat is quite rewarding for swimming and snorkelling enthusiasts. Only a few towns away from Barka, the place is a great weekend escape for an afternoon barbecue session.
Coordinates: 23.8556° N, 58.0881° E
4. Wadi Bani Khalid
One of the few wadis that maintain a continuous flow of clear waters throughout the year. The wadi is known for its scattered boulders and large pools of water.
Coordinates: 22° 36′ 7.20″ N, 59° 04′ 58.80″ E
5. Wadi Shab
Another wadi that’s located close to Wadi Bani Khalid. Loved by tourists for its pools and hiking tracks. If you are an adventurer at heart, then a swim into the cave through the wadi is a must.
Coordinates: 22°50’13.72” N, 59°14’34.71″ E
6. Wadi Darbat
A trip to the southern part of Oman is incomplete without a stop at Wadi Darbat, an oasis of waters with spectacular views from Mother Nature. The place is a tourist-favourite in Autumn, as the weather becomes pleasing to the senses.
Coordinates: 17.1052° N, 54.4532° E
7. Bimmah Sink Hole
If you are fascinated by exotic rock formations and deep-in-the-ground sinkholes filled with crystal clear waters, then stop by Bimmah Sinkhole, one of the most stunning natural attractions in the country. Locals believe it was created by a falling meteorite. How interesting.
Coordinates: 23.0360 N 59.0720 E
8. Majlis Al Jin Cave
This underground cave on the eastern side of Al Hajar Mountains is considered the largest in the world. It truly is one of the greatest natural wonders you’ll encounter. You wouldn’t want to miss it.