Oman is a little known country in the Middle East, and it has to be said it is one of the gems of the region. The country offers you culture and history, a magnificent sweeping desert, diverse towns and cities, and beautiful beaches. If you’ve never been to the country, this is one for your bucket list. It is also tailor-made for road trips. The roads are smooth and long, and if you get a four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can see the more remote, culturally rewarding places. With this in mind, let’s look at what you need for a memorable and rewarding Oman road trip.
1 Your Oman Visa
Before you start phoning hire car companies, you will need a tourist visa for Oman to enter the country. Depending on where you are based, you can apply for your visa electronically, avoiding queues and other complications.
2 Choose the Right Vehicle for your Oman Road Trip
Choosing the right vehicle is essential, and it is advisable to go for a 4 x 4 car. This will make more of the country accessible. You will also get to see more of the sweeping desert, which is breathtaking. Given the nature of the terrain, a 4 x 4 is the best choice. They also give you more space to take camping, gear, and luggage.
3 Your Oman Itinerary
Muscat to Sur
Muscat is the capital of Oman, and like most capitals are diverse and culturally packed. It is worth spending at least a few days here to explore it before heading south along the coast road. The good thing about using the coast road is that it allows you to get to know your 4 x 4, and the contrast between the rugged mountains and calm sea that flanks you is quite divine and makes a great introduction to Oman.
Checking out Wadis – Oasis as you go
One of the great things about Oman is that there are Wadis dotted around the country. Some require you to hike to reach, but this only adds to the adventure. Once you reach them, you can reward yourself with a refreshing dip before moving on. The Wadis are named so that you can find them on a map. Other places you might want to stop at before arriving in Sur is the Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve. Here, you’ll find thousands of turtles, including the endangered Green Turtle. Sur is a town that has some incredibly interesting places to see, such as old forts and castles. The history here brings the country’s past alive. The old shipyards should feature on your places to visit list too.
Into the Desert
From Sur, you should take Interstate 23 and head into the desert. Here you can sample real Oman life in the towns of Jalan Bani Bu Ali and Jalan Bani Bu Hassan. These towns don’t see many tourists, and so this is how real Oman people live, giving you a new and refreshing perspective. From here, Oman is your oyster, so use desert camp stops to see the wonders of the country.