Muscat
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Muscat Culture & History

From Muscat: Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole Full-Day Tour

1. From Muscat: Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole Full-Day Tour

Discover the incredible oasis of Wadi Shab - one of the last places in Oman where you can chill in fresh blue water surrounded by mountains. Enjoy a rewarding full-day experience as you explore this spectacular waterfall in a cave. Start the tour with pick up from your hotel in Muscat. Hop into an air-conditioned vehicle and set off on a 2-hour scenic drive through the otherworldly landscapes of Oman. Along the route, stop at a local coffee shop to try an energizing Omani tea. When you arrive at your destination, hidden away in the canyon of the dry river Wadi-Shab, take a very quick boat ride to the other side of the bank. From here, embark on your 40-minute hike. During the walk, experience the awesome power of nature which has forged the rock formations of this impressive canyon. Observe how the local farmers live and work, maintaining their crops in rough, rocky lands using the old irrigation system as their water supply. Be sure to bring along your waterproof cameras and shoes so that when you reach the lake you can snap some photos and walk around through the magnificent site. Admire the cascade of the waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the beautiful blue water to cool off from the heat. On the way back, stop to see a beautiful lake located in the Bimmah Sinkhole. Finally, return to the vehicle and begin the drive back to Muscat where you will be dropped off at your hotel and the tour concludes.

Muscat: Full-Day Nizwa Tour with Audio Guiding

2. Muscat: Full-Day Nizwa Tour with Audio Guiding

Get picked up from your hotel and head to the Shatti Al-Qurum hotel where the tour begins. Your driver will show you how to use the audio guide system to benefit the GPS enabled commentary (available in five languages) that follows the tour. Travel towards to Nizwa, Oman’s cultural capital and home to some of its most significant structures. Along the way, stop at a charming ancestral village called Birka Al Mawz, which sits at the base of Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain). In Nizwa, admire the central fort and its giant cannon tower; walk through the traditional souq (market); and, of course, enjoy a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, visit the unique Jabreen Castle, built in the 17th century. It has magnificent plasterwork, carved doors, and painted wooden beams. You'll also see Jebel Shams—one of the most famous mountains in Oman—and one of the oldest towns in the region, Oman Bahla, before heading back to your hotel.

Wahiba Sands & Wadi Bani Khalid Private Tour

3. Wahiba Sands & Wadi Bani Khalid Private Tour

Cross the desert dunes of Muscat by 4WD vehicle, and experience the adrenaline rush of driving across the rugged terrain in an off-road mode of transport. Make your way to the Wahiba Sands to see the traditional homes of the desert nomads and Bedouin tribes. Keep a look-out for the nomads as they move through the desert with their camels. Visit a Bedouin home in the middle of the desert, and contrast the arid landscape with the clear, blue waters of Wadi Bani Khalid. Enjoy a relaxing siesta in the shade of the palm trees, and catch a glimpse of the pretty villages scattered across the slopes of the wadi. Marvel at how the houses cling precariously to the rugged mountain side. Bring your swimming costume to take a dip in the inviting waters! 

From Muscat: Dimaniyat Islands Snorkeling Tour

4. From Muscat: Dimaniyat Islands Snorkeling Tour

Discover one of the jewels of Oman, the Dimaniyat Islands, on a boat tour from Muscat. Snorkel in a beautiful, UNESCO-protected nature reserve and admire the abundant sea life. Begin your day with pickup anywhere in Muscat before the Al Seeb area and transfer to the marina for the 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) journey northwest to the Dimaniyat Islands. Onboard, enjoy the scenic views of Muscat and the coastline, as well as unlimited soft drinks and water. Once at the Dimaniyat Islands, explore the nature reserve and stop in two different places for snorkeling. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, corals, and, if you're lucky, sharks, eels, and dolphins. Have the chance to find Nemos (clownfish) and see other different species of colored fish, too.

Muscat Half-Day City Tour with Audio Guiding

5. Muscat Half-Day City Tour with Audio Guiding

Discover the rich blend of ancient and modern architecture of Muscat on a half-day city tour. Learn how the city has undergone dramatic development in the past 3 decades, yet managed to preserve its age-old culture and heritage. Your driver will show you how to use the audio guide system to benefit the GPS enabled commentary that follows the tour. Start with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and then continue through the Ministries' area to see a number of modern buildings with a touch of ancient, Islamic architecture. Go to the fish market and explore the narrow alleyways of the Muttrah souk to soak up the scent of exotic spices, coffee beans and ancient remedies. Learn more about the history of Oman at the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Take a souvenir photo at the magnificent Al Alam Palace, flanked by the twin Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali. Itinerary: • 45 mins in Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque • 15 mins in the fish market • 30 mins in the Bait Al Zubair Museum  • 10 mins for a photo stop in Al Alam Palace • 10 mins for a photo stop in Mirani & Jalali • 30 mins in Muttrah Souq

Muscat: Sunset Cruise

6. Muscat: Sunset Cruise

Enjoy the calm waters off the coast of Muscat and admire some of the city's highlights from the deck of the dhow. Pass the 17th-century Portuguese fort, the Al Alarm Palace, as well as the Al Mirani and Al Jalali Forts. The activity starts with pickup from your accommodation. Catch the sunset over the water and be transported back in time to when these sailing vessels cruised up and down the coast of Eastern Arabia. After the excursion, hotel drop-off is provided.

Hajar Mountains: Private Day Trip from Muscat

7. Hajar Mountains: Private Day Trip from Muscat

Begin your tour driving through the Hajar Mountains to the township of Nizwa, which is the ancient capital of Oman. Visit Nizwa Fort and the traditional Souk.  Next, travel through the deep Wadi Ghul and arrive at Jebel Shams, Mountain of the Sun, which is the undisputed lord of the mountains. Jebel Shams is the highest peak of the Jebel Al Akhdar mountain range, soaring 3,000 meters above sea level. This is the Grand Canyon of Oman and provides spectacular scenery, ancient rock carvings, and remote villages.  Continue your tour to the beautiful old village of Misfah, perched on the side of a mountain where narrow ancient stone pathways lead you into the valley below. Have lunch at a restaurant where you can savor local delicacies at the top of the mountain. Afterward, explore the ancient labyrinth of the region of Al Hamra before your return trip to Muscat.

Muscat by Night with Local Dinner from Muscat

8. Muscat by Night with Local Dinner from Muscat

Being a rare blend of ancient and modern, Muscat is a beautiful city which lies in a maze of brown pleated Mountains. Lulled by the Arabian Sea, the city has undergone dramatic development in the past two or three decades. However, Muscat takes pride in the fact that it has preserved its lustrous culture and heritage. Your visit starts with a tour of the grand mosque, which is an architectural marvel and perhaps the new landmark of the city. The drive continues through the ministries' area, where you can see a number of modern buildings with touches of ancient, Islamic architecture. Then, visit the fish market and the folkloric Muttrah souk, with its narrow covered alleys where you can smell exotic aromas of mounds of spices, coffee beans, and ancient remedies, all enticing perfumes that fill the air. Next, engage in a visit to the Bait Al Zubair Museum, which has a fine exhibit of Omani history and culture, encompassing all of the areas traditional values. You will also have a photo-stop at the magnificent Al Alam Palace (the official residence of Sultan Qaboos) flanked by the twin Portuguese forts of Mirani & Jalali. Continue to Bait-Al-Baranda, a great museum in muscat, before finally stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon , take your time to better explore this mystic city and its captivating civilization. Have a chance to explore other souks, and discover all the treasures and spices that you can find.

From Muscat: 4-Day Oman Highlights Tour

9. From Muscat: 4-Day Oman Highlights Tour

Day 1 Get picked up from anywhere in Muscat and drive to visit the beautiful Nakhl Fortress. Lying amongst mountain foothills in a small village with extensive date palm plantations, this magnificent 350-year-old fortress rises out of the mountain rock, towering high above the ancient village, as if still warning would-be attackers of its ominous strength. Tour the inside of the restored fortress and visit all the rooms which have been decorated in their original style. Learn about the network of hidden escape routes and secret passages that riddle the structure. Admire an outstanding view from the top of the fortress over the mountains and green date plantations. From there, drive into the Wadi Bani Awf, a picturesque dry valley. Pass by the impressive Wadi Canyons and several small villages on a scenic 1.5-hour drive before continuing up the road leading into the Jebel Shams Mountains. Enjoy the adventurous, off-road drive up the mountain and take in fantastic views of the valley below. Then head to Nizwa where you'll stay for the night. Day 2 Get an early start to visit the famous Nizwa Souq, a traditional market that is among the largest of its kind in Oman. A wide variety of vendors offer their goods in the streets of the souk from 5:00 am to about 10:00 am each morning. Peruse stalls selling fish, meat, vegetables, pottery, jewelry, handicrafts, and souvenirs clustered in authentic old market halls. Especially interesting is the Friday cattle market when the locals from nearby villages come to sell their donkeys, goats, cattle, sheep, and chickens in a circus-style open market place. Next to the Souq is Nizwa Fortress. The fort is a museum today and offers splendid views of the ancient town and surrounding mountains. Wander around the impressive fortress and visit its many rooms, passages, and towers. Learn how the fort stands as an architectural testimony to the economic and military achievements of the early Yaruba dynasty from the mid-17th century. Imagine how perilous it was to walk the corridors during the times when numerous traps were laid to deter any intruders that might have penetrated the outer defenses. In the afternoon, head out to the Wahiba Sands desert for a relaxing night of desert camping. Go on an adventurous 4x4 sand dune drive and watch the stunning desert sunset from the top of one of the biggest dunes. Finish the day with dinner at the camp and a relaxing evening around a romantic campfire before heading to your tent for the night. Day 3 After a relaxing, slow breakfast in the desert camp, get underway to Wadi Bani Khalid, one of the biggest and most beautiful desert valleys in Oman. Spend time swimming, sunbathing, and having a picnic in the scenic wadi canyons. Drive on to Sur for a short city tour before continuing to Ras al Hadd to check in to your accommodation for the night. In the evening, visit the turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz. Go on a beautiful walking tour of the beach under the stars and spot the great sea turtles that stumble on to the beaches of Oman to build nests and lay their eggs. If you are lucky, you might even see baby turtles hatching from some nests. Day 4 On the last day, head to Wadi Shab, an enormous canyon gorge lined with palm trees and impressive indications of the power of the water that periodically rushes down from the mountains. Go on a 45-minute hike through the canyon to reach the first of several crystal clear water pools. Take a leisurely swim through the warm water from pool to pool until you reach the last one where an opening in the enormous rocks allows you to swim into a narrow cave with a small waterfall. Marvel at the speckles of sunlight that filter in, turning the water a beautiful turquoise blue color, and the water showering down one side of the cave from the Wadi beyond. In the late afternoon, drive back to Muscat.

From Muscat: Private Desert Safari with Camping Overnight

10. From Muscat: Private Desert Safari with Camping Overnight

Set off on a complete adventure. This overnight desert safari will help to expand your understanding of Omani heritage with a stay under the star-lit sky at a campsite in the desert. Take this unique opportunity to step back in time and experience Oman as it was five decades ago.  The evening promises incredible views of the sun dropping under the horizon and falcons soaring by. Your overnight stay is accompanied by a number of traditional Middle Eastern activities, which provide a glimpse into the lifestyle of locals. Witness and participate in activities such as henna tattooing, camel rides, sand boarding, sipping traditional kahwa (green tea), belly dancing, tanoura dancing, and much more. Savor a delicious, traditional barbecue before settling in for the night.

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What people are saying about Muscat

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 220 reviews

Amazing excursion to do when visiting Oman. Wadi Shab is extremely beautiful but be prepared for a long walk in the heat before you can actually start swimming. After Wadi Shab we stopped for lunch which was really good. We then headed on to see Bimmah Sinkhole which was quite crowded. I would say Wadi Shab was definitely more beautiful and the highlight of the trip. Abdullah (our guide) was extremely friendly and a really good host. He was at our hotel on time and throughout the journey went at our pace (it was only myself and my parents as there had been cancellations). Even at Wadi Shab he allowed us to stay however long we wanted and guided/helped us throughout the tour. He even added a little extra stop right at the end where we could view the city of Muscat which was very kind of him to do so. I would highly recommend booking with this company. They’re really efficient when it comes to communication. I requested a 9:30am start and they accommodated this for us.

The tour isn’t for the faint hearted. We began the tour into Wadi Shaab at the hottest part of the day which wasn’t ideal although the trek back was pleasant as the sun was setting. The trek is about 45minutes to an hour and comfortable shoes are a must! We were not told about life vests at the start of the tour which meant I couldn’t swim (as I’m not a strong swimmer) to the waterfall when we got to the wadi. which was an absolute shame Our tour guide was friendly and reassuring.

I loved the trip - pick up was on time. Island was lovely. First snorkelling spot had such rich marine life - saw turtles as well and so many colourful fishes. Then, we moved to 2nd snorkelling spot + beach. Packed food was offered that was sufficient and well thought through. Overall, great trip!

It was really awesome! Saw a lot of dolphins & even a sea turtle. They took our wishes into consideration... and since I had a hotel near the airport, I even had a private return transport :) highly recommended! Thanks to the great team :)

We did everything as advertised, with a friendly and knowledgeable guide.