The Best Oman Itinerary: 10 Days in Oman + Insider Tips [2024]

Wahiba Sands Desert, One of the Best Stops on an Oman Travel Itinerary

Situated on the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is one of the most ancient places on earth. It’s also an incredibly fascinating and versatile travel destination, with just about something to offer any kind of traveler. Whether you’re after history, adventure, relaxation, or culture, this 10-day Oman itinerary will help you plan a trip of a lifetime.

This Oman travel itinerary is packed with insider tips, such as the best way to get around the country on your own and the coziest desert camps to spend the night. You’ll also find an alternative 5-day Oman itinerary and a 2-week Oman itinerary inside this guide.

From gorgeous wadis, mountains, and deserts to ancient fortresses, quiet beaches, and modern mosques, Oman offers an incredibly wide range of experiences for travelers. Get ready to discover them all!

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🌟 Planning Your Oman Itinerary: Quick Tips

Muscat: Al Bustan Palace (⭐️ 8.9)
Wahiba Sands: Desert Nights (⭐️ 8.8)
Nizwa: Antique Inn (⭐️ 8.5)
Jebel Akhdar: Alila Akhdar (⭐️ 9.3)

The Best Desert Tour (⭐ 4.5/5)
The Best Wadi Shab Tour (⭐ 4.3/5)
Full-Day Nizwa Tour (⭐️ 4/5)
Dolphin & Snorkeling Tour (⭐️ 4.2/5)

📝 10-Day Oman Travel Itinerary: An Overview

10 days is the perfect amount of time to explore Oman’s most interesting attractions while also allowing you to relax and soak it all in. Before we go into more details, here’s a quick overview of how to spend the perfect 10 days in Oman.

🌊 Day 1-2: Muscat
🏞 Day 3: Day trip to Wadi Shab
🐢 Day 4: Bimmah Sinkhole + Sur + Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
🏜 Day 5-6: Wahiba Sands Desert
🌿 Day 7: Wadi Bani Khalid + Ibra
🕌 Day 8: Nizwa
Day 9-10: Jebel Akhdar

✈️ How to Get Into Oman

✈️ Getting Into Oman By Air

The easiest way to reach Oman is to fly into Muscat International Airport (MCT) located in the capital of the country. This airport has many international connections, and you’re likely to transit in either Doha (Qatar) or Dubai (UAE).

🌟 Insider Tip: I recommend checking flights to Dubai, and then either booking a separate flight from Dubai to Muscat or taking a bus between those two cities — it might just be cheaper than flying directly to Muscat, depending on where you’re coming from!

Search for flights to Oman

landscape of jabal akhdar mountains

🚗 Getting Into Oman By Road

🚙 By Car: You can drive from the United Arab Emirates into Oman through several border crossings. The most common route is to go from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, through any of the following 3 border posts: Khatam Al Shukla, Hilli, or Al Ain – Buraimi (the last one is reserved for GCC residents only).

Crossing the border is easy and the roads are in great condition. Remember that you’ll have to pay for the visa to enter Oman at the border, and the car needs to be insured in Oman too.

🚌 By bus: There’s a daily bus service from Dubai to Muscat running at 7:30 am, 3:30 pm, and 11:00 pm. It’s a 6-hour journey and you can board the bus from 3 stops in Dubai: Rashidiya Metro Station, Abu Hail Metro Station, or Dubai Airport Terminal 2. A one-way ticket costs DH55 ($15 USD) while a return ticket costs DH90 ($25 USD).

road trip through the mountains

🚗 How to Get Around Oman for 10 Days

🚙 Rent a car: The easiest and most convenient way to get around Oman is to rent a car — specifically a 4WD — and discover this beautiful country on a self-drive road trip. The roads in Oman are in excellent conditions and it’s very safe to drive around on your own here. So, rent your favorite 4WD and pack some road trip essentials!

🌟 Why rent a car: Public transportation in Oman is very limited. Buses can get you between the main cities, but driving is often the only way to reach many of the spectacular places in this country. Alternatively, you could hire a guide or join a tour group if you’d prefer the company of a knowledgeable local, but renting a car is definitely the more affordable option.

🚙 How to Rent a Car in Oman

🚘 What type of car to rent: The best way to rent a car for Oman is to book it online before your trip. I highly recommend renting a 4WD if you’re planning to visit Wahiba Sands Desert or the mountains in Jebel Akhdar. The road to both places would be very unsafe to do in a regular car. Moreover, you’re not even allowed to drive into the desert without a 4WD.

💰 Prices & logistics: You can pick up your rented car directly at Muscat International Airport or in other parts of Muscat, the capital of Oman. Car rental usually starts at 9 OMR (~$25 USD) per day for a regular car and 20 OMR (~$55 USD) per day for a 4WD. You have to be at least 21 for most car-rental companies to accept your booking.

Rent a car for Oman

road trip through wahiba sands desert in a 4wd with camels walking by
Renting a 4WD is the best way to do an Oman self drive itinerary

🇴🇲 The Ultimate 10-Day Oman Itinerary

🗓 Day 1 – 2: Muscat

Muscat is the bustling capital and the largest city in Oman. It is characterized by beautiful white-washed houses lining a picturesque coastline. From majestic modern mosques to ancient souqs and delicious cuisine, this city has it all. There are also various luxury resorts in town for those seeking ultimate relaxation.

The Mutrah Corniche in Muscat, Oman

🌊 Top Things to Do in Muscat

1. Admire the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman and a remarkable example of modern Islamic architecture. Its beautifully symmetrical architecture and smooth marble floors make it one of the biggest highlights of Muscat.

Opened in 2001, this mosque can house up to 20,000 worshippers and is one of the only mosques in Muscat that’s open to non-Muslim visitors. It took 6 years to complete, and the chandelier inside the mosque holds 600,000 Swarovski crystals with 24-karat gold plating.

There are also tons of gorgeous mosaic patterns inside this mosque. You can easily spend 2-3 hours here admiring every corner and all the colorful details. Get to the mosque as soon as it opens (8:00 am) as it starts to get very crowded starting around 9:30 am. This way, you can have at least an hour to enjoy this place in peace and quiet.

📸 Photography Tip: Bring a wide-angle lens to best capture the majestic architecture of this mosque. A regular lens simply wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I used my Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 to take these pictures, and am very pleased with this lens.

Opening hours: For non-Muslim visitors — from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, every day except for Friday.
🧕🏻 Dress code: You must be covered from head to toe — including wrists and ankles. Women must wear headscarves too.
2. Climb the Mutrah Fort & Stroll Along the Mutrah Corniche

Mutrah Fort stands on top of a rocky hill and offers beautiful views of Muscat and the sea. It has 3 towers and was built by the Portuguese in the 1580s as a defense against the Ottoman army. You can climb up this fort to get some stunning panoramic views of the city.

The road down from the fort will lead you to the picturesque Mutrah Corniche, a curved waterside area that offers gorgeous views of the sea and mountains. Take a relaxing stroll along this road. On one side, you’ll see a row of white-washed houses against a backdrop of mountains, and on the other side, a peaceful view of the ocean.

Mutrah Fort opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 9 am - 6:30 pm / Fridays: 9-11 am, 2-6:30 pm
🎫 Mutrah Fort entrance fees: Free
3. Shop for Souvenirs at Mutrah Souq

While you’re at Mutrah Corniche, make sure to drop by Mutrah Souq — one of the oldest markets in the world. You can find all kinds of souvenirs here, from hand-made jewelry and purses to Afghan war hats and furniture. You’ll also see stylish lanterns, rugs, and perfumes, as well as items made with pure Omani silver.

souvenirs in mutrah souq muscat
Opening hours: 9 am - 1 pm, 4 pm - 9 pm daily
4. Catch a Performance at the Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House of Muscat is Oman’s main cultural and musical venue. It hosts performances ranging from jazz, opera, and world music to ballet and dance.

While watching a concert here is one of the coolest things to do in Muscat, this opera house is worth visiting for its architecture alone. Its shiny white marbles create gorgeous reflections on the ground. Be sure to bring your camera!

royal opera house in muscat

🌟 Top Tip: If you plan on visiting the Royal Opera House without watching a performance, be sure to book a guided tour because without one, you won’t be allowed to enter the opera house at all. The interiors are truly captivating and worth a visit!

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
🎫 Guided tour fees: Adults - 3 OMR ($8 USD) / Children - 1 OMR ($2.50 USD) / Groups - 2 OMR ($5 USD) per person
🎭 To book the tour: Click here
5. Enjoy a Delicious Meal at Kargeen

Kargeen is one of the most splendidly decorated restaurants in Muscat. It has a very authentic vibe and the traditional Omani dishes they serve are a must-try. If there’s one restaurant you have to check out during your time in Oman, it’s here. They also serve shisha with fresh coconut and pineapple flavors — it’s a great way to relax after a long day of sightseeing!

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8 am - 12 am / Fridays: 12 pm - 12 am
🥘 Price range: 4 - 6 OMR ($10 - 15 USD) per person 
6. Take a Swim at Shatti Al Qurum Beach

If you want to relax even more during your time in Muscat, head over to Shatti Al Qurum Beach (also known as ‘Shatti Beach’) for a swim in the Gulf of Oman. It’s also an amazing place to watch sunset and get some shade under the palm trees. There are many restaurants nearby too!

shatti al qurum beach in muscat

🏡 The Best Places to Stay in Muscat

🌴 Al Bustan Palace — For the best beachfront views

Al Bustan Palace (⭐️ 8.9) is the perfect resort to enjoy the stunning seaside views that Muscat has to offer. Set against the Al Hajar mountains, this Ritz-Carlton hotel offers many rooms that open right up to dreamy pools. It’s also home to a large seaside pool lined with tropical palm trees.

Aside from its many pools, Al Bustan Palace also offers its own 0.6-mile-long private beach and beachfront restaurants. Moreover, there’s a variety of spa treatments, and kids can enjoy Al Bustan reef snorkeling, beach soccer, and several Omani culture workshops.

Check rates & availability

⛲️ The Chedi Muscat — For zen & relaxation

The Chedi Muscat (⭐️ 8.7) is the ultimate beachfront resort for zen and relaxation. This picturesque complex is lined with palm trees and oozes a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. You’ll also be accompanied by the soothing sound of chirping birds and water streaming from fountains as you explore this resort.

One of the main highlights of The Chedi is its Long Pool, which at 103 meters, is the longest pool in the Middle East (twice as long as an Olympics pool!). It’s the perfect place to take a refreshing dip in the hot Omani weather. This resort also offers yoga and pilates classes, as well as an award-winning spa.

Check rates & availability

🗓 Day 3: Day Trip to Wadi Shab

After your first two days in the capital of Oman, it’s time to dive deep into the fascinating nature of this country. Wadi Shab is one of Oman’s most visited outdoor attractions, and it’s not hard to see why. For those of you who don’t know, a wadi is essentially a valley, and it’s commonly found in Oman and Jordan.

Wadi Shab consists of 3 natural pools that you can swim in, a mystical waterfall inside a cave which you can also plunge into, and a gorgeous hiking trail leading up to it all. Overall, the experience here felt like being inside a natural water park — one with stunning views of canyons all around you. It is truly magical.

canyons and water at wadi shab
The breathtaking Wadi Shab — one of the best stops on an Oman road trip itinerary

🚣‍♀️ Getting into Wadi Shab

Step 1: Drive to the Car Park

The drive from Muscat to Wadi Shab is around 1.5 hours, making it an easy day trip to take. From Muscat, drive to the Wadi Shab parking lot. Simply type in “Wadi Shab Parking” into your Google Maps and it’ll be easy to find — there are clear road directions along the way too.

wadi shab street sign
Step 2: Take a Boat to the Hiking Trail

Once you arrive at the car park, make sure to use the bathroom there (open from 7 am to 7 pm) because there won’t be any inside the wadi. Then, to get to the hiking trail that’ll take you to the pools, you’ll need to take a boat.

The boat ride is around 2 minutes long and costs 1 OMR ($2.60 USD) per person for a return trip. It operates from 8 am to 5 pm — make note of this so that you don’t miss the last boat back!

man on a boat in wadi shab
Photo courtesy of Kylie Nicholson /
Step 3: Hike to the Wadi Pools

Once you get off the boat, you’ll be at the beginning of Wadi Shab’s hiking trail. It takes around 45 minutes to hike to the pools, and you’ll be passing by some truly remarkable sights of canyons and blue waters of the wadi. Make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes because you’ll be going through some uneven and slippery surfaces.

🏞 What to do in Wadi Shab

🏊‍♀️ Swim in the Three Pools

At the end of your hike, you’ll reach Wadi Shab’s three natural pools. Swimming in them is the main thing to do in this wadi, and the views you get from the water are simply breathtaking. The first pool is the most shallow one and is suitable for non-swimmers, beginners, and children.

The second pool starts to get deeper the further you swim, so if you don’t feel confident in your swimming abilities, I recommend staying in the shallower section or in the first pool.

The third pool is the deepest of them all — you won’t be able to touch the bottom of the pool with your feet, so I only recommend this pool for excellent swimmers.

🌊 Please note: Water levels can change depending on whether or not it rained the day before, so make sure to check the weather forecast before visiting.
🔮 Swim to a Waterfall Inside a Hidden Cave

At the end of the third pool, you’ll see a very thin gap between the rocks. It may look like a dead-end, but if you swim through that narrow gap, you’ll end up in a mystical cave with a waterfall inside of it.

Swimming in the cave is truly a magical experience and an unmissable activity if you’re a good swimmer. However, do not go swimming inside this cave if it rained the day before — it would be very unsafe and the gap between the rocks would be submerged anyway.

water inside wadi shab cave
🏊‍♀️ Disclaimer: This experience is only safe for excellent swimmers. If you can't swim and keep afloat for at least 10 minutes straight, don't go inside this cave.

🌟 Important Tips for Visiting Wadi Shab

  • Make note of the last boat back
    After you’re done swimming in the wadi, make your way back to the boats via the same hiking trail you came from. The last boat operates at 5 pm — make note of this so that you don’t miss it. It’s the only way to get back to the parking lot!
  • Bring a waterproof dry bag
    A waterproof dry bag not only allows you to keep your essentials with you as you swim inside the pools, but it also acts as a floaty if you get tired of swimming and just want to rest a bit. This item can really make a big difference on your Wadi Shab experience.
  • Bring a waterproof phone case
    If you’d like to take pictures while you’re in the water or simply don’t want to leave your phone unattended outside the pools, then a waterproof phone case really comes in handy. It will allow you to wear your phone around your neck while you’re in the water.
man hiking in wadi shab
  • Wear your swimsuit underneath your normal clothes
    There are no changing rooms at the wadi as you are out in nature, so make sure to have your swimsuit on you before you start your hike to the wadi!
  • Bring flip flops for walking in shallow pools
    The second pool in the wadi has a lot of pebbles at the bottom, so having flip flops on will make it less painful for your feet.
  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes
    The hike to the wadi will take you through tough surfaces and you’ll be climbing up rocks at times too. A good pair of hiking shoes will come in handy, as this is definitely not a hike to do in flip flops.
  • Pack the following essentials and leave the rest in your car
    Put your goggles, towel, water, snacks, and sunscreen in your waterproof bag and leave the rest of your stuff in the car — you don’t want to be swimming with too much on you!
  • Avoid visiting Wadi Shab during rain
    Rain can bring flash floods with them and it wouldn’t be safe nor enjoyable for your visit. Also note that if it has rained the day before, the water level inside the wadi pools can be higher than usual and you won’t be able to access the cave at the end of the pools.
  • Don’t hike off-trail
    There are signs all over the wadi that point out where it’s safe and where it’s prohibited to hike. I recommend taking these signs very seriously. During our time in Wadi Shab, we actually witnessed a man falling from a cliff while hiking off-trail. He sadly didn’t make it.
wadi shab boats by the river

🗓 Day 4: Bimmah Sinkhole – Sur – Ras Al Jinz

On day 4 of this Oman road trip itinerary, you’ll be exploring an enchanting sinkhole, a picturesque port city, and a unique nesting site for green turtles. Get ready to swim with plenty of fish, enjoy quiet seaside strolls, and observe adorable turtles lay their eggs.

1. Bimmah Sinkhole

The next stop on your Oman itinerary is Bimmah Sinkhole, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the country. Many locals believe this sinkhole was created by a meteorite, although that remains merely a myth.

Bimmah Sinkhole is an easy 1.5-hour drive from Muscat and it’s very easy to find. It is approximately 20 meters (65 ft) deep, and when you’re inside its clear turquoise water, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of fish. Swimming here is an unmissable experience.

people swimming inside bimmah sinkhole

🌟 Top tips for your visit: There are bathrooms at the entrance of Bimmah Sinkhole, where you can change into your swimsuit. Because the water is 20 meters (65 ft) deep, you can also cliff jump. You can choose from how high you want to dive — ranging from 1.5 m (5 ft) to 6 m (20 ft) — but remember to stay safe!

Opening hours: 8 am - 8 pm daily
🎫 Entrance fees: Free

2. Sur

After you’re done swimming in Bimmah Sinkhole, make your way to the picturesque seaside city of Sur. Sur is only 1 hour by car from Bimmah Sinkhole, and it’s famous for its port, which is one of the oldest ports in the world.

This port played a big role in international trade between Arabia, South East Asia, and Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Sur is also known for its excellent ship-building craft — particularly wooden ships.

During your time in Sur, be sure to stop by the charming Al Ayjah Lighthouse. Although you can’t go inside nor climb it, it’s located right by the sea — making it a great spot to take a stroll and relax by the water.

You can also get a really cool city view of Sur from this lighthouse. Standing in front of you is a row of white-washed houses and mosques against a misty backdrop of mountains.

If you have extra time, take a walk from the lighthouse alongside the Sur Corniche to enjoy the calming waterfront during sunset.

girl walking in sur next to sea and boats

3. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Ready to see some turtles? One of the most special experiences you can have in Oman is watching sea turtles dig their nests and lay their eggs on a sandy bay. A 45-minute drive from Sur, the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve protects thousands of turtles that migrate to Oman’s beaches every year.

The turtles won’t appear during the day, but they make their way to the shore at night and then slide back into the ocean during sunrise. That’s why it’s best to get to Ras Al Jinz in the evening after visiting Sur.

turtle on a beach at ras al jinz reserve

To see the turtles on this beach, you’ll have to join a group tour. In the evening tour, you can watch the turtles walk out of the ocean and onto the beach, dig holes into the sand, and lay their eggs. You can also join a sunrise tour to see them make their journey back into the water.

The eggs usually hatch after 55 days, so if you’re lucky, you might also spot some baby turtles make their way into the ocean!

🌟 How to book these turtle tours: The easiest way is to book a stay at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, and these guided turtle tours are included in the price. Since these tours take place in the dark, you’ll have to stay overnight at this site anyway.

Book your stay & turtle tour

turtle walking back to ocean at ras al jinz reserve during sunrise
Tour hours: Evening tours - 9 pm / Sunrise tours - 5 am
🐢 Peak turtle hatching season: May to September, although the turtles come all year-round.

🗓 Day 5 – 6: Wahiba Sands Desert

After swimming in natural pools and observing turtles, it’s time to explore another side of Oman — its magical desert dunes. Nestled in the heart of eastern Oman, the Wahiba Sands Desert is a massive stretch of dunes about 3 hours by car from the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. Visitors can enjoy plenty of adventurous and relaxing activities here.

⛺️ Camp Under the Stars — Where to Stay

Of all the places to stay in Wahiba Sands Desert, Desert Nights Camp (⭐️ 8.8) is the most remarkable one. Set against the beautiful desert landscape, this 5-star camp offers luxurious Bedouin-style tents perfect for those seeking the ultimate desert glamping experience.

Guests can also enjoy lots of free services, including a drive up to the dunes in a 4×4 vehicle to watch the sunset. Moreover, camel rides at sunrise can be booked as well. Inside this magical desert camp, there are also villas complete with pools!

Check rates & availability

Desert Night Camp in Wahiba Sands Desert in Oman
Photo courtesy of Desert Nights Camp via

🏜 Top Things to do in the Wahiba Sands Desert

From watching sunrise on the dunes to stargazing; from dune bashing to driving ATVs and camel riding, there are plenty of activities in the Wahiba Sands Desert to keep you busy for two days. Many desert camps can also arrange dune bashing, camel riding, and ATV driving for you.

I also highly recommend simply exploring the dunes on foot; you’ll find some of the best viewpoints that way. You can also slide down the tall dunes and make them your natural playground. This is a great place to slow down, unwind, and soak in the sandy landscapes.

🌟 Top Tip: Be sure to pack lots of water, a flashlight for walking around at night, warm clothes (it gets cooler in the evenings), and sandals/flip flops because otherwise, the sand will burn your feet!

camel at wahiba sands desert
🚗 Please note: In order to reach and drive around the desert, a 4WD is required. It's very easy for regular cars to get stuck in the sand. Be sure to also deflate your tires at a local shop right before entering the desert. You'll find many of these shops right by the entrance to the desert.

🗓 Day 7: Wadi Bani Khalid – Ibra – Nizwa

After 2 magical days in the desert, it’s time to explore the historical side of Oman. Ibra and Nizwa are two ancient cities bustling with historical attractions and rich culture. Before you get there, though, be sure to stop by the unmissable Wadi Bani Khalid.

1. Wadi Bani Khalid

The next stop on your Oman road trip itinerary is Wadi Bani Khalid, a family-friendly deep-water valley that offers incredible views. It’s the perfect place to go for a refreshing dip and explore from the water, or to simply take a stroll and admire the stunning landscapes.

From Wahiba Sands Desert, it takes just 1 hour to reach the parking lot of this wadi.

The first pool of this wadi is an easy 10-minute walk from the parking lot. Enjoy a fun swim there, but don’t stop there. Follow the sign at the bridge and make your way to Muqal Cave afterward. The walk there is simply breathtaking, and you’ll also pass by the upper pools, which might just become your favorite swimming spots in Oman.

🌟 Important Tips for Visiting Wadi Bani Khalid
  • There’s a modest dressing code at this wadi because a lot of locals and kids come here. Women must wear a t-shirt over their swimsuits and their upper thighs should be covered too, even inside the pools. This modest swimsuit will come in handy.
  • Wear sandals or water shoes — you’ll be walking on rocks and boulders and crossing shallow streams, so be sure to have comfortable waterproof shoes.
  • Pack some goggles, towels, snacks, and water in a waterproof dry bag, which you can also use as a floaty inside the pools.
  • Put your phone inside a waterproof phone case so that you can comfortably take pictures from the water (and trust me — you will want to!).
  • Avoid the crowds and come here on a weekday.
the view of a pool and mountains in wadi bani khalid
Wadi Bani Khalid — one of the best stops on this Oman travel itinerary
🌊 Please note: The pools in this wadi can be up to 9 meters (30 ft) deep. There are edges you can hold onto in most of the pools, but please take precautions and don't swim here unless you're confident in your swimming abilities.

2. Ibra

After taking a dip in Wadi Bani Khalid, it’s time to make your way to Nizwa, where you’ll be spending the night. Before you do this, though, I highly recommend stopping by the ancient town of Ibra, which is along the way.

Ibra is roughly a 1-hour drive from Wadi Bani Khalid, and it’s home to a souq (market) and an Old Quarter filled with historical ruins. Be sure to check out the Jami al-Hamoda Mosque, which has a mud-brick roof made up of 50 domes. Then, head to the Ibra Ladies Souq to catch a glimpse of local life.

ancient ruins in the city of ibra
Ibra — one of the most historical stops on this 10 days in Oman itinerary

3. Antique Inn, Nizwa

From Ibra, make your way onward to Nizwa, an ancient city in northern Oman. Driving there from Ibra takes around 2 hours. You’ll spend the next day exploring this vibrant town, but by the time you get here on day 7, it will be nighttime.

Spend the night in Nizwa at Antique Inn (⭐️ 8.5), a stunning hotel that features a garden, an outdoor pool, and traditionally-decorated rooms. This hotel is also just 180 m (200 yards) from Nizwa Fort, the main attraction in town.

Check rates & availability

Antique Inn in Nizwa, Oman
Photo courtesy of Antique Inn via

🗓 Day 8: Nizwa

Nizwa is an ancient city known for its majestic Nizwa Fort, a 17th-century castle built to defend the town’s position on a major trade route. Right next to this fort is the Nizwa Souq, a vibrant marketplace lined with handicrafts stalls and silversmiths working in small shops. Spend a day exploring these two amazing attractions at your own pace.

1. Nizwa Fort

The picturesque Nizwa Fort is one of the most magical fairytale destinations on earth. It was built in the 17th century to defend Nizwa’s position on a major trade route. The fort itself took 12 years to complete, and there’s also a castle in the complex, which was built in the 9th century.

This fort showcases various defense mechanisms that Omanis have used in the past — including pitfalls, honey traps, and gun shooting windows. Inside the castle, you’ll also find the Imam and his family’s rooms.

One can easily spend hours exploring all the different corners of this beautiful fort, and you can even get a stunning view of the city from there.

🌟 Insider Tip: There’s a traditional Omani sword dance performance that takes place right by the entrance of the fort every Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday. It’s truly a fantastic display of the local culture and traditions, so try to visit on those days to catch it.

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8 am - 8 pm / Fridays: 8 am - 11:30 am, 1:30 pm - 8:00 pm
🎫 Entrance fees: 5 OMR ($13 USD) for adults / 3 OMR ($8 USD) for children

2. Nizwa Souq

Just outside Nizwa Fort, you’ll find the colorful Nizwa Souq. It’s one of the oldest markets in Oman and sells authentic Omani antiques, pottery, textiles, and more. There’s also a section of it dedicated to fruits, meat, and sweets. Take a relaxing stroll here to get some souvenirs and to catch a glimpse of local life.

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 6 am - 1 pm, 4 pm - 10 pm / Fridays: 5 am - 11 am

🏡 Where to Stay in Nizwa

As you might remember from the previous day’s itinerary, I recommend spending two nights at Antique Inn (⭐️ 8.5), a unique hotel with tons of traditional decoration, a beautiful garden, and a dreamy outdoor pool. Walking into this hotel will make you feel like stepping into an ancient fairytale. It is also just 180 m (200 yards) from Nizwa Fort and Nizwa Souq!

Check rates & availability

Antique Inn in Nizwa, Oman
Photo courtesy of Antique Inn via

🗓 Day 9 – 10: Jebel Akhdar

The last two days of your Oman 10 day itinerary will be spent in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar. These peaks (also known as Al Jabal Al Akhdar) are a part of the Al Hajar Mountains and are as high as 2,980 m (9,776 ft). It takes around 2 hours to drive here from Nizwa, and this is the perfect last stop to cool down and enjoy thrilling adventures.

Jebel Akhdar Mountains in Oman
🚗 Please note: In order to drive to Jebel Akhdar, you're required to have a 4WD (the road is very steep so only 4WDs are allowed to pass). Make sure to rent the right car!

🧗🏻 Top Things to do in Jebel Akhdar

Adventurous souls will love trekking in the canyons and climbing via ferrata in Jebel Akhdar. Even non-experienced hikers can enjoy the Four Village Walk, which lets you explore the local irrigation systems as well as traditional mountain villages constructed with baked mud.

Other unmissable stops in Jebel Akhdar include Diana’s Point is also inside the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Hotel (⭐️ 9.2). It’s the perfect spot to catch the sunset and is also named after the late Princess Diana, who once watched it there.

Be sure to also check out the ancient village of Wadi Bani Habib!

🌟 Take note: The temperature in Jebel Akhdar is a lot cooler compared to the other attractions in this Oman in 10 days itinerary. Be sure to bring warm layers!

🏡 The Best Places to Stay in Jebel Akhdar

🏞 Alila Jabal Akhdar — For breathtaking mountain views

The breathtaking Alila Jabal Akhdar (⭐️ 9.3) is an ultra-luxurious resort with gorgeous views of the Al Hajar Mountains. It offers dreamy outdoor and indoor pools, luxury villas with private pools, and suites with terrace views of the mountains. Moreover, all of its rooms come with panoramic mountain views.

Aside from restaurants and a spa & wellness center, this resort also offers plenty of fun activities such as cycling, hiking, yoga, and cooking classes. Guests can also enjoy guided tours of the nearby mountain villages and experience warm Omani hospitality.

Check rates & availability

Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman
Photo courtesy of Alila Jabal Akhdar via
💦 Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar — For the best pool views

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar (⭐️ 9.2) is the highest 5-star resort in the Middle East and has an iconic cliff-edge infinity pool with panoramic mountain views. It offers over 100 luxury rooms and villas overlooking either the dramatic canyons or tranquil gardens of the resort. Some villas even have private infinity pools overlooking the cliffs!

This resort is also home to a top-notch spa complete with a hammam and a tennis court. More remarkably, the famous Diana’s Point is right inside this hotel. Guests can also enjoy a plethora of authentic cultural experiences and partake in via ferrata climbing, hiking, archery, mountain biking, and more.

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🏝 Prolong Your Trip — 2 Weeks Oman Itinerary

If you have some extra time in Oman and would prefer a 2-week itinerary, here are some ways you can spend the next 4 days in this country.

Option 1: Masirah Island

  • Day 11: Drive from Jebel Akhdar to the jaw-dropping Masirah Island — it’s an 8-hour drive so will take up most of the day.
  • Day 12-13: Relax in Masirah Island’s beautiful stretch of white sandy beaches. Enjoy turtle-watching, kite-surfing, fishing, and more.
  • Day 14: Drive back to Muscat (it’s around a 6.5-hour drive from Masirah Island).

Option 2: Salalah

  • Day 11: Drive from Jebel Akhdar to the colorful subtropical city of Salalah — it’s an 11-hour drive so will take up the whole day.
  • Day 12-13: Explore Salalah’s captivating waterfalls, beaches, castles, and caves.
  • Day 14: Fly out of Salalah Airport once you’re done exploring
salalah waterfall and mountains seen on oman itinerary
The beautiful Salalah — one of the best stops on an Oman 2 week itinerary

🏞 Alternative Oman 5 Day Itinerary

If you’d prefer a shorter Oman 5 days itinerary with the best highlights of the country, here’s a more compact itinerary you can follow.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Muscat and explore the capital
  • Day 2: Day trip to Wadi Shab from Muscat
  • Day 3: Get to Bimmah Sinkhole early in the morning and go straight to Wahiba Sands Desert (around a 3-hour drive) afterwards and catch the sunset there.
  • Day 4: Spend half a day in Wahiba Sands Desert and the other half in Wadi Bani Khalid. Then drive to Nizwa in the evening and spend the night there.
  • Day 5: Explore Nizwa (it’s 1.5 hours away from Muscat if you need to catch a flight from there afterwards)

🏜 Useful Things to Know Before Visiting Oman

🛂 Getting the Oman eVisa

Oman offers an eVisa to citizens of many countries, including the US, Canada, UK, and most countries in the EU. The eVisa is easy to get and you can apply for it here. It costs 20 OMR ($50 USD) and will let you stay in the country for 30 days.

🔮 Oman Travel Insurance

Having travel insurance gives me peace of mind, and I highly recommend getting it because let’s be real — the last thing we want on any trip is for accidents and mishaps to get in the way. I use a service called World Nomads and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, and a reliable 24/7 on-call service.

Get a quote from World Nomads

💵 Currency & ATMs in Oman

The currency in Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR) and 1 OMR is worth roughly $2.60 USD. This country is very modern and there are ATMs everywhere. You’ll find them at the airport, inside hotels, in banks, etc., so you don’t need to carry huge amounts of cash with you. Visa and Mastercard are both accepted here.

flowers at sultan qaboos grand mosque in muscat

💰 Costs of Traveling in Oman

🏡 Accommodations: $50 – $70 USD per night for a double room in a 3 star / 4 star hotel
🥘 Food: $10 – $15 USD per meal (per person)
🚗 Car rental: $550 USD for 10 days (for a 4WD)
Fuel: $35 USD for a full tank (65L)
📱 SIM card: $13 USD (2 GB + unlimited WhatsApp for 10 days) with Omantel

🥘 Food in Oman

There are lots of delicious traditional dishes and snacks to try in Oman. Aside from dates (which you’ll find everywhere), some of the most remarkable dishes and snacks are:

  • Shuwa (grilled meat marinated in Omani spices)
  • Majboos (a mix of rice, meat, veggies, and spices)
  • Mashuai (grilled kingfish in lemon sauce)
  • Meshkak (curry kebab)
  • Harees (a mix of meat and wheat)
  • Halwa (a dessert made of rose water, sugar, eggs, honey, nuts, and Omani spices)
man picking up dates at a market

🌎 Is English Spoken in Oman?

While Oman’s main language is Arabic, many locals speak English as it’s the unofficial second language of the country. That’s why traveling in this country is easy and relaxing — you shouldn’t experience any major language barriers.

☀️ The Best Time to Visit Oman

  • For the best weather but large crowds: November through March (17° – 30°C / 62° – 86°F) 
  • For less crowds but hotter temperatures: April, and August through October (25° – 36°C / 77° – 96°F)
  • Avoid traveling to Oman from May through July as it gets unbearably hot (29° – 40°C / 84° – 104°F)

My recommendation is to go anytime from November through March as the weather is ideal, and although it’s high season in Oman, the crowds really aren’t too bad in most places. Oman has lots of natural attractions, so there’s a ton of space for the crowds to spread out.

The Mutrah Corniche in Muscat, Oman

🧕🏻 What to Wear in Oman

If you plan on visiting mosques and other religious sites, you need to wear a headscarf (if you’re a woman) and clothes that cover your whole body, including ankles and wrists.

However, in other places in Oman, you can technically wear whatever you want. With that said, it’s always nice to respect the local culture and cover your knees and shoulders when you can. And don’t forget to bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun!

💛 Is Oman Safe to Visit?

Oman is one of the safest countries on earth to travel to — for solo female travelers as well. In fact, this country boasts a virtually non-existent crime rate thanks to the very strict Sharia laws that are in place.

The threat of terrorism in Oman is also non-existent; there have been no occurrences of it in the last few decades. In fact, in 2020, the Global Terrorism Index gave the “impact of terrorism” in Oman a score of literally zero.

🌐 Internet & SIM Cards in Oman

The hotels in Oman generally offer fast and reliable WiFi. You can use it to download offline Google Maps too, so that you can use them on the road in areas with little signal.

If you prefer having a SIM card though, Omantel is the best provider in the country and they have a booth right inside Muscat International Airport. They offer a 10-day Tourist Pack for 5 OMR ($13 USD) which includes 2GB of data, 50 domestic minutes + texts, and unlimited WhatsApp usage.

people playing on wahiba sands desert

🌿 Oman Itinerary 10 Days – Final Thoughts

I hope this Oman travel itinerary and road trip guide has been helpful and provided you with lots of useful information. From my personal experience, Oman is definitely one of the most spectacular places on earth, and I hope you’ll feel the same way about it after your trip.

If you’re looking to explore other fascinating places in the Middle East, don’t miss out on the beauty of Iran, either!

view of mountains and sea in the middle east

📸 My 10-Day Oman Photography Gear

This is the photography gear I used to capture the beauty of Oman. You can also see my article on the best cameras for bloggers for more options other than the ones listed below.

I hope this 10 day Oman itinerary was helpful and inspiring!

For further reading on other less-visited destinations, discover:
🇮🇷 36 Most Beautiful Places in Iran
🇺🇿 The Ultimate 10-Day Uzbekistan Itinerary
🇵🇰 11 Best Places to Visit in Lahore, Pakistan
🇦🇿 27 Best Places to Visit in Baku, Azerbaijan
🇫🇯 Top 12 Things to do in Nadi, Fiji

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Special thanks to @thestrollingshutter for contributing some of his beautiful photography to this article.

55 thoughts on “The Best Oman Itinerary: 10 Days in Oman + Insider Tips [2024]”

  1. A couple years go I road-tripped across the United Arab Emirates and it was an INCREDIBLE experience. We’d heard while we were there that Oman was amazing as well, and your pics confirm that! Pinning this because it sounds like we need to road trip Oman as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m happy you liked this Erin! Thanks so much for the kind words. Sounds like I need to road trip across UAE too – sounds amazing!

  2. Wow! This is an amazing itinerary Jiayi! I totally want to go to Oman at some point, so I’m keeping this post handy. 🙂

  3. I’ve never even thought of visiting but now it is definitely on my bucket list! Thank you for helping me learn about new places 🙂

  4. Absolutely stunning photos – the photos alone have bumped Oman up my list of places to go. The wadis in particular look so inviting!

  5. You are such a fantastic photographer. I have wanted to visit Oman for a while but wowza, you make it look more beautiful than I could have imagined.

    I would love love loooove to go trekking in the mountains of Oman.

    • Thank you so much Josy! So kind of you! Yesss so many beautiful mountains to trek there! You’d love it 🙂

  6. Wow, your photos are incredible!!! Seriously love this guide as it makes me want to go back to Oman! It’s such a great country!

  7. Your photos are incredible!!! Absolutely breathtaking! You have most certainly convinced of Oman as a must-see destination. It seems like an amazing experience.

  8. Your photos are stunning! I honestly haven’t heard much of Oman, but am definitely going to do some research and save this for later as it looks like a must see.

  9. Oman has been on my bucketlist for years and the way i’ve always wanted to do it is via road trip! This is so inspiring and your pictures absolutely capture so much detail and beauty. I have pinned this to refer back to when I manage to make it over there!

    • Thanks so much Tammy! I’m really happy this was useful and I’m sure you will love this incredible country! 🙂

  10. Oman looks beautiful! It’s never really registered as a destination I wanted to visit before but your photographs are stunning! This guide is fantastic, I think Oman has been bumped up my bucket list! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hannah |

  11. Such an informative post! I have been wanting to visit Oman. The architecture looks stunning! Loved your photos and the desert there looks amazing!

  12. Omg your pictures are absolutely beautiful, wow! I love the Middle-East in general and it looks like I have to add Oman to my bucket list as well. Gosh, I can’t wait to travel again! 🙂

  13. Was hoping to visit Oman this year 🙁 but at least I feel better prepared for next years trip after reading this post! thanks so much

  14. Such a great article! So happy I came through this itinerary, as it’s really great and detailed and I made a ton of notes for myself for my trip to Oman. Thanks! 🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing this information and all these lovely photos. Oman is a country I’ve read a lot about but have not had the chance to visit. I hope to do so some day.

  16. Thank you for these tips on traveling Oman. We are heading there for our honeymoon as soon as Covid is over. I can’t wait!

  17. Never really thought about exploring Oman. But it looks amazing!! I’m definitely going to add this to the list. Your photos are fantastic!

  18. I feel a little sad reading this, as now I know all I missed in Oman on my visit (albeit it only one day). I did have an incredible time there, and surprisingly so, but can see I’ll need to go back, as there’s so much more to discover.

  19. This is truly the best blog I’ve seen in my life. I love how thorough and detailed everything was and the photos were gorgeous! Thanks for the recommendations.

  20. Hey Jiayi,
    I just stumbled your website and read this article. Its just amazing. Lovely blog, great information, and beautiful pics!!. You explain every thing very well. Keep doing this.

  21. This is a great itinerary with lots of helpful information! If we can only go in late May, do you recommend not going at all due to the heat or do you think we can sightsee in the mornings and spend afternoons at the pool?

    • I think sightseeing in the mornings only could work! You just have to really tailor your itinerary as certain places might be hard to do in just one morning 🙂


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