Oman is becoming a more popular travel destination in the Middle East. Located near Saudia Arabia and the UAE, its beaches, desert, hospitality, and plenty of hiking spots make this a unique haven for all types of travelers. It can be fun exploring the many hiking trails that offer views of the mountains, date trees, and ancient villages when visiting. There are so many to choose from, but five different ones to try from personal experience and living here for three years. Some are easy to medium level, but there is one for those wanting to challenge themselves using ropes.
Here are the five best places to hike in Oman
Located in Nizwa, this spot is about an hour from Muscat. Imagine abseiling down from the top of an arch. The group will meet in Nizwa and begin the thirty-minute walk up loose rocks to the bottom of the finish point. The group will wait, and then there is a short, less than five-minute climb to get on top of the arch. Leaders will be here to help in any way.
Once you are on top of the arch, the guide will ensure you are in a harness and adequately clipped to the rope. Once you feel comfortable, it’s time to abseil down. The group will shout when reaching the middle to take the picture with the arch and mountain in the background. It is a 35-meter drop and is manageable for all levels, even those who have never abseiled before.
When looking at the top of the arch from a distance, it seems more daunting than standing on top. After everyone has had a turn, it is time to climb back down. A nice BBQ lunch will be prepared for you on-site afterward if the group is lucky and depending on the time. Harnesses and helmets will be available, but make sure to bring gloves. This hike is medium level and will take three to four hours, depending on the group size. For more details, contact Ahmed Mohammed Al-Abri on Instagram @ahmed_nizwa.
For those adventure seekers looking for something a little different, try abseiling, swimming, and hiking through a cave located in Al Hamra, about two hours from Muscat.
The hike begins with a short walk down some rocks and a 10-meter abseil drop. Continue for another twenty minutes until reaching the entrance of the cave. The trek inside includes going around boulders, swimming in pools of water, and abseiling along the way. The shapes and formations are unique, with circles with holes inside and oddly shaped tall triangles. At one point, there is a slate-colored rock resembling a turtle. The crevasses uniquely placed along the way in slate and light brown colors have shapes reminding me of large, sharp incisor teeth. After the last swim, climb stairs and walk through a tunnel and the car park will be on the other side.
This trip can take between six to seven hours, depending on the size of the group. The route is 4.5 kilometers, including four 10-15 meter drop abseils. Most of the swimming is 300 meters or less, with the last pool being 800 meters. Bring a head torch (flashlight) and gloves. The guide will provide helmets and harnesses. Wear hiking boots if getting them wet is not a problem, or wear water shoes with a sturdy grip on the bottom. There are several leaders to guide you through this hike. Hoota is a challenging hike. For more information, check out @sightstour or @caving_alhoota on Instagram.
The village is not necessarily a hike but a short walk to three to four villages. Jayla has a UNESCO site filaj system worth visiting. While walking around, notice the lush green date and palm trees, pomegranate trees; depending on the season, remarkably layered rocks, and boulders with mountains in the background. Locals will offer dates and coffee, so stop to have a short visit.
This heritage tour requires a guide with four-wheel drive. The trip includes breakfast and lunch.
If stopping in Ghamb village, there is a chance to hike up to the water source of the filaj. This path is medium level and will require climbing up some rocks. Remember to stop to take in views of the mountains and village. Or it is possible to relax by the lunch area and wait for the others. Depending on how many villages the group visits, plan for at least eight hours. It is located about 35 minutes from Sur. Contact Saleh Said Musalem Al Habsi on Instagram @quick_challenge.
Sifa to Quriyat
A mix of layered rocks, boulders, and sea views make this 20-kilometer hike worth trying. The group meets in Sifah, an hour from Muscat, and begins the trek to Quriyat. Along the way, some parts will require walking on loose rocks and around boulders, while in other spots, you will walk on a flat rocky path. Sea views will capture your attention throughout the hike, making it an excellent time to take pictures.
One challenging section halfway through requires a lot of ascending and descending through dry wadis. While this is a medium hike, a good fitness level is required. The sea views and rock formations along the way are worth it. It takes ten hours to complete. Once reaching Quriyat, usually, lunch will be provided on the beach. A fishing boat will take the group back to Sifah. For more details, contact Munthr Talib Al Jabri on Instagram @hola_oman.
Qalhat is a fifteen-minute drive from Sur. Follow the road until you reach the bridge. After parking the car, start walking toward the bridge and keep going. The slate and charcoal boulders, rocks with holes carved into them, and plants make these stunning views worth visiting. There are two paths to choose from after walking for about one hour. Turn right, and there will be a small pool of water. This spot is an excellent place to take a break. Or, keep walking straight toward several small wadi’s. The length of the hike depends on your time. This trail is an easy hike.
If you choose not to hike, visit the ancient city of Qalhat to see Bibi Maryam’s tomb. The tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A guide is not required for the hike or visiting the site.
Best Places to Hike in Oman
Whether seeking adventure, viewing fascinating landscapes, or wanting to enjoy walking through traditional villages, choose one of these options during your stay in Oman.