When to Go on an Oman Vacation
Oman’s temperatures range from warm to hot. For this reason, you probably want to steer clear during the really blistering summer months of June-August. The rest of the year is reasonably temperate, with the best months being October-April. You do not really need to worry about rain; there are showers in January and February, but no heavy downpours except along the south coast.
What to Do
Nakhal Fort – This beautiful fort was constructed in 1834. For anyone with an interest in defensive structures, Nakhal is a gem. Exploring the structure, you will find spiked doors, towers designed to repel cannonballs, and other extraordinary features. The ramparts also provide a lovely view of the Batinah plain.
Bahla Fort – This Unesco World Heritage Site was designed six centuries ago, and is considered one of the world’s best walled cities. Interpretive panels throughout the site provide you with information about the history and design of the fort. Also well worth checking out is the mud-brick settlement surrounding the fort.
Sharqiya (Wahiba) Sands – Wahiba is where to go if you want to explore Oman’s iconic sand dunes and immerse yourself in Bedouin culture. You will receive a warm welcome from the tribes here and have a chance to find out what nomadic life is really like.
Jebel Shams – Hike to the top of the “Mountain of the Sun” to behold a spectacular view of the nearby Wadi Ghul, also known as the “Grand Canyon of Arabia.”
Grand Mosque – If you want to behold truly spectacular Islamic architecture, look no further than the Grand Mosque in Muscat. Incidentally, you can see the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet on the planet here. 600 women worked on it for four years before it was complete.
There are many opportunities to buy traditional wares in Oman, some of them quite surprising. Believe it or not, one of the best places to go to pick up a carpet is Jebel Shams. Carpet sellers trek up the mountain to sell their striped rugs to tourists along with spindles and other souvenirs.
Another place to stop and shop is Nizwa Souq. Pick up some fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy, and definitely check out the local crafts. Particularly famous are the curved daggers known as khanjars. You can find some excellent deals in the marketplace, but keep in mind that most wares in Oman are not cheap. This is because you are paying for exquisite handcrafting.
There are lovely accommodations to fit every budget throughout Oman including some beautiful five-star resorts right along the beach.
While you are in Oman, be sure to try some of the delicious traditional cuisine! Here are a few dishes to whet your appetite:
Albadhinajan mae tawarikh – This cake is made out of dates, eggplant, and onions.
Kabsa – This actually is an umbrella term for a number of mixed rice dishes which are found throughout the Arabian world. Typically the rice is long grain and mixed in with meat and vegetables along with a special spice mix.
Kebab – This is a form of grilled meat on a stick, popular around the world.
Harees – This is a porridge-like dish which consists of wheat mixed in with meat.
Kahwa – A special type of Omani coffee, this drink is served with cardamom powder mixed in, and may be accompanied by halwa (a confection) or dates. It symbolizes hospitality among the Omani people.