Highlights of Oman

Highlights of Oman

I spent a week in northern Oman in early 2017. I found a country full of dramatic landscapes, amazing archaeological sites, and extremely friendly people. It’s quite an expensive destination for the budget traveller, but if you can manage it I’m sure you’ll find it worth the outlay.

#1 Highlights of Oman

The beehive tombs of al-Ayn

The beehive tombs of al-Ayn are cryptic and obscure (they might not even be tombs). And they come with a stunning backdrop.

Al-Khutm, Bat, Al-Ayn, Oman

Al-Khutm, Bat, Al-Ayn, Oman. Photo credit: Benjamin White

#2 Highlights of Oman

The Balcony Walk

Jebel Shams, at 3,009 metres elevation, is Oman’s tallest mountain. Keen hikers can climb to the summit if they like – or somewhere near the summit; the very top of the mountain is military land and thus off-limits to the public. For everyone else there’s the Balcony Walk.

The Balcony Walk, Oman

Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

#3 Highlights of Oman

Bahla Fort

This entire, enormous, sprawling castle has almost no corridors; it’s just room after room after room after room. You’re turned around before you know it, moving in the opposite direction to which you thought, your route instantly muddled, your senses swirling.

Bahla Fort, Oman

Bahla Fort, Oman. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

#4 Highlights of Oman


Surprisingly little is known about the origins of the city. What is known is that Nizwa, 140 km inland from Muscat, was situated at the meeting point of several historical trade routes. What started, presumably, as a trade camp, had become the capital of Oman proper by the 6th Century CE.

Nizwa Fort, Oman

Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

#5 Highlights of Oman

Jibreen Castle

Bahla Fort might have the UNESCO tag, but Jibreen Castle is a much more rewarding experience for the visiting tourist. Jibreen Castle is furnished throughout with handsome period furniture. And your entry ticket includes a well-produced audio guide.

Jibreen Castle, Oman

Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

#6 Highlights of Oman

Misfat Al Abriyeen

Oman’s aflaj, or falaj system of irrigation, allow charming, rural villages to exist in the otherwise parched and desolate landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula. Misfat Al Abriyeen is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a simple yet effective falaj network.

Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman

Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

#7 Highlights of Oman


It’s a beautiful city, but don’t expect any locally grown grapes.

Muttrah, Muscat, Oman

Muttrah Corniche, Muscat, Oman. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Practical information:

The best free source of travel and transport information is here.

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