10 days adventurous roadtrip Oman – All female Tour of Oman

When I took my first adventurous roadtrip Oman in 2019, I was quickly forming a tour in my mind to do with others. The country is the perfect place to take adventure hikes, eat good food, spend some time in the desert and learn from the tremendous hospitality of the Omanis. Of course, the pandemic came in between but we were still able to take our first 10-day adventurous roadtrip Oman at the end of 2021. I can already tell you that it was amazing and I have 2 more in planning.

Adventurous Roadtrip Oman

Avontuurlijke rondreis Oman
Hiking in Jebel Shams – The Balcony Hike

Do you know where in the world Oman is?

Located in the Middle East, Oman is the neighbour of the emirates. But also to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The country is safe and super hospitable. Did you know that Oman has more than 4,000 km of coastline? So it can offer you a trip that gives you beach and sea but also allows you to experience the dryness of the desert.

Why I want to do the same round trip Oman more often? For myself, I think it’s good to return to the same place more often. Getting to know the location better, getting to know the local customs there better and thus being able to see beyond the first glance. It’s another deepening of my travels. Precisely something I want to emphasise with meaningful travel.

Groepsfoto boven Sur - Oman
Group picture above Sur – Adventurous roadtrip Oman

10 days adventurous roadtrip Oman – All Female tour Oman

This 10-day round trip Oman is all about discovering the ruggedness of the sultanate of Oman. So we will do a lot of hiking and see a lot of the diverse nature. Most people then quickly think it is just a big sandpit but… Let yourself be surprised by the versatility this country has to offer you.

And don’t forget, Oman has over 4000 km coastline. 

After arriving at the airport in Muscat, the group is picked up by Abdullah and myself, it is the middle of the night and we quickly drive to the hotel to catch some more hours of sleep. I had been in Jordan before this trip en in between a few days in Dubai.

Day 1 Discovering Muscat

We start our adventurous roadtrip Oman with some culture in the capital Muscat. First we visit the local fish market and also have a view of the Sultan’s huge yachts there. Then we climb up to visit Mutrah Fort. A fort built by the Portuguese in 1580, the remains give you a good idea of how the city was once defended. There are several forts around Muscat in strategic locations.

On this first day, we stand and enjoy the beautiful view of the bay and the Corniche. For a moment, we fully realise that we are super lucky just to be standing here together.

Vismarkt - Muscat, Oman

Zicht over Corniche van Muscat, Oman

The Corniche (boulevard) runs along the entire coast and thus also in front of Mutrah Suq where you can browse in the nice shops with all the local but also touristy bargains you can think of. We drink delicious fresh juice and enjoy all the people walking by in robes. It is Friday and thus busy with local people.

This day we walk through the streets where the finance ministry is housed and where the sultan has one of his palaces. We hear from Abdullah that they never know where the Sultan of Oman actually is, including the staff. For this reason, cooking is done every day as if the Sultan is coming for dinner, if he does not come then the food is handed out.

Wandelen bij de paleizen en ministeries in Muscat, Oman

That evening we take a walk through the streets of Oman, we are not in the tourist area (41 Way) so we dive right in. There, we eat at Royal Bucket Biryani (3729 way) where I also ate deliciously the day before. We immediately have a good time together. Afterwards, we dive into the supermarket to get some local delicacies for in the car and on the road. Favourite treat was surely the sweet peanut ball.

Day 2 The adventure starts

We start day 2 by checking out of Golden Tulip Headington Ruwi, suitcase in the car and off we go. The Oman roundtrip really begins now! Everything fits in the car and we slowly say goodbye to Muscat. Before we actually drive out of the city, we visit the Grand Mosque Sultan Qaboos.

Abdullah tells us that the Sultan had this mosque built so that everyone in it can talk to each other. It can accommodate thousands of visitors at a time. We are shown around by our guide Abdullah and he tells us about the mosque, about the marble and the beautiful imposing lamp. It is said to be the most expensive, bigger and more expensive than the one in Abu Dhabi. After this visit, we drive out of Muscat.

Sultan Qaboos Moskee, Muscat - Oman

Flat tyre in the desert – Adventurous Roadtrip Oman

A bit of bad luck is allowed, right? You can only learn from that. We learn that many Omanis stop to offer help. It takes a while but then the tyre is changed, our shirts are wet with sweat and we drive on again.

Lekke band Oman

We head for the Omani coast. At the port of resort Sifa, Abdullah has a motorboat with which we sail off to spend the afternoon at sea. Unfortunately, we do not spot any dolphins and when we snorkel in a nice bay, it is too crowded and therefore the water is not clear. But we are able to sail the kayak and enjoy the peace and quiet and the views. We have a lovely afternoon and fully enjoy the sun after leaving an autumnal Netherlands the day before.

Kayakken op dag 2 rondreis Oman

That night we sleep in an OYO hotel, a simple but good hotel in Sur.

Day 3 Swimming and hiking

We check out right away this morning too. Even before we have had breakfast. We find a nice roadside restaurant where Abdullah helps us order breakfast. Delicious fresh fruit, omelette on bread and a fine good cappuccino. You can’t travel more local right? We learn right away how and what people eat here.

Ontbijt in een lokaal tentje langs de weg

After this, we drive to Bimmah Sinkhole (Dabab Sinkhole) in an hour. And then a short walk through the park (Hawiyat Najm Park) which is situated around it with benches and paths, we walk down the steps into the sinkhole. We thoroughly enjoy the refreshing water and the beautiful clear blue colour it has. Meanwhile, the fish nibble at our toes and fingers.

Bimmah Sinkhole Groepsfoto Rondreis Oman

A lovely start to this third day.

Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
What a beautiful spot right?

A lovely start to this third day.Before taking on this day’s challenge, the hike in Wadi Shab, we enjoy a delicious local lunch near the entrance to Wadi Shab. We eat very diverse food and it tastes delicious! We are in one of the small villages along Oman’s coast and life seems to be at a standstill. Every now and then a car passes in front of the terrace, we see a goat walking on the street but otherwise it is empty on the streets. This was no different during my first visit in 2019.

Heerlijke lunch voor de wandeling in de Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab – Adventurous and Active – Trip Oman

For me, this second time in the Wadi Shab is also a highlight. What a great feeling it gives to walk between two high cliffs and go deeper and deeper into the gorge. I know where we are going but like me the first time, the group is puzzled after every turn. We like to be surprised with the fun paths and streams we walk through.

Wadi Shab Wandeling Rondreis Oman

Surely you’d like to walk through a gorge like that for 45 minutes?
Adventurous roadtrip Oman – Hiking in the Wadi Shab

Zwemmend naar het eindpunt van de Wadi Shab
Swimming to the terminus of the Wadi Shab. A waterproof bag and water shoes are therefore a must on this trip.

At the end of the hike, we change clothes (we already had swimwear underneath) and go swimming to the waterfall in the cave. It is a longer swim than expected for some. We have some small rest points along the way where we jump off a rock and where we have to crawl briefly over a slippery rock but otherwise it is a swim at least 200 metres long. Needless to say, we make it and then enjoy the atmosphere in the cave.

You are momentarily isolated from the outside world and the waterfall clatters around your ears

Wat een energie! Wadi Shab Waterval
At the waterfall, I’m not the only one climbing up! Go Pauline!

It is a distinct combination of calm and energy.

Wandeling in de Wadi Shab - Rondreis Oman

It is already late when we return and, after 45 minutes of smooth walking, we just catch the last boat to get back to our car. We drive to Ras Al Hadd to check in at an OYO hotel. To save time, we eat a delicious takeaway Shawarma in the car as we can just barely catch our trip to Ras Al Rinz. We definitely don’t want to miss that.

Spotting turtles on a beach in the evening

We walk up the beach with a guide from Ras Al Rinz in a group of about 10 people. Several groups walk along the beach in the dark and for a moment Belinda loses us 🙂 Fortunately, she soon finds us again. Hereby my advice…stay close to the guide. You’ll see and hear the most and you won’t lose us hihi.

We ended up seeing 5 or 6 turtles, unfortunately they were not laying eggs but were just coming onto the beach or just heading back into the sea. We did see several small turtles that had hatched and were also heading out to sea. It remains a unique experience!

How cool is it to witness that?

Bij de Schildpadden van Ras Al Jinz - rondreis Oman

Did you know that you can stay for the night in Ras al Jinz? I do think this is an unique experience. You can then see the beach at more timings and hopefully see a turtle early in the morning too.

Day 4 Culture and Wahiba / Sharqiya Sands

Today we start again with a delicious breakfast in a local roadside joint. There are some men sitting there and they are only too happy to have their photo taken with us. Of course we want that too!

De ochtend begint al vrolijk - rondreis Oman
The morning begins with a laugh – Oman tour

After this, we drive to the coastal town of Sur and climb a beautiful observation tower. This gives us a view of the harbour and the pretty white town.

Uitzicht over Sur, Oman

As we cross the bridge to go to the Dhow workshop, we come across another police car. Of course, we can’t resist asking for a photo. It took some convincing (photo showing yourself in uniform always helps) and then we got our group photo after all.

Groepsfoto met de politie in Oman

At the Dhow workshop, they still authentically build the old dhows, the boats. We walk around here and some of us briefly stand on top of one of those boats that is not yet finished while others have nice contacts with the people there in the shop.

Dhow Werkplaats Sur

After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant where we try all kinds of different dishes, we drive to the desert.

The best moment of the day is when Belinda spots the first camel. A beautiful moment that scares Abdullah because he doesn’t understand what is being said and Belinda shouts quite loudly in all her enthusiasm 🙂 How nice it is that in the following days you see countless camels and this image too becomes ordinary and almost unremarkable. How nice!

Wahiba Sands – Highlight from this Tour Oman

We check in at a super nice Bedouin camp to stay there for two nights. The six of us have a big tent that also contains just 6 real beds. A double bed with four beds around it. Outside, we have a bathroom with no ceiling, so we shower in the open air. What a nice place! At the end of the afternoon, Abdullah drives us up the mountain and leaves us there after taking a nice photo of us. We enjoy the setting sun in this immense empty landscape.

Lekker gek doen in Sharqiya Sands - Wahiba Sands, Oman

When we return to camp, we get to join them for dinner. This is the first time there are fellow tourists and this is also the best place to see them. In fact, after dinner we are invited to a dance evening in the big Bedouin tent. We were laughing all the way! We are put into traditional attire and forward with the two French men and the little family to perform a traditional dance. The owner of the camp is a nice man who brings it super fun and in the meantime also shows us how to dance with a sword. We can’t get over it!

Traditioneel gekleed in het bedoeïenkamp
What a laugh!!! That’s really part of being in a Bedouin camp like that. Ps. there are videos available 🙂

After this, the man invites us to the campfire and tells us more about the background of Sharqia Sands, which is actually called Wahiba Sands and how life works here. We are allowed to ask questions and he is only too happy to answer them. After a while, he tells us to help him feed his cattle tomorrow and that we are expected at 8.30pm. How nice! There is a whole programme in this camp and we are only too happy to participate!

Bij het kampvuur in het Rustic Bedoeinenkamp - Oman

During the trip, I shared photos and videos on instagram every day. Want to see some? Tour Oman Stories Insta

Day 5 Exploring the desert and swimming

Firest we had a good breakfast, and then we were taken into the desert, walking to the spot where the owner has his goats. There are a few young goats, and we are allowed to milk the mother. It’s almost a struggle to keep the little ones away from the mother so they don’t start drinking. After milking, we are handed a bottle and can feed the little ones their milk. A bit further, there are some camels that also receive some attention. Afterward, our names are written in Arabic in the beautiful desert sand, and we can take a nice photo of it.

Geitjes melken in de woestijn - Rustic Bedouin Camp

We’re setting out today but not checking out this time. We’ll be staying for 2 nights in this camp. On our way to Wadi Bani Khalid, we come across some camels in the desert and make a brief stop. We get to feed them a bit. It’s always so enjoyable to see these beautiful animals up close. Look at those beautiful big eyes!

Kamelen in Sharqiya Sands - Wahiba Sands

Desert and swimming on one day!
Adventurous Roadtrip Oman

Wadi Bani Khalid - Oman
Start- and endpoint of the hike and swim at Wadi Bani Khalid – Oman

At Wadi Bani Khalid, we first hike all the way to the end of the gorge where there’s almost no water left. There, we ‘crawl’ into a cave only to find out after 150 meters that this is it, and we turn around to head back. It’s warm and humid inside the cave, and of course, very dark, but it’s a fun experience.

Wadi Bani Khalid - Oman
Wadi Bani Khalid – Oman

Most Beautiful Wadi Experience – Roadtrip Oman

How nice is it, after sweating in that cave, to go into the water fully clothed? Fully clothed? Yes, that’s a requirement at this wadi. Not everywhere in Muslim countries is it appreciated to swim in a bikini or swimsuit. We climb and scramble our way down, enjoying the glimpses and the clear water in this wadi. What an amazing spot!

Wadi Bani Khalid - Oman

We take a moment to pose in a small waterfall where a comfortable seat has been worn smooth by the cascading water. We also get the chance to make a beautiful jump into the deep water. Afterward, we swim back the last part to the rocks, where we lie down to dry off a bit before getting back into the car.

Wadi Bani Khalid - Oman

One of the most beautiful wadis we were in this adventurous roadtrip Oman according to the group!

This afternoon, we enjoy a delicious homemade lunch at Abdullah’s cousin’s place. We sit on the floor in the living room and savor a delightful rice meal.

When we return to our desert camp, we arrive in time to witness the sunset. Unfortunately, there’s a sandstorm, making the sunset slightly less beautiful than yesterday. This time, we’ve brought a sled and work hard to get down with it. Yes, you read that right. It didn’t work as expected, and we later learn that the sand was too dry for sledding. The trick is apparently to pour water on it before sliding or something… Who knew… We had a good laugh about it though!

Sleeen in de woestijn, Rustic Bedoein Camp
Its seems like a spectacular  sight but there was no rush… she quickly came to a stop… hahaa

Genieten van de zonsondergang - Sharqiya Sands / Wahiba Sands - Oman

Day 6 Riding a camel and some cultural immersion

Today, after breakfast at the desert camp, we do check out and hit the road again. We visit a Bedouin tent to have some tea, buy souvenirs, and take a short ride on the back of a camel. It’s a very enjoyable experience and something you must do when in the desert with the Bedouins.

Thee in de Bedoeïenentent

Afterward, we continue our journey to Ibra. There, we stroll through a market exclusively for women, where men are not desired. Various items are being sold, and we take a moment to browse. Unfortunately, most women, even if they have a headscarf on, prefer not to have their photo taken.

Following that, we walk through a part of an old city, observing beautiful ancient doors and several abandoned buildings. We learn that the city is 350 years old. We continue driving, and at Birkat Al Mouz, we take a walk through a palm oasis before entering another abandoned village. Abdullah informs us that villages are often abandoned to be rebuilt nearby, rather than renovating. There is plenty of land, so they simply leave their old homes behind.

stukje wandelen in Birkat Al Mouz - Oman

Verlaten dorp in Oman

In this old village, there is a small museum where we can enjoy a delicious cappuccino on the rooftop terrace. The last time I was here, they didn’t have this yet, but I can assure you it’s going to be a success. A lovely terrace with a genuine cup of good coffee in such a place can’t go wrong.

Day 7 Immersing culture and hiking/swimming

On our way to Jabreen Castle, we have breakfast and search at several shops for water shoes, but unfortunately, we don’t find them. At Jabreen Castle, we receive a guided tour from a delightful young woman who speaks excellent English and explains everything to us very well.

The castle was built by an Imam who dedicated a significant portion of it to teaching children. She also showed us the rooms where he lived and how they kept the Imam secure. There were secret passages and hidden rooms where guards would be stationed during the Imam’s meetings. It was very interesting, and the castle itself is truly beautiful. Definitely worth a visit.

Jabreen kasteel bewerkt plafond
The beautiful original colors of this renovated ceiling are still very well preserved and visible.

Jebreen kasteel - Oman

Afterward, we enjoyed a delicious mango juice and headed towards some old tombs. These tombs are worth exploring and can be found in various locations in Oman. They are round, former homes, a few hundred years old. After the resident passes away, these homes are sealed off, becoming the graves. They are uniquely constructed, with stones stacked on top of each other, yet surprisingly sturdy due to their design.

Oude graven Oman

Relaxing and sunbathing during the all female tour of Oman

Afterward, we drove to Wadi Dam. First, we drove through a dry riverbed for a while, and then we hiked the last stretch. A dam had been constructed, and after that, we took a swim and enjoyed an hour of the sun on the warm rocks. Lovely! Just a peaceful hour, savoring the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere.

Wandeling en relaxen in Wadi Dam - Oman

Wandeling en relaxen in Wadi Dam - Oman

Afterward, we drove to Nizwa and checked into a comfortable hotel (Nizwa Hotel Residents Apartments). This hotel offers apartments with three bedrooms each, featuring a kitchen and a hall. It’s nice to have three rooms together, with each room having its own bathroom and sitting area. The hotel has a restaurant on the ground floor where you can sit comfortably and enjoy a delicious meal. They also serve delightful cappuccino!

Eten in het restaurant bij Nizwa Residence Hotel Apartments

Day 8 Exploring Nizwa

This morning, we set out early to visit the livestock market next to the old Souq in Nizwa. During an Oman tour, you definitely can’t miss such a local market. We are fortunate that the COVID-19 measures allow this again as it’s the first time since. The market is already bustling with activity, and we follow Abdullah in a line as he leads us to the center. We see dozens, if not hundreds, of goats wandering around. The men, or boys, try to sell them. Standing in the middle, we observe them circling the elevated area. Abdullah explains that when they find a buyer, they must walk the animal around to demonstrate its good health and proper gait, ensuring it is not lame.

De Veemarkt in Nizwa - Oman

I always find it a bit sad to witness. Granted, most of them appear healthy, but upon closer inspection, you notice quite a few with excessively long hooves. Since I don’t want to dwell on it, I slowly walk away, and the group follows me. We delve into the shops where dates are sold, along with other treats, as well as souvenirs and the like.

Adventurous roadtrip Oman – Exploring Nizwa

In de suq van Nizwa - Oman

We wander around the covered souq for a while and explore the streets outside. I sit on the edge of an elevation while the group is busy shopping. I strike up a conversation with a man selling weapons. Then he shows me his license when I mention that I work in law enforcement. He shares that he has traveled to various European countries for shooting competitions, excelling and winning several awards. He sells weapons and daggers here. Having a dagger behind the belt is considered a status symbol for men. He shows me one, and it costs at least 1500 euros.

In de suq van Nizwa - Oman

In the afternoon, we head to Bait al Safay. After another scenic drive with breathtaking views from our car windows, we arrive at a 400-year-old village. There, we visit the old house, now turned into a museum, Bait al Safay. We are guided by two different guides. Downstairs, the women share insights, explaining various methods of food preparation. We also receive beauty tips.

Schoonheidstips in Bait al Safay - Oman

Upstairs, a young man tells us about the former residents and the purpose of each room. It truly is a beautiful little castle with many spaces and charming sitting areas. The view over the surroundings is also fantastic! I find the colors of the landscape very beautiful, providing a serene and calming image.

Thee drinken in Bait al Safay - Oman

When we step outside, we are surprised by two Omani men on beautiful horses. Later, we find out that they were filming scenes for a movie. We are delighted with our photos!

Prins op het zwarte paard? Oman

Day 9 Balcony Hike Grand Canyon Jebel Shams

We start today with breakfast at the hotel in Nizwa. It’s the first time on this trip that we don’t eat locally along the street. It’s a nice and convenient breakfast. After breakfast, we drive to Jebel Shams. It’s a steep ascent, and the views become increasingly stunning and vast. At a beautiful viewpoint, we take several photos.

Genieten van het uitzicht over Jebel Shams

One of the highlights of this adventurous roadtrip Oman
Balcony Hike – Jebel Shams

We continue driving upward and reach a place where we see a few houses. Just beyond those houses, we turn left along the mountain on a trail. This path is called the Balcony Hike, and I completely understand why as we walk for a while. We traverse a beautiful yet challenging trail along the mountainside, surrounded by breathtaking views on all sides.

Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams

I’d love to share 100 photos of the views and the path we walked here. I find this hike absolutely amazing! We spent nearly 4 hours walking, so you can imagine that I’ve taken a lot of photos 🙂

Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams

pauze in de jebel shams balcony hike

The hike takes about 45 minutes to reach our endpoint. It leads to an old settlement where we can sit, eat bananas, feed goats, and have some water. Afterward, we begin our journey back.

De mooie Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams

De mooie Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams

I absolutely love this hike! I’m thrilled that we are all doing this with so much joy, walking along the path. You do need a bit of agility to navigate the sometimes quite large stones or dare to take the small leaps… with a steep drop just beside you.

Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams, daar word je toch vrolijk van?
Balcony Hike in Jebel Shams, it makes me very happy

We’re all doing great, thoroughly enjoying this beautiful hike.

As we drive back down, Abdullah treats us to one last exciting ride, a challenging journey through the gorge where we were walking high above earlier. During the hike, he had pointed out a tiny village deep below and the river running alongside it. He wanted to take us there, but after a few kilometers, the gorge turned out to be impassable. Nevertheless, he shared some amazing photos with us!

Jebel Shams - kloof

Wat een geweldig gebied - Jebel Shams

Day 10 Hike in Snake Canyon

Our last day of the Oman tour has arrived, but we still have a long journey to Muscat. So, be prepared for another adventure. We drive through the mountains of Jabal Akhdar towards the coast, providing us with some more breathtaking views. Before entering the rugged area, we catch a glimpse of Bahla fort and drive through this mysterious town. Abdullah mentions that it is the only city in Oman where black magic was practiced.

zicht op Bahla Fort - Stad van Magie en Tovenarij

He told us, very convinced of its truth, that the town once moved an entire fort from Nizwa to Bahla overnight. As we passed by the remains, he pointed to it, indicating that only one tower remained. We also drove past some trees where sorcerers or witches used to make offerings. The legend goes that they predicted that pulverizing or damaging the tree would release the evil that had been expressed beneath them. For this reason, there is still a chain hung on the wall and around the roots of the tree to capture this evil.

Korte wandeling door kloof
In the meantime we do get a chance to do a small hike through a gorge

Afterwards, we drive through Jabal Akhdar to reach Snake Canyon. We take a walk where water was promised at the end, but unfortunately, Abdullah hadn’t been here for a while due to COVID, and there was less water than expected. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful hike, and we did eventually see a snake swimming in the water.

Snake Canyon Hike

Afterward, we drove back to Muscat, but not without Abdullah making an additional stop so we could relax at a hot spring. Meanwhile, our feet were nibbled clean by the fish, and we could completely unwind. We could look back on a diverse and challenging Oman tour.

Visjes mag je laten knabbelen aan je voeten...

We endured it all during this great tour of Oman

HighlightsSome lows
We had so much fun but also a small teardrop was shed.
But because of that we had the best talks and learned so much!

What else do you want out of a trip?

What a great group we had, and each person’s unique interests filled every gap. We couldn’t have wished for anything better!

We spend this last night of the Oman tour at the Novotel in Muscat, where we quickly took a dip in a real swimming pool, the first one of this trip. We enjoyed a luxurious meal with a glass of wine – also the first of this journey!

Zwembad Novotel - Muscat

How beautiful it is that on an adventurous roadtrip Oman, you really don’t miss anything at all!

I would love to do this adventurous roadtrip Oman again with delightful people – who else is interested? Get in touch with me for more information. There are still available spots on various dates in 2024. I organize this trip together with Abdullah from BlueskiesofOman. Of course, you are also welcome to contact Abdullah directly – it will make him very happy!

Abdullah - Blue Skies Of Oman
Our guide Abdullah – Blue Skies Of Oman

Will you share this adventurous roadtrip Oman for others to enjoy?

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Do you like active trips too? Go do the Wadi Shab hike too when you are in Oman!

Hiking in the Wadi Shab – Sur, Oman

I hope you enjoy this beautiful world as much as I do