After spending few days in beautiful Muscat our journey took us to Jebel Shams, Wadi Shab, Sur and Fins.
Jebel Shams was an organized day trip through Oman tours. Your guide picks you up from the hotel at 09:00 am and drops you off at around 3pm. Although the scenery was stunning, the cost of the trip was not worth it. We paid 144 USD each (we were 3 people) so a total of 432 USD to drive with a guide to Nizwa town, then to Jebel Shams where we had lunch and then drove back to the hotel.
Now don’t misunderstand me, the tour to Jebel Shams is a must. It’s the highest mountain in the country (3000m) and the view from the top is beautiful. I am so happy we had the chance to experience the stunning nature of such a place.It is really breathtaking! Nevertheless I would recommend finding another cheaper option either through a local driver or a cheaper tour.
We decided to rent a car from SIXT to continue the trip on our own. They gave us a very good price for a decent car (Nissan Altima), and the service was great. Note: they keep your deposit for 4 weeks before releasing it! Again something that I learnt, since there is a lot of off road ways a 4 x 4 would have been a better option.
Another thing to take into consideration, a GPS is a must because google map doesn’t work properly in Oman (neither does whatsapp, viber, or skype) they are all blocked!
Wadi Shab was our first stop. It’s almost 2 hours straight highway drive from Muscat. We stayed at wadi shab resort, the only accommodation close to wadi shab except for camping on the beach (which would have been a better option). Wadi shab resort is decent, but overprized for what it is. We spent one night there relaxing by the beach surrounded by the mountains. In the early morning we woke up and drove to Wadi Shab (it took about 10minutes). When you arrive you will find plenty of space to park your car. You pay 1 rial to cross from one side to another and then you walk for around 30 min until you reach the stunning Oasis. It is so beautiful, the colors and atmosphere is breathtaking. I would describe it as nature as its best. (check the pictures and you will understand!). Wadi Shab is a must visit!
We spent half the day there and then we drove off to Sur.
Sur is located 220km from Muscat and well known for its old fishing village and traditional manufacture of dhows. On top of being a very charming city Sur is a convenient base for day trips to Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab and the turtle reserve at Ras al-Jinz. We spent the night there and rested at the Resort Sur beach holiday hotel. It was an average hotel with the necessary amenities.
Next morning we packed our things and headed to Muscat, but we decided to make one stop next to Fins by a place called white beach.
White beach is located very close to Fins, reached by an off roadway and is a very popular area for camping. As its name let suppose it, the sand of the beach is white, and the sea is translucent and it is considered one of top beaches in Oman.
We spent a few hours swimming in the sea and tanning on the fine white sand, surrounded by few campers who were getting ready to spend the night under the stars.
Few tips to consider
- You must buy halwa(an omani dessert). You can get the best one from Al diwaniya (the honey based one).
- A GPS is a must if you want to drive around in Muscat
- Rent a 4x4 if you are planning to explore the country and drive around to different wadis.
- You can buy a Omani sim card at the airport for 20 USD with free internet for 1 week.