What to do in Muscat: diving and trekking in Oman

    What to do in Muscat: diving and trekking in OmanVisit itinerary of Muscat, the capital of Oman, including walks, relaxation and diving on the coast, shopping in the souq and nightlife in the city.

    The many opportunities for adventure with diving, trekking or mountain biking. And then shopping in the souks or relaxing on the many beaches, before enjoying the nightlife of the city. All this is Muscat, for a dream holiday. In this guide we will discover places, attractions and services that you can appreciate during your trip to Oman.

    First of all, in the capital of Oman there are many routes for trekking lovers, some right near the city, such as the C38 path, which transports tourists away from modern Muscat and offers breathtaking views of the amazing mountains of Oman. The path starts at Riyam Park and follows an ancient path that was already used more than 5 thousand years ago by the miners who inhabited an abandoned village and reaches Mutrah Souq. The entire journey takes about a half to two hours. Then there are the C52 and C53 paths, simple, which offer beautiful views.

    In Muscat you will have the opportunity to do some diving. Inquire at Blue zone Diving, which offers sea excursions and numerous diving courses, or atOman Dive Center, center run by Germans which organizes diving trips and courses to obtain Padi (Professional Association of Diving Instructos) certification. The private beach is open to tourists during the day and it is possible to spend the night in one of the beach bungalows. Or atOmanta Scuba, a center that organizes trips and dives, Padi certification courses and dolphin spotting trips: the main destinations are the Damaniyat Islands, Fahal Island and Bhandra Kharan.

    There are many tracks for racing mountain bike. With many routes, Muscat has seen a rapid development of its cycle paths, especially for mountain bikes on the nearby mountains: there is Bike Oman which organizes excursions every week (on Thursdays). Every summer the company also organizes excursions at night (on Mondays). Alternatively, contact the Oman Bicycle Shop: bikes can be rented here for a day, a week and even for longer periods.

    There is also a very lively life in Muscat beach. On most private beaches (especially hotel ones) it is permitted to wear Western swimsuits; in the public ones, however, the tourist is required to respect the customs and traditions established by Omani regulations. Women are required to wear a one-piece costume and men to wear a long-breasted costume; both are also required to keep their shoulders and knees covered until they are exactly on the beach.

    You can choose between the public beach of Institution and that of Marjan. In the first there is no equipment except open showers. The beach is clean and well kept and there is the possibility of renting jet skis and it is crowded on weekends. Also in Muscat, there is the public beach of Marjan little frequented during the day and crowded during the early evening; there are small coral reefs a short distance from the coast of the capital of Oman, also suitable for snorkelling, clownfish and sea turtles can be spotted.

    Al Ghubrah public beach is one family beach, with picnic tables. During the evening in the area near the desalination plants there are numerous food trucks (small trucks selling food) offering grilled meat and fish and other dishes at a good price. The public beach of Seeb is very long with some parts very crowded and others accessible only by off-road vehicle. Finally, the beach in Muscat called Al Bustan offers excellent views of the Omani mountains, which are located behind the beach.

    For lovers of birdwatching there are many areas for bird watching around Muscat. Above all Al Ansab Wetlands, a highly appreciated observation area in Oman. Around 3 thousand species of avifauna can be spotted here during migration periods.

    Muscat offers many shopping opportunities. For purchases there is the Mutrah Souq, described as one of the most beautiful markets in the entire Gulf, with numerous stalls that give the market a labyrinthine appearance, which has numerous jewelery shops, Omani crafts and traditional foods. You can buy some of the most sought after hand-embroidered mussar (shawls intended to be worn as turbans), clothing, nuts, spices, incense and terracotta.

    For entertainment there is Royal Opera House Muscat, beautiful building offering a wide range of performances, including concerts of classical, Arabic and Western music and jazz and flamenco, classical and modern dance performances. The capital of Oman also has a particularly lively nightlife. In every street you can find a coffee shop, often very simple, but if you are visiting the city it is definitely worth going in at least once. Fresh fruit juices can be purchased at one of the many stalls.

    Outside Muscat, in the interior of Oman, there are other wonders waiting for you. In Nizwa, you can go on hikes in the magnificent Hajar Mountains. Of great interest are the fortresses scattered in the mountain area of ​​the UNESCO sites of Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn. Or the spectacular Wadi Shab, a canyon through which a stream flows. The Sohar area is also beautiful for immersing yourself in the sea and admiring the magnificent Omani coast from another perspective.

    Among the events the Muscat Festival which takes place in January in the park in front of the Qurm seafront and is attended by many people from all over Oman. Stands are set up displaying local craft objects and includes folk dances and performances by acrobats.

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