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three weeks in the gulf

Oslo, Norway
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three weeks in the gulf

i have posted similar in kuwayt section, qatar, bahrein and dubai but my main destination is oman. that is whaboere i will spend most of the time.

i want to know 'everything' :) :)

first of all: i am norwegian citizen, i speak arabic fairly well enough to get along after two years in lebanon and syria, and i can read a newspaper with not too much use of dictionaries. i would love to know the best places to visit, i have a fair idea, but i would love to be able to fly back and forth to salalah for at least two days. and i would like info about day trips to ibra ibri nizra (am i even spelling these names right??? sorry!) and am interested in the culture of the place, NOT the shopping or the partying. some suggestions about places to stay that will not ruin totally my budget will be appreciated. i can go up to 80 -100 dollars a night but i would definetly settle for less, if they are real hotels. thanks in advance.

fabio from mexico

Muscat Governorate...
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1. Re: three weeks in the gulf

Welcome to Oman. I dont know your arrival days but summer is going to be to hot till September beginning.

Temperature will be above 45c during mid day and in low thirties during night.

Regardless of that, you have a lot of exciting places you can visit during your stay. Oman is more like heritage and beaches place with Wadis (valley or shousemall river/lake).

In Muscat you can visit ruins in bowsher, visit hot water spring of Ghala, view beautiful beaches of muscat. Corniche and kalboo are exciting sites for sea watching along with the old Mutrah souq (market). Also for diving fans you have oman diving center. If you would like to ride the fastest ferry in the world, you can buy tickets and take a trip of Muscat shores or go to Musandam and back on boat. If you fancy wadi, you van take a trip to wadi arabien, or the largest damn at dheeqa dam and wadi mazaraa. You can visit wadi meeh with spectacular mountains and wadi and view the olden heritage and farms people still living in.

Out of Muscat Nizwa is one and a half hours drive from muscat and view in nizwa and surrounding area is nizwa fort, wadi tanif, nizwa souq, hoota caves, jabel akhdhar (cold there), jabel shams for camping on a cold mountain, wadi ghoul, misfa al abreen and izki area.

Ibra is more famous for the sand dunes and desert bashing. You can visit wadi bani khalid a very beautiful valay. on from ibra you can goto sur another coastal area of oman famous for dhow making and can take a trip to ras al had for turtle nest watching.

Ibri is not ver big for tourism unless you want to see mountains and some old people or oil field.

Salalah is very possible within two days, i have done it in a day but it was rushing it. In salalah you have dahareez, darbat, marbat, ruins near darbat, and mugseel beach along with camel meat experience and during moths of august and sept you get to see spectacular view of green mountains and fog and drizziles.

Hotels in muscat on you budget i recommend ibez or holiday muscat, there are cheaper and more expensive but these are good. Book them online via booking.com or something.

Let me know if this was helpful. For more info, contact me anytime.

Look for the names I mentioned on google earth in oman and you can plan your visit to those areas acxordingly. Oman has veey good roads and each 100km is traveled in one hour approximately. Just something to calculate distance time and stay.

London
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2. Re: three weeks in the gulf

If you will have your own transport then you can do a lot of stuff in 3 weeks and stay in several different places. Sameer above has listed most of the more interesting places. I would consider staying in Nizwa to explore the town, the souq on Friday morning is great - it's open other days too but it's particularly interesting early Friday morning (before 9-9.30am) when its full of locals. There is also the fort. You could spend quite a long time exploring the rest of the interior region - the traditional mudbrick houses in the old village of Al Hamra, Misfat Al Abraeen (there is a small guest house there I think), also try to go to Jebel Akhdar - depends when you're travelling on what produce will be being harvested - it's very beautiful up there and also cold - if you're going in the winter take warm clothes for nights. Jebel Shams has great hiking (so does Jebel Akhdar if you know where to go - I can recommend a local guide if you want one who I met recently when I was hiking up there and turns out several friends already knew him - he's from one of the villages there). You will be invited into peoples homes for coffee and dates at many of the villages, which is a lovely way to meet local people if that interests you.

You should also try to go over to Ras Al Hadd & Ras Al Jinz to see the turtles. If you want to stay with some locals I can recommend a great beach house at Ras Al Hadd owned by a wonderful Omani guy - contact beachhouseoman@gmail.com if you want info. Quite cheap (maybe 25-30 OR, you'd have to check) you'll have a great evening and meet lots of local guys who can also take you fishing or snorkelling etc if you like as well as seeing the turtles along the beaches. It's close to Sur, which is a pleasant coastal town, and as the above poster says, there is a dhow yard where they're still making the boats by hand - although the last one I saw being made was going to Kuwait to be a floating restaurant rather than for trading.

Salalah is great too - it seems like you have a lot of time, in which case you could even take the long way to drive down the coast to Salalah - I think you can go down as far as Duqm and then go inland to Hayma as there is a stretch with no tarmac - unless you are an expert 4WD driver. If you really do have 3 weeks, it can be a nice thing to do and camp a night or so on the coast on the way down around Duqm for eg. It's a long long drive though...If you leave it until the end of your trip, you could always fly back to Dubai or Sharjah from there. It is beautiful at any time. Also consider a side trip to Masirah Island if you have time - it is quite a wild landscape there, although there is a road that goes all around the island and there are several hotels to choose from.

Spend a night or two in the Wahiba Sands at one of the camps - can be a bit touristy, depending on which camp, but it is beautiful to be in the dunes especially at sunset.

Whatever you choose to do, wherever you go, I'm sure you'll have a great time - Oman is beautiful and the Omani people the friendliest I have met in any of the Gulf countries.

Oslo, Norway
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3. Re: three weeks in the gulf

first of all thanks to both of you , from oman and london for the extraordinary information received! lots of it. unfortunately i do not have 3 weeks in oman only! which would be ideal! i only have 9 days in oman, since i will be visiting the other (much less interesting) countries of the gulf. but still, i want to see how that side of it too, so i am going to bahrain and qatar for a couple of days in each place and kuwait for a couple of days too. maybe i should spend MUCH more time in oman, as i did in yemen 20 years ago where i stayed for 6 weeks....right after the reunification of north and south yemen. do you have any suggestion for books, apart the obvious travel guides and the lonely planet thing, ? having a batchelor degree in arabic and middleeastern studies i know a thing or two, but oman is more of a mistery. especially the connection with zanzibar which i have visited previously. thanks again! :)

Muscat Governorate...
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4. Re: three weeks in the gulf

No books that I know of. May be "Oman 4x4" if you are interested in off roading and want a good offroading map or locations to visit. Other than that, I don't know any books. Sorry there

Brussels, Belgium
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5. Re: three weeks in the gulf

Hello,

I will come by cruiseship to Murath in march 2014.

Can you tell me if it is possible to walk from the port to the Corniche and to the old city of Muscat (on Google maps a bit more than 4 km)? Is it a good road to walk on? I want to visit Muscat on foot.

Is Kalboo Park restaured , as I have seen on pictures that it had been distroyed by a cycloon? When is it open? All day ?is it free?

kind regards

6. Re: three weeks in the gulf

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