In September 2016, we spent an incredible 10 days driving ourselves around Oman.
I love a good road trip, and Oman has to be one of the best countries on Earth for an independent driving itinerary – the roads are new and safe, petrol is incredibly cheap, and there’s no shortage of things to do and see. If you’re thinking of doing a similar trip, I hope our tried-and-tested 10-day itinerary for self-driving in Oman will offer you some inspiration!
While you’re at it, you can check out my other stories and photo essays from Oman right here.
Days 1-2: Muscat
Spend your first day exploring Oman’s capital city (read my Muscat City Guide here). Take a half-day trip to the Daymaniyat Islands for snorkeling and swimming.
Day 3: Muscat to Sur
Drive along Oman’s coast towards Sur, stopping at Bimmah Sinkhole (drive time: 1.5 hrs) and Wadi Shab (drive time: 20 mins). Time your day so that you arrive at Bimmah at 9am when the gates open. Continue on to Sur (drive time: 40 mins).
Day 4: Sur & Ras Al Jinz
Watch the sunrise over Sur beach before talking a walk through the city’s backstreets. Watch dhow boat building on the shoreline and climb up to the small watchtower (accessed across the bridge) for a nice view over the city. In the early evening, drive to Ras Al Jinz (drive time: 45 mins) to visit the Turtle Reserve. Make sure you leave Sur while the sun still shines – the road is winding and poorly lit, but the coastline is absolutely epic. Return to Sur for the night.
Day 5: Sur to Wahiba Sands
Drive to Wadi Bani Khalid (drive time: 1.5 hrs) and spend the day swimming and relaxing in this shady wadi (BYO food and water). Continue on to Bidiyah (drive time: 40 mins) and pick up a transfer 4×4 to Desert Night Camp. Climb the dunes to watch sunset over the Wahiba Sands.
Day 6: Wahiba Sands to Misfat Al Abriyeen
Transfer back to Bidiyah. Visit the Al Mintarib Souq if you happen to be there on a Tuesday before continuing on to Misfat Al Abriyeen (drive time: 3 hrs). Check in to Misfah Old House and spend the afternoon exploring the mud village.
Days 7-8: Al Hoota, Bahla & Nizwa
Drive to Al Hoota Cave (drive time: 25 mins) and ride the ‘cave train’ then continue on to Bahla Fort (drive time: 25 mins). Walk through the adjoining mud village before leaving for Nizwa (drive time: 40 mins).
Day 9: Nizwa
Day 10: Nizwa to Muscat
Drive to Ibri (drive time: 1.5 hrs) to start the Rustaq Loop, a drive that will take you past three of Oman’s historic fortresses. If you have a 4×4, this is the best day to add Bald Sayt or Wakan Village to your itinerary.