© Emily Lush 2015

Self-Driving in Oman: Copy Our 10-Day, 8-City Itinerary

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

Spend the day at Nizwa Fort and Nizwa Souq. For dinner, try a kebab from one of the stands in the carpark opposite the souq entrance.

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.

4 comments on “Self-Driving in Oman: Copy Our 10-Day, 8-City Itinerary

  1. David Butler

    I am happy to have found this. We arrive on Jan 1st until the 10th so i think we will follow this almost exactly. We may have to shave off one stop. What that be if you had to omit something? We have booked the first 2 nights in Muscate. we want to sleep at that camp you mentioned in the desert.

    • Hi David, great to hear! I wouldn’t skip either, but you could definitely shave a night off Sur or potentially Nizwa. Ras Al Jinz was a personal highlight for me, but there’s not a lot else to do in Sur. The desert camp was wonderful – see if you can get a good deal on Agoda – and you should definitely stay in the mud village too. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

      Have a great trip!

  2. Hi Emily- Thank you for this itinerary, it is super helpful! I have a few questions for you. Do you recommend renting a 4×4/SUV or is sedan ok for a self-drive? Where did you leave your car while at the desert camp? Do you have any recommendations on how I can incorporate 2-3 days in Salalah while sticking to 10 days?


    • Hi Sarah! Great to hear. Sedan is fine as long as you’re not driving into the desert. The camp we stayed at gave instructions to leave the car at a nearby petrol station and provided a transfer service from there. Most probably do the same, so just check when you book. For Salalah, I would recommend flying down from Muscat as the drive would take a full day or more!

      I hope this helps.

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