10 Travel Tips for the Omani mountains

Oman is one of the most beautiful regions in our part of the Middle East. From sparkling jade waters harboring playful dolphins, to plush fruit and vegetable orchards on terraced farms, to imposing rocky mountains millions of years old sheltering hidden valleys…

Our last trip to Oman was to their famous peaks, Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar, which you can read about here and here and it proved to be an amazing experience. Here are some quick tips if you are planning a visit there.

road.jpg
Ready? Set? Go!

 

  1. Before you set off on your trip make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Check tyre pressure and ensure you have plenty of fuel. Some of the roads are not forgiving, are often deserted or quite narrow and car trouble on these routes would not be ideal. Petrol stations can be spaced rather far apart so fuel up every chance you get.
  2. A 4WD is a MUST. Getting to Jebel Shams involved plenty of off-roading and while some bold sedans made the attempt, it left us cringing wondering what their next maintenance bill would look like. Access to Jebel Akhdar is via a police check point where you will be asked to switch to 4WD mode as the climb to the top is incredibly steep.road 2.jpg
  3. Make sure your vehicle insurance covers the Oman region as well. Don’t forget your vehicle insurance papers, your mulqiya and driver’s licence.
  4. One difficulty that we did face on our route was finding decent pit stops. We had to resort to stopping at random department stores and using their shady, broken down toilet facilities. Come well prepared with any tissues/wet wipes that you may need. And resign yourself to the fact that you may just have to answer the call of nature in nature.
  5. It might be a good idea to stock up on some munchies, particularly for the younger ones in the group. Stores can be quite sparse the deeper you go into the mountains and you might find it difficult to appease a suddenly famished 4 year old who will settle for nothing less than a  Kinder Joy.
  6. The twisting mountain roads did induce a spell of motion sickness for one of our group members. If you’re particularly prone to nausea while travelling, do come prepared.oman 33.jpg
  7. Being around 3000 metres above sea level, the top of these mountains can get COLD! The Grand Canyon was a brisk 17 degrees C and less than an hour later at our hotel we were faced by a chilly 11 degree C welcome. Make sure to bring along plenty of warm clothing.
  8. A bonfire is a great way to have a fun night. And in that chilly weather your body will thank you for some heat. Firewood is available for sale at 5 Omani Riyals. Take along some meat for a barbecue or some marshmallows and the kids will love it. The firewood we found there was from the pomegranate tree which released a deliciously sweet, aromatic fragrance as it burned. A truly memorable experience indeed.

    fire.jpg
    A deliciously warm bonfire is just what the doctor ordered
  9. Try and avoid driving after sunset unless you are particularly confident about your location and driving skills. If not, at best you could get hopelessly lost in deserted mountain roads and at worst you face a horrifying tumble down precarious mountain cliffs. Take precautions to ensure your route is accurately marked using Google’s satellite imagery or any other GPS that you choose to use.
  10. Have backup battery power for your mobiles/GPS. The last thing you need is to lose power when you are just minutes away from your destination.

We can’t wait to go back again and do some more exploring. And I hope these posts have inspired you to pay this gorgeous country a visit.

Until next time…

Untitled-1

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “10 Travel Tips for the Omani mountains

  1. We’re taking our very first trip to Dubai in January to attend a friend’s wedding, and were thinking about taking a little side trip to Oman to check it out. But I’ve been reading that it’s quite expensive to visit? and that you definitely need to have a car to travel around. True?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so exciting! January is a wonderful time to plan a visit to Dubai. If you are here over a weekend or doing a trip to Abu Dhabi do drop me a line and maybe we can meet up 😉

      And Oman is definitely something you should consider if time permits. It’s a lot cheaper than the UAE so if you can manage a trip here, I think Oman shouldn’t be a problem. And a car is definitely a bonus since public transport is woefully lacking. If you are confident about your driving skills you can rent a car or I’ve read that there are guides who will take you around on day trips (I’ve never used these so really can’t comment on how good they are).

      Let me know if there is any way I can help in planning your trip… Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Let's start a diYalogue! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s