Oman, a land of dramatic landscapes and untamed beauty, is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be discovered. While many travellers are drawn to its famous attractions, there are lesser-known gems that remain off the beaten path, including hidden oases with emerald pools, deep canyons that rival the USA’s Grand Canyon, towering orange sand dunes and one of the world’s largest nesting sites for endangered green sea turtles. So continue reading as we unveil some of the most captivating, yet underrated, natural wonders you can explore on our Oman adventures.
1. Jebel Shams
Located in northeastern Oman, close to Al Hamra town, lies Oman’s tallest mountain, Jebel Shams, the “Mountain of the Sun”. However, this 3,009m peak in the Hajar Mountain Range is not what this region is most well known for, it’s for the astoundingly deep Wadi Ghul lying alongside it, which drops to 1km long in some sections. Offering breathtaking vistas that rival some of the better-known canyons in the world, you get to see these impressive views for yourself on our Week in Oman adventure. On day five, our expert guides take you on this journey to the heart of Oman’s mountains, where you’ll witness rugged beauty that few have had the privilege to explore.
2. Wadi Tiwi
40km north of Sur in the Ash Sharqiyah Region, nestled within the Eastern Hajar Mountains is the hidden oasis of Wadi Tiwi. Rivalling its more popular neighbour, Wadi Shab, in beauty, its emerald-green pools and lush date palm groves create a stark contrast to the surrounding arid landscapes. These fantastic cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear streams beckon adventurous travellers to explore its depths, preferably while wadi-scrambling on foot, which is why we’ve added it to our Week in Oman itinerary. Enjoy an idyllic walk through Wadi Tiwi with your expert local guide on day two, which ends with a picnic lunch beside its refreshing pools.
3. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
On the eastern shores of Oman lies Ras Al Jinz, a secluded beach renowned as a nesting site for endangered green turtles. Considered one of the largest nesting sites near the Indian Ocean, authorities estimate that around 50 to 60 turtles lay their eggs on the coast of Ras Al Hadd every day – it’s one of the only places on the planet where Green turtles come ashore all year round. Home to four different breeds of turtle, including the Loggerhead, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtle, the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve promotes the conservation of indigenous turtles and also funds scientific programmes aimed towards furthering research into how we can protect these species for generations to come.
This natural wonder often remains hidden from mainstream tourism, making it an exclusive experience for travellers who venture here. Numbers of turtles increase from June through to August, so these months might be the best time to catch these magnificent creatures emerging from the sea to lay their eggs in the sand. On our trip, you will join a local ecologist, as they lead you through the reserve and teach you more about this incredible natural phenomenon. And you can rest assured that your visit here is all helping to bolster eco-tourism in the area and will aid the reserves’ conservation efforts for these gentle giants.
4. Wahiba Sands
The Wahiba Sands, (also known as the Sharqiya Sands), are a vast sea of dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. This desert expanse, spread across 12,500 square kilometres is often overshadowed by the grandeur of the Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), but it offers a more accessible and equally enchanting desert experience. The undulating red and white sand dunes provide a majestic scene for photographers, especially during sunset. If you’re lucky, you may even spot mongoose, gazelles and large migrant birds, that travel from the lagoons in Barr El Hikman. On day 3 of our Week in Oman trip, you’ll explore this incredible desert on foot and by 4WD. Our expert local guides can even help to arrange an optional camel ride (payable locally).
So, there you have it. Oman is a land of unexpected delights, where hidden natural wonders await those willing to explore beyond the popular tourist hot spots. From the rugged beauty of Jebel Shams and the serene oasis of Wadi Tiwi to the mystical world of Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and the captivating dunes of Wahiba Sands, Oman offers a wealth of unique places to visit. Don’t miss the opportunity to uncover Oman’s hidden gems and witness the natural wonders that even the most seasoned of travellers have yet to see. If you’re keen to begin your extraordinary discovery in the heart of Arabia you can learn more about Oman here >>