A day trip from Muscat to Nizwa and Jebel Shams is a perfect combination of cultural exploration and natural beauty. Nizwa, located approximately 165 kilometers southwest of Muscat, is known for its historical significance and traditional souq, while Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman, offers stunning mountain landscapes and breathtaking views. Here’s what you can expect on a day trip to Nizwa and Jebel Shams:
Start your day early in Muscat and make your way to Nizwa, a city steeped in history. The highlight of Nizwa is its iconic Nizwa Fort, a magnificent structure that dates back to the 17th century. Explore the fort’s impressive architecture, wander through its courtyards and chambers, and climb up to its tower for panoramic views of the city. The fort also houses a museum where you can learn about Omani history, culture, and traditional crafts.
After visiting Nizwa Fort, take a stroll through Nizwa Souq, a vibrant traditional market. The souq offers a wide range of items, including handicrafts, silverware, spices, and traditional Omani attire. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, interact with friendly vendors, and perhaps purchase some unique souvenirs.
From Nizwa, continue your day trip towards Jebel Shams, which is approximately 90 kilometers away. Jebel Shams, also known as the “Mountain of the Sun,” offers breathtaking vistas and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. As you ascend the mountain, you’ll be treated to scenic views of deep canyons, rugged cliffs, and terraced fields.
Upon reaching Jebel Shams, head to the famous Grand Canyon of Oman, also known as Wadi Ghul. This dramatic canyon offers awe-inspiring views and is often referred to as the “Omani Grand Canyon” due to its similar appearance to the famous landmark in the United States. Take in the vastness of the canyon, marvel at the rugged beauty of the landscape, and capture memorable photographs.
If you’re up for a hike, Jebel Shams offers several trails of varying difficulty. The Balcony Walk is a popular option that takes you along the rim of the canyon, offering breathtaking views along the way. It’s important to note that hiking in Jebel Shams requires proper preparation, including appropriate footwear, sun protection, and plenty of water.
After enjoying the stunning vistas and outdoor activities in Jebel Shams, begin your descent back to Muscat. Along the way, you can make a stop at one of the local restaurants or roadside cafes to savour traditional Omani cuisine. Indulge in dishes such as shuwa (slow-cooked lamb), majboos (spiced rice with meat), or Omani-style grilled fish.
A day trip from Muscat to Nizwa and Jebel Shams combines cultural exploration, historical landmarks, and breathtaking natural landscapes. It offers a well-rounded experience that showcases the beauty and diversity of Oman’s cultural heritage and natural wonders.