The capital of the country – where traditional architecture sits beside stunning beaches and bustling souqs – reflects Oman’s past and its present. Set between the sea and rugged mountain ranges, Muscat, with its melting pot of cultures, is the perfect starting point for an Omani adventure.
Architecturally, the city is characterised by a typical oriental Arabesque style with its low-standing white and sand-coloured houses which, by law, can be no higher than 10-storeys in height. The skyline is dotted with the minarets and domes of the city’s mosques.
Today, there is plenty to captivate the visitor. Start with a stroll along the Mutrah Corniche (seafront). In the morning a busy fish market here is a hive of activity, while in the early evening locals flock here to take in the sea air. Looking out over the seafront are some of the city’s oldest and most beautiful houses, as well as the Lawati mosque, with its blue minaret and majestic dome decorated with mosaics. The same area is also home to the best-stocked souq in the Arabian Peninsula.
Out and about there are cooking classes, a vibrant dining and entertainment scene, dolphin watching and island cruises, as well as beaches and seaside villages worth exploring.
Dotted throughout Muscat for culture seekers are numerous museums and galleries that describe Oman's fascinating history and contemporary culture, and the breathtaking Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, opened in 2001, is simply a must for anyone visiting the country.
Oman is a very safe destination. One of the safest in the world, in fact. Oman is home to a welcoming, tolerant culture that has created a society that regularly ranks Oman highly on the annual Global Peace Index, as well as being named the world’s 9th safest tourism destination by the World Economic Forum in 2015.
Yes, and Yes. The state religion of the Sultanate of Oman is a less widespread form of Islam known as Ibadism whose doctrine places great importance on pacifism, tolerance and leniency. Ibadism is only found in Oman, Zanzibar and some smaller enclaves in Tunisia and Algeria. Non-Muslims are absolutely welcome to visit, and have historically been able to freely practice their own religions openly in Oman. There are several churches of various denominations, temples and places of worship around Oman.
Yes. Oman can be explored by a wide range of convenient transport methods including metered taxis, rental car, 4WD with driver/guide, long distance buses and ferry services as well as domestic air services operated by Oman Air.
No, not always. Summer in most of Oman can be very hot, but it is a dry-heat without the mugginess of more humid climates. Year-round, temperatures in the Hajar mountains that tower up behind Muscat are some 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding lowlands, making them the perfect summer destination. And the summer Khareef (monsoon) around Salalah in the south also offers cooling respite. Outside of summer, Oman’s weather is very fine with winter (November to March) being absolutely lovely across the country. If you’re in the high mountains during winter you might experience a frost or even a dusting of snow, so pack appropriately!
Although Oman is an Islamic country, independent restaurants are permitted to apply for a license to serve alcohol. International hotels and luxury resorts typically serve alcohol. Like in many countries around the world, drinking in public is not permitted, and being intoxicated in public is unacceptable socially. During local religious feast days the serving of alcohol can be restricted.
It really depends on what you choose to do on your tour. We can tailor make a tour that can be as active or as inactive as you like.
You can always opt out of an activity on any of our tours but, depending on the itinerary for that day, you may still need to travel with us as we’d be unable to provide a separate vehicle for you. Of course, we can always tailor make a tour specifically for you.
From October through to April the weather is perfect with sunny days (temperatures around the low 30s) and cooler nights. Outside these months Oman gets very hot with temperatures reaching the mid 40s.
Please check your itinerary to see what is and what is not included. Most of your meals should already be included in your itinerary, so you’ll just need enough for your personal spending – drinks in hotels, etc. You will also need a small amount for tipping and shopping. Further details will be provided in your pre-departure information.
Currently we accept payments using credit cards, direct bank debits.
Oman is a Muslim society, so shorts, leggings and tops with no sleeves are not appropriate. Men can wear long shorts in the desert. Loose fitting cotton clothing is the most practical type of clothing – both cooling and culturally sensitive. If you are taking part in an activity you can wear comfortable clothing suitable to that activity.
No. All equipment for any specific activity you are doing whilst on tour will be provided. You will just need to bring appropriate clothing and footwear.
We will send information regarding tipping along with your pre-departure information.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for visitors to Oman but we recommend being up to date with tetanus, typhoid, diphtheria, hepatitis A and polio. There is a low risk of malaria in rural areas. Please consult your GP for detailed information before you travel.
If you book on a group tour, numbers rarely exceed 14, save but exceptionally.
If you are doing an adventurous activity your guide will be fully qualified (with a European qualification) in that activity. Our local guides and drivers are experienced, hard working and good English speakers. Most people like to supplement their tour with reading and we do provide a recommended reading list.
You will normally be in a new (never older than 18 months) 4×4 with seat belts and air-conditioning.
Yes we can. Take a look at our Tailor Made Tours page for more information.
Oman has many options to choose from be it fabulous 5* hotels or decent 3/4 * hotels that normally always have a pool. Outside of Muscat there are fewer hotels.
Yes – Oman is a great country that is geared up for families and children. There are many activities on offer for all ages and hotels that cater specifically for families and children.
You will receive an email on confirmation of your hotel booking.
There is no need to confirm your reservation. If you still feel you would like to verify that your reservation was made, you can do so by emailing our Customer Support Team at info@smartomantour .com or by contacting our customer services team.
To amend a hotel reservation, please contact our customer support
If you are canceling 7 days prior, you will be charged a processing fee. If it is less than 7 days, you will be charged 1-night retention plus a processing fee. If you are canceling after the check-in date, there will be no refund. However, some tariffs may be non-refundable as per the hotel's cancellation policy. Taxes as applicable will be charged.
To amend a hotel reservation, please contact our customer support .