Oman Road Trip: A 2 Week Self Drive Itinerary

Oman Road Trip Itinerary 2 Week Self Drive

Oman isn’t a very well known country. In fact, when I announced Frank and I would be making a road trip around Oman many people asked: why are you going there, is it not one big desert? Having explored Oman for 2 weeks by car I can safely say it most definitely is not… Oman is beautiful and has a huge variety of landscapes!

We drove on adventurous dirt roads through steep mountains, swam in crystal clear Wadi pools and camped at deserted beaches.

Oman Road Trip A 2 Week Self Drive ItineraryOman Road Trip 2 Week Itinerary
Oman Road Trip 2 Week Self Drive ItineraryOman Road Trip 2 Week Itinerary Self Drive

And for anyone thinking Oman must be dangerous because it’s in the Middle East: Oman is perfectly safe! We wild camped for 11 nights and I never felt unsafe.

We were invited for karak (traditional Omani tea) and dates at Bimmah Sinkhole, guided to the most beautiful secluded pool in Wadi Tiwi by a friendly 18 year old boy and always greeted by the local people when we  were exploring one of the tiny mountain villages on foot.

Twice we were given a ride to our hotel when we didn’t have our car (in Muscat and Sohar). When we did have our car and stopped at the side of the road to check the map, a friendly Omani always pulled over next to us and asked where we wanted to go and if we needed help.

So yes, Oman is very safe and the people are really nice, welcoming and always happy to help![

Oman Suggested Itinerary For A 2 Week Road Trip

Oman road trip itinerary

With this post I want to share with you the beauty of Oman and show you the complete itinerary of our 2-week road trip around the northern part of Oman.

For each day I list the itinerary, our campsite/hotel and the highlights of the day, you can find these in the map below as well.

Summary of our Oman road trip itinerary

  • Day 1: Muscat to Wadi Al Khoud
  • Day 2: Nakhal Fort,  Wadi Al Abyad, Wadi Sahtan and Madruj
  • Day 3: Little Snake Canyon and Wadi Bani Awf
  • Day 4: Jebel Shams and the Balcony Walk
  • Day 5: Bahla Fort
  • Day 6: Misfah, Wadi Damm, the Beehive Tombs in Al Ayn and Nizwa Souq
  • Day 7: Jebel Akhdar and the Village Walk
  • Day 8: Wadi Bani Khalid, Sur and Al Ayjeh
  • Day 9: Ras Al Jinz and Ras Al Hadd
  • Day 10: the Eastern Hajar Mountains part I
  • Day 11: Ibra and the Sharqiya Sands
  • Day 12: the Eastern Hajar Mountains part II (the Jaylah Beehive tombs and Jaylah)
  • Day 13: Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi and Bimmah Sinkhole
  • Day 14: Wadi Al Arbiyyin, As Suwayh Waterfall, Wadi Dayqah Dam and As Sifah

Oman travel guide everything you need to know

Oman road trip: important facts and figures

• I traveled Oman with my husband.

• We drove around Oman with a 4×4 Nissan Xterra from Mark Tours.

• Our road trip was 2 weeks in total (14 days), we started and ended the road trip in Muscat. We also spent a couple of days in the cities Muscat and Sohar, but we didn’t have a car for those days.

Read how to travel from Dubai to Muscat via the Hatta border by bus in this post.

• During our 2 week road trip we drove approximately 2750 kilometers, so ~200 km per day.

• Roughly speaking we spent 1 week in the Western Hajar Mountains and 1 week in the Eastern Hajar Mountains.

• During our road trip we camped 11 nights and stayed at hotels for 3 nights (in Bahla, Sur and Sharqiya Sands). In Muscat and Sohar we also stayed at hotels. You can read more about the campsites and the hotels we stayed at here!

• In total we spent almost 3 weeks in Oman: a 2 week road trip, 2 nights in Muscat and 3 nights in Sohar.

• Read about the costs of our Oman road trip in this post.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman

Road trip day 1: Getting ready

Itinerary: Muscat (Mark Tours) – Lulu hypermarket – Sultan Center Al Qurum – Campsite Wadi Al Khoud

Practical information:

Car: we got a complimentary car from Mark Tours, an award winning and well-known tour operator in Oman (check the Lonely Planet of Oman). The car was a white Nissan Xterra, a kick-ass 4WD jeep that took us everywhere! I had not driven a 4×4 before, but because it was an automatic transmission car, driving couldn’t have been easier.

Mark Tours Oman Nissan Xterra

Camping gear: we bought a tent and 2 sleeping bags at Lulu hypermarket. The tent was 12.9OR and the sleeping bags were 8.9OR a piece. We also bought a couple of plastic cups and 2 spoons.

At The Sultan Center they also sell a lot of camping gear, a little more upmarket and a bit more expensive. We bought a very compact stove, gas and a small pan. We used this to boil hot water and make tea, coffee, porridge and noodle soup, very convenient!

Camping in Oman what do you need to buy and what do you need to know

Off-road guide: we got this awesome Oman Off-Road Guidebook that helped us so much! In the book you find 37 off-road routes throughout Oman. Each route comes with satellite photos, recommended campsites, information about the highlights and important advice about the road (steep/narrow road, risk of flash floods, etc).

I highly recommend getting this book (or a similar one) for your Oman road trip. It not only made our trip a lot easier, but also brought us to places we would not have found on our own! In the itinerary below I refer to the numbers of the routes from the book. However, you can also find all the places we visited in the map I created.

Off-road guide Oman must buy for your road trip

Spending a couple of days in Muscat? Check out this guide to top things to do in Muscat!

Road trip day 2: into the mountains…

Itinerary: Campsite Wadi Al Khoud – Nakhal Fort – Wadi Al Abyad (route 20) – Wadi Sahtan and Madruj (route 16) – Campsite Wadi Sahtan


How to travel Oman - road trip itinerary for 2 weeks

Nakhal Fort: an impressive and large fort built in the 17th century and beautifully renovated.

Wadi Al Abyad in Oman an easy off-road route

Wadi Al Abyad: our first off-road route! It’s not a difficult route and it was perfect to get acquainted with the car and build some confidence driving a 4WD and driving off-road.

Wadi Sahtan Oman beautiful road and campsite

Wadi Sahtan and Madruj (route 16): beautiful route through the mountains! Madruj is a tiny village at the end of the road, we found a nice campsite just before the village with an amazing view of the Hajar mountains and over the valley.

Road trip day 3: the most beautiful off-road trip in Oman…

Itinerary: Campsite Wadi Sahtan – Little Snake Canyon – Wadi Bani Awf (route 17) – Campsite near Al Hamra


Little Snake Canyon Oman Wadi Bani Awf off-road trip

Little Snake Canyon: we hiked up Little Snake Canyon, surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides towering high above us. Standing in the gorge and craning my neck to see the sky made me feel tiny…

Wadi Bani Awf most beautiful off-road trip Oman

Road through Wadi Bani Awf: this road was absolutely spectacular! We drove up a steep pass and the higher we got, the more incredible the views. There were many amazing off-road routes we drove in Oman but this one was my favorite! The route takes a couple of hours, make sure you have enough water and petrol.

Road trip day 4: to Jebel Shams!

Itinerary: Campsite near Al Hamra – Jebel Shams (route 5) – Balcony Walk (route 7) –
Bahla Hotel Apartments


Jebel Shams viewpoint Oman Grand Canyon of Oman Middle East Wadi Ghul

Jebel Shams (route 5): standing 3000 meters tall Jebel Shams is the highest mountain in Oman. Besides that, the Jebel Shams area is hauntingly beautiful and also referred to as the Grand Canyon of Oman. Very impressive indeed…

Balcony Walk Jebel Shams Oman Grand Canyon of Oman Middle East

Balcony Walk (route 7): a 3,5km trail leading along the edges of steep cliffs that drop down for hundreds of meters. Pay attention to where you are going, even though that’s difficult with views like this!

Road trip day 5: from Bahla to Wadi Damm

Itinerary: Bahla Hotel Apartments – Bahla Fort – Campsite Wadi Damm


Bahla Fort UNESCO Heritage Site Oman Bahla town

Bahla Fort: a beautiful fortress (a UNESCO World Heritage Site!) built in the 13th century. It’s not just a castle, there is an entire town situated within the walls of the fort.

Road trip day 6: hidden paradise in Wadi Damm

Itinerary: Campsite Wadi Damm (route 4) – Hike to Misfah – Wadi Damm – Beehive Tombs Al Ayn – Nizwa Souq‎ – Campsite Jebel Akhdar (route 14)


Wadi Damm Oman hike to Misfeh

Hike to Misfah: we only did half or this hike because we wanted to hike in Wadi Damm as well and we wanted to drive all the way to Jebel Akhdar and were not sure how long that would take.

The hike started right behind our campsite but it can be a bit difficult to find the start of the trail. Just climb up the rocks next to the camp site and look for a small goats trail. This is not a well trodden path so a sense of direction is needed. In general, as long as you keep walking east you’ll be heading in the right direction (and west if you want to return to your car.

On the plus side, we didn’t see a single soul during the entire hike. In fact, we didn’t see anyone since driving up to our campsite the night before!

Wadi Damm paradise on earth hidden waterfall and pool Oman

Wadi Damm: this place took my breath away! A hidden paradise in the middle of the mountains! We hiked up Wadi Damm for about 40 minutes and climbed down to this perfect secluded crystal clear pool with a waterfall and mossy curtain. It was very hard to leave…

Beehive Tombs Al Ayn Oman UNESCO Heritage site Middle East

Beehive Tombs Al Ayn: these tombs are ancient, stemming from the 3rd millennium B.C. An UNESCO Heritage site as well.

Nizwa Souq Oman arts and crafts

Nizwa Souq: one of the oldest souks in Oman and a perfect place to stroll around for an hour or so and to do some shopping. A Lulu supermarket can be found a couple kilometers south of Nizwa, we replenished our supplies here before heading into the Jebel Akhdar mountain range.

Road trip day 7: the Jebel Akhdar mountains

Itinerary: Campsite Jebel Akhdar (route 14) – Village Walk (route 15) – Campsite in the desert near Al Mintirib


Village Walk Jebel Akhdar Ash Shuraiqa Saiq Oman

Village Walk (route 15): a very nice 8 km walk (4km to Saiq and 4km back) leading along a network of falaj (a very ingenious Omani irrigation system) and through the little village of Ash Shuraiqa. While I liked Jebel Akhdar plateau it didn’t impress me as as much as the Jebel Shams area. Driving in Jebel Akhdar is a lot more restricted: you pass a police checkpoint at the start where you have to show your car insurance, drivers license and prove you have a 4WD. On the plateau all the roads are paved and there are traffic signs and street lights everywhere.

Don’t get me wrong, Jebel Akhdar is still worth to visit (we are talking beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful here?) but it is less adventurous than Jebel Shams, Wadi Bani Awf and the Eastern Hajar mountains. If you don’t want to do (steep) off-road routes but do want to drive up to 2300 meter and have amazing views Jebel Akhdar is perfect for you! 

Road trip day 8: Wadi Bani Khalid and Sur

Itinerary: Campsite in the desert near Al Mintirib – Wadi Bani Khalid (route 32) – Sur/Al Ayjeh – Al Ayjeh Plaza Hotel


Wadi Bani Khalid Oman oasis in the desert

Wadi Bani Khalid: perhaps the most famous wadi of Oman and a very beautiful one indeed! This is how I drew an oasis when I was a child: green palm trees around a perfect pool…

Sur and Al Ayjeh coastal village Oman Middle East lighthouse

Sur and Al Ayjeh: a lovely coastal village! I particularly liked Al Ayjeh with its charming lighthouse, whitewashed houses and traditional dhows (boats) in the harbour. Fun fact: between Sur and Al Ayjeh you find the only suspension bridge in Oman.

Road trip day 9: coastal drive and Ras Al Jinz

Itinerary: Al Ayjeh Plaza Hotel – Ras Al Jinz and Ras Al Hadd (route 31) – Campsite near Qalhat


Ras al Jinz Oman coastal drive

Ras Al Jinz and Ras Al Hadd (route 31): Ras Al Jinz beach is famous for the turtle reserve, 4 types of marine turtles lay their eggs here! We didn’t go on a turtle watching tour, I prefer to see them in the water while diving. But it was a nice drive along the East coast of Oman and watch the local fisherman tend their nets.

Road trip day 10: the Eastern Hajar Mountains part I

Itinerary: Campsite near Qalhat – Off-roading through the Eastern Hajar Mountains (route 30) – Campsite near Tool


Eastern Hajar Mountains Oman highly underrated part of the country

Off-roading through the Eastern Hajar Mountains: a truly spectacular road! Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar are much more famous than the Eastern Hajar mountains but this part of Oman is spectacular and a must visit! The trip took us the entire day and we came across 2 other cars while driving this awesome dirt road. We took a vertigo inducing side-trip to Wadi Tiwi, the most difficult road we did during our time in Oman. Very steep, very narrow and very cool!

We felt pretty bad-ass driving this road, until a freaking jet fighter came flying through the canyon! The same canyon we were navigating at a snails pace in our car was being navigated by a fearless pilot flying faster than the speed of sound. Talk about perspective.

Road trip day 11: the Eastern Hajar Mountains part I

Itinerary: Campsite near Tool – Ibra – Sharqiya Sands – Desert Night Camp


Viewpoint of Ibra Oman old watchtower

Viewpoint Ibra: we hiked up to one of the old watchtowers overlooking the town of Ibra. A birds eye view is always worth a climb in my opinion.

Sharqiya Sands Oman desert night camp sunset

Sharqiya Sands: one of the desert areas of Oman with tall red sand dunes and mesmerizing views…

Road trip day 12: the Eastern Hajar Mountains part II

Itinerary: Desert Night Camp – Off-roading through the Eastern Hajar Mountains (route 30 and 28) – Jaylah Beehive tombs – Jaylah – Noora Camp Plateau


Eastern Hajar Mountains Oman off road driving self driveBeehive Tombs Jaylah Eastern Hajar Mountains Oman
Jaylah mountain village in Eastern Hajar Mountains OmanEastern Hajar Mountains Oman coastal views of Finns

Off-roading through the Eastern Hajar Mountains (route 30 and route 28): as I mentioned above, this part of Oman is underrated in my opinion. We happily spent a second day exploring the plateau, the ancient beehive tombs and the small mountain village Jaylah. When descending down to the cost on the east side of the mountains we pulled over every 5 minutes to admire the stunning coastal views.

Road trip day 13: Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi and Bimmah Sinkhole

Itinerary: Noora Camp Plateau – Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi (route 29) – Bimmah Sinkhole – Campsite near sinkhole


Swimming in Wadi Tiwi Oman turqoise pool

Wadi Shad and Wadi Tiwi (route 29): two more beautiful Wadi’s in Oman. In Wadi Tiwi we drove up to the village Sayma and parked our car (this is only possible in 4WD, but there is a car park at the start of Wadi Tiwi for 2WD cars).

We were welcomed by Mohammed, a friendly 18 year old boy living in the village. He asked us if we wanted to go swimming and showed us the most amazing turquoise pool. A slice of paradise!

Bimmah Sinkhole Oman Dabab Sinkhole The world's most beautiful sinkhole

Bimmah Sinkhole: a sinkhole of unknown depth, very mysterious indeed… I am always amazed and impressed when visiting natural phenomena like this.

Also read this detailed post about visiting the Bimmah Sinkhole.

Road trip day 14: Wadi Al Arbiyyin, As Suwayh Waterfall, Wadi Dayqah Dam and As Sifah

Itinerary: Campsite near sinkhole – Wadi Al Arbiyyin – As Suwayh Waterfall – Wadi Dayqah Dam – Bandar Al Khairan Viewpoint – Campsite As Sifah


As Suwayh Waterfall village eastern hajar mountains oman

Wadi Al Arbiyyin (route 26): a bit more off-road driving before we had to hand in our beloved 4WD!

As Suwayh Waterfall Oman Eastern Hajar Mountains road trip self drive

As Suwayh Waterfall (route 26): amazing natural waterslide in the middle of nowhere.

Wadi Dayqah dam largest dam in Oman landmark

Wadi Dayqah dam (route 25): the largest dam in Oman!

Bandar Al Khairan Viewpoint Oman

Bandar Al Khairan Viewpoint (route 24): I lost count how many times the views in Oman took my breath away but this was one of those times…

As Sifah East Coast Oman near to Muscat

As Sifah (route 24): spending our last night camping on the beach, what a wonderful life!

Oman travel tips: important things to keep in mind when camping and driving in Oman

• The paved roads in Oman are in excellent condition and very quiet once you get out of Muscat. Nevertheless, we always kept the speed limits (even though none of the Omani do).

• The dirt roads are also well-maintained and we didn’t experience any difficulty navigating these roads. Even in the middle of nowhere villages are usually signposted, though I do recommend to use a map (I use this app) and the off-road guide I mentioned above.

Wild camping is perfectly legal in Oman but please please please clean up your trash. Make sure you leave the your campsite as you found it (or better) so wild camping will remain legal. In New Zealand wild camping used to be allowed too, but then too many tourists didn’t give a shit about cleaning up after themselves and now heavy fines are in place for wild camping in NZ.

Sorry for this little rant but I find it important to keep the environment clean and it would be a shame to see wild camping in Oman banned as well.

• Don’t camp in a wadi, there is always the danger of a flash flood.

• Make sure you have a full tank of petrol, plenty of water and some food when heading into the mountains. In the middle of nowhere there are no coffee shops selling breakfast, lunch or dinner so you have to be somewhat self-sufficient.

• For off road driving you need a 4WD. The dirt roads are good but believe me, they are not meant for 2WD cars. In the table below you can find all the places we visited and read if you need a 2WD car, a 4×4 or no car at all. For me the amazing off-road routes made our Oman trip an unforgettable experience, so I highly recommend getting a 4WD.

Best things to do in Oman

We had 2 amazing weeks in Oman and I would have loved to explore more. Next time, there is always next time… You can download the table with all the Oman highlights below. Enjoy your road trip in Oman!

Looking for more travel planning resources? Check out the Phenomenal Globe Travel Planning Library and my Travel Resource page!

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Mark Tours Oman. Nevertheless, all pictures and opinions are my own.

2 week self drive itinerary for Oman, including map with campsites and highlights (Jebel Shams, Wadi Bani Khalid, Sharqiya Sands and more)! #Oman #roadtrip #itinerary2 week self drive itinerary for Oman, including map with campsites and highlights (Jebel Shams, Wadi Bani Khalid, Sharqiya Sands and more)! #Oman #roadtrip #itinerary
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  1. Jim
    March 21, 2017 / 11:51 pm

    Awesome schedule. Really very detailed and useful for our coming trip. You were talking complimentary car, what do you mean?

    • Lotte
      March 22, 2017 / 9:20 am

      Hi Jim, great you’ll be making a road trip around Oman! It’s the best way to explore the country, particularly with a 4×4. Being a travel blogger certainly has its perks, I was given a car for my trip by Mark Tours free of charge (complimentary). Enjoy your trip! Lotte

  2. Kayeedjauhar from India (Gujarat state)
    March 22, 2017 / 6:40 am

    Well Travelled experience to Describe we also went last November to Muscat very good, clean and Disciplined city you do not go to Nakhal? there are warm water spring.Oman is good country to live.many Indians are there for job

    • Lotte
      March 22, 2017 / 9:22 am

      Hello Kayeed, I agree, Oman is very safe and mostly clean (besides some plastic bags by the side of the road). We visited Nakhal Fort but not the warm water spring. We met a lot of people from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in Oman! Happy travels, Lotte

  3. KHODR
    March 24, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    Well done, good work 
    there are still many parts of Oman that you did not discover , so you should go back again. The south is amazing , & the north is breath taking.
    Also there are many other types of accommodations, in the mountains like Misfah Guest House, the View, or Muscat Hills resort in Muscat that you would have liked to.

    Good luck for the rest

    • Lotte
      April 2, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Thank you Rania, there are many places in Oman which I would love to explore on another trip! I had such an amazing time, I’m already plotting to go back;-)

  4. Brett Hart
    April 5, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Awesome article & well done! The Middle East gets too much bad press, so it’s refreshing to read something such as this that’s positive for a change. You’ll have to come back and explore the rest of Oman now, you missed the best parts 🙂

    • Lotte
      April 14, 2017 / 4:40 am

      Thank you so much Brett! I agree, there are so many places in the Middle East that are perfectly safe to travel but suffer from the bad press about the region. I would love to come back to Oman and explore more (like Musandam and Salalah)!

  5. April 18, 2017 / 5:07 am

    You´ve certainly put Oman on the map! I love your photos…and camping certainly is a good way to explore and truly get to know the land. That corner of the world is definitely worth exploring.

    • Lotte
      April 18, 2017 / 5:46 am

      Thanks Mark, happy to hear that! And I completely agree, Oman is highly worth to visit:-)

  6. John Newman
    April 21, 2017 / 1:34 am

    I have had the pleasure of visiting oman, many times, for work and have always enjoyed it but have never had the opportunity to venture too far from Muscat or Salalah. Maybe next time after seeing your adventures I shall make the time!

    • Lotte
      April 21, 2017 / 3:14 pm

      If work permits, I highly recommend to make time to explore the Hajar Mountains, it’s a phenomenal area! I am very curious about Salalah, I heard many great things about it from people in Oman. Next time…

  7. Caroline
    September 2, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    Hello Lotte, I have read your blog about Oman with pleasure. Nice pictures by the way! We are going to Oman in October and we love walking. I wondered if the walks you describe can be walked without a local guide.

    • Lotte
      September 2, 2017 / 10:58 pm

      Hi Caroline,

      Thank you for reading and I’m happy to hear you like my post:-). How long are you going to Oman? I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time, I really fell in love with the country and the people. About the hikes, we hiked all the trails without a guide. I do recommend getting a good map (I use the app) and the off-road book I recommend on the blog which also contains information about hiking trails. Also, some trails can only be reached by 4×4 drive (like the balcony walk). Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!


  8. Ali
    October 17, 2017 / 12:31 am

    Hi Lotte,
    Great post! We are heading to Oman next week for a 12-day road trip. Really excited. Had a question about the steep road to Jaylah – several posts have said it’s a very challenging and dangerous drive and shouldn’t be attempted by people with no experience of off-road/4×4 driving. What would your advice be? Thanks.

    • Lotte
      October 17, 2017 / 1:02 am

      Hi Ali,

      Thank you for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed my post:-). Yes, the road to Jaylah is challenging because it’s narrow and steep. That being said, we had no 4×4 experience prior to our Oman road trip and managed just fine. Just be very careful and drive very slow.

      Have a great trip!

  9. Dani
    November 15, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    Hey Lotte!
    It was really great reading about your trip. What would you say, how much did you spend in total for your trip (excluding flights)?
    All the best 🙂

  10. Kathy Broeckel
    January 7, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    Thank you so much for your informative post/s! A friend and I are going to Oman on Saturday. Originally, we had planned to take a couple of tours and taxis to get around, but due to the crazy high prices of such things, I think we’ll rent a car instead. Thus, I have a couple of questions. Do you need an international driving license (I have a US license)? And, is a non-4×4 good enough to get to Nizwa and around the mountains a bit? I’d like to go to Jebel Shams also, but don’t really want to rent a 4×4. What do you think? Thank you so much in advance.
    Best, K

    • Lotte
      January 8, 2018 / 8:22 pm

      Hi Kathy,

      Thank you for your comment, I’m very happy you find the post helpful! So cool you’ll be going to Oman, it’s a wonderful country to travel independently:-). About your questions:

      – International Drivers License: we didn’t need it and in the short search on google I found several sites saying you don’t need it if you have a valid European, American or GCC license. If you want to be sure you can email the rental company you intent to book a car and ask them.
      – You can definitely get to Nizwa in a 2WD but for most parts of the Jebel Shams you do need a 4WD. Some parts may be accessible with a regular car but we drove many roads that I wouldn’t have felt safe on without our sturdy jeep…

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and enjoy your trip to Oman:-)

  11. Kewlcat
    January 9, 2018 / 3:44 am

    Hi Lotte, since you guys camped during this trip, where did you go to find shower facilities?

  12. Paul Brown
    May 28, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    Hi Lotte.

    We have booked flights that will give us 21 days in Oman in Feb/March 2019. This post has inspired us to try and camp but we are unsure about driving a 4×4 as we have never driven off road before. Why do you need a 4×4 is it because the roads are rough or did you encounter more technical stuff like dunes, water crossings etc?


    • Lotte
      May 30, 2018 / 3:53 pm

      Hi Paul,

      I’m sure you’ll be amazed by Oman, it’s a wonderful country! No worries, we hadn’t driven a 4×4 off-road before either. In Oman many roads we took were unpaved which are just easier (and a lot safer) in a 4×4. Most of the unpaved roads were not difficult and in good condition. We did one shallow water-crossing, these are usually marked on detailed off-road maps (which I highly recommend you buy before setting out on your trip). We didn’t do any driving in the desert because we had no experience driving in those conditions (you’ll need to deflate your tires and really know what you are doing). I hope this answers your questions, enjoy your trip!


  13. Ebrahim Munshi
    August 14, 2018 / 6:58 am

    Great Trip! Looking forward to my trip this November with my wife and 2 kids (2 & 4 years old)

    Is it easy to get guides/drivers in Bidiyah to bring us on a dune bashing tour?

    We plan to drive everywhere on our own except in the desert. Hahah.

    • Lotte
      August 14, 2018 / 4:48 pm

      Hi Ebrahim,

      Sounds like a great family trip! I think November is a great month to visit Oman, not too hot yet;-) Many tours offer transportation, it’s usually clearly stated in their tour packages. I don’t think it will be a problem, because most tourists (myself included) don’t know how to drive in the desert, it’s really a special skill! Have a wonderful holiday!


  14. JCB
    October 22, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    Hi Lotte,
    I’m going to Oman this November and we’re trying to hire a car atm. Problem is, they specifically prohibit off-road driving. What does that mean?
    Are the roads that you were driving “off-road” meaning not a marked road and really in the wilderness, or do you just mean very rough roads that need 4×4 but that are still in a regular oman road map?
    Your answer would help me a lot.
    Thank you 🙂

    • Lotte
      October 25, 2018 / 11:19 am

      Hi JBC,

      Thanks for reading my post! Off-road in our case meant dirt roads NOT suitable for 2WD cars. Some of the roads are on the regular Oman map, but if the rental company specifically forbids you to drive off-road you shouldn’t do it. If something happens you won’t be covered by any insurance and it could be a very expensive holiday. Also, many of the roads we drove are simply not accessible or safe with a 2WD. I hope this helps! If you want to go off-road during your Oman road trip, I recommend renting a 4WD, Mark Tours offers those and you can take their cars off-road.


  15. January 23, 2019 / 1:41 pm

    Excellent Lotte! We are in Nizwa for 2 months now. Done about 7 road trips already. Love it here!

    • Lotte
      January 23, 2019 / 7:44 pm

      That’s amazing! What’s your favorite road trip so far? Enjoy your time in Nizwa:-)

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