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Oman – A Diamond in the Rough

Gemma Waterworth, HR Manager and Accounts, recently joined our Oman Adventure Trekking 10 day holiday. This was her first time trekking and ... Read more
Oman – A Diamond in the Rough
Gemma Waterworth, HR Manager and Accounts, recently joined our Oman Adventure Trekking 10 day holiday. This was her first time trekking and exploring in the Middle East.

Read on to see how she enjoyed this adventure.

"From the minute I arrived to the minute I left, it never failed to amaze me with what it had to offer. I arrived late at night but even then the place is beautiful, as I drove from the airport to my hotel I was dazzled by the glittering lights along the corniche of Matrah.

My time in Oman took me all the way from the capital of Muscat to the Al Hajar Mountains and with a combination of both short and longer trekking days I got the chance to see this country in the best way possible - on foot. The trekking can indeed be tough at times as it is rocky and sometimes very loose under foot but all the hard work pays off when you take the time to stop, look up and admire the stunning and expansive views.

Intermingled with the trekking, I also had the chance to visit some of the most well-known sites that Oman has to offer along with a couple of hidden gems. Nizwa, one of the oldest cities in Oman and once the capital of the country, is located about 140km from Muscat. The Nizwa Fort stands in the centre and is Oman’s most visited national monument and is a reminder of the city’s significance through turbulent periods in country’s long history. Nizwa also offers one of the most important souqs in Oman. Here the souq is famous for its handicrafts, and more specifically its people are masters in Khanjar making, but there is also an array of agricultural products to be found here too. Vendors can be found selling everything from meat, fish, fruit, spices and of course dates. You can pretty much try any type of date you want (yes there is more than one variety!) and the dates here are top quality, so if you want to buy them you should do it here.

From the bustling atmosphere of Nizwa, a more relaxed vibe can be found at the tranquil and quite magical site of Wadi Shab. From the initial short walk through the wadi to the first natural pools, I wouldn’t say that you will be wowed. However, don’t let that fool you. As you continue through the pools towards an ‘apparent’ hidden cave, the wadi becomes just that bit more spectacular and once you reach the cave you realise that you have just arrived at somewhere quite unique. Upon entering the cave you can venture even further to a more secluded pool and you almost have to pinch yourself to believe that it is real.

During my journey through the Al Hajar Mountains, I also spent most evenings wild camping and this is yet another notch to add to the country’s repertoire belt. From high mountain camps with extensive views, to desert camps with huge sand dunes as a back drop to coastal campsites where the waves from the Gulf of Oman are only metres from your tent, the country has it all when it comes to an endless supply of cool wild camping spots. The evenings offer clear conditions and starry skies to gaze at making this place once again as impressive once the sun has gone down.

My time in Oman was only short, just 10 days, but in that time I got to experience so much and found it to be a place of real beauty and culture. The landscape it not just made up of sand and dry arid land as I had once thought, it is so much more vast, green and more striking than I could ever have imagined. With its warm weather, cool natural pools, stunning wild camps, interesting culture, varied history, great food and friendly people, Oman really has it all going for it.

This is a Middle Eastern gem that is quite literally a diamond in the rough and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit."

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