FOR a country that’s in large part arid wasteland and barren mountainous terrain, Oman offers a surprisingly wide range of opportunities for eco-tourism. Nature lovers can choose from a diverse spectrum of recreational pursuits that include bird watching, mountain-climbing, dolphin and whale watching, spelunking (cave tourism), scuba diving and snorkelling, adventure tours of wadis and deserts, turtle watching, geological tours, and camping, among others.

Hiking/Trekking season runs from September to May, but the best time for hiking is between October and April. Despite the rough terrain, hiking remains the best way to enjoy the Sultanate’s wonderful mountainous nature. You can make different excursions of varying degrees of difficulty: from wandering around Muttrah, to walking over the groove edges of Al Shams mountain- Oman’s highest mountain – to reach its peak. There are plenty of tour operators in the capital and other areas who provide comprehensive tours.

Mountain Climbing

Omani mountains with their towering heights, rocky and steep slopes and rugged tracks constitute a challenge for any mountaineer. In Oman, there are several climbing areas and their diversity corresponds to the climber’s skill, as there are the paved paths for beginners and the very rugged for the more experienced climber. Wadi Ghool in A’Sharqiyah South Governorate which rises to 300 metres provides an ideal spot for climbing.

Jabal Misht remains the best location for mountain climbing with its rocky front, perhaps the largest in the Arabian Peninsula. Its South-East front extends for approximately 6 kilometres, rising up to 850 metres, providing trails of all levels of difficulty. Musandam Governorate is famous for its many mountains. Also spread around Muscat are hills of various heights for climbing, whether for the beginner or the seasoned professional.

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