The Sultanate of Oman is a great destination for families and friends alike and if culture and adventure are what you wish to experience on your next vacation, you should definitely plan a trip to Oman. Here's a great collection of blogs on what to do in Oman, as well as some ideas about how to make the most of your Oman visit. Find the Oman travel articles and blogs right here at the Zahara Tours Blog and make your vacation to Oman a memorable one armed with insider tips and travel ideas.

Discover the Many Natural Wonders of Oman

Ambika Verma| Tue, 13 Dec 2022

Oman is a land of beautifully blended contrasts. Of worlds old and new, of deserts, islands, high mountains, lush green oases and Wadis set against modern cityscape. Contained within its borders there are many marvels of creativity and natural ones are often easily overlooked. This is a guide to some of our favourite Oman natural wonders, and where to find them. The Omanis are filled with man-made amazing attractions but nothing beats these destinations with mesmerising pristine natural phenomena, greenery and stunning desert dunes. Here are some amazing natural wonders in the Oman: Wadis Oman is blessed with a number of picturesque Wadis and visitors must visit at least a few on their tour of Oman. View more details about the Wadi Walk excursion here. View more details about the Wadi Arbayeen excursion here. Mountains The mountain range spanning across the countryside is a distinct delight to visit offering cooler clime and a completely different atmosphere than the rest of Oman. Jebel Akhdhar There are also some amazing hikes to be discovered on these trails for those that feel like braving the great outdoor. View more details about the Jebel al Akhdhar excursion here. View more details about the Jebel Safari excursion here. Desert Sands Among Oman’s many deserts the must visit is the Wahiba Sands or the Sharqiya Desert which is the textbook image of what we expect from deserts with giant sands dune that shift with every breeze and nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. Stay at some of the amazing desert camps or enjoy luxury getaways in the middle of the desert. One can visit the bedouin tribes to learn more about their ways and adventure enthusiasts can try their hand at the vast range of adventure activities available at the desert ranging from desert drives to Fat Bike Rides, Sandboarding and much more. View more details about the Wahiba Wilderness excursion here. Caves Oman is home to one of the few caves that have been developed for tourism and are open to the public - The Al Hoota Caves. These ancient caves are a delight to explore and have developed a completely different ecosystem underground where being have adapted to survive in the darkess. A great example of this are the translucent blind fish that inhabit the caves that visitor can spot during their tour of the Al Hoota Caves. View more details about the Al Hoota Cave excursion here. Beaches With more than 3000km of coastline, it is no surprise that Oman is home to some truly spectacular beaches that are well worth a visit. Read more about some of the Best Beaches to Visit in Oman here. The Stunning Seascapes Given that Oman is bounded by The Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea on two sides it is no wonder than there is more than just land to explore. Visiting the stunning Dimaniyat Islands to explore the underwater sealife, heading out for Dhow tours, going dolphin and whale spotting among the many options to enjoy the seascape of Oman. View more details about the Dolphin Spotting excursion here. View more details about the Al Hoota Cave excursion here. Bonus: Waterfalls If you are visiting during the monsoon season then the Salalah region is a must to explore with its verdant greenery and bountiful waterfalls that crop up all across the land. View more details about the Salalah excursions here. So which of these amazing natural wonders of Oman are your planning to add to your Tour of Oman? Talk to our travel advisors at +968 24400844 or to discuss options and plan your ideal Oman tour.

Places to Visit During National Day in Oman

Zahara Tours Team| Thu, 13 Oct 2022

Great news for for those living in Oman—it seems like a long weekend is upon us as we’re inching closer to this year’s National Day. That means some days off and more time to spend with the whole family! When is the Oman National Day holidays this year? While the official date of National Day 2022 is 18th November which falls on a Friday the public holiday date has been announced as 30th November and 1st December 2022 the next Wednesday and Thursday. Wondering what to do during this long weekend? Round up the whole family and celebrate National Day with a fun vacation within Oman. Wahiba Sands Discover the epitome of the desert within these shifting dunes and the shimmering golden hues at the Sharqiya Sands, also known as the Wahiba Sands. This desert stretch is where the Bedu people live and tourists can get a taste of the ancient nomadic culture of Oman. As the sun sets, the sand dunes turn from rich yellow to a coppery orange shade, displaying the best of nature. You can experience the thrill of varying sand sports, try dune bashing, go camping overnight, desert trekking and lots of other activities here.

Olive plantation visits in Jebel Akhdar

Zahara Tours Team| Thu, 15 Sep 2022

The Jebel Akhdar mountain region, a preferred place for farming in Oman, starts getting ready for olive harvest, come August end. At this time the villagers will start taking the harvested olives to be pressed to produce the first batch of olive oil for the season. The path leading to the olive groves in Jebel Akhdar can only be reached by driving through the winding road up the steep mountain to reach the plantations here. Olive oil harvest started in the country in 2012, with about 15,000 olive trees being planted in the north eastern part of Oman, which enjoys a climate similar to Mediterranean countries. At the beginning of the olive plantation efforts many varieties of olive trees were handed over to hundreds of Omani farmers in an effort to introduce olive cultivation in the Sultanate. Fortunately, after less than a decade since the beginning, it can be said that this project to start olive cultivation in Oman was met with great success and enthusiasm. A wide variety of olive species are currently being produced in the mountainous region of Jebel Akhdar. Many initially believed that olive couldn't be grown in the harsh climatic conditions of Oman, however the persistent efforts of all involved have yielded great results. On your visit here, you can enjoy an educational guided tour through the olive groves of Jebel Akhdar learning about terrace agriculture, growing olives, harvest techniques, milling and cold-pressing of oils along with the possibility of tasting some of the delicious current harvest if you’re lucky. The term “olive tourism” was first used to describe the totality of travel experiences relating to the olive and to olive oil and in Oman, the majority of focus of live tourism lies in the olive harvest, which everyone can explore during harvest season. For those that are interested in other experiences, they can find niche olive oil tastings and olive themed spas. One of the most enjoyable parts of getting to know olive oil is tasting its different varieties and while tastings were once the preserve of professionals, they are now sought out by visitors as well. Tastings can be arranged by special request either indoors or they can be held outdoors in olive groves. The basic equipment for professional tasting includes glasses for the extra virgin olive oils being served. The process is reminiscent of wine tasting, and wins you over sip by sip, as you begin to appreciate how sharp the differences can be between varieties. Those who find themselves in Oman during harvest season should definitely visit the olive plantations at Jebel Akhdar, stroll through the groves, following the workers pruning the olive trees. The plantation tour often offers the opportunity to witness the olive harvest, and explains the processes for the extraction and bottling of olive oil. Reach out to our team at +968 24400844 via phone or email us at to book your customised olive tour at Jebel Akhdar in Oman.

Turtle Spotting at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Zahara Tours Team| Mon, 12 Sep 2022

Oman’s turtle reserve at Ras Al Jinz, is famous not just Oman's leading conservation project for the hatching and protection of endangered turtles but also offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to observe thousands of turtles laying their eggs here at night. The reserve with 45 km of protected coastline was created in 1986 for the protection of these shelled creatures, and to spread awareness about them. Ras Al Jinz also offers accommodation and boasts a spectacular museum on-site for visitors. Visitors will probably spot green turtles on their visit and may if they are fortunate be able to witness other species like the Loggerhead, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtle as these often traverse through the region. About Turtle Hatching and Tours at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve Most turtles lay their eggs during the night when turtles venture out of the sea to dig a hole in the sand and lay up to a hundred and twenty eggs in one go. Once they are done laying their eggs, they head back to the waters. It takes around fifty five days for the eggs to hatch and the baby turtles to emerge and begin their journey to the sea. Adult turtles can grow upto four feet long, weighing upto three hundred pounds. The reserve offers daily guided walks twice a day that offers you a chance to be able to see sea turtles in their natural habitat. The tours happen in the evening and dawn and generally start in the main reserve centre and from there the groups begin their kilometre long walk to the beach once the guides get updates on where the sea turtles are. Visitors can spot the turtle tracks and nests on the beach and if they are lucky they will spot hatchlings breaking through the surface to begin their journey out to the ocean. Visitors can only explore the beach with a guide as they know where the turtles and their nests are, and how to protect them and how not to interfere with their lives. Flash photography is not allowed as sudden lights will startle the turtle and stop them from laying their eggs. Noise can also be a distraction and prevent the turtles from going about their business. How to Get To Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve Located on the Eastern peninsula of Oman, Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve is easily accessible to all and lies on the stunning Muscat to Sur Coastal Road. The distance from Oman’s capital Muscat, to Ras Al Jinz is about 250 km via Route 17. A car ride can take around three hours and bus trips takes about four to six hours The Best Period to Visit the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve Around May to September every year is the best turtle spotting season in Oman. While the turtle nesting period peaks between the months of July and September, it is the hottest time of the year in Oman. During the turtle spotting season lucky visitors may see more than a hundred turtles nesting. On the other hand there is no predicting what happens in the wild, and some days sightings can dry up— but for the most part, at least a few turtles can be spotted here all year round, with the rare exception of a few days in the low season. The Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve Museum Those heading to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve should also visit the museum there as it displays a lot of information about Sea turtles and their habitat. They are on the endangered species list and the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is doing its part to educate locals and visitors about these beautiful creatures and promote social responsibility. You’ll learn about the seven different species of sea turtles, discover their migration patterns, and gain a deeper understanding of the various factors that are causing them harm like pollution, poaching, and coastal development which disrupts their natural habitats and lives. Accommodation and Food at the Ras Al Jinz Visitors can stay at the Ras Al Jinz hotel or the luxury eco-tents here. Ras Al Jinz’s restaurant offers all-day dining with a vast variety of dishes from many cuisines. Guests staying at Ras Al Jinz can also partake in diving, fishing, hiking, and snorkelling.

A Special Delight of Visiting a Pomegranate Orchard During Harvest Season In Oman

Ambika Verma| Thu, 25 Aug 2022

When autumn sets in with average temperatures dropping to more bearable ranges and the occasional rain shower it is harvesting season at Jabal Al Akhdar, placed high up in Oman's central Hajar mountain ranges. Also referred to as the ‘Green Mountain’ Jabal Akhdar is a two-hour drive from the capital, Muscat and a pleasant year round destination as temperatures here remain well below averages experienced by the rest of the country with summer temperature staying under 20 degrees Celsius and winter letting it dip to below zero with snow being spotted occasionally. The cooler climates here allows for vast variety of produce to grow here including roses, figs, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, walnuts, almonds, olives and of course pomegranates turning Jabal Al Akhdar into a hub of activity for those looking to escape hotter climates and explore experiential tourism in the mountains. Come September and October, vibrant pink and green pomegranates can be seen everywhere around this verdant mountain. Coupled with the stunning views offered by the mountaintop, it is no wonder that everyone from locals, to tourists and expats head to the area to explore these farms particularly during September when major fruit harvesting occurs. While the number varies depending on who you ask, Oman's Green Mountain is said to be home to somewhere between 20,000 to 60,000 pomegranate trees, with each tree bearing well over sixty to a hundred fruits depending on the conditions. With tens of varieties of pomegranates planted on this mountain, a few dominate the plantations here with the Omani pomegranate known of its light red colour and sweet taste and fragile seeds being very popular amongst visitors as it floods the markets during season with some fruits weighing more than a kilo. While the trees themselves start to flower as early as March, it takes them over five months of nurturing them from flowering to harvest time. Harvests can start as early as August and run to as late as October or November depending on the climate and other conditions. The pomegranate harvest season is one of the top attractions in Jabal Akhdhar and some years see more than 100,000 visitors,visiting Jabal Akhdhar to experience what the mountain has to offer. Visitors often enjoy being able to experience unique activities and seasonal tours such as pomegranate harvesting and orchard tours. The tours organised for visitors to these farms offer not just an opportunity to explore these gorgeous farms but also offers visitors the chance to learn about the farming methods used here and interact with local farmers discovering the history of the farms and the people in them. Growing pomegranates requires the know-how and experience on how to cultivate them in this area. The pomegranate trees must be consistently watered as required with both under and overwatering leading to disaster. While plants that are underwatered lead to low quality fruits, overwatering causes fruits to crack open or ripen early. Once the harvest is decided most of the farms sell their fruits at a per tree rate through auctions. Visitors can purchase fruits, explore the breathtaking landscape through nature walks, try their hand and more adventurous mountain climbing activities in the area, learn about these pomegranate plantations or even experiment with pomegranate based spa options in some places.



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