Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Traveling in Oman

The world is getting smaller everyday, thanks to awesome modes of communication and cheap and efficient travel options. Exquisite countries like Oman in the Middle East used to seem a world away, but today they are reachable by just hopping on a plane destined for one of the many airports in the country. But while traveling to any part of the world has been pretty simplified lately, traveling in Oman has to be planned ahead of time. This may not seem that important to the shoestring traveler, but to the average adventurer or family vacationer this is the most vital part of enjoying a hassle free holiday experience.

Traveling in and around any foreign country can seem like a bit of a challenge for even the most avid traveler, but the Internet has made things a lot easier. There are plenty of travel agencies with comprehensive websites that can not only help you plan your travel from the time you land until you board your plane back to your home country, but also assist you into choosing what places to go, sights to see and things to do while on your visit. While you can comfortably commute in Oman by using the public transport, the best way to explore this magnificent land is by car. There are three ways to go about this. You could either book your preferred vehicle online before you land in Oman, let your travel agency know of your car rental needs and have them take care of it, or give your travel agency the list of destinations you are interested in going to and let them arrange for a chauffeured car for those days.

Most well reputed travel agencies have tours to different parts of the country according to the regions like Northern Oman with Muscat, Bahla, Buraimi, Hajar Mountains, Musandam Peninsula, Muttrah, and Sohar, Central Coastal Oman with Sur, Masirah Island, Ibra, and the Wahiba Sands, etc. Another way of exploring Oman is by visiting prominent cities and the close sightseeing places like Muscat, Bahla, Ibra, Buraimi, Muttrah, Nizwa, Salalah, Sohar, and Sur. Some like activity specific tours, such as desert safari, water sports activities, tours to the World Heritage Sights, etc. You can choose the tours that interest you. You can also ask your travel agency for tailor made tours that include your places of interest.

Traveling in Oman is best entrusted to professional travel agencies. All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the lovely natural beauty and amazing hospitality offered in this jewel of Arabia. So, plan your next holiday to this side of the world today!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trekking in Oman

Holidays nowadays have taken on a whole new dimension. It’s not just about lounging by a pool or beach and relaxing anymore; it’s also about adventure, exploring new terrains and getting the adrenalin pumping through your body! Adventure holidays are catching the fancy of travelers the world over and hiking, trekking, mountain-climbing and other such activities have become hugely popular vacation sports today. The Middle East was often overlooked when it came to such venturous undertakings. But today, trekking in Oman has become a beloved activity for trekking and hiking lovers around the globe.

Set in the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is one of the most diverse and pretty countries in the Middle East and its natural beauty lends itself to a variety of outdoor activities. Oman is blessed with a scenic landscape replete with rugged mountain ranges, unspoiled desert dunes, pristine beaches and more. One of the best ways to explore this riveting landscape is by foot and it’s no wonder that trekking is becoming hugely popular here.

The mountain ranges, their geological wonders and the rustic cliff-side villages and towns make trekking and hiking here a must-do. The history of the landscape is lush and in plain sight with its natural formations that are yours to enjoy. There are plenty of different trails and terrains to choose from, like the Jebel Shams Rim Walk at the Grand Canyon of Jebel Shams, which starts from the Al Khateem village, one of the more popular trek trails in Oman. It has some spectacular scenic views and the sheer cliff drops are definitely not for the faint of heart. The Al-Hajar mountain range provides plenty of trekking opportunities among others, with varying levels of difficulty. The tallest peak here caps in at just over approximately 3000 meters! You can also opt for the picturesque desert explorations, amidst the fascinating and majestic sand dunes. The options are plentiful and diverse.

The best time of the year to undertake these kinds of activities would be usually between the months of September and May, with October to April being the preferred trekking period. Always make sure you avoid being caught at the base in case of rainfall and if you are an inexperienced trekker, travel with a knowledgeable guide. Trekking and hiking here is also being made easier with the new additions of signposts and markers to help you navigate the terrain.

What better way to learn about the culture and natural history of a nation than by getting to know it in its most natural form – from the ground up. Once you are done enjoying the trekking in Oman you can rest under the starry night sky or on a plush hotel bed in one of the many luxurious hotels…perfect.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Diving In Oman

The sultanate of Oman on the Southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula has a long coastline formed by the Arabian Sea on the Southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the Northeast. With such a vast coastline, Oman has an exotic marine life and some of the world’s best diving sites. Diving in Oman forms a major attraction for tourists from all over the globe. The most striking feature is the coral reefs of Oman that provide a spectacular aquatic experience to the tourists.

Some of the most beautiful coral reefs sites of Oman are located in Muscat area, Damaniyat Islands, Bandar Jissah, Bandar Khayran, Fahal Islands, Barr al Hikman,Masirah Islands, Dhofar and Musandam .

Besides the coral reefs, there is a wide variety of fish and aquatic fauna that make diving in Oman a popular leisure travel activity. Sensitive to the fact that Oman has many endangered species of marine life, the government is doing all it can to protect its marine wild life. Divers and snorkelers are attracted to marine parks where the marine life is fully protected and can be experienced in all its glory.

There are many dive centers in Muscat, the capital of Oman and other popular diving sites like Musandam, Salalah and Mirbat. There are many tour operators that arrange diving expeditions for you. It is not necessary for you be a professional diver. There are instructors and guides who ensure that you are safe and are able to fully enjoy the dive. More often than not, the groups have a mix of amateur and professional divers. Using state of the art equipment, every precautionary measure is taken to ensure the safety of the divers. Besides the diving, these tour operators offer other excursions like bird watching, whale and dolphin watching, turtle watching, exotic animal watching, camel racing, horse riding, etc, and other sporting activities like trekking, hiking, sailing and a number of water sports, and dune bashing.

The government of Oman also plays a vital role in popularizing the diving sites. Fully aware that some of the diving sites in Oman house endangered species, it is taking all measures to protect its marine life. Almost all diving sites are free of commercial fishing and they also discourage spear fishing. Oman is member of many international environmental bodies that help it maintain the richness of its vast coastline and the aquatic life it harbors. This sensitivity towards protecting its marine life coupled with world-class facilities make diving in Oman a major tourist activity, and in turn making Oman a popular leisure travel destination.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Leisure Travel in Oman

Tourism has today become a popular global leisure activity. The global scenario of high pressure jobs coupled with high double incomes has made traveling to exotic locales of the world a possibility for couples and families. Besides internet connectivity and mass media have whipped up the curiosity of the people the world over, turning the most mundane traveler into a savvy globetrotter. The traveler of today is far more adventurous and refuses to go down the beaten track. So, saving up for a luxurious vacation is more popular than budget travels to faraway countries. Leisure travel in Oman offers a good blend of the exotic locales and adventure to make it a hot spot travel destination.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East, Oman has a lot to offer in terms of traditional-rich heritage and modern infrastructure and outlook, which make travel a delight. As the land of the famed exotic Bedouin tribe, Oman boasts of some extraordinary forts and traditional architecture. However, it is Oman’s diverse natural beauty that mainly attracts tourists. From spectacularly beautiful beaches to the textured mountain ranges, Oman has all it takes to satisfy the most seasoned traveler.

Muscat, the capital, is a lovely port city with a beautiful bay, which offers modern infrastructure, quaintly blended with its traditional souks and protuguese fort. Masirah‘s palm-strewn island oases with its picture perfect beaches that are the nesting sites for turtles and home to other aquatic species, is a popular destination to experience raw nature. While a visit to the Wadi Shab is like a walk through paradise. Beyond the breathtaking entrance, the Wadi rewards you with views of aquamarine pools, waterfalls and terraced plantations while kingfishers add splashes of colour.

The Government of Oman fully understands the benefits of tourism, and promotes leisure travel in Oman as a major industry. Thanks to the thriving tourism industry, Oman has a range of fantastic hotels, communication and transportation networks, which make travel and stay easy in the country. There are many resorts and spas that boast of luxury and amenities that suitably pamper you making your stay a memorable one. Besides this, there are good tour operators who very efficiently design itineraries that help you explore the country as per your areas of interest. The people of Oman are friendly and eager to help you experience their culture and heritage. All in all, leisure travel in Oman today can give you the most gratifying experience, and an opportunity to live a page out of the famous legend of the thousand Arabian nights.