Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cycling in Oman


The Sultanate is packed with activities for all who come to visit there can enjoy. These include some water sports, sailing, boating, scuba diving, kite surfing, desert safari, shopping, sightseeing, camel racing, horse racing, architectural excursions, trekking, hiking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, cave exploring, wildlife watching, bird watching, marine life watching, swimming, mountain biking and cycling in Oman. If cycling is an activity you enjoy, you are sure to fall in love with this country. His Excellency Eng. Sultan bin Hamdoon Al Harthi himself has chosen to use this popular activity to be a mode in introducing the riches and culture of Oman to the world. His Tour of Oman reached over 180 countries last year alone, and is being used as a tool to promote the tourism and sports potential of the country.

The country has so much to offer that exploring all of it and truly enjoying the vacation in just one trip is just not possible, unless you are on a month long holiday. If you browse online for images on Oman, you will realize the earlier statement holds true. You will also notice that the pictures show diverse topography. The fact is that the country can be divided into three distinct regions in terms of topography. The first is the rugged mountains and deep fjords which lie in the north of the country. The Sharqiyah (Wahiba) Sands and the two large salt flats in the central region of Oman. And the scenic green hills of the Dhofar region that lie in the south. The winter is fairly cool and pleasant for cycling or mountain biking. The summer months are hot and humid, which make them a no-no for such activities. Many tourists avoid the central regions of Oman during the summers especially from June to August, as being out and about is not enjoyable.

If you want to cycle your way through the trip, it may be a good idea to catch hold of a reputable travel agency to make the relevant accommodation bookings for you. This is imperative to not try and do them yourself, as they know the country and facilities better. Plus, who can be better at guiding you to plan a foolproof fun adventure than a local travel agency. All you need to do is go online and make a quick search for a well-known travel agency operating in the country. It may be wise to select one that has the main office in the city you land in. For example, if you are landing at the Muscat International Airport, choose a company that has an office in Muscat. This way, you can visit the office and get one-to-one detailed last minute information if needed. Once you have found the ideal company for the job, give details of your trip. This should include the dates of travel, the regions or towns you wish to pass or make a stop at, the type of accommodation you want, your budget for the travel, other activities you might be interested in, the type of cycle you will be carrying or need to rent in the country, etc.

If you are keen about cycling in Oman and do not want to use any other mode of transportation for your internal travel around the country, you are roughly going to need about four weeks or a little more just to cover the three regions mentioned earlier. The estimated distance covered by you would be in the range of 1000 kilometers to about 1400 kilometers, depending on the places you choose to visit. For example, a route like Muscat, Sur, Wahiba Sands, Ibra, Nizwa, Jebel Shams, Wadi Bani Awf, Rustaq, Nakhl, Seeb, Muscat, would be 1200 kilometers.

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