Day Trips from Muscat: Top 9 Muscat Day Tours in Oman

The capital city of Oman, Muscat, is a hidden gem nestled between the Arabian Sea and the rugged Hajar Mountains. It may not be as popular as other capital cities in the Middle East, but it's definitely a place worth visiting if you're looking for an authentic experience of Arab culture. 

While the city of Muscat itself offers a rich cultural experience with its stunning architecture and bustling souqs, some of the best places to visit in Oman are located further away from the capital city – making them perfect spots for day trips from Muscat if you want to enjoy the natural beauty and history of Oman. 

In this post, I'm going to share some of the most popular day tours in Oman that you can book easily from Muscat. 

These tours are especially suitable if you're an Oman Air passenger and have some time to explore more of the country during your transit in Muscat, especially if you have 2-3 days to spare during your stopover! 

So, what are the best places to visit for Muscat day trips? Let's dive in! 

9 Best Day Trips From Muscat, Oman

My top 3 Muscat day tours in Oman!
  • Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole are the must-visit spots near Muscat, which you can join for a full-day tour to immerse yourself in Oman's beautiful nature. 

  • Nizwa and Jebel Akhdar are home to some of the most historical spots in Oman, making them the best places to go for a day trip from Muscat if you want to dig more into Omani history!

1. Discover the Wonders of Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab in Oman.
Wadi Shab in Oman | Credit: Diana of The Globetrotting Detective

If you're looking for one of the most underrated natural wonders in the Middle East, head over to Wadi Shab

Situated around 2 hours from Muscat city center, this stunning canyon offers unique experience for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. 

The best way to get there is by joining a group tour on full-day Muscat tours to Wadi Shab. Alternatively, I'd also recommend renting a car in Muscat so you can make the most of your trip between the city and Wadi Shab. 

Hike through the canyon, and you will be greeted by crystal-clear pools of water that are perfect for a refreshing swim. 

If you're interested in a more adventurous way to explore Wadi Shab, there are hidden caves there to be explored – as well as the waterfall that cascades down into a pool, creating a picturesque setting that is perfect for a dip or photographs! 

2. Take a Trip to the Historic City of Nizwa

Nizwa Fort in Nizwa, Oman.
Nizwa Fort in Nizwa, Oman | Source: Unsplash

Another option for a day trip from Muscat is the historic city of Nizwa. The city once served as the capital city of the Imamate of Oman until the end of the Jebel Akhdar War in 1959.  

The centerpiece of Nizwa is its imposing fort, which dates back to the 17th century, but there are so many things to do in Nizwa that make it one of the must-visit destinations from Muscat.  

It's one of the most popular landmarks in Oman and the most visited by tourists—it only comes second to other national monuments situated in the capital city of Muscat, like the Royal Opera House of Muscat or Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. 

Another must-visit attraction in Nizwa is its traditional souq, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and shop for traditional handicrafts, spices, and dates. 

Don't forget to visit the nearby date plantations, where you can learn about the importance of dates in Omani culture since it was under the Imamate government.

Nizwa is only 1.5 hours from Muscat, and you can easily book day trips to Nizwa to learn more about its rich history and traditional charms. 

For a more affordable option, you can also arrange a DIY trip by taking a Mwasalat bus from Muscat. 

As one of the most popular day trip destinations from Muscat, the public bus to Nizwa departs twice daily – make sure to check the bus schedule on the Mwasalat website to ensure ticket availability. 

3. Explore the Majestic Rustaq Fort

Rustaq Fort in Oman.
Rustaq Fort | Source: Unsplash.

Just an hour west of Muscat, you can visit Rustaq – a small town that's home to some of Oman's most impressive forts: Rustaq, Al Hazm, and Nakhal Forts. 

The most notable of these is Rustaq Fort, which dates back to the 13th century. This massive fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and is a testament to Oman's rich history.

Visitors can explore the fort's intricate architecture and learn about its strategic importance in the region. Rustaq is also known for its hot springs, where you can relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploring. 

If you have more time to spend in Oman, I recommend staying for a night or two and booking accommodations there so you can explore the town to the fullest. Season Inn Hotel Bald Sayt is one of the most popular hotels near Rustaq that you can consider staying during your Oman trip. 

Alternatively, you can also book a day trip excursion from Muscat to Rustaq, which includes some of the most popular attractions in town – including Nakhal Fort and Al Thowarah Hot Springs. 

4. Witness the Beauty of Bimmah Sinkhole

Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman.
Bimmah Sinkhole | Credit: Alison of In Scotterati Footsteps.

About an hour from Muscat, you will also find the stunning Bimmah Sinkhole. It's one of the best destinations for road trip to Oman, and for good reasons!

Most day tours from Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole usually include Wadi Shab, so if you're interested in immersing yourself fully in Oman's beautiful nature, it's worth booking this Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole tour from Muscat

Just like Wadi Shab, Bimmah Sinkhole is a great place to visit from Muscat if you enjoy outdoor activities. The sinkhole is an outcome that results from the collapse of an underground limestone cave, creating a beautiful turquoise pool surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.

You can swim in the clear waters, relax on the sandy beach, or simply admire the beauty of this unique geological formation. 

While it's not forbidden to wear a swimsuit if you plan to swim in either Wadi Shab or Bimmah Sinkhole, keep in mind that Oman is a conservative Muslim family that will appreciate modesty from tourists traveling to their country. 

5. Visit the Picturesque Village of Misfat Al Abriyeen

Misfat Al Abriyeen in Oman
Misfat Al Abriyeen | Source: Unsplash

For a taste of traditional Omani village life, head to Misfat Al Abriyeen. This charming village is located about 2 hours from Muscat.

Known for its traditional mud-brick houses, terraced gardens, and date plantations, you can marvel at the ancient irrigation system known as falaj for the locals while wandering through the narrow alleyways around Misfat Al Abriyeen village. 

You can also enjoy panoramic views of the highest peak of the Arabian Peninsula in Jebel Shams. If you join an excursion to Misfat Al Abriyeen, you can also book one that includes the Jebel Shams summit to make the most of your day trip from Muscat. 

6. Experience the Serenity of Jebel Akhdar

Jebel Akhdar in Oman.
Jebel Akhdar | Credit: Credit: Alison of In Scotterati Footsteps

One of the most popular destinations for a day tour from Muscat is Jebel Akhdar, one of the Hajar mountains near Jebel Shams that's also popular as a prominent historical site for Omani people. 

Nizwa and Jebel Akhdar were the spots where the infamous Jebel Akhdar War took place in 1959, and you can find a lot of tour packages that include both Nizwa and Jebel Akhdar from Muscat

Apart from the historic tour, you can also enjoy the mountain range's stunning landscapes and terraced farms. Compared to the dry weather in Muscat, it's also a great escape for some cool mountain air in Oman. 

If you're looking for some outdoor activities near Muscat, you can hike through the rugged terrain of Jebel Akhdar while immersing yourself in the mountainous landscapes. 

You can also explore the traditional villages in the surroundings, where you can occasionally find rose gardens. 

The best time to visit Jebel Akhdar is during springtime in April or May, as it's the blooming season when you can witness the annual rose harvest in Oman. During the excursion, you may learn about the rosewater production in Jebel Akhdar – which is a key ingredient in various Omani cuisines and perfumes!

7. Take a Dip in the Turquoise Waters of Fins Beach

Fins Beach in Oman | Source: Unsplash

For those seeking a beach escape, Fins Beach is the perfect destination. Just 45 minutes from Muscat, this beautiful beach offers clear turquoise waters, soft sandy beaches, and stunning views of the Arabian Sea.

Visitors can swim in the calm waters, relax on the beach, or enjoy water sports such as snorkeling and kayaking. 

Fins Beach is also a popular spot for camping, allowing visitors to spend a night under the stars and wake up to the sound of crashing waves.

8. Discover the Rich Marine Life of the Daymaniyat Islands

Snorkeling with turtles.
Snorkeling with turtles | Source: Unsplash.

Located about 1.5 hours from Muscat, the Daymaniyat Islands are a group of uninhabited islands that are home to a diverse range of marine life.

The islands are a protected nature reserve and offer some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in Oman.

In addition to watersports, you can also explore the colorful coral reefs, or even spot dolphins and turtles if you're lucky. 

The crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life make the Daymaniyat Islands a paradise for underwater enthusiasts, and you can easily book a day trip to Daymaniyat Island nature reserve from Muscat, which includes dolphin watching excursion!

9. Enjoy a Desert Safari in Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands in Oman.
Wahiba Sands | Source: Unsplash.

No trip to Oman would be complete without experiencing the beauty of its vast deserts. 

Wahiba Sands, located about 2 hours from Muscat, offers a unique desert experience that is sure to leave you in awe. You can book a hot air balloon experience in Wahiba Sands to enjoy the bird's eye view of the Omani desert. 

For a budget-friendly excursion, you can still enjoy a thrilling desert safari or riding camels across the golden dunes. For the best experience, book a night or two to stay in a traditional Bedouin camp where you can sleep under the stars in the desert.

The vast desert of Wahiba Sands not only provides a stark contrast to the bustling city life of Muscat, but you can also easily extend your trip to go on a beach getaway to the Indian Ocean from Wahiba Sands. 

In this Wahiba Sands and Indian Ocean tour package, you'll get a complete experience of camping in both Bedouin camp and by the Indian Ocean – which is perfect if you're looking to truly disconnect and immerse yourself in Oman's beautiful nature has to offer!


Muscat's surroundings offer a wide range of natural landscapes and historic sites waiting to be explored. From stunning canyons and beaches to ancient forts and traditional villages, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or adventure seeker, the areas surrounding Muscat are sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of Oman's beauty and charm. 

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey for Muscat day tours to nearby towns!

marya the beautraveler author profile
Marya The BeauTraveler

I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.


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