Things to do in Muscat
There is some outstanding trekking in northern Oman, and for a taste there are a couple of easy treks within or very close to Muscat.
- Trekking path C38 (from Riyam Park to Mutrah Souq). This short hike takes the walker away from the modern world of Muscat and also offers fantastic views of the rugged mountains surrounding the capital city. The path begins in Riyam Park, and follows a 5000-year-old trail used by miners to an abandoned village, then finally finishes near Mutrah Souq. Allow for 1.5-2 hours, with an additional 20-minute return walk along the Corniche. A decent trail map can be found here.
- Trekking paths C52 and C53 (Bandar Jissah coastline). These two easy treks offer beautiful views over the coastline. Both trails begin in Bandar Jissah. Trail map for C52; trail map for C53.
- BlueZone Diving, Bander al Rhowda Marina, , e-mail:[email protected]. This center offers diving trips, as well as a full range of PADI courses.
- Oman Dive Center (Bandar Jissah, 15 km south of Muscat), , e-mail:[email protected]. This German-operated center conducts diving trips and PADI certification courses. The private beach is open to day visitors (OMR2 on weekdays, OMR4 on weekends), and it is possible to stay overnight in one of their beach bungalows (OMR49-176, depending on season and size of party; breakfast and dinner included). There is no public transportation to this area, so visitors will need to take a taxi or rental car.
- Omanta Scuba, Al Kharjiya St, Shatti (in the boat house at the InterContinental Hotel), , e-mail: [email protected].Conducts diving trips and a full range of PADI courses, as well as dolphin-watching tours. Diving destinations include the Damaniyat Islands, Fahal Island and Bhandra Kharan, with other destinations depending on demand.
With many excellent trails nearby, Muscat has a fast-growing mountain bike community. Bike Oman organizes weekly mountain bike excursions on Thursday, most of which begin within a 20-45 min. drive from Muscat. During the summer they organize weekly night time rides, usually on Mondays.
- Oman Bicycle Shop (behind the Radisson Hotel, Al Khuwair), . Sa 3PM-7PM; S-Th 10AM-1PM, 3PM-7PM; F closed. Mountain bikes can be rented here by the day, weekend, or week.
There are some good areas for avian enthusiasts, within and around the city.
- Al Ansab Wetlands (off of the Muscat Expressway, next to the water treatment plant), . Best in the early morning or late afternoon.Nearly 300 avian species have been spotted here, some during migrations and others living here year-round. The wetlands were developed by the Haya Water company, which offers guided tours, bookable online.