Oman travel itinerary with kids

What is the best travel itinerary through Oman with kids? That’s what many families with kids will wonder as they plan a tour of beautiful Oman. Oman is an ideal country to visit with kids. The sights are close together, it’s a super safe country and the people are super friendly too! In short, a good reason to visit this country. We visited Oman for 12 days with our 9-year-old daughter and in this blog we list the ideal itinerary through Oman with kids.

Oman travel itinerary: how many days needed

We took a total of 12 days on our tour of Oman, which is more than enough. You can do this itinerary we’re going to post below faster, but with kids it’s still nice to relax once in a while. You can therefore make this round trip just fine in a vacation period of 2 weeks. If you are only visiting the highlights of Oman, then a week is also possible, but you will go through the country at a very fast pace.

Oman travel itinerary with kids

Transportation in Oman

To do this itinerary in Oman with kids, you will need a rental car. Almost all tourists in the country rent a car. You do have public transportation, but then it is really hard to get to all the destinations we are going to describe below. In addition, you then also often depend on organized transportation and all together with a family can be even more expensive than renting a car.

For our itinerary through Oman, we do recommend renting a 4×4 car and that’s because of the destination Jebel Shams in this itinerary through Oman. To reach this canyon you need a good car and without a 4×4 car you can run into trouble here. However, a 4×4 car is a lot more expensive, so you have to weigh up whether you feel it is necessary to include this destination in your itinerary.

We rented a car ourselves at Muscat airport through the organization Sunny Cars. All necessary car insurance was included in the price here and the deductible was also reimbursed in case of damage. We actually almost always rent a car abroad through Sunny Cars, because we always have good experiences with this company here. For more information on renting a car in Muscat with Sunny Cars, take a look here.

Transportation to Jebel Shams

Oman travel itinerary with kids

When we started searching online for destinations and itineraries through Oman, we quickly found out that everyone is doing pretty much the same round trip in Oman. Oman has a number of well-known sights that basically everyone visits. Most tourists mainly visit the destinations in the north of the country, and we have read few reports that people also headed south.

The south of Oman is mostly desert, which you can already see in the north. A big advantage of this itinerary is that you never spend more than 3 to 4 hours in the car. Especially with kids, we don’t find that desirable ourselves. Despite we still covered quite a bit of distance through Oman in those 12 days.

You can, of course, choose whether to circle clockwise or counterclockwise. This also depends a bit on what day you arrive in Muscat and when you want to be in Nizwa. After all, this is where you want to be on Fridays because of the goat market. We will first list our itinerary below with the days included and then we will go into more detail about the different destinations.

Our itinerary through Oman

Day 1: Muscat

Day 2: Muscat

Day 3: Muscat

Day 4: Jebel Shams

Day 5: Nizwa

Day 6: Nizwa

Day 7: Wahiba Sands

Day 8: Ras Al Jinz

Day 9: Wadi Shab

Day 10: Muscat

Day 11: Muscat

Day 12: Muscat

Bahla Fort with kids

Day 1-3 Muscat

The first day we spent mostly on the plane. We flew from Dusseldorf to Istanbul and then from Istanbul to Muscat. In total, we were on the road for about 12 hours and did not arrive until about 2 a.m. Therefore, you can basically eliminate the first day if you arrive in the early morning, for example.

On Day 2, we mostly relaxed by the pool. We stayed at Maani Muscat Hotel and Suites which was a very nice hotel, with a lovely pool. It included a wonderful full breakfast in the morning and during the day you could also have lunch and dinner here at a good price. We didn’t do much on the first day.

Around the corner from the hotel was a large supermarket (Carrefour) where we got some more groceries (drinks, fruits, sweets) for the rest of our trip. We could put all this in our car just fine. For more information on the Maani Muscat Hotel, take a look here.

Family-friendly hotel Muscat

On Day 3 we went to explore the city. We started at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This mosque can be visited only in the morning (from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., except on Fridays) for non-Muslims and is really beautiful to see. Then we drove by car to the city center and checked out the souks of the city of Muscat.

This is a fine activity for an hour and fun to see for a while (not super special). We ended the day in Muscat with a visit to the Opera House. Here we only viewed the building from the outside and we did not go inside. By now we had gotten hungry and had lunch at Cafe Bateel, where you can eat very good food. We spent the rest of the day back at the pool of our hotel Maani Muscat Hotel and Suites.

Want to know more about what to do with kids in Muscat? Then read our blog Muscat with kids.

What to do in Muscat with family

Day 4-5 Jebel Shams

We started our fourth day quietly and took it easy. We slept in, had a nice breakfast and then laid on the pool. We checked out of the hotel at noon and then set out for our next destination, Jebel Shams. From Muscat, it is about 3.5 hours by car to Jebel Shams,

We had read in advance that the road at the end is bad and it was true, but with our 4×4 rental car this was no problem at all. We found the route very enjoyable to drive as a result. We reached our hotel(Sama Heights Resort) around 4 pm. This was also a great time to arrive, since there is not super much to do in the area around the hotel.

For kids, there is a playground here and you can walk up the mountain a bit on a path for a nice view. Then we had dinner at the hotel. We had booked half board here and the food was fine. For more information about the Sama Heights Resort, take a look here.

Family-friendly hotel Jebel Shams

Day 5 starts very early, because we are going to walk the Balcony Walk hike in Jebel Shams. This is a beautiful hike through the Grand Canyon of the Middle East. This hike takes about 3 to 4 hours, but you can decide with kids when to turn around. We loved this hike and you get great views of the canyon.

You can read a detailed report on Jebel Shams and this hike in our blog Jebel Shams with kids.

Oman travel itinerary with kids

After this hike, we drive out of the valley by car and head toward the town of Nizwa. We do make 2 more stops along the way. The first stop is at Bahla Fort. This is a beautiful fort from earlier times that you can visit. Very photogenic too.

From Jebel Shams, you can reach this fort in about 1.5 hours. Then we drive on to Jabreen Castle which is fifteen minutes away. Also a beautiful castle, but if you have to make a choice we would still go for the Bahla Fort. From Jabreen Castle, it is another half-hour drive to Nizwa.

We end the day in Nizwa, where we sleep Busta Inn which is right in the center of town. We found this a fine hotel because of its location, but not a super hotel. The hotel does have a small pool at the hotel, but it is not an extensive pool. In the evening, we have a nice dinner in downtown Nizwa.

Jabreen Castle with kids

Day 6 Nizwa

We arranged our itinerary so that we would be in Nizwa on Friday morning, as that is when the famous goat market is in the morning. This is the biggest attraction of this city. Because our hotel is a 5-minute walk from the goat market, we go to this market before breakfast. Very nice to see this market, composed mostly of local people and much less touristy, than we expected beforehand.

Make sure you get to the goat market around 7 a.m., as you will definitely be on time. After the goat market, we take our time to eat and then visit the various souks. Nice to walk around for a while. We do not travel straight to the next destination, but decide to stay an extra night in Nizwa. That way we also try to build in a moment of rest.

Nizwa with kids

In the afternoon, we visit Nizwa’s water park. A nice water park that does have strict dress code (keep this in mind, because with us Sanne could not swim in this water park because of this). We enjoyed ourselves here for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening, we walked around the quaint town of Nizwa and had dinner at the Tamrah restaurant, where you have a great view.

About Nizwa, we wrote the blog Nizwa with kids.

Nizwa with kids

Day 7 Wahiba Sands

The next day it is time for desert exploration. First thing in the morning we visit the fortress of Nizwa, which is right in the center and also very photogenic. Then we drive on to Wahiba Sands in about 3 hours.

We hesitated for a long time whether to drive ourselves through the desert towards our accommodation or to be picked up, but in the end we choose to be picked up. We are picked up just outside the desert and have to transfer our belongings into the guide’s car.

Transportation to Wahiba Sands

We spent the night at Thousand Nights Camp which we really recommended! Located in the desert, the hotel has nice rooms and also has a swimming pool. So we’re going to relax for a few hours first when we get to the hotel. Meanwhile, Sophie tries sandboarding here with a board, but is not very successful.

In the afternoon, we are picked up by a guide to go dune bashing. This amounts to driving a jeep through the desert. Our daughter finds this super fun and we occasionally go down the mountain very hard. The more Sophie cheers, the more arts with the car our guide pulls out. We even end up getting stuck with the car. But that’s no problem, because the guide has lived in the desert all his life and knows exactly what to do then!

As the sun sets, we have a wonderful view of the desert and its beautiful colors. Afterwards, we eat a delicious dinner buffet at our hotel Thousand Nights Camp. For more information about this hotel, take a look here.

You can find a detailed report in our blog Wahiba Sands with kids.

Oman travel itinerary with kids

Day 8 Ras al Jinz

The next morning, after breakfast, we leave the desert early. Today we want to visit Wadi Bani Khalid. This is about a 1.5-hour drive from our hotel in the desert to this wadi. Wadi Bani Khalid is a very beautiful wadi, where you can go swimming with kids. A nice stopover from the desert on the way to Ras al Jinz.

We are here for a few hours, enjoying the water and the beautiful valley on this warm day. We also visit an exciting cave here. We wrote about our visit to this wadi in the extensive blog Wadi Bani Khalid with kids. Then it is another 3-hour drive to Ras al Jinz. So this is quite a day that you have to drive a lot during this itinerary through Oman with kids.

Wadi Bani Khalid with kids

In the afternoon, we arrive at our hotel Sama Ras Al Jinz Resort, which is near the turtle sanctuary. After we checked in, we headed for the beach and had a drink at a resort which is located on the beach. In the evening we go on a tour in search of the turtles. In the end, for us, this is not the experience we were hoping for.

So you kind of have to weigh up for yourself whether you want to visit this turtle reserve. If you want to read a detailed account of our experiences here, read our blog Ras Al Jinz with kids.

Turtles tour Oman with kids

Day 9 Wadi Shab

The next day we drive to Wadi Shab. We booked an apartment here next to the Wadi(Wadi Shab Beach Villa). After checking in, we drive 20 minutes to Bimmah Sinkhole. Here we can have a quick swim in this natural pool and then we drive back to our apartment. We have a pool at this and the rest of the day we do nothing.

From the pool we have a beautiful view of the sea, where we see turtles swimming everywhere throughout the day. The owner of the villa provided food that evening, so we had a lovely dinner at the apartment. Initially the plan was to visit Wadi Shab this afternoon, but we see how crowded it is here in the afternoon. That we decide to go straight here the next morning.

This is a good choice because the next day we are almost the first in the morning. Wadi Shab is a beautiful wadi. Unfortunately for us, it had rained the days beforehand here and there was much more water than usual. This made the hike a lot harder and we couldn’t get into the cave at the end of the hike. We wrote down all our experiences in this wadi in the blog Wadi Shab with kids.

Oman travel itinerary with kids

Day 10-11-12 Muscat

We are in Wadi Shab until about 2 in the afternoon and then we drive back to our hotel in Muscat. We had initially booked another hotel for the return trip in Muscat, but since Maani Muscat Hotel & Suites had pleased us so well, we booked this hotel again. The rest of the afternoon we lay on the pool.

The next day we get up early because we are going on a tour to the Daymaniyat Islands. Really a super nice area for snorkeling and diving. You can see lots of tropical fish, turtles, rays and sharks here. If you’re lucky and you’re in season then you just might find yourself swimming with whale sharks here, too. Unfortunately, we did not see them this day, but it was still a wonderful experience!

Muscat with kids

The last day in Muscat is dedicated to our departure to the Netherlands. We enjoyed another day at the hotel pool and then drove on to the Muscat airport, where we returned our rental car. We thought it was a wonderful trip and really enjoyed the country. We’ve listed some more general tips about the country in our general blog Oman with kids.

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