The Best Things to See and Do in Musandam, Oman

Musandam © UAE ஐ ۞ AD ♥|Flickr
Musandam © UAE ஐ ۞ AD ♥|Flickr
Photo of Gehad Medhat
27 November 2017

Musandam is an Omani peninsula separated from the rest of the country by a piece of land from the UAE. Located in the northernmost point of Oman and surrounded by two gulfs; the Arabian and the Omani, the governorate has a lot of natural and architectural wonders. Here are the best things you can do and see in Musandam.

Sail around the Beautiful Fjords of Musandam

As a coastal governorate, the locals of Musandam have built lots of traditional boats and dhows that they use for fishing, among other pursuits. More importantly, going for a boat ride with visitors and tourists is a must-do activity in Musandam. Going through the gulf waters, visitors can enjoy watching the unique fjords, while drinking Omani coffee (Kahwa) and dates, and chatting with locals. Visitors can also ask drivers to stop the boat so they can have a swim in the crystal turquoise waters of Musandam and enjoy the refreshing weather.

Traditional Dhow of Musandam © Riyadh Al Balushi | Flickr

Visit Khasab Castle

The Khasab Castle in located in the Province of Khasab, which is the capital of the Musandam Peninsula. It was built by the Portuguese in the 17th-century, when they colonized the Khasab Province, as part of their plan to take control over the Strait of Hormuz, which is the narrow entry to the Arabian Gulf from the Arab Peninsula. Omanis used it when they were battling the Portuguese out of their country in 1624. Then, it was used as the house of the Walli (the governor of Khasab), and as a prison.

The castle now has several exhibitions about the history of Musandam, an old documents exhibition, and other exhibitions displaying jewellery, clothes, weapons, kitchen equipment, and wedding decorations. There is also a Quran learning school, a model of a traditional elevated summer house, and a model of a date storage which is referred to as Bait Al Quful. In addition, there are three old traditional Omani boats that were built in Musandam, and some old canons. So, a visit to Khasab Castle is an exciting experience to discover the history of Musandam and to learn about the unique features and heritage of the governorate.

Inside Khasab Castle © Daniel Jo | Flickr

Enjoy the Golden beach of Khasab

There are several beaches in Musandam where visitors can enjoy golden sand, crystal turquoise waters and beautiful sea creatures and birds. However, the Khasab beach is the most beautiful of the Musandam Governorate. Visitors can enjoy a day on the stunning beach, go for a swim in the refreshing waters, take a boat trip, or even plan to camp for a night on the incredible beach. A day at the Khasab beach must be included in a visit to Musandam.

Khasab Beach © Robert Haandrikman | Flickr

Watch Dolphins swimming around Musandam

There are two types of dolphin that visit the Musandam waters; the Humpback dolphins (Sousa Chinensis), and the Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops Aduncus). Visitors can go watch the dolphins through a boat ride, or sail around them in a traditional Omani Dhow.

Dolphins in Musandam © Robert Haandrikman | Flickr

Hike and Camp on Jebel Harim

Jebel Harim is the highest point in Musandam, which reaches 2,087-meters high. Jebel Harim means the Mountain of Women. It was called this because Omani women used to go up the mountain and hide when they feared they might get kidnapped by pirates, while their men were away on fishing trips. Visitors can go hiking or drive up the hill to enjoy the spectacular views from its top, as they watch the surrounding valleys and villages. They can also camp on the magnificent mountain.

Jebel Harim © John Crane | Flickr

Paraglide over Zighy Bay

Some exciting news for all adventure seekers, Musandam is one of the most famous destinations in Oman for paragliding and parasailing. The best part is that they will always enjoy mind-blowing views, whether of mountains, beaches, valleys or bays, especially the Zighy Bay. Paragliding over the Zighy Bay starts at the Zighy Mountain at a height of 1,000-feet above the ground, then over the beautiful bay. It is an absolutely unmissable experience, especially as there is lots of amazing scenery to explore.

Zighy Bay, Musandam © Charles Sharp | Flickr

Go Diving and Snorkeling

Having all these crystal beautifully-turquoise waters in Musandam reflect only some of the hidden gems and treasures. That’s why visitors must go diving or snorkeling to enjoy the beauty of nature and the incredible sea creatures. There are lots of places in Khasab that offer these adventurous activities for visitors.

Angelfish in Musandam © Shankar S. | Flickr

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