Overshadowed by glitzy neighbour Dubai, Oman is a world apart from it – a place of epic untamed landscapes, wild swimming, incredible hiking, and other outdoor adventures. Find centuries-old mud-brick forts, verdant oases where donkeys amble along, carrying baskets laden with dates, and remote beaches where turtles come to nest. There is beauty, history, culture, wildlife and action – as those we have taken on family holidays to Oman have attested. Some have very kindly shared their photos of Oman with us – have a browse and let yourself be inspired.

Teenagers sand boarding in Wahiba Sands

The endless rolling sand dunes of Wahiba Sands is an amazing spot for a desert adventure – go sandboarding in the afternoon, perhaps climb a dune to watch the sun set, then bed down in a traditional Bedouin tent or at a desert camp. See our 7-day Oman Short Break including Wahiba Sands.

Contrasting landscapes of desert and green wadis - Oman customer photos

Oman is brilliant with kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. There’s lots of space to run around in, whether over the dunes or on a walk to Wadi Bani Khalid – gorgeous and accessible, with deep-turquoise natural springs.

Family on top of a tall dune in Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands are great for climbing and then hurling yourself down, or we can set you up with some thrilling dune-bashing by 4X4. Oman is well suited to self-drive holidays but you can hire a private driver if you prefer. Our Customer Reviews include feedback from families who have chosen one or the other option.

Animal market at Nizwa

The old city of Nizwa comes alive with its weekly animal market on a Friday. Locals gather for the big auctions – a joyful cacophony of bustle and local colour that’s not to be missed. This ancient city in northern Oman also has an atmospheric souk lined with silversmiths and other crafts stalls.

Jabrin Fort - combination of customer photos of Oman trip

Jabrin and Nizwa forts are among the most enchanting in all Oman. The first, which dates back as far as 1675 but is well-preserved, has battlements that are fun to clamber over. Nizwa is huge and stands out for its 40m tower, which you can climb for views of date plantations and the Hajar mountains.

Family with big yellow tubes at Nizwa Water Park

After a morning exploring the fort, spend the afternoon cooling off in Nizwa’s Wadina Water Park. There are slides, a lazy river, and a splash area for very young kids.

Photos of Oman showing the Balcony Walk with child hiking and tremendous rocky views

Reputedly the world’s second-deepest canyon after the Grand Canyon, Jebel Shams is most famous for its 4km balcony walk. This edges along the Wadi Ghul canyon, giving you spectacular views down around 1500m into the depths of the gorge.

Boys on Balcony Walk, Oman

The views are splendid all along the Balcony Walk, and you can also carry on as far as an abandoned village from which locals fled from invaders. This seems to almost hang from a cliff face. Both our suggested Oman itineraries include Jebal Shams and this spectacular walk.

Families exploring Old Misfa Village

In the midst of rocky mountains, Misfah is a true picturebook oasis. Here you can walk through the date palms along irrigation channels, with donkeys laden with baskets lumbering past. If you are interested, you can even spend the night in a traditional old stone house, (check out our Top 10 Things to do in Oman with Kids for more).

Serene image of an Omani wadi with blue green water

Picture Wadi Bani Khalid; an idyllic green lake, surrounded by craggy cliffs. Toddlers will love paddling in the shallows. Tweens will love heading further up the wadi for a spot of cliff jumping. And adrenalin-seeking teens can challenge themselves to jump off ‘The Bridge’ into the deep pool below. Do you dare take up the challenge?

Swimming in the Wadi Bani Khalid

Swimming in a wadi is one of the great joys of a holiday in Oman, especially after you’ve been hiking, rock climbing, rappelling or the like. These rocky river gorges form enticing natural swimming pools in the middle of the desert and are also great picnic spots.

Family wild camping in Oman

Beach camping is also a highlight of a trip to Oman (see our Highlights of Oman example itinerary). You’ll get a tent set up for you, with a sitting area, and dinner is a delicious barbecue. Swimming off the beach, you may be lucky enough to see turtles.

Campfire at the organised private wild camping on Omani beach

Sitting round a campfire on your beach camp is another unforgettable experience – one followed by a night sleeping under the stars.

Customer photo of turtle making a nest on a beach in Oman

Spotting turtles in Oman is almost guaranteed except in May and June. It’s wonderful to watch them at night when they come up to lay their eggs, and also to get up really early to see them in the dawn light.

People cooling off at the Bimmah Sinkhole, customer photos of Oman holiday

The Bimmah Sinkhole with its clear waters and limestone formations is another great place to swim in Oman. Its Arabic name, Hawiyyat Najm, means ‘the deep well of the (falling) star’. Local Omanis once believed it was created by a meteorite. See our 12-day Highlights of Oman itinerary including the Binnah sinkhole.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is truly impressive. Able to hold up to 20,000 worshippers at one time, it contains the second-largest single-piece carpet in the world. Check out our Places to visit in Oman for more on Muscat and nearby beaches.

Muscat boat trip, customer photos from Oman

A boat trip off Muscat includes the chance to go snorkelling, and if you book a full-day trip will also include a stop-off at a deserted beach for a barbecue.

Kids snorkelling on Muscat boat trip, Oman

The seas off Muscat are crystal-clear with an abundance of marine life – a paradise for snorkeling enthusiasts.

Dolphins photographed on an Oman family boat trip

Boat trips from Muscat also give you a good chance of seeing dolphins. These gorgeous creatures hunt and travel along the coast of Oman: you may see spinner, bottlenose and common varieties.

Muscat hotel pool

Oman has some superb beach hotels where you can check in for a spot of R&R after all your adventures. As well as being very beautiful, they have lovely pools and sometimes other aquatic fun such as lazy rivers.

Holiday photos of Oman – next steps

Dry and warm weather between October and March makes Oman an ideal family holiday destination during the October half term, Christmas, February half term, and Easter. For more about the weather in Oman, check out our When to Visit page.

If Oman appeals, ring us at  01728 752 751 to discuss your plans or email us using our website form.

You might also like to see other photo blogs with snaps taken by our Stubborn Mule visitors: