Muscat

Muscat is Oman’s capital and is situated on a port in the gulf of Oman surrounded by deserts and mountains. Muscat was never somewhere I ever thought I would travel to or ever really fancied travelling to to be honest. Several years back though I got rostered a Muscat through the airline I work for. So I decided to make the most of my 24 hours there, and I can honestly say I was not disappointed!

Muscat was somewhere that really took me by surprise. The landscape was baron but stunning with vast amounts of rocky mountains, and gorgeous turquoise blue ocean which could be witnessed for miles upon miles. The locals were all so warm and welcoming too. It was somewhere which I didn’t really know much about and after visiting once I am so desperate to go back and do lots more exploring.

While I was on my 24 hour layover in Muscat a colleague and myself decided to book onto a half day tour of sailing along the Omani Gulf and searching for wild dolphins and going snorkelling. The tour was amazing it picked us up from our hotel at 8.30am, and took us down to the port where our boat was waiting for us, the tour company run small groups so there were 8 of us in total. The boat was a modern boat which had a nice deck and outside seating area.

After we set sail on our boat we could really admire the Muscat landscape in the distance and could see all the beautiful rocky coves that surround the sea. It wasn’t long before we were out on the open ocean and all of sudden spotted hundreds of wild dolphins jumping out of the water and swimming around and underneath the boat.

I couldn’t believe how many dolphins there were out there. It was truely breathtaking to see them swimming freely and enjoying themselves. We also saw a few baby dolphins with their mums too which was just incredible!

After we sat watching the dolphins for a while, our boat driver took us to a rocky cove where the water was crystal clear and calm, and it wasn’t too deep and a perfect spot for snorkelling. We got on our snorkels and jumped into the warm water, and got to see lots of colourful fish, coral, sea cucumbers and even managed to swim alongside the most beautiful turtle and watched it coming up for air from the boat.

After we spent a while swimming and snorkelling we sailed back to the harbour and were driven back to our hotel where we finished our tour at about 12.30pm so it’s a great little tour which doesn’t eat into too much time. The boat company also included soft drinks and fruit to snack on, the tour only cost about ÂŁ30.

I did this the other year so unfortunately can’t remember the exact tour company I used back then. However a lot of my colleagues that go to Muscat frequently use a tour company called Hunter Tours, which offer a whole range of excursions.

Muscat has so much to offer and I am so desperate to go back and would even consider a holiday there, as I found it a lot more laid back and welcoming compared to other Middle East countries. There is so much natural beauty around the Oman Gulf that I would really recommend a trip here to any nature lovers out there.

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