I recently re-visited Khaluf Beach, and I have to say Khaluf Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Oman, and a place that will excite and calm you.
Khaluf is a 50km stretch of sea front located about 450km south of Muscat and consist of calm protected water, white sugar dunes, rocky outcroppings, and sleepy fishing villages. What we refer to as Khaluf is actually three different places, maybe more. Al Khaluf is the name of the fishing village at the north end of the stretch, and the place your will stop or start your off-road adventure. Just south of the village is Khaluf Beach, where at low tide it becomes your highway carrying you south, ending at some rocky outcroppings. Further south is Hadow, and it’s powder white sand dunes that will swallow can truck alive. Finally Bantawt comes, featuring flat plains that seem to dissolve into the sea.
What makes this area special is its isolation. Since it is so far from Muscat, the area doesn’t get many visitors. However, a over a holiday weekend you might find half of Petroleum Development Oman’s expat employees camped out here. Contributing to the isolation is the lack of paved roads through this area. The result is a nice quiet place with a fun off-road track.
My first visit to Khaluf Beach was in 2011 during my epic coastal road trip to Salalah. I searched and read everything I could find about this place, and the more I read the more I became excited and nervous.
Because Khaluf Beach is so isolated I was worried about getting stuck and not being able to recover myself since I was a novice off-road driver at the time. I remember doing a lot of foot recon of sections on the route because the track had blown over, it wasn’t clear where the track continued, and I didn’t have any GPS track to guide me. I remember thinking, “Wow, it has been days since anybody has used this track.” Fast-forward to me being woken up from a nap at my camp by the sound of the local water delivery truck wading through the sea to shortcut the longer, dryer route around the rocks. Now I know why local trucks are so rusty and the overland route gets blown-over from lack of use. (During extreme low tide periods the locals just stick to the beach sand for their track, and wade through the surf to pass the rocky sections when they have to, crazy!).
For my most recent trip to Khaluf Beach I came from the south, floating across the soft sand track from Bantawt to access the beach. Under the relentless sun, I’m blinded by the bleached-white sand. It’s as if the sand is emitting its own light, warning me to stay away. But I press on toward the sea looming ahead. As the sand track transitions into smooth flat plain I punch the accelerator, enjoying the relatively gentle yet short lived break from the jarring washboard track, letting the suspension do the work as I glide faster. Ahead of me the azure sea peaks out from behind the short beach dunes. To my left is a mountain of snow-white sand. To the right, the fertile waters of al Khaluf and the Indian Ocean. Between the two, just enough space to isolate the towering snow-like dune from melting into the tepid sea. Just like the sun is fixing to do.
As the sun melts away I fight my body to stay awake, but it’s futile. Khaluf has taken me for a ride.
Tips for Visiting Khaluf Beach
- Check the tide table, and plan your beach driving (entry and exit) at low tide.
- Top up fuel in Mahoot or Duqm to avoid the rusty al Khaluf petrol station.
- Drive through the Bantawt shrimp farm to have a look.
- Lower your tire pressure if you are struggling to find traction (15 psi).
- Entertain yourself on the long drive from Muscat by downloading the latest episode of the Sultanate podcast.
- Download the GPS files below and load them into your favorite GPS unit.
- View the images in the gallery slideshow at the top of the page.
What place calms you? Leave me a comment below:
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