Oman Podcast Sultanate Travel

Sultanate Ep 020: Stuck in the Mud – Salalah Road Trip

September 11, 2017

In Oman you have to be flexible, and that’s exactly what I needed on my last Salalah road trip. My friends and I found ourselves stuck in the mud!

Salalah Road TripIn this episode of the Sultanate, my friend John and I take you along with us on a nine day trip from Muscat to Salalah and back again. Something you might be considering to do yourself. Along the way we visit rich lagoons, interesting geological sights, historical towns, tourist sights, friends, and a muddy pasture.

There are so many sights to see in Salalah and Dhofar, including many ways to reach the area from Muscat. This Salalah road trip is just one option for an itinerary, but one I’ve been recommending to readers for years. It gives you a little bit of everything, and a heavy helping of adventure.

Bottom line, if you have just over a week to visit Dhofar, consider taking the coastal route for a little more excitement. It is definitely off the beaten track. If you have less time for your holiday you might consider flying from Muscat to Salalah and hiring a car from the airport. That’ll give you more time to see the sights of Dhofar. Also, don’t try to do it all! Fourteen days is too short, in my opinion, to really enjoy both the south and north of Oman. Plan your trip wisely.

Best Time for a Salalah Road Trip

Anytime! Seriously. All seasons have their pros and cons:

In Dhofar the khareef (monsoon) takes places from end of June to the beginning of September. In Dhofar June will be hot, humid, brown, but free of tourists. August-September will be beautifully green, packed with GCC tourists, but mountain views hidden, and camping miserably wet with bugs. December-January is wonderfully clear with crisp light and calm seas, but the hills are brown and wadis dry.

Another thing to consider is the khareef brings heavy winds to the coast from Ras al Hadd to the Yemen border, making your coastal camping more challenging.

Personally, I like what December-January brings to the whole of Oman.

City Hotel Duqm ReviewSalalah Road Trip Accommodation

Camping is my preferred form of accommodation, but this trip I wanted to try something a little different for two reasons: 1. I know not all of you are totally jazzed about camping. 2. City Hotel Duqm invited me to stay with them when they found out I was looking for options along the coastal road to address item 1. Check out my review of City Hotel Duqm.

So, whether you prefer to camp or not, you can still enjoy your Salalah road trip.

things to see around DuqmSultanate Ep 020: Stuck in the Mud – Salalah Road Trip Links

How do you prefer to travel, camping or hotel? Leave me a comment below.

Salalah Road Trip Itinerary

DaySightsSleepDistance (km)
1Sumail Gap, Hajar Mountains, Sinaw, desert, sabkah, flatlandBar al Hickman488.1
2Bar al Hickman, lagoons, petrified wood, fossils, Rock Garden, geologyCity Hotel Duqm412.9
3Fishing villages, lagoons, ports, beachesWadi Shwaymiah445.9
4New coastal road, lagoons, fishing villages, cliffs, Mirbat, Jebal Samhan, Oasis ClubSalalah308.8
5Khor Rori, Sumhuram, Dhofar jebel, camelsSalalah178.2
6Wadi Darbat, Travertine Curtain, Camels, switchback roads, frankincense, cloudsCliff298.8
7Mugsail beach and blowholes, cows, Yemen, limestone cliffs, clouds, fishing villages, covesRakhyut214.3
8Oasis and spring, Mudayy, geodes, desert, firing rangeDesert Wadi161.4
9Military, crazy driving, desert, boredomMuscat1020

Salalah Road Trip Map

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  • Reply Jan December 3, 2017 at 1251

    Hi, thank you for another great post! Will you be offering the gpx files for a download? Cheers, Jan

    • Reply D. Michael December 6, 2017 at 1927

      Hi Jan, Sorry not for this one.

  • Reply Kathryn W August 26, 2018 at 1317

    Great info! We are planning a road trip to Salalah from Muscat, following the coastal road. Can you please provide more info on the location of Wadi Shwaymiah? Also have you been to Ras Al Markaz? Thanks so much!

    • Reply D. Michael August 27, 2018 at 1047

      Wadi Shwaymiah is currently having access difficulty due to Mekunu. However it is accessible with a proper 4×4. Access is through the mechanic area on the far east of the town. You’ll find the track from there. Maybe 4 KM to the garden over very rough terrain. Ras Markaz is cool worth a visit!

      • Reply Kathryn W August 27, 2018 at 1052

        Ahhh good to know; thank you! Ras Markaz is on the list of places to check out along the drive. Your website is awesome, and keep up the good work!

        • Reply D. Michael August 27, 2018 at 1123

          Right now I am working on a really cool project that will organize all this. Unfortunately, it’s not available now. But you will find your way Kathryn. Just email me if you have any more questions. I’m kind of bad about promptly replying here in the summer.

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