As whole Oman has beautiful places, you need a lot of time or many days to cover each area, this time I concentrated on the Muscat region and nearby areas and therefore read about things to do near Muscat and let’s go from Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole tour which is a long and hectic day trip.
Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do near Muscat. The Sultanate of Oman’s geographical location makes it an excellent destination for nature lovers.
STAY RECOMMENDATIONS AT MUSCAT
- Chedi Muscat
- Ramada Qurum Beach Hotel
- Somerset Panorama
- Holiday INN Al Seeb
- I stayed in the city center at Levatio Hotel for 2 nights and 1 night at Fraser Suites.
It is blessed with incredible landscapes like rugged mountain valleys, naturally formed caves, sink-hole, Wadis(dry river bed which is full of water in the rainy season), deserts, fjords, and secluded beaches, canyons, and many more.
Oman is located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in western Asia and is surrounded by mountains, deserts, and water. In this post, let’s go for a natural wonders day trip from Muscat.
Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
After having a fascinating Muscat City tour and a historical tour to Nizwa fort from Muscat, let’s go for a nature tour from Muscat, which is also top listed in Oman sightseeing tours. Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole is Oman’s most recommended day trip, with many enchanting stops.
FIRST STOP – QANTAB BEACH | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
A slight stretch of rocky beach is 15 km from Muscat. Located in a fisherman’s town, this beach is tranquil and peaceful. This beach has many fisherman’s boats, and you see many naturally cut rocks taper down to blue waters.
I loved how the waves were crashing on these black rocks, and the shades of deep blue are amazing here. Walking on the pebbled beach is fun here.
This beach is surrounded by many traditional quaint Omani-style houses and huge rocks on another side. Camping is not allowed here, and I am not sure about wearing a swimsuit.
Many fishermen will approach you and ask you to have a sail across the sea for a few Omani rials, and they promise to show some hidden gems of this area in traditional wooden boats.
You can also wander around this small town of Qantab, which is actually inhabited by a fisherman. Some of the houses are very interesting, and you can also see how locals live.
SECOND STOP – BANDAR AL KHIRAN | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR | THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Not many people know about the hidden beauty in Oman, and even this place was not added to our itinerary. It was added last minute due to a recommendation by local staff in our hotel, so we made our second stop to this last-minute addition.
A hilly drive of approximately 20 km from Qantab town and through sand mountains, you can reach Bandar Al Khiran. It is a very secluded and windy area, but the view of deep blue waters surrounded by sand-colored mountains is impressive from here.
This place is beat for relaxing as it is very peaceful and the views are stunning.
You can camp overnight and plan a day picnic from Muscat to here. If you descend down or hike down, you can enjoy the beach and waters too.
The coral-filled waters of this area are home to many exotic marine life creatures like turtles, sea horses, and unique species of fish, making it a favorable location for divers, snorkelers, and swimmers.
The nearest Luxurious Beach Resort to enjoy this area is Shangri-la Al Jissa. Click here to book this resort.
To reach here is slightly tricky as from the main road there is a sharp curve to the unpaved side road. This unpaved side road is a very steep upward curve, and once you head onto it, there is no chance of taking a reverse.
When you reach the tip of the curve and move down, you will feel that your vehicle will fall from the cliff into the water, but there is an unseen flat area after the tip, from where you can take a turn and move down. A highly photogenic place.
When we descended, we met some excellent road barriers. Check the local and favorite animals of Oman. Carefully drive because sometimes a fleet of goats come between the road or cross the street.
THIRD STOP – BIMMAH SINKHOLE(MAIN ATTRACTION) | MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR – THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Driving through the beautiful Quriyat town(where you can take a short glimpse of the city and can wait for a few minutes for freshening up or some snacks in between), go along Highway 17 towards the city of Sur.
Bimmah Sinkhole is also known as Hawiyat Najm; you will find the signboards of Hawiyat Najm Park. Follow these signboards, and when you reach the destination, there is an exit with a signboard named Sinkhole.
Follow it, and from the main road, you have to drive a few kilometers on the side road to reach the exact place. Don’t get confused with the signboard named Bimmah and take the wrong exit as Bimmah is a nearby village. Many people get confused here and cannot reach the exact location.
So the thumb rule is to follow the signboard with the name Hawiyat Najm Parm and then sinkhole. If you are coming from the Muscat side, the mountains are on your right, and the sea is on your left. The drive is across the ocean.
From the park’s entrance to the sinkhole, the walk is 100-150 meters, and you have to take approximately 80 long steps to reach the 30 m deep sinkhole.
Hold the railing as these steps are steep, and when you look down sparkling emerald waters, those who fear height can tumble down.
THE STORY / FORMATION OF BIMMAH SINKHOLE – It is one of the most stunning sinkholes in the world. According to Daily Mail it the world’s most stunning sinkhole.
LOCAL BELIEF – According to local belief, it is said that this sinkhole was created by a falling meteorite which caused a depression in the earth, and water came out. That is why it is called Hawiyat Najm, which translates into Meteor Falling in Arabic.
SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION – According to geologists, it is caused by erosion of the Earth’s upper crust layer due to the interaction of limestone with underneath water. Underground it is connected with the Arabian Sea, which is 600 m from the sinkhole.
This 50 m x 70 m(approximately) and 30 m deep depression filled with beautiful emerald-colored water is a must-visit attraction in Oman or included in things to do near Muscat.
When you descend the steps, you can see the changing colors of emerald shades of water due to the angle of your vision and the sun above. Also, you can see each layer of rock/crust and shades of water vary.
The water is apparent and is comprised of fresh seawater. You can spot little fish in it. At first, take a walk around the rim for the best photos and descend slowly. This is a perfect example of unique natural creation by underground water reacting with limestone rocks and carbonates with erosion and forming a depression.
These limestone rocks dissolved and left a hole filled with emerald clear waters. Here the sound is also echoed.
GENERAL TIPS FOR BIMMAH SINKHOLE – Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
- This sinkhole is located in a gated park with picnic benches and an eating area. Restaurants/cafes are not present, so carry your own food/drink.
- Basic facilities toilets, washrooms, and changing areas are located at the entrance. In the park, swimming costume is not allowed, but near the sinkhole, you can wear your swimsuit.
- No Public transports take you here; therefore, you have hired a local tour or can drive your own vehicle.
- Taking a leap/jump in the sinkhole is prohibited, and swimming is allowed at your own risk.
FOURTH STOP – WADI TIWI OR WADI SHAB – MUSCAT TO BIMMAH SINKHOLE TOUR – THINGS TO DO NEAR MUSCAT
Wadi Shab is one of Oman’s most beautiful and peaceful Wadi. But this Wadi cannot be reached by car as you have to hike on a mountainous trail and steep ravine for 60 minutes from the main area. You can read more about the best Wadis in Oman, which are worth visiting.
Wadi Tiwi is on the other side but can be reached through 4 x 4. So we opted for Wadi Tiwi because it was a long day, and we were totally exhausted. Wadi Tiwi is in the Al Sharqiyah region and had after nearby Tiwi village.
It is 160 km from Muscat on the way to Sur. The unpaved road can be dangerous during rain, and the steep slope has many blind curves.
After this hectic trip, we returned to Muscat and had dinner in the city. If you want to go further, do a night’s stay in Sur. Either you can return to Muscat and stay there, or you can proceed further for a night’s stay in Sur. Sur is a famous tourist attraction for the rarest marine species.
You can find the rarest breed of turtle here on the beach. Turtle laying eggs at night is the most famous attraction, and many reserves arrange the tour for this. Also, Sur being a coastal town, is renowned for centuries-old shipbuilding and as a port town.
It is said that Sur is the hometown of Sindbad the Sailor. As I have to return another day to Dubai, so skipped Sur this time but will visit soon as the road trip to Oman from Dubai is a very convenient option for long weekends or during a small break. Sur is one of the best places to visit near Muscat, Oman, due to turtles beach.
GENERAL GUIDELINES – Muscat to Bimmah Sinkhole Tour – Things to do Near Muscat
- Carry a Towel and another pack of dry clothes as you have to take a dip in the water at many places the whole day.
- Wear comfortable footwear, preferably waterproof
- Don’t eat very heavy meals as the drive is often steep, and you can have dizziness or mountain sickness.
- Prefer to drive or rent a 4 x 4. If you are not driving 4 x 4, park your car beside the unpaved road and hike down or climb up the region on foot.
- You must walk and climb the whole day, so be prepared for this. Some places are not strollers or wheelchairs.
- Fuel your car/vehicle to a full tank from Muscat.
- Carry small eatables and loads of water with you. Also, carry a hat, sunscreen, and shades as it is an open-air
- You will not find many fancy eat-outs or restaurants in between.
- Start as early as possible. I started around 8:45 – 9:00 A.M., but it is better to start at around 8:00 A.M.
- Follow Google maps as it guides you perfectly, even on unpaved roads.
- Public transportation will not take you there. You can reach driving on your own and on local tours.
- Very Safe, and the locals are welcoming. Oman is a conservative country so be respectful in wearing dresses. No exposure of knees and shoulders( both men and women).
- Swimming at Wadis and sinkhole is at your own risk.
BEST TIME TO VISIT – OCTOBER TO APRIL
NEAREST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – MUSCAT
HOW TO REACH MUSCAT FROM DUBAI–
- From Dubai, you can reach Muscat by SELF-DRIVE
- or many buses run between these two cities. Mwasalat air-conditioned buses with toilets run between Dubai and Muscat.
- From Dubai, bus 201 leaves at 7.30am, 3.30pm, and 11 pm from 800m north of Deira City Centre and arrives roughly six hours with a stop at the border and later at Azaiba station in Muscat.
- The cost of a ticket is around 55AED. From Muscat bus leaves at 6.20am, 3.20pm, and 11.20pm and takes approximately 40 minutes longer. Buses make a small stop in Sohar (Oman). Women traveling alone usually sit at the front of the bus. The cost of a ticket is around 5.5OMR.
OMAN ROAD TRIP TOUR VIDEO – Bimmah Sinkhole Oman
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RELATED READS – Day trips from Muscat Oman
- Muscat City Tour
- Historical Forts tour from Muscat
- Dubai Travel Guide
- Abu Dhabi City Tour Guide
- Nature wonders of Oman
- Musandam / Khasab Fjords and Dolphins tour
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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