Some uncharted and exceptional snorkeling spots

Most of Oman’s snorkeling spots are located along the Gulf of Oman coast. Decent shore snorkeling is available around Muscat, especially at Muscat Hills Resort, in Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa and in Marjan Beach, a public beach situated in Ras Al Hamra, but don’t expect spectacular reefs and sea life.

Snorkeling with whale sharks in Oman
The Daymaniyat Islands, easy to visit on a boat trip from Muscat, boasts some of Oman’s best snorkeling.

Bandar Jissah and Bandar Khayran areas, just east to the capital city, offers much better snorkeling options. The many small islands, coves and rocky inlets scattered along this section of the coast, fringed by coral reefs, are great for snorkeling, but you’ll need to take a boat to enjoy them.

For the best snorkeling in Oman, head to the Daymaniyat Islands, an archipelago of 9 small islands accessible from Muscat, which was designated as the first marine reserve in the country. Al Fahal Island, also known as “Shark Island”, and laying just 4km off Ras Al Hamra, is also a fantastic option.

Oman anemonefish in Eagles Bay
The Oman anemonefish, endemic to the Arabian Sea coast of Oman, is easy to spot in Eagles Bay.

If you have time, you can head to Musandam peninsula, Oman’s northernmost region, a remote and untouched snorkeling destination that you can explore during 2 days or more liveaboard trips.

The Arabian Sea coast of Oman also boasts great snorkeling spots, especially in Salalah region. Many rocky creeks are in particular nestled in the coastline extending east of Mirbat, where Eagles Bay/Kiwi Cove, Bushy Beach and Mirbat Beach are among the best options.

Beach in Bandar Jissah, Muscat
The rocky coast of Bandar Jissah, a few kilometers east to Muscat

Oman hosts a great diversity of marine life, including fish and coral species typical from both the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean. Surgeonfish, clownfish, butterflyfish, grunt, and moray eels are common at shallow reefs, as well as green sea turtles, Oman being one of the favorite nesting sites for this species in the region.

The nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Oman also attract abundant large marine creatures to the area, such as whale sharks and Mobula rays, frequently spotted during boat trips to the islands.

Laced moray in Eagles Bay
A laced moray photographed in Eagles Bay.

When to go snorkeling in Oman

Oman is a year-round snorkeling destination, with a reliably warm and dry climate. You may want to avoid the blistering summer months (from April to September), when the temperatures can exceed 104°F/40°, and preferably in the winter season, with temperatures rarely climbing much above 86°F/30°C. Rains are rare, sharp, and only fleeting, mostly occurring in January and February.

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