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The small Daymaniyat Islands archipelago, laying off Muscat, is one of Oman’s snorkeling hotspots. Its coral reefs teeming with brightly colored fish, its abundant sea turtle populations and the regular visit of whale sharks along its coasts make the Daymaniyat an absolute must for any snorkeling enthusiast visiting Oman.
The Daymaniyat are a small archipelago of 9 islands located about forty kilometers off Muscat. The easiest way to get there is to book a boat trip (5 to 6 hours, from OMR25/EUR60pp., including visitor permit for the marine reserve).
The crossing lasts approximately 1 hour from the Wave Marina, near the airport, from where most boat trips leave. Note: landing is not allowed in the reserve between May and October, in order to protect the islands.
Water entrance is generally directly from your boat, sometimes from a beach.
Two areas are particularly recommended for snorkeling in the Daymaniyat, both located on the main island:
1. The seagrass beds extending in a small bay located on the southwestern side of the main island (zone 1 on the map). It is the perfect area to encounter sea turtles, mostly green sea turtles, which come to feed and rest on the seagrass beds.
2. The shallow bay located on the northeastern side of the main island (zone 2 on the map). Here, you can snorkel a coral reef, mainly made of hard corals. Coral is healthy but not very colorful.
A wide variety of reef fish can be seen on the reef, including Sohal surgeonfish, Red Sea clownfish, Arabian butterflyfish, blackspotted rubberlip and Arabian Picasso triggerfish. With a little luck, you may also spot a moray eel hidden in the crevices of the reef, or an Arabian angelfish, probably one of the most beautiful fish of the Arabian Sea. Turtles are also easily spotted in the bay.
These two spots are the most visited of the Daymaniyat islands, but many other great snorkeling sites are scattered throughout the archipelago. When crossing to the islands, it is not uncommon to spot whale sharks, frequent in the Gulf of Oman between May and October.
If the sea conditions allow, your guide will let you jump in the water to snorkel with these fabulous fishes crossing peacefully just under the surface.
The Daymaniyat Islands are uninhabited, entirely natural, and protected by a marine reserve. You won’t find water or food on the islands. Tours usually include snacks and refreshments.
Between November and April, when landing on the islands is allowed, day trips to the islands including lunch on the beach can be organized.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Sheltered bay with coral patches and a great diversity of fish
Level: Free shore access
Deep lagoon visited by pods of spinner dolphins
Vibrant reef drop off with corals and fish
Reef drop off with coral and fish
Level: Resort nearby
Sheltered bay with coral reef and seagrass beds visited by turtles