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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.

Snorkeling above Daymaniyat Islands coral reefs

How to get there?

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.

Daymaniyat Islands snorkeling map

Water entrance

Water entrance is generally directly from your boat, sometimes from a beach.

Exploration

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 are numerous to come to feed and rest on the seagrass beds.

Swimming with whale shark in the Daymaniyat Islands

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.

Green parrotfish

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 meet 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.

Restaurants and accommodation

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 a lunch on the beach can be organized.



 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaDaymaniyat Islands Nature Reserve
  • Maximum depth18ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat (sometimes from a beach)
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow to medium
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price (from OMR 25/EUR 60pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

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.