The wonderfully vibrant Middle Eastern country of Oman welcomes travellers with open arms at any time of year. However, since this is a desert-based destination, the heat can be extreme in summer if you’re not used to it.
So if you’re interested in hiking, dune-bashing, camel trekking, and camping in Bedouin tents under the starry night skies, then the cooler winter months offer the best possibilities for these outdoor activities.
In saying that, travelling to Oman in summer can have its advantages too, namely cheaper flights and discounted accommodation. Oman also has lush green oases, cool mountain villages, crystal clear wadis and pristine coastlines to help beat the heat, so with some careful planning a trip is possible.
Wondering when’s the best time to visit Oman? We’ve put together some suggestions for each season so you can determine the right time to go.
Best Time to Visit Oman in Summer (June - August)
You may not want to visit Oman during summer because of its extremely hot temperatures, at times hovering about 40°C. But there are ways to keep cool during this period, so don’t rule it out entirely.
The green season (‘Khareef’ in Arabic) is at its peak from mid-July to the end of August, and Salalah in the southern Dhofar region is considered the coolest place to be in summer. Here, the surrounding countryside is transformed by the monsoon rains, waterfalls gush gloriously and there’s greenery as far as the eye can see.
In summer the Khareef Festival is the main attraction in Salalah attracting international tourists, and neighbouring locals. It runs from 15 July to 31 August every year and features traditional dance, food, and music displays.
An option for cooling off is to book a stay at one of Oman’s luxury resorts. Salalah has plenty of choices, with hotels featuring air-conditioned rooms, beautifully landscaped pools, and beach access. Alternatively head north to the Hajar Mountains and Alila Jabal Akhdar, a stunning mountain resort with breathtaking views set 2,000 feet above sea level. Here it is 15°C cooler during the summer months.
Visiting Oman in Autumn (September - November)
Autumn is a prime turtle viewing season and a major reason why many nature lovers visit Oman at this time. Oman has an incredible amount of turtles come ashore during principal nesting season (July to September), five different species numbering around 20,000 turtles in total. Together they lay around 50,000 to 60,000 eggs. As you can imagine, thousands of baby turtles hatching and making their way to the sea is a sight to behold.
One of the largest nesting sites in Ras al Jinz turtle beach reserve, where you can view greenback turtles lumbering up the beach to make their nests. The reserve, once a scientific centre, is set up with eco-tourism tent style accommodation, a small restaurant and morning and evening beach walk to see and learn about the turtles.
September and October are the Autumn Harvest, with pomegranates, walnuts, olives, and grapes being reaped. November is an ideal month to visit with temperatures in the low 30Cs. Although be prepared for more tourists due to the cooler weather.
Travelling to Oman in Winter (December - February)
Winter is an optimal time for visiting Oman because you can enjoy the outdoors without being too hot or too cold. Temperatures average a pleasant 20C during the day, but it can get quite cold at night in the desert and the mountains. Hiking, wild camping, dune bashing, and al fresco eating are all popular activities in Oman during winter.
Best places for an Oman desert adventure:
- Wahiba Sands Desert
- Bausher sand dunes
- Rub Al Khali
Muscat is a popular place to be during Christmas and New Year, and the Muscat Festival is a drawcard in February. This month-long celebration of culture and art features exhibitions, fashion shows, traditional dancing, laser shows, and nightly fireworks.
Touring Oman in Spring (March - May)
March and April can be a good time to visit Oman as these months are usually less busy than the winter months of November to February.
Spring is the best time to visit Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) when the terrace plantations are lush and vibrant and the roses are in bloom. This is one of the highest points in Oman and gives sweet relief from the heat as temperatures start to soar into the 30Cs. The area is known for rose water extraction used in Omani sweets, desserts, and perfume and it’s possible to visit a rose distillery on a guided tour.
The summer fruit season starts in May with the apricot harvest, followed by peaches, pomegranates, grapes, figs, pears, so there is a lot of fresh produce on offer in the local markets.
When is the best time to visit Oman?
Oman’s traditional charm, rich cultural heritage, and diverse landscape make it an exciting year-round destination. However, if you’re planning on a desert excursion and/or city sightseeing, then a visit is best undertaken from December to February. If you don’t mind slightly warmer temperatures and want to view turtles at Ras al Jinz or see Jebel Akhdar at its best, then look at visiting September through to April.
By being even more flexible with your dates and travelling between June and August you could pick up a cheaper flight or discounted hotel stays. But choose your itinerary wisely and be prepared for the heat.
For further reading check out these Wild Frontiers articles to learn about the hidden gems of Oman and what highlights our tour itineraries include: