Team Y rounds up its five favourite outdoor activities guaranteed to give you a buzz without breaking the bank.
Shake a leg. It’s time to pack your bags, get out of your comfort zone and head into the great outdoors for some rip-roaring recreation.
We won’t lie: you’ll break some sweat, with Oman weather still hot and not yet on the cusp of autumn (believe it or not).
Mind you, it’s a small price to pay when you hunker down and compare the cost-to-thrills ratio with, say, a quick jaunt to Dubai for your weekend that can set you back a few bob.
But with options that make way for a simple night out camping with your mates or family in the wadis, or a more elaborate trekking sesh in the mountains, Oman offers so much to those thrill-seekers who have to get on a
plane to go somewhere… and at a fraction
of the cost.
This has also led to an unsurprising boom in adventure tourism – with activities such as hiking, mountain biking, abseiling, kitesurfing, kayaking, or canoeing – all peppering photos of all-smiling adventurists over social media.
After all, they say that the best things in life are free, or in this case, at a lower cost than what you’d expect.
Here are some of our selections:
There are no thwarting obstructions across the horizon. It’s just you versus the world when you choose to kayak in the pristine waters of the Arabian Sea at the Qurum beach with the good folk from the Wave Summit Kayak Adventures. Safety is priority as the experienced instructors trickle the dos and don’ts down as you head out on your own into the sunset, with the amber skies as your guide. Those who have given it a go say it’s an unforgettable experience. However, buying your own kayak and hitting the wadis in Hoqain or Amerat for free would be advisable for those with some level of familiarity with the sport. A a good kayak could set you back several hundred riyals, though.
Cost: RO10 per session
Location: Qurum Beach
Phone: (+968) 9747-1484
Conquer your greatest fears by facing them head-on. We did so at the Jabal Shams when we took on the (safer) slopes of Oman’s tallest peak on mountain bikes rented from the Jabal Shams Resort. The cooler temperature makes the ride a pleasant one, and there’s much flora and fauna to catch as you enjoy your ride. Keep in mind that it’s best to stick to the hiking path to avoid falling off the cliff edges. Anything is a daring sport if you go against the rules. Stick to them and you’ll be safe here.
Location: Jabal Shams
Phone: (+968) 9938-2639
Words alone cannot describe the pleasures of scuba diving – it must be experienced to be believed. And with more than 2,000km of shoreline waiting to be explored, there’s no better country in the GCC than Oman to give it a go. The islands of Daymaniyat or Fahal or the waters of Bander al Khiran are perfect for beginners, with a chance to catch some turtles or dolphins in action. If you’re having trouble choosing one, the Oman Dive Centre is a great place to start. They offer in-depth courses, and can have you certified as a diver. Just treat the marine life right and keep your litter to yourselves.
Phone: (+968) 2482-4240
This one will scare the living daylights out of even the toughest of adventurers. It blends the two greatest fears –acrophobia (fear of heights) and aerophobia (fear of flying) –and packages them into one sport: paramotoring. The sport works on the concept of launching from a tall structure – think, mountain – with you strapped onto a giant fan and a parachute. This goes beyond your regular gliding as it offers you long flight times (sometimes up to two or three hours) and the thrills of watching the world pass below your feet. Those who go up there regularly say it’s safe, and there are trained instructors from Sky School Flight Centre riding tandem with you until you’re all certified and set to fly alone.
Location: Sawadi Beach
Wakeboarding has been the recipient of plenty of negative press, commonly owing to the surfeit of home videos of people crashing face-first into the water for a few cheap laughs. But getting behind the action will make for an adrenaline rush like nothing else out there. We suppose there’s nothing quite like hanging on to your dear life – though the sport is safe when done right – on a surfboard when skipping across the waves at speed. It’s still a must-try for thrill-seekers, and ub-cool will set you up with a certified instructor.
Location: Al Mouj
Contact: (+968) 9269-4962
* All extreme sports and activities must be practiced with caution and under the supervision of trained personnel.