If you are looking for turtles in Oman, one of the most recommended places that you will most certainly read about is Ras al Hadd. It is a village in Ash Sharqiyah district in Oman. Indeed, this place is a perfect spot to see turtles, but beyond that it offers other activities as well. Here below you can find the top things to do in Ras al Hadd, and read in details what this place can offer to the tourists beyond the turtles.
About Ras al Hadd
Ras Al Hadd is a unique location. It is the first point in the Gulf where the sun rises. It is known for the diversity of its marine life and as being the meeting point of the two habitats of the Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Ras Al Hadd is recognised as the most important breeding ground for Green Sea Turtles and is home to a wide variety of birds as well.
Things to do in Ras al Hadd
This castle is a well-conserved and nicely renovated authentic Omani castle for free of charge. Right next to it we can find the Ras Al Hadd Mosque as well, that we unfortunately couldn’t visit, but just walk around is a nice experience or observe it from the roof of the castle.
This white mosque is located just right next to the Al Hadd Castle. It nicely pops out whit its bright colour from the surroundings. As they say it is well air conditioned and spacious inside and provides separated praying room for the ladies.
Try some Omani sweets
This little Omani sweet shop we could find very close to our accommodation, and they served amazing sweets. Not only the commonly known Omani Halwa, but typical Omani biscuits & traditional cakes as well. It is located right next to the Bee Fresh ice cream store.
Day trip to Sur
Sur is just 45 km far from Al Hadd. So it’s a perfect destination for a nice day trip. Besides Sur has a very pleasing scenography, it also offers many tourist places to visit, so you can enjoy here a complete day and won’t get out of options, what to do next. Sur is located about 150 km southeast of Muscat. Historically, the city is known for being an important destination point for sailors. Today, the sea still plays an important part of life in Sur.
- Visit the Al-Ayjah Lighthouse & admire the best views on the bay. The building itself is really admirable, with neutral colours and a turquoise dome on its ceiling. Although the lighthouse itself is closed, you can spend time walking around and enjoying the views.
- Check the Dhow Factory, next to the Al-Ayjah Bridge.
- Don’t miss the Old Souq of Sur.
- Visit the Blue Mosque on the top of the hill. It provides beautiful panorama on the city and besides that the mosque is open also for non-muslim visitors.
- Do not forget the Bilad Sur Castle, either.
This speciality coffee shop is located on the main road going to Sur from Al Hadd. The cafe is very new, with nice design and elegant atmosphere, and they serve delicious coffee. It’s definitely worth stopping by.
This painted Tiger Rock is located on the main road going to Sur from Al Hadd, right after the Tortoiset Café. According to the locals it’s a sightseeing point, but it’s hard to stop, as there is no parking next to the main road to do so. But once you’re around, it’s also worth taking a look.
When to see turtles in Ras al Hadd?
Every year, a lot of turtles migrate to the beaches and shorelines of the Arab Peninsula to dig a hole and lay their eggs. In Oman, therefore as well as in Ras al Hadd, the best time to see them is between May and August every year. During these months, around 20,000 turtles come to Oman’s beaches, especially on the Eastern side. These turtles lay 50,000 to 60,000 eggs during this period and are buried under the sand. They do this to protect them. After the eggs are laid, around 55 days later the eggs hatch and the babies begin their lives.
We have spent two nights in Ras al Hadd, and the second morning we woke up at 4:00 am, and still in the dark decided to go for turtle spotting. None of us wanted to join any tour, rather decided to do it by ourselves, on our way. We have chosen the so called “Al Hadd beach for Turtle” spot and got there by car.
In the dark it was not easy to understand where exactly we are, but we found the beach entrance and we just started walking to the sea direction, in the sand, in completely dark. When we arrived at the sea, it was already a bit of dawn light, but only enough to finally locate ourselves. And the moment the sky started to be a slightly brighter, we noticed the crazy amount of turtles’ footprints around us. But we haven’t seen any turtle, only their paths, that showed that indeed they were here, or maybe they are still around. We randomly started to follow some paths and shortly noticed that we have some turtles still working in their holes, digging, or climbing out of their holes, or on their way back to the sea. As they are very slow, we had enough time to respectfully approach and observe them and their return to the sea.
Ras al Hadd or Ras al Jinz is better to spot turtles?
Ras al Jinz is maybe the most well-known Turtle Beach in Oman and one of the easiest to access from Ras al Hadd. Hence there are many tours, tourist services around specialised in turtle-watching. Of course, if you don’t trust your own luck it’s easier to go for a tour and they will bring you to the right spots. It is located near to the easternmost point in the Arabian Peninsula.
Good to know, that the whole coast from Ras al Hadd to Ras al Jinz beach are where the Green Sea Turtles come to nest. Both locations have beaches and accommodations. The reserve with the visitor center is at Ras Al Jinz. While Ras al Hadd is the name of the village at the cape, where you can also find some hotels and accommodations easily.
Where to stay in Ras al Hadd
We have stayed in Al Sqlawi Hotel Apartment that served us perfectly.
If you are looking for other options, check the below list for other accommodations in Ras al Hadd.
How to get to Ras al Hadd
The easiest way to go from Muscat to Ras al Hadd is by car. You can take road 17 from Muscat and go directly to Ras al Hadd on this coastal highway. It’s 250 km, which means an approx. 3-hour-long drive.
Best experiences in & around Ras al Hadd
Enjoy our discounts in the place
Dear Traveller! Thank you for reading the latest article from Besides the Obvious. Please do not hesitate to subscribe to our newsletter, if you don’t want to miss our next travel story.