Masirah Island is a deserted paradise which is equal to total relaxation, in a quiet world of its own. Forget about crowds, stress or traffic, Masirah will give you the chance to walk on a beach that will feel like it is only yours. To make it clear, this is not an offroad track, but it still gives you the chance for some mountain and beach driving, maybe even some dune bashing if you really want to try it in Wahiba Sands.

Masirah Island

  • Sabkha fields
  • Fishing boat
  • On the ferry
  • Subaru in the desert
  • Little Lizard
  • Ferry
  • Sand Dunes
  • The Road
  • Beach Camp
  • Steps

Road to Masirah

Going to Masirah requires some proper planning before hand. First of all, you will need to book a ferry from Shannah to Masirah and back, according to your plans. This is easy, just drop an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let them know about it. They will ask few more papers and everything will be sorted out. Next tricky part is getting to the ferry on time, as ships are sailing only till 6-7 PM. Note that Shannah is around 500 km from Muscat, so if you want to be early in the port for the first morning cruises you need to be careful. When I did this trip with my wife we drove from Muscat to Sur and then towards Ashkharah, hoping to find a place to sleep over night on the way towards Shannah and then, in the morning, just do a short sprint to the ferry. We hoped to find a place to camp, but the truth is that after you pass Ashkarah the landscape becomes really creepy at night as you dive into a total darkness. Luckily, we managed to find a room in a hotel just about 20 km after Ashkharah and we stayed there over night.

However, I recommend something else for the people who want to be early in Shannah. Drive all the way to Shannah and camp on the beach there or stay a night in Shannah Port hotel, which nobody knew exists at the moment when I planned the trip to Masirah. This hotel does not show up on Internet, but I managed to get the phone of the guy in reception: 71077923.

So, the way to Masirah is easy, once you have the plan properly prepared. Just drive to Sur and then to Ashkharah and Shannah, to take the ferry. There is also another way possible, if you follow the inland route to Duqm and then take left to Shannah.

 

On the Island

The ferry will take you to Dhuwwah, the largest village from the island. Here you can find few hotel and few larger shops where you can top up your provisions. After that head south and follow the road towards Sur Masirah and take your time to explore the beautiful, yet deserted beaches of the island. The best was the one in Sur Masirah beach camp, where we actually stayed over the night as well. There are some very good spots in the south-west area. I recommend to make the full circle and go south and then return on the side with the Indian Ocean, where you will find some really big surfing waves. In Hiql you can stop and explore the seashore and find the remains of an old dhow boat. The wreck was much more visible few years ago, but the storm from 2015 covered it more. Pay attention that Google Maps is a bit outdated with regards to the Eastern Coast roads (some roads from Maps are actually missing), so be careful. Take your time and do some beach driving, particularly on the Eastern Coast where you can also take some beautiful pictures with the big surfer waves in the background.

As a side note, on the way from Ashkhrah to Shannah you will have the chance to do some desert driving, if you will abandon the paved road for more adventure. Also the last few kilometers before Shannah will give you the chance to drive on sabkha soil, if you are brave enough.

 

What to do

On this trip you can see pretty nice views: Wahiba Sands, sabkha salty soils and the charming yet quite beaches of Masirah. Being more like a deserted island with a very small population, Masirah excels in natural attractions. You can find many turtles and turtle nests on the beautiful beaches and there is as well plenty of fish to be caught and grilled. However, it is very difficult to find fish to buy, as most of the locals are contracted to sell it exclusively to companies. Don't look for restaurants as well and come prepared to deal with food on your own.

The famous wreck from Hiql is mostly covered in sand by now, but you can still explore the beach to find the leftovers.

One big bonus for the island is that during the summer it is affected by Khareef. This means that weather is mostly cloudy and the temperature will be considerably lower than in Muscat (maximum bellow 35 degrees).

 

Ratings

Driving: 2/5

Landmarks: 4/5

Pictures: 3/5

Overall: This is an amazing trip if you look for total relaxation and if you want to forget about cities and crowded places. As a bonus, during the summer the place is cooler than northern area of Oman, thanks to the khareef monsoon.