Family travel snap: exploring forts in Oman

This month our family travel snap takes us to a fort in Oman. Lonely Planet Pathfinder Nichola West writes an award-winning family-friendly travel blog ( and recently visited Oman with her three kids.

Oman family travel snap Lonely Planet Kids

What’s the story behind this photo?

We took this photo in Bahla Fort, which is around two and a half hours from Muscat in Oman. We’d arrived in the mid-afternoon and the heat was still beating down, despite it only being March, so we were relieved to find some respite from the sun in the dark rooms and beautiful courtyards.

Unfortunately we’d left the water in the car so we didn't stay as long as we wanted to (with temperatures in the 40s the kids were desperate for water). We did get to explore most of the rooms though, tracing fingers over ancient graffiti and climbing steps to turrets that towered high above the little town of Bahla. We had to duck down to reach some of the rooms and in one a family of bats came shrieking out over our heads. It was a great place to stretch our legs.

I chose this photo because my eight-year-old daughter had just been off exploring one of the courtyards by herself and I love the adventurous spirit I see.

Kids’ perspective

My eight-year-old says, ‘I was so hot and we didn’t have any water and I was desperate for some. But I loved the castle – although not when the bats flew so close to our heads, they were really scary’.

Nichola’s top tips for visiting Oman with kids

1) No matter what time of year you visit the heat will be a constant companion so always take plenty of water (lesson learned!) and plan some indoor activities as well as outdoor ones to keep the kids cool.

2) Make sure you have time to explore the coast: we visited Sohar (the ancient capital of Oman) on our drive out of the country and we wished we had set aside more time there as it was really beautiful.

3) Be ready for the friendliest of people, keep your kids smiling and that warmth will be returned a number of times over.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

We're not sure yet! We have places we're hoping to visit including more of the Middle East and maybe Cambodia next summer, but we'll see where the adventures take us.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always…

…have a sense of humour ready. Travelling as a family is so much fun but there are times when plans fall apart and you just have to laugh and see the funny side.

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