A popular day-trip an hour or so drive west of Muscat, Al Sawadi is a beautiful spot: two gorgeous, gently sloping golden beaches slowly elide into each other at a sand bar that, at low tide, extends to some islands scattered off shore. There’s good snorkelling off the islands, and local fishermen line up by the sand bar to take visitors to the best sites. At low tide, you can walk to a watchtower on the largest of the islands, none of which are inhabited. But beware: the tide returns very quickly leaving a very strong chance of being marooned.
Shell collectors will love Al Sawadi, as drifts of tiny pink top shells, interlaced with spiny murex and sundials, are a common sight here. Pick up a shell guide by the late Donald Bosch (available in Muscat bookshops) if you want help identifying the treasures on the beach.