Masirah is idyllic for those who really want to get away from it all. It is an island in the Indian Ocean, 20 kilometres off central Oman coast just south of the Wahiba Sands. The stark rocky landscape is rimmed with isolated beaches whose only visitors are the loggerhead turtles that come to nest there. Beachcombers may come across a variety of shellfish and other specimens of marine life. There is also evidence of early settlements on the island.
Masirah Island is Oman's largest island, and while the northern tip of the island has seen many military and industrial installations the remainder of the island seems fairly untouched. It is safe to say that Mesirah sees more turtles than tourists, hence the major attraction of a visit here is the chance to go turtle-watching. Beachcombers and birdwatchers revel in the peaceful ambiance of the island and it is a great place to go and relax. If you are a camping enthusiast than Mesirah has beautiful beaches and lends itself to the opportunity to sleep under the stars. The sleepy and untouched nature of this island is unlikely to last very long due to the fact that plans to build a bridge linking the island to the mainland are already in motion and the project is scheduled to open in 2014.
The easiest way to get to Mesirah is to take a ferry from the mainland. The ferry goes to Hilf, the only major settlement on the island. There are no major facilities on the island apart from a few petrol stations, some atm machines and a selection of small shops. Do not rely on the island for any major shopping or equipment purchases.
The rugged terrain of the island and surrounding rough coastline has led to the appearance of many wrecked dhows on the beaches of the island, most of them well preserved by the salt water and intense heat. The ocean bottom environment surrounding Masirah is hostile as the majority of the area is covered in either sand or hard rock. There is a swift current flowing through the area with a very sharp halocline visible on the surface of the ocean. The water depth nearby is around 10 m and is not conducive to side-scan sonar searches due to the shallow water and choppy surface conditions. Despite the poor quality ocean bottom, the area is very productive with marine fisheries, and any hard objects (barrels, engines) are immediately colonized by local fauna.
During summer there is normally a constant strong wind which is ideal for kite and windsurfers. Big waves are a result of the wind on the sea side and is so also attractive for wave surfers. Kite and windsurfers can pick spots around the island according to their skill and what conditions they prefer.
It is likely that Mesirah will become very popular in the next few years and that it's untouched beaches will become tainted by industry and tourists, so do not take it's beautiful beaches for granted and go visit before it's too late.