Shiya is ready for its close up

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When you are in Al Sharqiyah, you might be one of those who made the grave mistake of totally skipping Shiya. Understandably so, it is located between Sur, that holds some of the most awesome views in this side of the country and Ras al Hadd, a haven that is becoming the new home for surfers and water sports lovers. While we can’t blame you for this nonchalance, we’d certainly want you to reconsider.
If this is even the first time you are hearing about this place, you are just like us a few months back. There’s not a lot of information that can be found on Google and none of the bloggers or even media companies in Oman dared write about it.
Over the course of three months, we found ourselves going back to this laid-back, barely-anything-going place. The residents of the area are just happy that not a lot of people is discovering the secrets that they’d been keeping for themselves.
If communing with nature, watching beautiful sunsets, going on camping on remote places are your thing and you dislike tourist traps, then you definitely need to read on. If the thought of the things mentioned made you shiver, you might need to move on to a different story because this one is definitely for nature and outdoor lovers.
Shiya is about 30-minute drive from the bridge of Sur. Taking the highway, you’d see empty lands that run for miles and mountains that barely grew anything. If you are armed with a four-wheel drive, then head on to some of the dirt roads leading towards the sea.
Shiya’s treasures are its beautiful, seldom visited beaches many of which remain to be discovered.
The Secret Beach by the Ruins
For sure the locals have given it a much cooler name but none of the people we asked seem to know. So we named it “Beach by the Ruins.”
Once upon a time, somebody decided to build something in this area — it could have been a house or a resort but what is apparent is that it didn’t last. As a result, what is left are columns peeking from the ground.
Driving towards the end of the cliff, you’d be surprised that a stairs connect the cliff to the beach below. The beach itself was beautiful. The fine sand was soft and inviting and definitely a great place to camp.
When the water is calm, it is a great place for swimming. We’ve seen it both when the water was calm and rough and when it’s windy, we definitely wouldn’t recommend you going anywhere near the water as the waves can get rough and big.
There’s also a great spot overlooking the whole cove. From here, you can take some great photographs. Personally, this is one of the great camp sites and since not a lot of people camp here, you can usually have it all to yourself.
The Misty Cliffs
From the ‘Beach by the Ruins,’ the Misty Cliffs can be reached by going back to the main road, driving for about 10 minutes and entering another dirt road that leads toward the sea.
There are no markers so finding this place is a bit tricky.
Some metal fences were setup not far from the the Misty Cliffs and during our visit, a few cars were parked inside the fences so we assumed it was a rendezvous point of some sort.
We call it the Misty Cliffs because when the waves hit the rocks, they created an amazing array of mist and the cold breeze gave respite from the hot temperature.
It’s a good camp spot and from this vantage point, the sunset is remarkably memorable. Unfortunately, there is no access to the series of caves down below. This place is purely for spending the night if you wanted to enjoy a good breeze and a beautiful moonlight.
Main Beach Area of Shiya
This is located close to the main village of Shiya.’ A children’s park was setup adjacent to the beach and a series of concrete sheds were built so residents can enjoy the beach all throughout the day.
A favourite among the locals, expect quite a number of people spending the evening or doing picnics here. Trash unfortunately is beginning to become a problem but if you want your kids to enjoy the water, its calm and inviting location makes it ideal for swimming.

There are several good spots not fully explored yet in this part of the Al Sharqiyah Governorate. Although there are other beaches we found nice to spend the day, the road access proved to be a challenge.
So far however, just visiting the Beach by the Ruins has been worth our trip. With a series of nice locations, we believe that Shiya’ is ready to be on the spotlight. They all are just waiting to be discovered.

YERU EBUEN & TITASH CHAKRABORTY