Housing one of the oldest civilisations on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman clings determinedly to its past. However, the friendly people are happy to welcome visitors and extremely proud to show off their culture. Tranquil beaches, magnificent dive sites, dramatic mountains, traditional architecture and so much more await you in this mystical land.
Located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman borders the UAE on the north west and its coastline is shared between the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean. It's a country of dramatic landscapes with rugged mountains, deep water fjords, rich green valleys and spectacular desert terrains. Traditional dhows still sail from port to port and in the interior you'll find weaving wadis (river valleys) studded with date-palm plantations. Let's not forget that Oman also has some of the most stunning and secluded beaches the Arabian Peninsula has to offer as well as some truly unforgettable snorkelling and diving spots rich with coral and marine life, including turtles.
In the south eastern corner of the country is Salalah, capital of the Dhofar region and once the heart of the nation's frankincense trade. Facing south over the Arabian Sea, it boasts pristine white beaches to accompany its enviable climate along with beautiful hotels and a stunning natural backdrop of mountains, springs and waterfalls. Don't miss the colourful souks, including the fabulous incense souk, where you can practice haggling for a bargain or two.
In the northern Musandam Peninsula, which is isolated from the rest of Oman by the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, is stunning Zighy Bay whose setting is, quite simply, spectacular! Along with the natural beauty of the craggy Hajar Mountains, attractions include the superb diving and snorkelling sites.
Away from the beach the capital, Muscat, is a captivating place to visit. Infused with energy and picturesque charm its streets are packed with craft stalls, shops, museums and ancient forts. Of particular note are the 16th century Jalali and Mirani forts which flank the grandiose Al Alam Palace (the official residence of the Sultan). Built in 1972, it has a fairytale facade of towering gold and blue pillars wrapped in wrought iron and edged in green. Also of note is the attractive Corniche with its promenade, Bait al Zubair Museum and the bustling souks within Muttrah which are the perfect place for Omani specialities such as handcrafted silver, textiles and perfume.
Beyond Muscat, Oman has lots to see and do. Just under three hours from the capital the rugged interior has adventures aplenty, including camel treks and four wheel drive safaris through mighty canyons and the towering dunes of Wahiba Sands which curl and roll to the horizon in every direction. We highly recommend a night or two in the desert in a Bedouin style tent.
Consider also spending a few days at a stunning mountain retreat in Jabal Akhdar (which translates to Green Mountains) for truly awe-inspiring views of the surrounding peaks and valley area. Part of the Al Hajar Mountains, this is one of Oman's most spectacular sights. The area will also fascinate history and culture enthusiasts, who can explore the many heritage sites such as Nizwa Fort, renowned for centuries as the 'Pearl of Islam', the ornately decorated Jabreen Castle and the impressive UNESCO listed Bahia Fort, which dates back over 800 years.
If this corner of Arabia appeals let Premier Holidays create the perfect Oman holiday for you…