In a region set on grandstanding, this mystical land clings determinedly to its past.
The Sultanate of Oman is a country of dramatic landscapes with jagged mountains, deep water fjords, rich green valleys, mighty desert terrains and stunning beaches. Traditional dhows still sail from port to port and in the interior, weaving wadis (river valleys) are studded with date-palm plantations.
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 haggle 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 spectacular Zighy Bay. Along with the natural beauty of the craggy Hajar Mountains, attractions include superb diving and snorkelling sites.
Away from the beach the capital, Muscat, is a captivating destination. Infused with energy and picturesque charm its streets are packed with craft stalls, shops, museums and ancient forts. Of note are the 16th century Jalali and Mirani forts, the grandiose Al Alam Palace, the attractive Corniche with its promenade, Bait al Zubair Museum and Muttrah’s busy souqs.
Just under three hours from the capital the rugged interior has adventures aplenty, through mighty canyons and the towering dunes of Wahiba Sands which curl and roll to the horizon in every direction. For truly awe-inspiring views, consider spending a few days at a luxury mountain retreat in Jabal Akhdar. The area also has many heritage sites such as Nizwa Fort, the ornate Jabreen Castle and impressive UNESCO listed Bahla Fort.
- Incredibly scenic
- Traditional Arabia
- Sunning beaches
- Magnificent marine life
- Intricate architecture
- Atmospheric souks
- Atmospheric souks