Oman, Five Ways
Five ways to see the best of Oman – a true Middle Eastern delight.
From the mountainous Musandam Peninsula to the golden sands of Wahiba you can experience Oman’s rich culture, stunning beaches, rugged peaks, shifting deserts and so much more, all easily doable in a week. See our top five highlights of Oman.
“With direct flights that take under seven hours, Oman is easy to get to and presents an astonishingly diverse holiday for those up for a little adventure."
Oman’s understated capital Muscat is located on the eastern most tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It’s a city which has avoided over-development and blends low-rise modern Arabia with ancient traditions of a bygone era. An early morning visit to the imposing Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which dominates the skyline, is a thought provoking must see.
The waterfront Muttrah corniche, lined with 19th century merchants’ houses, is Muscat’s old commercial centre. Visit at sunset when families come out for a stroll. Let the winding alleys of the Muttrah souk entice you deeper into its depths with copper coffee pots, the scent of burning frankincense and ornate lanterns at every turn.
Rugged & Remote
Escaping the heat of Muscat, a driver can take you to the ancient city of Nizwa (Oman’s former capital), with its commanding honey-coloured 17th-century fort, surrounded by shimmering palm trees. Wander through the imposing fortress gate and climb the circular tower which will reward you with fabulous views of the Hajar Mountains.
Continue your journey to get up close to the Hajar Mountains, driving through dramatic rugged landscape, rising to 2000m above sea level. You will stay at a luxury hotel in these lofty surrounding, hiking rocky trails and enjoying sensational sunsets over seemingly endless vistas.
The golden Wahiba Sands are a must-see on any Omani itinerary. Taking a 4×4 jeep, head deep into the desert, passing Bedouin families, camels and tented camps along the highway. The burnt orange, ever-shifting dunes tower to 100 metres in places with nothing between you and the sun but miles upon miles of open desert.
At sunset, arrive at a private eco-friendly luxury camp. Bed down for the night in surprising luxury before rising at dawn to witness sunrise in the dunes with a hot coffee. This tranquil start to your day will be in sharp contrast to your next activity: exhilarating dune bashing in the lunar landscape.
Hit the Beach
If your itinerary allows, we recommend flying south to Salalah. The colourful, sub-tropical birthplace of the Sultan of Oman offers palm-fringed beaches, plantations of bananas, papayas and frankincense trees, which produce the revered incense found all over the world.
The khareef, an annual summer monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape at odds with the rest of the country. Salalah offers so much more than stunning beaches though – travel inland to discover wadis and waterfalls or make time to visit ‘The Empty Quarter’ – the biggest sand desert in the world. The majesty of the densely starred sky at night is beyond words with no light pollution and complete silence.
To reach the Musandam Peninsula located on the northern tip of Oman, most visitors access this remote area via Dubai. This means it could make an add-on to a longer trip to the Arab Emirates or be the start of your journey through Oman. Musandam is known for its dramatic scenery, stunning fjords, and fishing as well as being the home to the luxurious resort Six Senses Zighy Bay.
Driving is a dream along coastal routes which show off craggy limestone cliffs where small villages reside and out on the calm water of the Gulf of Oman, traditional fishing practices still take place, or you can snorkel colourful coral gardens to spot turtles.
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