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."
Personal Travel Designer01488 689700 Sarah.Woodthorpe@baileyrobinson.com Read Sarah’s profile
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.
Where to Stay - The Chedi
If Muscat is bustle and business, then The Chedi is serene calm in comparison. Minimalist in style, the hotel is set within 21 acres of flourishing gardens with its own private beach and the longest swimming pool in the Middle East.
Elegant Moorish buildings house the spacious rooms and suites and the cool spa, dusted in rose petals, offers relaxing treatments with a Far Eastern influence.
“Your journey in Oman may well start in Muscat where you can enjoy its attractive position, located between mountains and the sea. Here you will be introduced to Oman’s warm hospitality.”
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.
Where to Stay - Alila Jabal Akhdar
Perched on the edge of a gorge overlooking terraced villages, Alila Jabal Akhdar’s cliff top location makes it difficult to tear yourself away from the panoramic views from your suite and infinity pool, but the mountains beg to be explored.
An easy hike away and you are transported to picturesque villages and farmlands bursting with walnut trees and pomegranates.
“Many visitors come to the Hajar Mountains merely for a day trip so spending a few nights here will show you the majesty of the mountains from dawn to dusk.”
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.
Where to Stay - Magic Sands
The traditional, mobile fully staffed tented camp with Arabian-style interiors is set up exclusively for you and at first glance is straight from a movie set.
Combining the traditions of the Bedouin caravan campsite with modern luxury, the camp allows complete freedom as it can be pitched in the best possible position, allowing you to experience glorious isolation in the desert. Highly recommended.
“The desert is a place for thrilling activities, but make sure you spend time contemplating its sheer silence and over-aweing night skies.”
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.
Where to stay - Al Baleed Resort by Anantara
Al Baleed is the place for beachside relaxation on its occasional camel-dotted sands or by the 44-metre infinity pool. It’s a good choice for families – children love the kids’ club where they can try cooking, water play or even fishing.
For excursions, let the hotel organise a night camping under the stars in the desert or explore nearby archaeological ruins of Sumhuram.
“For down-time, add Salalah into your itinerary and enjoy relaxation on the beaches lapped by the Arabian Sea.”
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.
Where to Stay - Six Senses Zighy Bay
Six Senses Zighy Bay is dramatically located, nestled between the Dibba Mountains and a long sweeping bay. Villas are spacious, coming with their own pool and personal butler and typically of Six Senses, the activities get you out into the surrounding area with village treks, dhow cruises and secluded picnics. Best of all, you can even paraglide into the resort itself.
“The Musandam Peninsula is home to cultural sights and ancient Omani villages plus archaeological relics that date back to the seventh millennium BC.”
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