A world away from the glitz and glamour of its Arabian neighbours, Oman provides a real taste of the Middle East with endless attractions.
Touch down in Muscat. Here you’ll find mosques at every turn, each more impressive than the last. At night the glowing domes stand out from the modern architecture that surrounds them. Step inside any one and enter a breathtaking trove of ornate gold and vivid blues. Head to the maze-like souks, where the scent of frankincense hangs heavy in the air, and stumble across mountains of dates next to fresh pomegranate juice bars.
Venture out of the city and you’ll discover a landscape of dramatic gorges and hidden wadis. Plunge into these secluded lagoons and wash the dust away after a morning of exploring the desert. Whether it’s from the comfort of a 4×4 or on the back of a camel, a trip into the shifting dunes is not to be missed. Continue into the Al Hajar Mountains and find secret oases and wander through swathes of damask roses.
Oman’s reefs are teeming with life, making the country a haven for divers and snorkelers. Head to the Musandam Peninsular, where soaring mountains meet serene beaches and rocky outcrops. Dive beneath the waves to find gliding rays and hawksbill turtles making a home among the coral.
When to go
May to August in Oman can see temperatures regularly climb above 40°C, making enjoyable sightseeing near impossible. The winter months have a much more pleasant, Mediterranean feel so consider travelling during them if you can.