Oman

The dramatic coastline of Masirah Island, the rolling sand dunes of the vast Wahiba Sands desert, the rugged Hajar Mountains are all unforgettable experiences on any Oman holiday.

Oman occupies the South-Eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula and is set against a backdrop of awe-inspiring landscapes including mountains, ravines, cliffs, canyons, deserts and breathtaking coastline. The varied terrain of desert, wadi, mountain and ocean provides huge scope for adventure and cultural tourism and has transfixed historical figures such as  The Queen of Sheba, Alexander the Great and Lawrence of Arabia.

The capital city of Oman is Muscat, meaning “safe anchorage” in Arabic. The Grand Mosque is a stunning showcase of expertly crafted Islamic design features, including the world’s largest Persian Carpet and an extravagant Swarovski chandelier. The Mosque also stands as an assertive symbol of Oman’s confidence and spirituality. To get an insight into the daily life of the people of Oman, the Bait al Zubair Museum depicts the country’s cultural history and tradition with works of art, jewellery, costume and household items. The Muttrah Souk is the oldest market in Oman and consists of a labyrinth of stalls, curious shops and winding alleys, where you can buy a plethora of goods including frankincense.

Along the coastline from Muscat to Sur, revel in the stunning scenery of gorges, rock pools and mountains extending all the way down to the sea. Wadi Dayqah is one of the most famous wadis in Oman and at the head of the wadi is Devil’s Gap; one of Oman’s best canyon excursions where you can climb to the summit taking in the spectacular cliffs and fast flowing river.

A less arduous route is from Bidiyah Castle to Al Huwayah, a large oasis on the edge of the Wahiba. High dunes encircling the oasis give a real sense of the encroaching desert. 150 species of plant and 200 species of mammal and birdlife can be found in this area. Ras Al Jinz offers the spectacular sight of female turtles returning to the beach of their own birth where they drag themselves up the soft sand, dig a pit and lay a clutch of eggs. Sur is a quiet coastal town and along with Sohar was said to be the home of Sindbad the Sailor. Nizwa lies on a plain surrounded by a thick palm oasis and some of Oman’s highest mountains. Known as the “pearl of Oman”, it was the country’s capital during the 6th and 7th centuries. Be entranced by the 17th century fort and bustling souk where you can buy exquisite copper and silver jewellery.

Jebel Akhdar refers to a mountain range whose highest peak is Jebel Shams. Divided into two areas, this is a wonderful place to explore with hidden labyrinth of wadis, terraces, gardens and orchards. Two days are needed to make the most of this unique geographical area where during spring fragrant pink roses, from which the local rosewater is made, come into bloom.

With rocky mountains and deep water inlets in the north, rolling dunes and salt flats in the central interior, verdant green hills in the southern Dhofar province, and a coastline stretching thousands of miles with magnificent beaches and cosy coves.

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