This is the perfect destination for a true taste of the Middle East, with top class service, stunning varied landscapes and deserts, amazing wildlife and pristine beaches. Oman is a fabulous destination for stunning landscapes and beaches, luxury hotels and spas and amazing culture. It is a great destination for families, friends and perfect for couples as well – the Omani people are incredibly welcoming.
The landscape includes many nature reserves such as Jaaluni, where Bedouin tribes look after the once near extinct Arabian Oryx, Nubian Ibex and Arabian Wolf. The dramatic peaks of the Hajar mountains slope down to the Wahiba Desert and it’s stunning dunes where you can enjoy a camel safari. Take time out to get off the beaten track on a 4×4 desert safaris deep into the south of the sultanate to the Dhofar waterfalls and Hajar mountains. Or explore the fjords of Musandam to the north. For the outdoor adventurer, try caving, abseiling and hiking through dramatic mountain landscapes – you can even cycle to the top of the highest mountain but be prepared for a hard slog!
Diving around the Al Daymaniyat islands is superb and this part of the coast is home to many sea birds, dolphins, whale sharks and turtles. The Al Sharqiya region has beautiful, clean beaches and corals with the Wahibah sands being the main attraction here. Oman always has warm waters year round with the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean lapping at it’s coastline. There is a 1700km coastline to enjoy with stunning coral reefs and at certain times of the year, turtles hatching on the beaches. Some of the best surfing in Oman can be found at Salalah where Monsoon Khareef creates ideal conditions in the cool, wet period between June and September (hotels here are great value at this time of year).
Muscat, the capital of Oman, has a sophisticated elegant feel. Explore the historical port, traditional souqs and 16th century forts. Visit Muttrah fish market in the early morning where you can buy fish from the boat and have it gutted, cleaned and packs with great efficiency – fun, if a little smelly! Make sure you visit the Grand Mosque which has the world’s largest Persian carpet and the Jalali and Mirani Forts. A trip to Bait Al Zubai Museum gives you an insight into Oman’s development and exotic history. As you drive along the waterfront at Muscat, stop and go into the Mutrah Souk which is piled high with antiques and both Omani and Indian artifacts – haggle a bargain here! Traditional offerings include frankincense and myrrh resin crystals and engraved silver burners for biblical perfumes which come from Salalah in the south of Oman.
North of Muscat is the Al Batinah region which has hot water springs and fertile soil and is well known for its forts and camels. Food is a highlight in the Al Dhakhilya region with apricots, dates and pomegranates being produced here. Tropical produce is found in Dhofar which markets bananas, coconuts, papaya and sugar cane. The Omani people love coffee and there are some fabulous coffee shops and restaurants where people come together over the brew! Try the Kargeen Caffe full of plants, lanterns and fountains at the Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos in Muscat. One of the best Indian restaurants in Muscat is the Mumtaz Mahal with great views too.
Outside of Muscat enjoy a variety of accommodation from a Bedouin Desert Camp to a spa haven or barefoot beach resort. The huge sandy playground of Wahiba Sands is home to Desert Nights Camp (where you can eat under the stars and experience the desert life) and the Shangri-La-Barr-Al-Jissah which provides an amazing spa, private beach and three hotels in one, one of them being very family friendly. For a fabulous spa and wellness experience, head to the Evasion Hideaway and Six Senses Spa at Zighy Bay.
Oman has a host of world class, five star hotels and there are new developments happening all the time. Muriya Tourism Development is working on several projects promoting environmental and socially responsible tourism which include Jebel Sifah (a lovely sandy beach area which will have a marina town, golf course, restaurants and hotels by Four Seasons, Banyan Tree and Missoni), plus projects at Salalah Beach, As Sodah Island and City Walk.
Ask me for a tailor made holiday to this beautiful country. Be aware that when Ramadan occurs this will have an impact on eating and drinking in public areas and in some hotels.