Oman is a land of friendly people and dramatic landscapes with miles of undisturbed coastline to explore. This stunning country has much to offer the intrepid traveller with a rich tapestry of nature-based and cultural experiences on offer alongside some truly beautiful beaches.
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We had a great time! Al Bustan was fantastic and we will definitely look to go back to Oman in the future and explore a bit further. Thank you for the recommendation and for all of your support and help through the planning and booking process – it was stress free (apart from waiting for the Covid test results!). Your insights and advice definitely added value and helped us to really enjoy our first holiday for two years.
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Where to Go in Oman
Muscat, known as ‘Arabia’s Jewel’ and flanked by sea and mountains, is the country’s enchanting capital. The old port area, Muttrah, is home to the Sultan’s Palace and the most famous of the souks. Attractive old forts and walled gateways can be viewed from the seafront Corniche, ideal for an evening promenade. In contrast, The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an imposing example of modern Islamic architecture.
Oman’s coastline is blessed with beautiful white-sand beaches. Divers and snorkellers are lured by the pristine underwater reserves teeming with all manner of marine life including dolphins and whales, whilst the rare sight of turtles returning year after year to nest on the wide sandy beaches at Ras Al Jinz are a delight to all who see them.
However, while the beaches have long been a draw, one of the country’s great attractions is the diverse landscape from spectacular mountain vistas to towering desert dunes. In-land, travellers can explore one of the many historic forts, drive a 4WD over the rolling dunes at Wahiba Sands or take a Camel trek through the desert, ending with an Omani feast under a perfectly clear night sky. Jabal Akhdar offers some of the country’s most dramatic scenery and the cooler climate is ideal for mountain adventures on foot or by bike.
The Musandam Peninsula is a striking enclave on the northern tip of Oman facing the Strait of Hormuz and one of the least visited areas of Oman. Here arid mountains plunge into the warm waters of the Persian Gulf and due to the presence of blue fjords, this region is often known as the ‘Norway of the Middle East’. You can take a boat trip on a traditional dhow to fully appreciate its beauty.
At the opposite end of the country is Salalah in the south, reached by a 1 hour 30-minute flight from Muscat. Here the beaches of soft white sands fringed by swaying palms are more reminiscent of India than Arabia. Located in the Dhofar region, Omanis flock here during the Khareef (the Summer Monsoon from June-August) to escape the dry heat experienced elsewhere and witness the transformation of the landscape into a lush green oasis.
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When to go
The best time to visit Oman is typically October-April when the weather is warm and sunny. Temperatures range from a pleasant 20-25℃ during winter (December-February), climbing to 30-35℃ in autumn and spring. The summer (June-August) is extremely hot and best avoided as temperatures can exceed 40℃. Salalah in the south is the exception, with the “khareef” (monsoon season) arriving from around June-August, bringing cooler temperatures with the rains.
Flights: Oman Air fly direct to Muscat from London Heathrow. Flying time is around 7 hours. Other airlines such as Qatar and Emirates fly with connections at their hubs in Doha and Dubai.
Typical carbon emissions for a return flight (Economy) per person: 440 kg.
FCDO travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/oman
Time Zone: GMT+4
Capital City: Muscat
Where to Stay in Oman
Jumeirah Muscat Bay - Oman
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel - Oman
Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa - Oman
The Chedi - Oman
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort - Oman
Desert Nights Camp - Oman
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara - Oman
Six Senses Zighy Bay - Oman