Although most Middle-East countries are somewhat lacking in spectacle, the same cannot be said for Oman. This Gulf Country is mostly mountainous, but has vast areas of desert and is famed for its historic ports, forts, and frankincense. Although Muscat and Nizwa (and maybe Salalah) will be on your itinerary, there are some incredible hidden gems that you need to know about, and I have listed my personal 5 favourite below!
There may be many wadis in Oman and they are scattered all over the country, but Wadi Nakhr near Al Hambra must surely be the best of the lot. It is part of what is known as Oman’s Grand Canyon within the Hajar Mountain range, and it contains many green trees and beautiful blue pools in which to relax.
Khor Ash Sham
In Oman, Khors is the name for what we known as fjords. However, unlike the famous Norwegian fjords, you won’t find any snow or ice here. In fact, in the Musandam Peninsula of Oman, there are plenty of Khors, but the most striking is Khor Ash Sham, through which you can take a dhow cruise at sunset to get the best experience!
Misfat Al Abryeen
An old traditional Omani village is the setting for Misfat Al Abryeen, where rustic stone houses meet antiquated water features, all amidst towering glorious banana palms. There are winding lanes stretching throughout the old village which just makes exploring this area so intriguing. The simple architectural style of Misfat Al Abryeen reminded me of the old fortified village of Ait-Benhaddou in Morocco.
Al Ayn Beehive Tombs
These mysterious UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed tombs may be a long detour away from your base in Nizwa or Jebel Shams, but it will be well worth it to see the beehive-esque structures at Al Ayn. The tombs, from the 3rd millennium BC, are small and each have a single compartment, but their uniqueness needs to be seen to be fully believed!
Ras al Jinz Turtle Beach
If heading down to the beach is your thing, then put the deckchairs away for a few hours and go and see the world famous turtle reserve at Ras al Jinz. Located near the city of Sur in the south east corner of Oman, you may get the chance to see turtles hatching eggs and crawling down into the warm Gulf waters. It is a great way to get back into contact with nature!