Oman is a mixture of age-old traditions and contemporary resorts, a wave of ochre coloured sand dunes and deserted beaches, and an intoxicating blend of antique culture and luxurious service. Whether you’re reclining on sumptuous Persian rugs on board a wooden dhow, sailing towards the hazy heat of the majestic Musandam peninsula, riding a camel through the burnt sienna Wahiba desert, or kayaking with pods of dolphins as the sun rises over Muscat, holidaying in Oman brings ancient Arabia to life.
Rise at 4am to watch endangered green turtles nest and hatch their eggs, visit the ethereal Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and take a breathtaking walk through Wadi Bani Khalid, a valley surrounded by small villages embedded in the mountains, characterised by a series of stunning turquoise pools. Spend some time exploring Muscat and discover the fragrant Muttrah Souk where you can buy everything from frankincense and coffee to perfume and jewellery, and the magnificent Mirani forts that stand at the entrance to Muscat Bay. To the south west of the capital you’ll find the historic forts of Nizwa, Jabrin and Bahla, along with Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman, where you’re surrounded by near vertical rock faces that reach up into the bright blue sky.
Head out in a four wheel drive to the dunes of the Wahiba Sands, where you can overnight in a Bedouin style tent at Desert Nights Camp, or take a peaceful trek by horse or camel across virtually uninhabited sands. If all that sizzling desert heat has left you craving some underwater adventure, the warm waters of the Gulf boast some fantastic dive sites. For novices the best of these are off Muscat, and for more experienced divers the Musandam Peninsula boasts drifts, fjords and drop-offs.
Dining in Oman will undoubtedly set your senses on fire as a medley of hot spices, garlic and lime marinate with chicken and lamb in underground wood fired ovens. The Restaurant at The Chedi Muscat delivers authentic Arabian dishes, the Al Khiran Terrace at Al Bustan Palace hosts an amazing buffet with live cooking stations that will leave you spoilt for choice, and for a truly spectacular meal dine at Sense on the Edge at Six Senses Zighy Bay, where you'll enjoy a magnificent evening of mountain-top fine dining.
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