An Introduction To Oman
A Taste of the Traditional Middle East...
Oman is the essence of traditional Arabia retaining its Bedouin heritage and culture formed over centuries.
Combine this with spectacular natural wild surroundings of glorious beaches, mesmerizing deserts, rugged mountain ranges and inspiring canyons, then you have a destination and perhaps an introduction to the Middle East that will have you coming back for more.
There are many luxurious hotels with excellent service and cuisine as well as the souks and nightlife of its vibrant capital city Muscat.
Oman is a destination that if you are in the know….then its the place to go !
Hiring a car and self driving is by far the best way of getting around in Oman as roads are good and the network is ever increasing.
You could also take a private tour with one of the excellent guides who give that inside knowledge and will often take you to off the beaten track places of interest. Omani people are so friendly and welcoming and treat you as their guest.
Buses are common in all the major towns and cities and are reasonably priced and comfortable.
The white and orange coloured taxis in Muscat can be flagged down at the roadside. You will need to negotiate the price before departing as none will have meters.
Excellent domestic flight programmes operate between Muscat and Khasab in Musandam and between Muscat and Salalah.
There is also a high-speed ferry service between Muscat and Khasab in Musandam, operated by the National Ferries Company (NFC).
Top 6 Sights & Attractions...
Probably the most famous landmark in Oman is the Grand Mosque and for its sheer opulence it is worth the visit. Oman also has a number of really high quality museums where you can trace the countries history, art and cultural past. No trip to the Middle East is complete with a visit to a chaotic souk. Here in Muscat at the Muttrah souk you can browse local crafts, eat traditional food or buy unusual pieces. The Royal Opera house is a huge building and is the centre of Omani arts and culture and has a concert theatre, pretty landscaped gardens, gourmet restaurants and a cultural market for shopping.
The coast has many excellent sandy beaches in particular at Salalah. Two in Muscat that are popular are the Qantab beach for fishing excursions and boat rides and the Qurum beach for relaxation.
Dolphin, Whale Watching & Diving
The waters are home to a wide variety of whales and dolphins. From humpback, blue and sperm whales to spinner dolphins. Oman is also an excellent location for diving.
Why not head out into the desert and live like a Bedoin. Try camel riding, swim in wild wadis, marvel at vast canyons or just relax and have a picnic on the rippling sands.
Jebel Akhdar and Nizwa
Deep in the Hajar mountains is the highest point in the country, Jebel Akhdar. Commanding incredible views, this enormous canyon is a must see. Also as part of the trip go and see the sandstone city of Nizwa and its famous fort.
The area of Musandam is one of the least visited but most beautiful parts of Oman. The Peninsula sticks out into the Straits of Hormuz and is often compared to Norwegian fjords due to its rocky fjords and sleepy villages. Here you can take a Dhow cruise or simply enjoy the scenery or snorkel in the crystal clear waters.
Your Bradt Travel Guide
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