Explore some of our specialists' favourite places, all of which can be included in a tailor-made itinerary.
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The varied landscapes of Oman, which range from lush river valleys to towering sand dunes, are a pleasant surprise for many visitors, and the country’s well-maintained and quiet roads make it an ideal destination for a self-drive holiday. Highlights include the mountain town of Nizwa, Oman's old capital, and the stunning white beaches that dot the coastline.
The Batinah Plain
The Batinah Plain lies north of Muscat, sandwiched between the Jebel Akhdar massif and the ocean. Here, a series of forts were built to protect the springs that allowed the Batinah Plain to be made fertile.
The Dhofar region around Salalah holds numerous attractions for the visitor and is worth taking a day or two to explore. The mountains dominate the Dhofar hinterland. The most spectacular pass across them is the “Furious Road” which rises 400 metres in three miles through eight hairpin bends.
Jebel Akhdar, meaning Green Mountain, refers to the northern section of the Hajar mountains. As you take the road out of Nizwa heading for Jebel Shams, you start to climb past ancient villages steeply terraced into the mountainside.
The Musandam Peninsula
Musandam is one of the least visited but most beautiful areas of Oman. An island of Omani territory, entirely cut off from the rest of the country by the surrounding United Arab Emirates, it is a legacy of the tribal lines that dictated local borders.
At its heart is old Muscat, a walled city with a natural harbour watched over by the twin fortresses of Jalali and Mirani, where the Sultan has his palace. Nearby, the historic commercial district of Muttrah spreads along the shore of a wide bay.
Isolated by the Hajar Mountains from the coast and the outside influences brought to the coastal cities through trade and conquest, Nizwa developed as a bastion of conservatism.
Ras Al Jinz
Reached from the Wahiba Sands via the stunning water pools and shady canyon of Wadi Bani Khalid, Ras Al Jinz is a small sandy bay where greenback turtles come ashore to nest all year round.
Salalah, the birthplace of the current Sultan, sits on a long sandy beach fringed with palm trees even though the desert is just a few kilometres away. The mountains behind Salalah capture moisture that allows the famous frankincense trees to grow.
Sur, a placid sea coast town with its striking traditional dwellings, is a pleasant getaway and one of the most important towns in the Eastern region.
The Wahiba Sands
The Wahiba Sands is a large desert area just four hours drive from Muscat. A surprisingly wide array of flora and fauna call the sands home, as do about 3,000 Bedouin.