The 13 best places to visit in Oman

 

In the far north of Oman on the small split of land separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates is the Bukha Fort. Built in the 17th century to protect the town of Bukha and it's important harbour, the fort was heavily restored in 1990 and cuts an impressive figure at the foot of steep cliffs down by the waterfront.

13. Bukha Fort

 

In the north east of the country just south of the capital, Muscat, in the remote area of the Selma Plateau is the Majlis Al Jinn cave, at the time of it's discovery it was the second largest cave chamber in the world. Entry to the cave can be arranged through tour groups only as it requires specialist equipment to lower visitors over 100 metres (328 ft) from the roof openings to the floor below.

12. Majlis Al Jinn

 

In the northern centre of the country directly west of the capital, Muscat, is the pre-Islamic fortress known as Nakha Fort. Even having undergone serious restoration in both the 19th and 20th centuries, it remains one of the finest buildings of Sultanate Of Oman architectural styling in the country.

11. Nakhal Fort

 

Sitting in the north of the country on the Gulf Of Oman is the capital, Muscat, surrounded by deserts, mountains and the sea. With a rich history dating back before the middle ages the city is a wash with historical architecture, grand mosques and busy souks. One hot destination among travellers is the Muttrah Corniche, lined with 19th century houses topped by colourful minarets it has long been one of the cities most vibrant areas.

Pictured is the Muttrah Corniche.

10. Muscat

 

Dating back to the 13th century in the centre of the country a short distance south west of the capital, Muscat, is undoubtedly the most impressive fortification in all of Oman, the Bahla Fort. The enormous structure is everything you would expect of a middle eastern castle, though it's current condition is thanks to enormous restoration works. By the end of the 20th century the 7 miles of walls had fallen into disrepair, collapsing on a regular basis. Today the structure has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

9. Bahla Fort

 

Completed in 2001 in the capital city, Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the countries main mosque, and certainly lives up to it's name by also being it's grandest. This enormous building with it's huge dome and five tall minarets covers an area of some 40,000 square metres. Another impressive feature is the prayer carpet, covering the entire 4,343 square metre praying hall floor, it was hand woven, weighs over 21 tons and is the second largest single piece carpet in the world. Despite coming second in the carpet department, it can boast the largest chandelier in the world.

8. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

 

A few hours east of the capital, Muscat, is an actual oasis in the desert, in the shape of the Wadi Al Arbeieen. Surrounded by high barren canyon walls this emerald lake is the perfect beauty spot to cool off.

7. Wadi Al Arbeieen

 

In the east of the country is the 12,500 square kilometre (4,800 square mile) desert area known as the Wahiba Sands, named after a Bedouin tribe of the same name. Though there are other desert areas in Oman, visitors who lay eyes on the vast expanse of the Wahiba Sands and it's enormous sand dunes claim it's one of the finest sights in the country.

6. Wahiba Sands

 

In the east of the country directly north of the Wahiba Sands is the countries best known wadi, the Wadi Bani Khalid, it's adjoining streams maintaining a constant flow of water throughout the year. Surrounded by high rugged mountains in an otherwise dry landscape, this emerald lake oasis requires a lot more effort to reach than the nearby Wadi Al Arbeieen.

5. Wadi Bani Khalid

 

In the south of the country around Salalah, the countries second city, is a mountainous landscape that changes enormously depending on the season. From July to September the area experiences monsoons where the middle eastern scenery turns to lush green, with visitors having the chance to spot camels walking through the long grass. At any time of year the mountains are incredible, no more so than where they form cliffs meeting the perfect blue Arabian Sea.

4. Salalah Mountains

 

West of the city of Salalah in the south of the country close to the border with Yemen is an area known as the Dhalkut, or Dhalkoot Coast. Though still within the Salalah Mountains this place gets specific mention due to it's incredible mountain roads and fine cliff edge viewpoints.

3. Dhalkut Coast

 

In the far north of Oman on the small split of land separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates is the Musandam Peninsula. The coastline is famed for resembling glacier carved coastlines in polar regions, though in this case the coast has been shaped by the movement of the Earth's crust. The Arabian plate pushing under the Eurasian plate means the Musandam Peninsula is slowly sinking, the in rushing sea creates fjords allowing some to call it 'Norway of the Middle East'.

Pictured is the Khor Najd.

2. Musandam Peninsula

 

Extending some 500 kilometres (310 miles) across the entire northern section of the country, the Al Hajar Mountains make up the highest mountain range in the Arabian Peninsula, separating the low coastal plains with the high desert plateau. Translated as the Rocky Mountains, this wild rugged landscape just south of the capital, Muscat, is a must visit destination for any trekkers and nature lovers visiting Oman.

1. Al Hajar Mountains

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