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Frankincense Trail

Duration: Half Day

frankincense trail

Oman, officially the Sultanate of Oman, is famous for its Frankincense, which was once more precious than gold in ancient times. Frankincense is something that everyone has heard of, mainly from the famous Christian bible story of the three kings bearing gifts to baby Jesus, but not many people have actually smelt it, let alone seen the trees from which it grows from. The aromatic gum resin actually comes from Boswellia trees, more commonly known as Frankincense trees, which are indigenous to southern Arabian Peninsula. There are many species of Boswellia, but Boswellia sacra produces the best quality resin. The heavy, sweet odour is unmistakeable, and is used in incense and perfumes, and also for aromatherapy. Despite being produced in different regions throughout Arabia, Omani frankincense is believed to be the best in the world.

This tour will take you along the famous Frankincense Trail on Incense Road, which lies in Oman’s southern region of Dhofar. Once considered to be the most important commercial route in southern Arabia, this ancient trade route runs through the desert where camels and caravans once travelled in search of the precious resin which was then harvested and traded. The trail turned Oman into a very wealthy region. This World Heritage site includes frankincense trees and the remains of a caravan oasis, which were vital to the medieval incense trade on their long journey.

Enjoy spectacular views of the mountain landscape, plains, frankincense trees and bright green pastures as we travel to visit the tomb of the biblical prophet "Nabi Ayoub", otherwise known as Prophet Job, which is nestled in the Qara Mountains. We then continue to Mughsail Beach, which is renowned for its natural giant blow-holes. These holes are perforations in the limestone rock, into which sea water gushes during high tide, producing high spurts of water in the process. This is a spectacular sight to watch.

Experience the spectacular ‘Hairpin-Bend’ road for approximately 15/20kms as we drive towards the Yemen border. Cut into the mountains, the road is surrounded by white cliffs and will eventually lead you to a lush green wadi (oasis). The views from the top of the cliffs are breathtaking. Your final stop is a nearby bird sanctuary, or khawr. These tidal lagoons, where sea and fresh water meet, are often surrounded by tall grasses and mangrove trees. These important habitats are very bio-diverse, hosting many fish and plant species, and they are a vital nesting site and breeding ground for many native and migratory birds.

This fascinating tour is a wonderful introduction to Oman’s Middle Eastern treasures.

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