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Fabled Castles

Duration: Half Day

fabled castles

A holiday in Sultanate of Oman will take you on a Middle Eastern adventure, through vast deserts, dramatic mountains, lush wadis, golden beaches and miles of coastline, visiting bustling fishing villages, fascinating archeological sites and ancient forts and castles on the way.

This tour will first take you to the picturesque coastal town of Taqah, which lies in the Dhofar province in southern Oman near Salalah. Once a prosperous port, this historical fishing town was a significant trading centre in ancient times. Here you will find what is believed to be a castle, although it is actually a fort. Recently restored and turned into a museum, the Taqah Fort is surrounded by watchtowers and stone houses.

After a stroll around the town, we continue to the picturesque Khor Rori creek and the site of the ancient ruined port city of Samharam, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. As with other cities in the region, Samharam formed vital links in the ancient frankincense trade route, controlling the maritime trade of frankincense from its harbour. The ruins indicate that Samharam was a prosperous city with high, fortified buildings. Inscriptions are visible on the gateway at the entrance, written using the old South Arabian alphabet.  It is also believed by some that this site holds the ruins of one of the Queen of Sheba’s palaces.

We then move on to the historic port town of Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar, which was also significant for its frankincense trade as early as the 9th century, as well as its Arabian horse and slave trades. The town is also the site of one of the world’s last battles. Visit the historical Mirbat Fort, the most prominent archaeological site in the area. Constructed in the 19th century, it was built in Oman’s traditional style of defensive architecture. From the top, you can enjoy beautiful scenic views of the sea and coastline. If you’re lucky, you may even see dhows (traditional Arabian wooden vessels) sailing into the harbour, full of fish and lobsters. Mirbat is also known for having some of the most beautiful old merchant houses in the Dhofar province, renowned for their exquisite wood carvings on the doors and windows.

Nearby, we will also visit Bin Ali's Tomb, one of Dhofar's most famous historical sites. This twin-domed mosque, built over the tomb of the holy man Mohamed Bin Ali who died in 1135 AD, is a beautiful example of Islamic medieval architecture.

On the way back to your hotel, we will explore the beautiful botanical gardens of Ayn Razat at the foot of the Qara Mountain. Full of exotic flora and fauna, these tranquil grounds are fed by natural underground springs. This is the perfect way to relax and cool down after all that city sightseeing.

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