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Serene Salalah

Duration: Half Day

serene salalah

The Sultanate of Oman is one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East, and although it may not be an obvious holiday destination, this tranquil Arabian treasure has much to offer. Being a desert country, you may be surprised to find that there is so much more to discover here, including dramatic gorges, spectacular waterfalls, lush wadis, beautiful white sandy beaches, rugged peaks, ancient forts and castles, hidden mountain villages and a rich cultural and architectural heritage.

A tour to the beautiful seaside oasis of Salalah in the south is a must during your holiday in Oman. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, Oman’s second largest city is the birthplace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and the capital of the Dhofar region in the south. Otherwise known as the "garden city" of the south or the “perfume capital of Arabia”, Salalah is an exotic paradise, dominated by sandy beaches, the Qara mountains, coconut plantations and an abundance of frankincense trees. Despite lying in the Arabian Desert, the scenery here is lush and green with vegetation, due to its tropical climate and heavy rains during the monsoon season, known locally as the Khareef. See some of the area’s produce in a traditional garden farm, where you will find vegetables, coconut palms, bananas and orange, lemon and papaya groves.

This brief introduction to Salalah will give you an insight into the city’s fascinating culture – both past and present. Visit the Old Ruined Houses, which still exist today. You will also get the chance to see both the beautiful Shanfari Mosque, with its exquisite artwork and stained tiles, and the sacred site of the Camel Footprint. The story behind it is mentioned briefly in the Koran. The Prophet Saleh's camel was killed by his opponents, and the camel’s footprint was mysteriously embedded in the rock afterwards. Protected by armed guards, the footprint can be seen clearly in the rock today.

Shopping in Salalah is an experience not to be missed. In the heart of the city you will find all kinds of colourful stalls and souks (market) to browse, such as the gold souk, frankincense souk, jewellery souk, vegetable souk, fish souk and many more. One of the most popular markets is the fragrant Al Husn Souq, where you will find incense boxes, frankincense crystals and typical Dhofari frankincense burners. Perfume is also sold in abundance throughout the market. The Dhofari women sell many of their own dry perfume mixes here, whilst others buy ingredients to make their own special fragrant recipes.

Enjoy walking along the city's scenic waterfront promenade, lined by tall, swaying palms. At one end stands the beautiful Al Husn Palace, the summer residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. Before we leave you will also get the opportunity visit the Salalah Museum, famous for its traditional Dhofari costumes.

This tour of southern Oman will give you a memorable insight into this exotic country’s rich culture, history and tradition.

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