Beaches in Oman
With a spectacular coastline running along its eastern and southern half, Oman boasts some incredible beaches. One of the most popular and beautiful of these is found on the region of Dhofar, in the city of Salalah, the second largest in the sultanate. The beach in Salalah is certainly one to be admired with pristine white sands and striking rock formations creating the most dramatic of backdrops. Alongside the beach you will find a long line of resorts and hotels in all budget ranges, all facing the glistening sea.
Another equally (if not more so) mesmerising beach is Musandam Dibba, considered one of Oman's most stunning coastlines and home to serrated limestone mountains that face emerald waters, beneath which an abundance of marine life can be found. This beach is an obligatory stop on many a tourist's itinerary and doesn't leave anyone indifferent. It will truly blow your mind.
The Beautiful Nature
If there is one thing that naturally abounds in Oman and attracts thousands of nature lovers worldwide, is the wadi. The iconic wadis, similar to the oases found in the middle of the desert but surrounded by rocks instead of dunes, are an awe-inspiring sight to take in. Translated as "valleys", these wadis form a unique environmental system characterised by geological diversity with fertile soil giving way to lush palm trees and vegetation with rugged mountains as the backdrop and crystalline pools that are perfect for bathing and picture-taking.
Oman is also home to beautiful desert landscapes, such as the Al Sharqiya desert (also known as Wahiba Sands) shown above, which you can explore on a desert safari adventure or spend the night in a Bedouin tent.
Another fantastic way to interact with Omani nature is to visit its turtle-nesting beaches, the most famous of which is the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve shown here. If you come during nesting or hatching season you're in for a moving show to treasure forever. Guided turtle-viewing tours are available at night and early morning, which are the times when green sea turtles come ashore to nest.
Oman has a wealth of activities, attractions and ways to spend your valuable holiday time doing fun, thrilling and interesting things. Adventurous souls will love kitesurfing on Masirah Island, going on an exciting jeep safari excursion, an exhilarating desert adventure or an amazing encounter with colourful marine life as you dive down the depths of some of Oman's most spectacular scuba diving sites.
For more laidback pursuits you can tee off in the verdant grounds of the Almouj golf course, where you can enjoy a challenging yet rewarding golfing experience. Otherwise you could join the dolphins in a swimming session to cherish long after your holiday has come to an end.
Omani people, daily life and traditions
If you want to truly learn about Oman you'll have to observe what daily life is like for its people and engage in some of their traditions. Horse racing is extremely popular in Oman and Omanis passionately love their horses. As a matter of fact the sultanate has a long-standing reputation dating back to ancient times for raising, breeding and caring for horses. If you can you should make time to visit one of their horse-racing events and mingle with the horse-adoring nation.
Oman is also known for its fine arts and crafts with many local women producing some outstanding embroidered fabrics. You'll notice how women here wear colourful robes, with the abaya being the traditional dress while hijab is the most common attire covering ladies' heads only and framing the face. In fact the entire or partial covering of faces is strictly forbidden in public office.
But what you'll most immediately learn about people upon entering Oman is how hospitality is a very important aspect of their culture, with a strong devotion to welcoming visitors and caring for them. As a visitor, if ever you're invited to a local dwelling, you'll be treated to a bowl of dates, a cup of qahwa (Omani coffee infused with cardammon) and fruit. Many coastal towns are sleepy fishing villages, and here you'll experience some of the freshest, tasties seafood.
Heritage and Culture
Strongly steeped in the religion of Islam, Oman has developed Ibadhism which is its own version of Islam. As their culture is heavily rooted on religious grounds, you'll find that Islamic festivities such as Ramadan are the most important events in the nation.
Cultural highlights to visit include the AlFiqayn Fort in Dakhilah, the Bahla Fort, the amazing city of Nizwa (home to astounding history relics), the famous Mutrah Souq where you can shop and barter to your heart's content, and the impressive Grand Mosque in Muscat with its lavish, intricate interiors.