Oman holds a special place in my heart. For me, it’s that land of fairytales from a Thousand and One Nights.
The Gulf States are primarily made up of sand and hypermodern architecture but in the neighbouring Sultanate of Oman the culture is far more tangible, the landscapes far more diverse and surprising, and the local people more accessible and hospitable.
A night in the capital Muscat after your flight is definitely worthwhile, together with a visit to the market, the impressive Opera House and the lofty mosque.
The recently opened W Hotel is a fine base to conduct your exploring from and be sure not to skip out on the many facilities such as the beautiful pool and the parties the hotel itself has to offer. The most sublime hotel I have ever stayed at is the Chedi Hotel.
A seventh heaven with calming architecture, perfect service, delectable food, gorgeous pools, a white beach, a stellar gym, and a magnificent spa. This is paradise on Earth and the ultimate place to end your trip around the country with a few days of absolute relaxation and luxury.
Opt for a tour
A tour around the country is an absolute must! Oman is perfect for exploring by yourself and has so very much to offer.
From expansive deserts to green oases and thousand-meter-high mountains. Driving around in Oman yourself is absolutely doable. The roads are generally well maintained and everything is usually clearly indicated.
You could also rent a 4×4 with a chauffeur, gaining even more information and hearing the beautiful stories of this country from your friendly driver.
Be sure to take the time during your tour to stop at an oasis. Enjoy the refreshing water and a very welcome cool down in the desert.
A good cultural stop on your tour is Nizwa, a city with a traditional fort and a colourful goat market on Friday mornings.
To stay in the theme of a fairy tale from a Thousand and One Nights, spending the night in a comfortable tent camp in the desert absolutely belongs in your itinerary.
In the Al Hajar Mountains, not too far from Muscat, you will find varied surroundings with diverse routes laid out for hiking or mountain biking.
The natural landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful and very peaceful.
The Alila Jabal Akhdar Hotel that I also had the chance to discover fits the bill here. Exquisitely designed and totally at one with the surroundings.
Once again, great food and perfect service. This is the ideal place for a balance between activity and relaxation, allowing you to enjoy the hotel, the surroundings, the views, and the night sky.
Oman is also the world’s largest delivery room for endangered turtles. I stayed in the Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve, a three-hour drive from Muscat. While not the most romantic place on Earth, the turtles more than made up for it.
Watching the turtles lay their many eggs at night and returning to the sea, followed later by their minuscule baby turtles battling the odds to reach the sea themselves is an unforgettable experience.
Only a few survive the first hours of their fragile lives. The lucky ones return after much drifting and wandering to the same beach to lay their own eggs.
It’s an unimaginable natural phenomenon and here you can be right in the middle of it all.
Be sure not to forget all the wonders Oman has to offer underwater either. It is an excellent destination for the divers and snorkelers among us.
In short: Oman is a country with a thousand and one possibilities.
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