Oman

Mar 8, 2019

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Thanks to Phil Hoffmann Travel.

Up until 40 years ago, Oman was virtually closed off to tourists and was considered an under-developed nation. In the 1970s, the previous Sultan of Oman was exiled by the current Sultan, with rapid and progressive results for the tiny nation.

A little more discreet than its ostentatious neighbours, Oman offers the opportunity to experience traditional Arabia. Its people are very proud of their development - and while parts of the country are very contemporary - it manages to retain its strong cultural traditions.

There is an abundance of natural beauty in Oman, and some of the best dry wadis in the world. Visit Wahiba Dunes by day and sleep under a million twinkling stars in the desert at night. Enjoy diving in a pristine underwater paradise in the Sea of Oman or explore fascinating Bronze Age beehive tombs in the ruggedly beautiful Hajar Mountains.

Famous for its historic forts, of which there are 500, conveniently some of the best ones are in the capital city of Muscat and date back to the 16th century. With 7 miles of walls, the magnificent Bahla Fort was built in the 13th and 14th centuries to protect Bahla which was a thriving oasis town at the time.

While in Muscat, you can visit the spectacular Grand Mosque with the second largest hand-loomed carpet in the world. In the centuries-old Mutrah Souq, your senses will come alive as you wander through maze-like alleyways - fragrant with the heady scents of frankincense, jasmine and spices.

Surprisingly, Oman is a large breeding ground for sea turtles with the most leatherbacks in the world, with night tours available where you can see them nesting. A few hours out of Muscat is Wadi Shab – a beautiful valley with lush palm trees, glistening emerald-green rock pools, rocky canyons, cascading waterfalls and caves to explore.

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