Highlights of Oman
I spent a week in northern Oman in early 2017. I found a country full of dramatic landscapes, amazing archaeological sites, and extremely friendly people. It’s quite an expensive destination for the budget traveller, but if you can manage it I’m sure you’ll find it worth the outlay.
#1 Highlights of Oman
The beehive tombs of al-Ayn are cryptic and obscure (they might not even be tombs). And they come with a stunning backdrop.
#2 Highlights of Oman
Jebel Shams, at 3,009 metres elevation, is Oman’s tallest mountain. Keen hikers can climb to the summit if they like – or somewhere near the summit; the very top of the mountain is military land and thus off-limits to the public. For everyone else there’s the Balcony Walk.
#3 Highlights of Oman
This entire, enormous, sprawling castle has almost no corridors; it’s just room after room after room after room. You’re turned around before you know it, moving in the opposite direction to which you thought, your route instantly muddled, your senses swirling.
#4 Highlights of Oman
Surprisingly little is known about the origins of the city. What is known is that Nizwa, 140 km inland from Muscat, was situated at the meeting point of several historical trade routes. What started, presumably, as a trade camp, had become the capital of Oman proper by the 6th Century CE.
#5 Highlights of Oman
Bahla Fort might have the UNESCO tag, but Jibreen Castle is a much more rewarding experience for the visiting tourist. Jibreen Castle is furnished throughout with handsome period furniture. And your entry ticket includes a well-produced audio guide.
#6 Highlights of Oman
Oman’s aflaj, or falaj system of irrigation, allow charming, rural villages to exist in the otherwise parched and desolate landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula. Misfat Al Abriyeen is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a simple yet effective falaj network.
#7 Highlights of Oman
It’s a beautiful city, but don’t expect any locally grown grapes.
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