Sprawling souks, vast mountain ranges and desert fortresses – holidays to Oman offer a taste of authentic Arabia

Traditional to a T

Unlike some of its Emirati neighbours, Oman’s still pretty new to the tourism game, with snoozy mountain villages and spice-filled souks more common than skyscrapers and shopping malls. And with centuries-old sights like the UNESCO-ticked Bahla Fort and the ancient walled city of Qalhat to explore, there’s plenty for culture vultures and history buffs to get stuck into.

Majestic Muscat

Oman’s capital may be more understated than some of its glitzier gulf neighbours like Abu Dhabi, but there’s a whole heap of highlights packed into its charming city centre. From the country’s largest mosque – the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – to the Arabian Peninsula’s oldest souk and a tonne of cracker-coloured beaches, Muscat’s a mix of the old and the new.

A diverse landscape

While much of Oman’s blanketed with as-far-as-the-eye-can-see desert, it’s a different story as you head east. Humungous mountain ranges and flora-filled valleys come into play, noticeably in Wadi Shab – where emerald-coloured rivers, cave pools and waterfalls are all waiting to be dipped in. And it’s all topped off by a pretty-as-a-picture coastline.

At a Glance

  • Barter with the locals in Muscat’s souks
  • Take Insta-worthy snaps at Bahla Fort
  • Swim in cave pools at Wadi Shab

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