- Middle East and North Africa
Blessed with spectacular mountain, desert and coastal scenery, Oman enjoys a calm, relaxed atmosphere in contrast to its glitzy neighbour the United Arab Emirates.
Original Travel tipped Oman for the big time back in 2003 and has repeatedly visited the top-class beach hotels in the vicinity of the capital, Muscat, and in Musandam (an exclave at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula) which make ideal honeymoon and winter sun destinations. Think spa treatments, snorkelling or peaceful dhow trips along the coast, or for something a little more active there are watersports, including excellent diving, while an Original Travel exclusive private guided safari into the desert takes in some of the best scenery that the country has to offer.
Visit oasis villages where traditional rural life continues largely unchanged beneath dense clusters of date palms, and on up to the scenic Jebel Akhdar (‘Green Mountain’) for panoramic views towards the Arabian Sea and the desert of the Empty Quarter. Visit medieval forts that look just how castles should, and spend the night under the stars at a Bedouin camp amid the huge, rolling dunes of the Wahiba Sands. After washing off the desert dust with a swim in one of the natural pools that form in the wadis, head for the coast, where you can sail on a traditional wooden dhow accompanied by dolphins and watch rare giant turtles coming ashore at night to lay their eggs.
Flight time from the UK 8h
Time Difference GMT +4
Currency Rial (OMR)
Combines well with Dubai - en route for Zighy Bay