Today was a great day where everything fell into place. The morning was bright and airy surrounded by a scenery that painted the perfect backdrop with colors that never fade. The ocean was beautiful, yet quite mysterious and completely wild. The wrinkled mountains loomed in the distance, sporadically covered with magma red and hot orange leaves. This was simplicity at its finest hour. Today was the day I decided to let go and get lost in a beautiful place!
Salalah, the capital city of Oman’s Dhofar province, is famous for its history, culture and breathtaking scenery. Located in the South and the birth place of Sultan Qaboos, Salalah boasts incredible mountainous landscapes, beautiful beaches and coastlines, and lush greenery.
The weather in Salalah is unique compared to its GCC neighbors (UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain). The best time to visit is during the Khareef Season when the weather is cooler, the landscape is greener and the misty rain creates an atmosphere absent of tension and worries! Here are some quick tips to get your holiday to Salalah started:
- Best time to visit: Khareef Season – mid July to mid September.
- Beaches: There will be restricted beach access due to strong currents during the Khareef season.
- Weather: Cooler climate. A light jacket and small umbrella may be required.
- Visa: Required and can be purchased on arrival for most nationalities.
- Currency: Omani Rials (OMR). I recommend arriving with local currency.
- Getting around: For self-drive, a 4×4 vehicle is recommended for navigating Salalah’s terrain. Be careful as the fog/mist during the Khareef season will limit visibility on certain roads. Alternatively, tours can be arranged from various tour providers. My recommendation is Al Fawaz Tours.
- All photos below were taken during early September (in case you’re wondering if there’s any sunshine during the Khareef season- there is!).
Here’s why Salalah has been coined as the Jewel of Arabia!
Sun, Sea & Sand
Route: Salalah – Ayn Sahalnoot – Wadi Ayun – Mughsail – Fizaya Beach – Salalah
Ayn Sahalnoot natural springs is nestled between landscapes with natural limestone formations and frequented by locals for a leisure day of swimming.
Wadi Ayun offers unrivaled landscape in a secluded environment.
Mughsail Blow Holes… every couple of minutes, witness a dramatic display as jets of seawater erupts from small holes in the ground.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Frankincense Trees along the way.
Fizaya Beach, enclosed between the desert flora and mountain cliffs, offer miles of beauty along a pristine coastline. Be sure to hike to the top of a rock and take in the views of the Indian Ocean!
Route: Salalah – Taqah – Wadi Derbat – Jebel Samhan – Dalkut – Ain Razat – Salalah
The scenic village of Taqah is perfect for a photo-op and panoramic views from a cliff overlooking the ocean.
Wadi Derbat, easily one of the greenest areas in Salalah, offers a peaceful stroll along the wadi bend with a lake and lush vegetation on both sides. Who knew the Middle East could boast such greenery!
Jebel Samhan, my favorite area in Salalah and known as the “Grand Canyon” of Dhofar, sits 1700 meters high and offers complete views of the east coast on one side and the mountainous range on the other.
This scenic road trip, accessible by a winding road between the mountains and a few kilometers from the Yemen border, is the peaceful village of Dalkut. The ride alone is worth the journey!
Overflowing with fresh water and abundant in nature is the beautiful Ain Razat.
The next time you’re in Oman, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge and bask in the natural beauty of Salalah!