Muscat and Salalah may be on your Omani-radar, but here’s why east-coast beauty Musandam deserves your attention, too.
If Oman has ever featured on your to-go travel list, you probably have Muscat as the destination of choice. The capital city is filled with famed destinations – from landmarks such as Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque to the historic village of Muttra – after all. But that doesn’t mean the rest of this Gulf country located southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula has nothing else to offer.
Cue Musandam. Separated from the rest of the country by the east coast of the UAE, Musandam is a beautiful peninsula located at just over a two-hour drive time from Dubai. Often referred to as the ‘Norway of Arabia’, this incredible part of the Sultanate is known for its fjord-like khors or ‘rocky inlets’, its small villages located in valleys, and the dramatic mountains that surround them.
Home to several, glittering sandy beaches, Musandam is also famed for its crystal-clear waters and impressive marine life. Snorkelling and diving are popular here, alongside dhow cruises to sail between khors and next to dancing dolphins. As the weather cools, the Jebel Harim peak, the highest in Musandam, offers an excellent spot for hiking or camping with magnificent views.
Convinced? Here’s what to add to your (Covid-19 permitting) itinerary once you arrive…
Three things to do and see in Musandam, Oman
Traditional dhow boat cruise
Explore the crystal-clear waters between the fjords (a long, deep, narrow body of water that reaches far inland) on a traditional dhow boat cruise, before digging into a spread of authentic fare served onboard. As well as the stunning views, you might just spot dolphins along the way. Look out for the boat trips that span over 10 miles and stop at the historical Telegraph and Seebi Islands – great for snorkelling and scenic swimming.
Paraglide over the mountains
The only thing better than viewing the beauty of Musandam is seeing it from above. Take flight down to Six Senses Zighy Bay in a thrilling paragliding experience that sees you floating from the top of the mountain range. Launch at 960 feet about sea level, and descend to the sandy beach below, taking in views of the Al Hajar Mountains and traditional villages as you go.
Camp in the great outdoors
With its warm climate and picturesque scenery, Oman is a camper’s paradise. And when you visit this Musandam, you won’t be disappointed. Pitch your tent on the beach, by a forest or among the mountains for a night under the stars. There are camping sites at Bassa Beach, Acacia Forest, Khor Najd and more.
Planning your next trip? Explore hotels in Musandam here.