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6 places to explore the beauty of Oman this summer
March 28, 2018 | 5:41 PM
by Times News Service
 
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People flock to Oman to experience a serene kind of getaway that’s filled with adventure atop spectacular mountain peaks and deep into grand canyons and deserted lands. Whether you get a kick out of hiking, enjoy exploring fortresses and historic monuments across town, or like to mingle with the fish while diving deep into the blue: This country has it all. And as summer is approaching, we round up six of our favourite spots that are popular, yet unexplored. Forget about Jabal Akhdar and Sharqiyah Sands for a second and get to know these golden gems through the summer.



Duqm Beach

You may recognise Duqm for its port and its newly developed oil and gas industry, but the place has hidden gems tucked within. From mysterious, uncharted silky sands and sapphire waters, to beaches that stretch miles upon miles, unexplored. The place has gained popularity amongst locals and residents of Muscat as the go-to place for seafood and fishing activities, which explains its rich, flavourful oceanic culinary.


After indulging in a seaside activity, head over to Duqm’s Rock Park, where limestone formations that date back to more than 45 million years will make your imagination run wild.

Mirbat

Mirbat is what we call the “Pearl of Oman”. Situated at the very edge of Oman, in Dhofar, it carries quite a story. It used to be a trading spot for frankincense, and was also known for being a fishing village and old capital of the southern governorate. All that is interesting, but what makes it a must-visit place is its coral beauty that promises a wonderful beach experience.

The place is a great spot for snorkelling and exploring the aquatic life of Dhofar.

You do not need to wait till fall to visit this place. Its charms can be seen year-round, from ancient sights and military castles, to succulent local dishes. You will find something memorable to add to your diary. And, make sure to pay a visit to the anti-gravity point. Leave your car in neutral and watch it drift uphill, all by itself. How cool.

Sugar Dunes and Khaluf Beach

Sharqiyah Sands may be the go-to place for tourists and locals who love a sandy escapade atop dunes, but there is another desert that’s undiscovered with sugar dunes and a beach, too.

Khaluf Beach is simply a jewel of a spot. It boasts of a 50km seafront, and is located some 450km south of Muscat. The place is absolutely beautiful and polar opposite to Al Sharqiyah Sands. Here, the place combines two of our favourite destinations, beaches, and deserts.

Its desert is graced with silky white sands and pristine dune formations that will remind you of how beautiful and geographically diverse Oman is. The desert is stretched all the way to untouched beaches, giving campers a spot to relax away from touristic attractions.

The area is relatively empty, with a few fishing villages here and there. So, be cautious when travelling, and ensure your trip consists of two 4x4 vehicles. You wouldn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, alone.

Hallaniyat Islands

Talking about unexplored territories, the Hallaniyat islands (some 40km from the Dhofari coast) are perfect for adventurers and die-hard explorers. The islands host some of the world’s most untouched fisheries in the world, and sea creatures such as dolphins, turtles, and manta rays. And, if fishing is your thing, you’ll get to catch almost any kind, from Billfish, Tuna and Dorado to the monstrous Trevally that weighs more than 60kg.

In the inhabited islands, you can find a variety of water sports to add fun to your adventure. Kayaks and surf boards are some of the sports on offer.

Note that the Hallaniyat Islands are categorised amongst extreme destinations. This journey is not for the faint hearted and may be physically challenging.



Wadi Al Khoudh

Did you know we have a massive wadi stretched from Al Khoudh all the way to Al Mabela, here in the capital? Yes, Wadi Al Khoudh is a true hidden gem treasured by locals who love a quick weekend escape without leaving the city. It is situated by Al Khoudh village, on the left of the expressway (if you’re coming from Qurum), and is a 30-minute ride from the city centre.

The place does not have any fascinating attractions other than being an isolated space where you could enjoy a barbecue amid unique-looking plants and a small oasis of dirt-coloured waters scattered all over the wadi.

Masirah Island

Another island has made it to our list—who would have thought Oman has so many islands. Well, Masirah Island is a less dangerous and much more preferred amongst locals. It sports desolated and deserted spaces, giving you the feeling of being alone in the middle of nowhere, though it has its season where folks head there for camping. Given that not many people visit this place, its beaches remain somewhat unexplored as well. When coming here, visit Ras Hilf, where abandoned boats and a shipwreck adorn its stretched beach. It’s an interesting sight you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if you love adventure.

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