Most people travel to Salalah during the Khareef season, when the landscape is lush and green, but if that is the only time you travel south, you’re missing out. The “off-season” (which many take to mean any time other than Khareef) is the perfect time to enjoy the views that the clear, cloud-free sky offers, take a dip in the roaring sea, and experience the rugged natural beauty of the south, sans the swarms of GCC tourists.
Enjoying the Indian Ocean
Outside of Khareef season, the Indian Ocean is calm enough to swim or paddle board in, but still packs enough wave action to allow for some light surfing and adventurous sea kayaking. The long, pristine coastline is also magnificent for evening strolls.
Don’t Miss: A sunset walk along the newly constructed corniche in front of the Al Baleed Archaeological Park or on the private beach at the Al Baleed Resort.
The mild year-round weather and well-maintained hiking trails in the Dhofar mountains make the area a trekker’s paradise. Easy to access, the mountainous areas of Jabal Samhan offer stunning views of grassy plains, jagged peaks, and the white sand and royal blue of the distant coastline.
Don’t Miss: A hike in Jabal Samhan
History and Reflection
Salalah is home to some of the most important sites in Oman, from the Samhram ruins of the Queen of Sheeba’s palace, to the 4th century Al Baleed Archaeological site, to the serene tomb of Prophet Ayyub (Job) (Pbuh), where you can spend an hour of quiet reflection in the tomb or walking around the well-manicured gardens and adjacent mosque.
Don’t Miss: The tomb of Prophet Ayyub (Pbuh) (Follow the signs along Ittin Road and after approximately 22km, turn left at the signpost for An Nabi Ayyub)
Chilling with the Fishermen
The nearby fishing village of Mirbat is a wonderful place to walk through narrow streets of picturesque homes, dine on fresh-caught fish or lobster by the docks, or simply enjoy sipping on sweet tea with the locals while taking in the views of the sea and cliffs.
Don’t Miss: Lunch or tea across from the fisherman’s dock (just look for the boats in the natural harbour, the only restaurant in town sits adjacent to them).
Ittin street is chockablock with pop-up restaurants during Khareef, but even after the crowds have departed, you will still find a handful of small restaurants along the strip serving the specialty of Salalah, majeen. Salted strips of meat hang dry from the rafters of the shops, where the strips are chopped and fried to make the Omani version of beef-jerky. Along with this distinctive snack, you can find muthbee rock-grilled chicken and meat, and sometimes camel, which is served atop mounds of rice. If meat isn’t your thing, the fresh seafood of Mirbat village and the tropical fruit and coconut stands near the beach are total treats as well.
Don’t Miss: The grill shacks of Ittin street and the beachside tropical fruit vendors.