Scorching heat, sultry days, sweat and dull hard days out... It is the time of the year in Oman that everybody is looking for a quick getaway into some cool retreat to beat the heat on weekends.
Though fatigue of the long working day and the cool comfort of the greenhouse gas emitting air-conditioners soothe us, we think of going to nature, spewing springs, cool pools, breezy beaches, remote farm houses, flowing wadis, its cool surroundings, high valleys where farmers grow grapes, figs, oranges, apricots, pears, and pomegranates or mountain tops that rise to an altitude of serenity and cool climate.
Nobody will want to go for surprise holiday trips to exotic places in Europe, the Far East or elsewhere in the present economic conditions. The best option is ‘do it here in Oman’. Do it right here, many of the travel enthusiast say. On the Western Hajar Mountains decked with lush terraced gardens, on the cool sandy beaches where turtles come and nestle, on tiny islands where amazing marine life thrive beneath the sea surface, in the deep gorges where crystal clear streams still gurgle down mossy rocks to form emerald pools, or in the remote villages where the very traditions and beautiful people would cool you off, Oman has many more options to cool off this summer.
Salalah has been considered the coolest place across the region during the peak summer months of July-August, when monsoon showers would wake up the seeds underneath bathe the hills green. Salalah will be crowded with tourists from GCC countries during the Khareef and the number has increased over the past few years, points out a tour operator. “We need not set aside Salalah, but there are other good places in Oman for local people to go picnicking, spend weekends and for overnight stays during summer like Jebel Shams, Jebel Akhdar, Ras Al Jinz and Masirah Island, says Bainu Thomas, Manager (Operations), Eihab Travels. The summer temperature in these places may be a little high during the middle of the day, but it becomes cooler and perfect for evening picnics and overnight stays, he says.
The Western Hajar Mountain range or the Jebel Akhdar range has much more to offer as it has mountain villages including Wakan and Bilad Sayt, points out Bainu Thomas. Trips to these mountain villages and many other wadis we have here would be ideal for day picnics. And for people interested in long drives and extended trips, they could take the coastal road to Salalah via Ras Al Jinz, Masirah Island, Duqm, Khaluf, Ras Al Madrakah and Wadi Shuwaymiyah. Besides, a cool dip in Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Shab, Wadi Arbaeen or Wadi Tiwi could be another good option for both domestic and foreign tourists who look for weekend getaways during summer. Opportunity for swimming is great with these wadis maintaining a constant flow of water round the year.
Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain)
Jebel Shams (Mountain of Sun)
Ras Al Jinz
Wadi Bani Khalid