Subtropical Salalah is a smart choice for a vacation, no matter what time of year you plan to travel. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss from this Omani gem.
Frankincense from the souk
This part of Oman is known as the Land of the Frankincense. In the countryside surrounding the city, Boswellia sacra trees provide some of the finest frankincense on the planet. It’s been traded here for many centuries and today you’ll still find plenty of it on sale in Salalah’s souks. The Al Baleed Archaeological Park is home to the Museum of the Frankincense Land, where you can find out the story behind this highly prized commodity.
Lapped gently by the Arabian Sea, the beaches in this part of Oman are as good as any in the region. Rocky headlands add a craggy charm, while the waves explode out of blowholes to supply the drama that lifts it beyond the mundane. Coconut palms sway a little on the breeze, while the sugary sand feels soft underfoot. The water’s warm and clear, perfect for a dip. Or bring a picnic and enjoy this paradise coastline with some friends.
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Unlike much of the region, Salalah’s summers are cool and wet. The damp air is a result of the Khareef, a weather system that owes its existence to the Indian monsoon. Mist hangs over higher ground. Not only is it attractive to look at but it provides vital moisture for the region’s vegetation, which bursts into leaf after the arrival of those much-anticipated rains. Verdant wadis, tumbling waterfalls and pretty lakes result, and you’ll be glad you were here to see them.
A rich heritage
This part of Oman has been settled since ancient times and a number of archaeological sites lie within day trip distance of the city. One of the most mysterious is Ubar. Some historians believe this might be the fabled Atlantis of the Sands. Artefacts have been found there which tie the locale to Shisr, which was an ancient trading centre. Those with a keen interest in the past should also visit Khor Rori. Once this was a thriving port and today you can visit the ruins of a centuries-old fortress.
Boat trips to see bottlenose dolphins and migrating humpback whales are a popular activity amongst visitors to Salalah. But you don’t need to stray far from the city to catch a glimpse of the area’s resident flamingos or other abundant birdlife. The camel caravans that wander about the place add a distinctive character to the place; these cute creatures are just as likely to potter down to the beach as humans are.
If you fancy joining them, why not give Mundana’s destination experts a call and discuss your trip to Salalah with one of the team?