Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rediscover Beauty – Oman Holidays

The exquisiteness and variety of Oman makes it one of the most popular destinations in all of Arabia. The kingdom possesses canyons and sand dunes alongside more modern amenities that proffer a remarkable travel experience worth embarking upon. The history of Oman dates back to a time when this magnificent sultanate was a vibrant trade country rich in spices and precious metals. Even today the historic buildings and antique souks tell the tales of a thousand mysteries, which is the heart of Oman. All in all, the best-kept secrets of Arabia can be discovered on Oman holidays.

The country is full of rare animal species that are thriving in the natural habitats housed in the areas of Oman. The warm climate also makes the country an ideal spot for water sports and the mountain terrains are great for climbing and trekking. Hence, adventure sports and bird watching is a big part of any tourist itinerary, but Oman suggests a lot more than this. No visit to Muscat is complete without a shopping spree in the allies of Mutrah Souk in the evening. The fascinating market springs hundreds of tiny shops selling everything from ornate silver daggers, Bedouin jewelry, frankincense, herbs, spices, honey, perfume, to carpets and clothing. Taking a Dhow cruise is another must. Hop onto a traditional wooden boat to enjoy the dramatic coastline. Watch out for dolphins and whales, as this is the best way of spotting these playful creatures. Oman is famous for its caves. It is home to the second largest cave in the world, the Majlis al-Jhinn. Its long passages, crystal-clear streams, canals and drip curtains are awe-inspiring.

When it comes to sightseeing, Oman poses an array of options. There are the great forts and castles that have served as cultural and historical landmarks. Strolling on the amazingly scenic beaches of Oman is another pleasure to seize. For souvenirs to carry back home, the traditional souks are perfect. Found in many of the towns throughout the Sultanate, browsing through some of the smaller shops may result in a lucky find. Bargaining is a must, however.

From majestic mountain treks to mystical desert safris, from unearthing the treasures of the deep sea to losing your way in the magical mazes of the evening markets, and from being flabbergasted by the beautiful forts to being humbled by the simplicity of the natives, Oman offers a little exclusivity for all types of travelers. Just pick your interest and rediscover beauty and awe on your Oman holidays.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Travel to Oman for an Exotic Vacation

Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”. Travel has not only become a recreational activity but also a means of expanding one’s dimensions in the world. Meeting new people, exploring unsullied places, trying different cuisines, and understanding novel cultures is not only an experience, but also fun. Oman is one such destination that is fast becoming a favorite on the travel map.

Housing “Arabia’s Jewel”, the capital city of Muscat, Oman is a blend of the long forgotten and the yet-to-be-discovered character that every travel must embody. Muscat is an awesome mixture of old and new. It boasts of all modern amenities and yet preserves an ancient charm.

The additional attractions in Oman are Sur, a coastal town that has retained the more traditional lifestyle. Nizwa is a city famous for its handicrafts, and Oman’s ancient monument, the Nizwa Fort. Salalah, known for its beaches, which are ideal for scuba diving, diving, jet skiing, sailing, and canoeing. Musandam peninsula is known for its striking mountains with unusual textures and patterns.

One can book a dhow and visit Khawr Ash Shamm from Musandam, to see marine life in placid waters for a breathtaking experience. Masirah Island is a stark rocky landscape rimmed with secluded beaches and loggerhead turtles that come to nest there. This island also has a variety of shellfish and other marine life.

Apart from these exclusive places to see one may enjoy other activities such as photography, filming, rock climbing, scuba diving, ice skating, trekking, camel racing, game fishing, sailing, and horseback riding. From mountains to desert to seascapes, Oman is thriving in multiplicity and thus offers something special for every traveler.

Oman is predominantly an Islamic country, but because of its liberal outlook it not only has highly structured mosques, but also beautiful churches and strikingly detailed temples. Arabic is the official language, though English, Hindi, Urdu, and Swahili are widely spoken, so a tourist can easily manage without knowing how to speak Arabic. However, knowing the local language definitely has its advantages,  

As a country, Oman is rich in history, culture, and picturesque locations. From great prophets to adventurers like Sinbad the sailor have called Oman home. This grand country proffers miles of untouched sandy beaches, fresh water oases, unexplored caves, grand forts, sparkling springs, date palms, stunning palaces, mystical souks, twilight cruises and more. A photographer’s delight, travel to Oman has varied landscapes and ancient architecture that please the eyes and warm the soul.