Sunday, July 10, 2011

Discover Oman

Mentioned in legends and stories of Arabia, the history of this magnificent country dates back to 3000 BC. Being strategically located, the country has been a meeting place for cultures from the world over. To discover Oman, one can either embark on a journey from place to place in this widely spread country covering 309500 square kilometers, which may take a month or two and still make you feel like you haven’t seen it all, or book yourself on a Discover Oman tour arranged by most of the country’s well known tour operators and travel companies, and truly see what its all about.

Most of these discover Oman tour packages can be booked on the Internet in advance so that the tour operator can arrange for a pick up from the airport itself, to transport you to your place of residence or hotel of choice. The Discover Oman tours are mostly 10 days long, but your journey to discovering the country starts from the minute you set foot on Oman’s land, while the more practical leg of the tour starts from the next day when you are taken around to see the country’s capital, the city of Muscat. Muscat can be defined as a modern commercial hub in the midst of a traditional setting. Places to see in the city include the Grand Mosque and Bait Al Zubair Museum, waterfront Corniche, the fish market, Muttrah Souq, Al Alam Palace, and the Portugese forts Mirani & Jalali.

After you are done soaking in the pleasures Muscat has to offer, a 4 day excursion to other sights in Oman, the second leg of the tour, starting from a drive to the hot springs at Nakhl, spectacular Wadi Bani Auf, see  the textured mountains near the village of Bilad Sayt, to the mud houses and date plantations in the village of Al Hamra, from where you could drive to Jabrin Palace followed by the Roundtower Fort and head towards Izki and Sinaw. Passing Wadi Bani Khalid is a chance to swim in the blue pools of fresh water, which is ideal before hitting the Wahiba sands for an amazing sunset.  Visiting Sur, Sineslah fort, Bibi Miriam’s tomb, Bimah Sinkhole, Wadi Arbayeen, and Quriyat should be a must.

The third part of the tour starts from Khasab, visiting the Khasab Fort, Jebel Harim a 2087 meters mountain in Musandam, Birkhat Khalidiya Park, and includes a dhow cruise for some water activities, seeing the fjords, and dolphin watching. And the last leg of the tour starts from Salalah and includes the fishing village of Taqa, Khor Rori creek, Mirbat, Nabi Ayoub,which is the tomb of the great prophet Job, and Mughsail beach.

This 10 day journey is undoubtedly the best way to discover Oman.

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