Optional Excursions in Salalah

Salalah City Highlights

We leave the Hotel at 8:30 & proceed to visit ―The Museum of the Frankincense Land‖. Opened in July 2007 at Al Balid Archaeological Park, a UNESCO heritage site located in Salalah, the Frankincense Land Museum is the latest addition to Oman‗s heritage and cultural scene. (Opened Sat - Wed 8:00 – 14:00 & 16:00 – 20:00, Thu – Fri 16:00 – 20:00) It houses two main halls, namely the History Hall, depicting the geography, history of the ancient Frankincense trail and the historical background of the Sultanate through a number of archaeological findings, and The Marine Hall, featuring displays about the development of Oman‗s rich marine history. A complete history of the Maritime trade & ship building industry of Oman could be experienced here, with meticulously carved replicas of the ancient boats & ships of the Omani Maritime trade. Drive through lush green plantations of vegetables & fruits. Make a brief stop to taste a fresh coconut water drink at fruit stalls (at own cost) lining the streets within the periphery of the old Salalah town (Haffah). Make a Photo stop at the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque. View the Official Palace of His Majesty the Sultan (Al Husn Palace) & stroll through the old Haffah souq, famous for the sale of high quality Frankincense & numerous other Dhofari traditional souvenirs. Visit the new Salalah region of the gold/ silver souq, with ample opportunity for shopping, before we return to the hotel

(Entrance ticket cost for Al Baleed USD 6.00 per person).

Historical Dhofar Approx 4 hours.

The excursion begins with a visit to the old fishing village of ‚Taqah‗, famous for the manufacture of ‚Dried Sardines‗ & its traditional & old ‚Dhofari Houses‗. Visit the century old ‚Taqah Castle‗, the former official residence of the ‚Wali‗ (Governor) of the region & obtain a glimpse into the rich history of the region Continue onto the ancient ruins of the once famous city of Sumharam (Khor Rori). The city was the easternmost outpost of the Hadramawt Kingdom on the ancient incense route between the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and India. Khor Rori was an important port on the coast of Dhofar, and one of the major trading cities with frankincense, believed to have been the hub & harbour for the shipping of Frankincense (UNESCO World Heritage site). A picturesque drive then leads you to ‚ Mirbat‗, the ancient capital of Dhofar and the beginning of the ‗Frankincense trail‘. Stroll through the streets lined with old Omani mud houses & visit the ‚twin domed Bin Ali’s Tomb‘ as a photo stop …a classic example of medieval architecture. On our way back to the hotel, explore the natural spring of ‚Ayn Razat‗, beautifully laid out amidst the tranquil lush mountains & nourished every day of the year by natural underground spring water. Return to the hotel by late noon.

( Entrance ticket USD 4.00 per person).

Splendours of Dhofar - Approx 4 hours

We start our half day exploration of Dhofar by driving towards the ‚Qara‘ mountains. On a road steadily winding up a steep incline, herds of Camels & Cattle are a common sight which gives a scenic view of a traditional dhofari rural beauty. Visit the ancient tomb of ‚Prophet Job‘ situated in the scenic green mountains of the Salalah Plains. Experience the legendary story of Prophet Job and his devoutness. Proceed to the beach of Mughsail where the white sand touches the deep blue of the ocean & at high tide, where waves burst through the natural titanic ‚Blow Holes‘, at the far end of the ‚Rocky beach‗ with a cave-like entrance. We thereafter continue along the ‚Hairpin- bend‘ road towards Western Border of Oman, with its breathtaking cliffs on either side, to see the historical ‚Frankincense trees‘ growing in their natural habitat, deep down in the valleys, dotting the dry & craggy countryside. We take a short walk into the valleys to smell the ‚Holy Incense‗ amidst the scenic view of the region. On our return journey we make a photo stop at the lagoon at Mughsail where migratory birds – occasionally flamingos – are a common sight. After the visit return to the hotel.

Historical Insights - Approx 8 hours

The excursion begins in the morning with a visit to the old fi shing village of ‚Taqah‗, famous for the manufacture of ‚Dried Sardines‗ & its traditional & old ‚Dhofari Houses‗. Visit the century old ‚Taqah Castle‗, the former official residence of the ‚Wali‗ (Governor) of theregion & obtain a glimpse into the rich history of the region. Continue onto the ancient ruins of the once famous city of Sumharam (Khor Rohri). The city was the easternmost outpost of the Hadramawt Kingdom on the ancient incense route between the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and India. Khor Rori was an important port on the coast of Dhofar, and one of the major trading cities with frankincense, believed to have been the hub & harbour for the shipping of Frankincense (UNESCO World Heritage site). A picturesque drive then leads you to ‚Mirbat‗, the ancient capital of Dhofar and the beginning of the ‗Frankincense trail‘. Stroll through the streets lined with old Omani mud houses & visit the ‚twin-domed Bin Ali’s Tomb‘ as a photostop …a classic example of medieval architecture. On our way back to western Salalah, explore the natural spring of ‚Ayn Razat‗, beautifully laid out amidst the tranquil lush mountains & nourished every day of the year by natural underground spring water. Thereafter we proceed to ‚Qara‗ mountains to explore the western part of Salalah. On a road steadily winding up a steep incline, herds of Camels & Cattle are a common sight which gives a scenic view of a traditional Dhofari rural beauty. Visit the ancient Tomb of Prophet Job‘ situated in the scenic green mountains of the Salalah Plains. Experience the legendary story of Prophet Job and his devoutness. Proceed to the beach of Mughsail where the white sand touches the deep blue of the ocean &at high tide, where waves burst through the natural titanic ‚Blow Holes‗, at the far end of the‚Rocky beach‗ with a cave-like entrance. We thereafter continue along the ‚Hair-pinbend‗ road towards Western Border of Oman, with its breathtaking cliffs on either side, to see the historical ‚Frankincense trees‗ growing in their natural habitat, deep down in the valleys, dotting the dry & craggy countryside. We take a short walk into the valleys to smell the Holy Incense‗ amidst the scenic view of the region. On our return journey we make a photo stop at the lagoon at Mughsail where migratory birds – occasionally flamingos – are a common sight. Return to the hotel.

( Entrance ticket USD 4.00 per person).

Jebel Safari - Approx 8 hours

We leave the Hotel in the morning by 4X4 vehicles, on a full day safari into the Dhofar mountain range Driving through the scenic village of Taqa we make a photo stop at the village for a panoramic view from above a cliff, well known as Taqah Plateau. We then drive into the ‚ever green Wadi Darbat‗ for a relaxing stroll along the Wadi bed, surrounded by herds of Camels, Goats & Cattle. In the Khareef season (monsoon period), one could also witness an almost 100m natural Water-Fall, spreading its ‗tentacles‘ into numerous lakes & lush green Vegetation. Our next stop is one of the worlds largest Sink Holes (211 m deep & 150 m in diameter), situated at Tawi Attair – also known as the ―Well of Birds‖, who frequent this location, the year through. Continue journey into the mountain range of Jebel Samhan to a breathtaking plateau at a height of almost 1700m. This location is commonly known as the ‚Grand Canyon‗ of Dhofar, gives one a complete view of the east coast to the one side & the vast ‚Qara‗ mountain range to the other. The group will be hosted here to sumptuous picnic lunch. After lunch we continue our journey from the plateau into the adjacent ‚Qara‗ mountain range & drive through scenic Jebali villages & landscape, with numerous photo stops at interesting locations. Return to Salalah by evening.

( 4x4 WD TOUR).

Salalah Landscapes - Approx 8 hours

We start the tour in the morning after the Breakfast by 4x4 vehicles towards Jebel Qara Mountains. Our first stop Ayn Sahalnoot is a beautiful, serene location in the middle of the Dhofar Mountains! Enriched with an incredible birdlife and natural limestone formations around a natural spring, it is well worth the visit. We continue the drive through scenic Jebali villages& landscapes, with numerous photo stops at interesting locations. Passing Zayk we will reach the magnificent deep blue-green pool of Wadi Ayun. The deep Wadi cuts into the barren hills running north-south, gives us a great experience of the nature. On a road steadily winding up a steep incline, herds of Camels & Cattle are a common sight which gives a scenic view of a traditional Dhofari rural beauty. Visit the ancient tomb of ‚Prophet Job‘ situated in the scenic green mountains of the Salalah Plains. Experience the legendary story of Prophet Job and his devoutness. We proceed along the beach of Mughsail where the white sand touches the deep blue of the Indian Ocean. A drive along the ‚Hair-pin-bend‗ road with its breathtaking cliffs on either side takes you to one of the most attractive Beaches in Dhofar, The Fazayah Beach. On the way along you can see the historical ‚Frankincense trees‗ growing in their natural habitat, deep down in the valleys, dotting the dry & craggy countryside. We take a short walk into the valleys to smell the ‚Holy Incense‗ amidst the scenic view of the region. Experiencing the beach environment is the wonderful experience in everyone‘s life. Beaches are the spots to just warm up your minds. Here the Fazayah Beach will add an unforgettable memory to your Oman tour. There is golden sand at the beach and it gives a more beautiful look to the beach with the pristine turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The Beach is bordered with wonderful landscape of Mountain cliffs together with typical desert fauna. Return to the Hotel by evening.

( 4x4 WD TOUR).

Dolphin Watching

One of the most unique activities in Dhofar is the dolphin watching tour. Oman coast is a year round home to 21 different species of whales and dolphins (Family- Delphinidae) and a dolphin watching tour is your ticket to viewing them in their entire natural splendor. One of the most memorable activities you will take part in while visiting Dhofar with us. Share the thrill of meeting dolphins in the wild and experience the unique bond and kinship they inspire in mankind. We‗ll spend our time touring the waters off of Dhofar in search of dolphins. Learn more about dolphins- from the legends and history of their relationship with man to social dynamics, feeding habits and environment during our entertaining trip. Get to watch dolphins up close. Watch them in their natural habitat as they feed and play. A morning to remember indeed with great photographic opportunities!

Major attractions