World Travel Guides


Oman - Off the beaten track


A shoal of redtailed butterfly fish (family <i>Chaetodontidae</i>) on a reef

Mughsail

Mughsail is 45km (28mi) west of Salalah. In addition to the beautiful beaches around the town, there is spectacular inland scenery including several groves of frankincense trees about halfway to Salalah. The road beyond Mughsail toward the Yemeni border is even more impressive. Not far from Mughsail, Job's Tomb is a must-see for both its religious significance and its beautiful setting.

Musandam Peninsula

Separated from the rest of Oman by the east coast of the UAE, the Musandem Peninsula is a rugged, starkly beautiful region of fjords, small villages and dramatic, mountain-hugging roads. It is not a particularly easy place to travel; paved roads are few and public transport is patchy and expensive.

The capital, Khasab, is a small but bustling port, largely occupied with smuggling US cigarettes to Iran. Khor Najd is the only one of the Musandem's fjords that can be reached by conventional vehicle, but be warned it's still very steep. Kumzar, set on an isolated cove at the peninsula's northern edge, is only accessible by boat.

Sur

Sur has a lot going for it, starting with a nearly ideal location. It's a quiet place but has great beaches, impressive forts, a great Marine Museum and an active dhow yard where traditional fishing vessels are built. At any given time, a dozen or more dhows may be under construction, making this a great place to visit. Just beyond the dhow yard is a small ferry that will carry you across the narrow sound to Ayega, a village where many of the dhow builders live. Although Sur is only 150km (93mi) down the coast from Muscat as the crow flies, by road it is a bit over twice that distance, making it an effort to get to. There are three buses a day between Muscat and Sur.



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