“What is Oman like?” friends ask. Well, it is like stepping into a fairy tale of your imagination. Stunningly beautiful scenery with magnificent Forts and Palaces to explore. The people of Oman are very special, so friendly and welcoming – particularly if you are British. This is something of a wonderful surprise, we aren’t always so well received! One of my favourite countries to visit in the Middle East. Definitely worthy of a return trip.
Spot the Royal Palace in the background
Oman, like so many countries in the Middle East has a complex history. In recent times, following the Dhofar rebellion, Sultan Said bin Taimur was deposed in a bloodless coup in 1970 by his son Sultan Qaboos. He received help from the British SAS and RAF. This may explain why British people are received so warmly!
Step into a fairytale with desert, mountains, spectacular coastline all within one small country. Take a driver and comfortable 4 x 4 and explore! Oman is perfectly safe and you won’t get lost with a driver. If you are feeling adventurous, take off into the mountains.
Drive up to the ancient fort of Nizwa, a couple of hours drive out of Muscat. You will step into another world. Th eFort was built mid 17C by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Y’alibi. Don’t forget to go Nizwa Souk to buy all sorts of treats. http://www.omantourism.gov.om The Souks are all treasure troves. Visit Mutrah Souk in Muscat and don’t forget the Gold Souk.
Pass by adorable villages, untouched for centuries, as you drive along.
Pots galore, Dates, date honey, silver jewellery are all specialities here …
Where to Stay?
Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Palace:
I stayed at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz Carlton Hotel in Muscat. This is everything you would expect of a Ritz Carlton, with an Omani twist.
Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Hotel Oman
The impressive lobby where you will be welcomed with tea and dates.
The hotel has one of the best pools I have every seen.
Beautiful Pool at the Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Hotel
This is a good choice of hotel to come back and relax after a day of adventures. Rather far from Muscat – too far to pop out for dinner, so you are confined to the 3 hotel restaurants. Mind you, Taxis are very cheap – you can always hop in a Taxi. http://ritzcarlton.com/AlBustan
Explore Muscat and don’t miss the Bazaars, the place to stock up on exquisite shawls, traditional silver, dates, spices ….. the choice is endless. Enjoy!