The Sultanate of Oman lies on the south east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, at the head of the Arabian Sea. The interior is mostly known for its desert and humid climate, but to the north and south east are the cooler mountains, which during the rainy season are lush and fertile, with coconut palms, frankincense and myrrh being grown for export.
Muscat, the capital in the north is a modern city offering a number of 5-star hotels and shopping complexes. This city is an enchanting blend of ancient culture and modernity and many visitors like to explore Old Muscat in the form of the forts at Jalali and Mirani which stand at the entrance to Muscat Bay.
Some of the 500 Omani forts have been restored to their former glory, and an excursion to the fortress towns of Nizwa, Nakha and Rustaq will reveal 17th century forts which once guarded the ancient trade routes to the coast.
Souks are another example of the old and new faces of Oman, where to haggle is expected, and where everyone you meet is a potential life-long friend.
For the more adventurous, driving a 4×4 over the high rolling dunes of the Wahiba desert will provide thrills galore. The dry wadis are among the best in the world for off-road adventuring, and the scenery in the mountains is breathtaking and a complete volte face to the calm, balmy, pristine beaches on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. Here there are many opportunities for scuba diving in the warm, fish laden waters, or taking a sea trip in a dhow and being transported back in time when life was so much slower and unhurried.