The Sultanate of Oman was rated 7th top country at the global level as travel destination for tourism in 2022, ONA reported.
The rating was published by the Australian website ‘Lonely Planet’. Oman was chosen by experts and listed among top 10 countries that are packed with must-see destinations, places, and amazing adventures guaranteed to inspire.
The website said that Oman bagged the 7th place due to its wild, open deserts, vast mountain ranges, a shimmering coastline, and vibrant cities that make it a prime destination for those looking to experience a country with strong cultural heritage.
The website also recommended eight best places to visit in Oman, including the Governorate of Muscat that enjoys castles, museums, traditional markets, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) and famous Muttrah Souq. The website also mentioned the historic Bahla Castle in the Governorate of Dakhliyah. The castle is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Nizwa City was also included within the top destinations to visit in Oman. Nizwa is famous for its forts, mosques, markets and an aflaj – an ancient irrigation system of water channels.
The website also advised to visit Musandam Peninsula, as part of Oman travel, where mountain peaks rise from the sea. The draw of the Musandam Peninsula is the sublime landscape of jagged peaks of the Hajar Mountains rising from the turquoise sea, leaving narrow inlets of water in between, a sight that has been compared to the fjords of Norway.
Other attractions for Oman travel include Jabal Akhdar where the visitor finds cooler temperatures. At 2980m (9777ft) up in the Hajar Mountains, Jabal Akhdar – whose name translates to Green Mountain – is one of the most beautiful places in Oman. It’s also one of the coolest, with the temperature being about 15°C (59°F) cooler than Muscat throughout the year. The mountain even sees some snowfall in winter.
Also Jabal Shams enjoys picturesque, panoramic views in the Hajar Mountains. Jabal Shams, the country’s highest peak at 3009m (9872ft) in the Hajar Mountains, is ideal for a picnic on the plateau with dramatic canyon views. Hikers can head out on an adventure through the canyons of Wadi Ghul and Wadi Nakhr, surrounded by rugged limestone walls. The ‘Balcony Walk’ is a five-hour hike, now marked, with remarkable views. Other trails bring you to villages, farms, date plantations and natural pools hidden among the rocky landscape.
Another marvellous place to visit in Oman is Sharqiyah sands – the undulating dunes of the desert. No trip to Oman is complete without a visit to the desert. At Sharqiyah sands, also known locally as Wahiba sands, you’re surrounded by undulating dunes and desert vegetation in a seemingly infinite landscape that feels like it was crafted out of gold when the sun is low in the sky. These wind-sculpted dunes, some as high as 100m, continue on into the famous Empty Quarter, one of the largest sand deserts in the world.
Dhofar comes among the ‘must visit’ places in Oman. It is a region rich in frankincense. From late June to early September, the khareef, the monsoon season from the Indian Ocean brings a certain romance to the lush landscapes of Salalah. The pleasant weather makes it one of the best places to visit in Oman in summer, when temperatures elsewhere in the country can reach above 40°C (104°F) on the hottest days. This coastal city is an excellent base from which to explore the wider Dhofar region.
Woven into the story of Dhofar is its rich heritage of frankincense, an aromatic resin harvested from the Boswellia sacra tree, which has been used to make perfume and medicine, and in religious rituals, for thousands of years. Dhofar was at the center of frankincense production, and its rare and highly prized frankincense was coveted from China to the Mediterranean and North Africa.