Salalah

Overview

Introduction

Thanks to its location on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Oman's largest southern city benefits from the monsoons in June and July, which turn the dry landscape into a lush green expanse of rivers and thick vegetation. The summer temperatures are cooler than in much of the country, so Salalah has become a popular tourist area during the northern hot season (April-October). It's also very pleasant during the cooler winter season. The main attractions of the town itself are things associated with a seaside resort: beaches, watersports, luxury hotels and excellent seafood restaurants. Surrounded by plains of frankincense trees, Salalah also has a great incense market. Several archaeological digs have unearthed old civilizations in the area, and the drive to Job's Tomb (Nabi Ayoub) on a hilltop just outside town is beautiful. The city also has a gold souk and a small exhibition space of pre-Islamic artifacts, the Dhofar Museum. We recommend using Salalah as a base city to see the surrounding mountains, the ruins of forts at Mirabat and Taqa, and the striking ruins of the ancient city of Sumhurram at Khor Rori. About 12 mi/20 km from Khor Rori is Tawi Attir (the hole of birds), an 800-ft /245-m sinkhole in the mountains. On the way to the sinkhole, you'll pass by a clump of enormous baobab trees—some of which are about 30 ft/10 m in diameter at the base. (The weaverbirds' nests in the trees look like Christmas decorations.) West along the coast is Mughsail, a beach and picnic area with blowholes. One or two nights in Salalah are sufficient for most visitors. 540 mi/870 km southwest of Masqat.

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