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9 Of The Best Experiences In Oman

30th September 2015

Oman is one of the Middle East's premier destinations with a rapidly rising popularity amongst travellers looking for a different style of adventure.

We count down the best things to see and do in Oman, from spending nights under the stars to swimming in sinkholes.

1. Explore The Empty Quarter

The Rub' al Khali - or 'Empty Quarter' - is the largest sand desert in the world and can be explored by visitors to Oman. Options include camel treks and dune bashing: racing through the otherworldly landscape on quad bikes.

2. Walking In The Wadi Shab

Meaning simply "gorge between cliffs", Wadi Shab is a picturesque canyon of caves, waterfalls and pools just off the Muscat-Sur coastal highway.

3. Swim In The Bimmah Sinkhole

A little farther north lies this stunning bathing spot that's also open to tourists.

4. Shopping In Muscat

"Muscat is a mixture of impersonal modern buildings, shopping malls, mosques, traditional souks, tarmac and sand," wrote Fiona Bruce for Telegraph Travel back in 2010.

For the most authentic shopping experience, she advised a trip to the old souk at Muttrah, just outside the town.

"The jewellery is dazzling, mostly traditional necklaces and bracelets made of semi-precious stones, and there are plenty of knives too, khanjars, part of the male traditional costume," she said.

The capital's attractions also include the 20,000-capacity Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

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5. Sail On A Traditional Dhow

A cruise on a traditional dhow is another popular option for visitors. There's even a chance you'll spot dolphins.

6. Nizwa & Bahla Forts

An hour or two south-west of Muscat lies Nizwa, home to the enormous 17th-century Nizwa Fort - the most visited monument in Oman.

A little farther west you'll find Bahla Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 13th century.

7. Trek The Al Hajar Mountains

The dramatic Al Hajar range divides Muscat and Nizwa, and with peaks rising to almost 3,000 metres it is a popular destination for activity holidays. Trips to the beautiful village of Misfat al Abreyeen are also popular.

8. Cruise The Musandam Peninsula

Many high-end tour operators will offer nights at Bedouin-style camps. Wahiba Sands is a four-hour drive south of Muscat, and home to the 1,000 Nights Camp, is one option.

9. A Night Under The Stars

Some of Oman's most striking coastline can be found around the town of Khasab, on the Musamdam peninsula, where you'll find fjord-like inlets that hide great diving and snorkelling locations. Abercrombie + Kents is among those firms that offer trips.

This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.