The Arabian Peninsula – the name conjures up images of bustling bazaars and lantern lit cafes, where camels roam the vast arid plains and where colourful dishdashas and embroidered tunics adorn its proud but modest people. Located on the southeast tip of this alluring peninsula, Oman sits peacefully on the breathtaking coasts of both the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman, where idyllic strips of white sand beaches and palm tree lined corniches lead to one of the most fascinating and diverse landscapes anywhere.
The mythical land of flying carpets and musical swords is fiction of course but there is no denying, the magical ambiance and enchanting scenery of Oman easily lends itself to such peculiarly fabricated and wonderful stories. Fascinated by the history, culture and people of this great land, Madigan & Turner Travel Associates consultant Tara Kane decided to travel to Oman and check it out for herself, and what she found, surprised even her.
Oman’s great history and culture are palpable. Centuries old forts can be seen in the deserts and atop the imposing cliffs along the tranquil coast. The capital city of Muscat, with its white washed buildings and seaside beauty has an almost Mediterranean look and feel. Walk along the city’s paved corniche and enjoy the spray of sea water and traditional Dhow boats that float by in the warm, playful breeze.
While history seems to drip from every edifice, Oman and its infrastructure is delightfully modern. “This destination really exceeded my expectations,” said Tara. “It was breathtakingly beautiful, clean and very safe - good roads, luxurious hotels and resorts, pristine water and great schooling and university facilities.” As Tara explored Oman’s great cities she began to feel the country’s warm embrace. “I can still vividly recall the beautiful mosques and mosaics and the friendly warm charm of the Omani people, said Tara. “There were quite a lot of English-speaking people too and so we were able to navigate our way around quite easily with their help.”
From the beauty of the city to the imposing settings of the deserts and mountains, Tara made her way through the diverse landscape filled with excitement. “We went high up into the mountains and saw massive canyons. We were stunned by the sweeping views!” From four wheel drive tours over the great desert sand dunes to the winding roads of the picturesque mountains, Tara’s camera was hot in her hands as she desperately tried to capture each rapturous scene.
With its diverse landscape, Oman is naturally filled with all sorts of fascinating animal species too. “Oman is a great destination for nature and animal lovers,” said Tara. “There are camels roaming the untouched countryside and deserts while dolphins and sea turtles and so much more can be seen along the coast!” Sad to say goodbye, but leaving completely enamoured by Oman, Tara departed with a lifetime of memories and her own storybook tale.