View to the harbor, fishing boats, mosque and the Hajar mountains, Khasab, Oman

Oman //

Musandam

At the northeastern most tip of the Arabian peninsula (and separated from the rest of Oman by a wide swathe of UAE territory) the dramatic Musandam peninsula is perhaps the most scenically spectacular area in the entire Gulf. Often described as “The Norway of Arabia”, the peninsula boasts a magical combination of mountain and maritime landscapes, as the towering red-rock Hajar mountains fall precipitously into the blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, creating a labyrinthine system of steep-sided fjords (khors), cliffs and islands, most of them inaccessible except by boat. Musandam remains one of Oman’s great wildernesses, with a largely untouched natural environment ranging from the pristine waters of the coast, where you can see frolicking dolphins, basking sharks and the occasional whale, through to the wild uplands of the jebel, dotted with fossils and petroglyphs.

The main town in Musandam proper is lively little Khasab, at the top of the peninsula and connected to the outside world by the spectacular coastal road which runs down via Bukha to the UAE border at Tibat. Khasab offers the perfect base for boat (or diving) trips out on the marvellous Khor ash Sham or, further afield, to the remote town of Kumzar, as well as for mountain safaris up the mighty Jebel Harim and beyond.