Oman // Musandam //

The khors and Kumzar

Looked at on the map (or from the window of a plane), the northernmost tip of Musandam resembles a strange Rorschach blob: a mad tangle of mountains and water, dotted with dozens of khors, bays, islands and headlands, and ringed about with sheer cliffs and craggy red-rock mountains. The peninsula’s remarkable landscape is the result of unusual geological processes: the khors themselves are actually flooded valleys, formed as a result of Musandam’s progressive subduction beneath the Eurasian continental plate, which is causing the entire peninsula to tilt down into the sea at the dramatic rate of 5mm a year.

The chance to get out on the water and see something of the magnificent khors and coastline around Khasab is the unquestioned highlight of any trip to Musandam. The easiest and most popular trip is out along the marvellous Khor ash Sham – the largest of all the khors. Further afield, the remote town of Kumzar is the endpoint of the perhaps even more spectacular sea trip out along the coast and into the Straits of Hormuz.