Try Oman winter sun and swap grey skies for blue on an almost perfect escape. The scenery is awesome and the history is ancient. There are lively cities and Gulf of Oman beaches compare well to the Maldives. Discover more reasons why an Oman trip is wonderful this winter. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Oman your essential guide for visiting Oman.
Muscat is the bustling capital of Oman and the country's main port. A beachfront city, it's where you'll find luxury hotels rubbing shoulders with opera houses, museums, mosques, historic souks and gleaming shopping malls.
Don't miss the Royal Opera House in Muscat. Built in 2001, it's an imposing building and the city's centre for musical arts. Everything from opera to blues and folk music is performed here. And it's also a venue for cultural events throughout the year.
Set in landscaped gardens, the Opera House is part of a larger complex which includes luxury stores and several restaurants. If you want to stay in the neighbourhood, book the Wyndham Garden Muscat nearby.
To uncover the heritage of Oman, explore Old Muscat at the six building Bait Al Zubair museum. The eclectic collection of artefacts here includes, a miniature Omani village as well as an assortment of weapons, costume, jewellery and books.
Throughout the year, the museum also hosts a variety of cultural projects and festivals. And it's another Muscat public building that's surrounded by landscaped gardens. If you're short on time, book a tour of Muscat with local guides.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the world's loveliest mosques. It's extravagantly designed in a mix of architectural styles and design influences range from Islamic and Middle Eastern to traditional Omani.
At capacity, it holds up to 20,000 worshippers and is also open to non-Muslims. Remember to dress appropriately and don't miss the intricate mosaics, crystal chandeliers and handmade rugs. If you want to stay locally, book Al Gubrah Plaza Hotel.
Ready to travel to Oman? Don't miss our guide to the best things to do in Muscat, Oman.
Pay a visit to the National Museum in Muscat. Built in 2016, it focuses on Omani culture and heritage and mixes curated displays with interactive technology. You'll find the museum opposite the Al Alam Palace and close to the Sheraton Oman.
Head northeast in Oman to explore the Jebel Akhdar Highlands. Part of the Hajar mountains, they're an interesting counterpoint to Muscat and a source of immense skies and astonishing views.
Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at some sample itineraries. Both Complete Oman or Oman Itineraries offer inspiration. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, then booked for a stress-free holiday. Click 'Modify this itinerary' to contact a local Oman expert.
Visit Jabrin town and the oasis of Bahla to tour the iconic Bahla Fort. These vast ruins are a remarkable testimony to the power and influence of the Banu Nebhan tribe who built the fort in the 12th century and dominated this area for 300 years.
Principally constructed from unbaked brick, Bahla Fort sits on what was once a Frankincense trade route and is now a World Heritage site. If you want to explore the fort and get to know the region, book a Daliah 2-day tour with local guides.
Most of Oman's population lives in Al Batinah, the area north of Muscat which extends from the Hajar Mountains to the Gulf of Oman and stretches along the coast to the UAE border.
Discover Nakhal Fort on the Rustaq Loop. Surrounded by date palms, this impressive fortress is pre-Islamic and more than 1500 years old. It's known for unusual details, in particular some intriguing defensive features, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
The fort is built on an immense boulder and treats you to spectacular views. Don't leave without seeing the onsite mosque and museum. And if you want to stay nearby, book the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sohar on the Gulf Coast.
Oman's Dimaniyat Islands are a World Heritage nature reserve south east of Sohar. Often compared to the Maldives, they're almost as famous for white sand beaches and clear seas as extraordinary marine life.
Spend time at Dimianiyat Nature Reserve. Known for sea turtle nesting areas and flocks of migratory birds, this protected nature reserve is also one of Oman's top spots for diving and snorkelling, and excellent for guided scuba diving tours.
Ready to travel to Oman? Find out about the best time to go and the best places to see and things to do in Oman. For inspiration use the Oman itineraries from The Rough Guide to Oman and our local travel experts. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.
For more winter sun inspiration, read our round-up of the best places to go in winter.
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