Muscat is one of Arabia’s great port cities. Meaning “anchorage”, Oman’s capital - with its strategic location on the Gulf - has been an epicentre of seafaring and trade for thousands of years. Following Oman’s surge in popularity as a travel destination, Muscat became one of the Middle East’s premier luxury holiday destinations. Visitors come, especially, for the idyllic powdery beaches bordering a string of ultra-luxury hotels.
The city overlooks the turquoise expanses of the Gulf, a renowned spot for scuba diving, dolphin spotting, sunset cruises and all manner of sea-adventures. Glorious golden swathes of palm-lined beaches extend from the city’s core, where you’ll find most luxury accommodation. Tumbling like dominoes in the background, the Al Hajar Mountains complete a rugged and impressive natural setting.
The city itself captures both ancient and modern Arabia. The houses are classically low-rise and whitewashed, well regimented and always remarkably spotless. Sleek malls and upmarket restaurants extend back from the beach, but there’s also an old quarter, home to ornate mosques and old colonial Portuguese forts. Overall, Muscat has a hazy, laid-back feel and its beaches are among the most chilled in the region.
Part of the fun of a luxury holiday to Muscat, is exploring the famous East Coast. And taking in the coastal road down Sur is an unforgettable experience. Stop on the way to explore ancient fortresses and ruined cities, as well as some of Oman’s most scenic wadis. Inland, there’s the breathtaking Wahiba Sands; a stark and beautiful desertscape, where you can take part in high-octane dune off-roading or spend the night ‘glamping’ in luxury, under a star-speckled Arabian sky.
Sur is lovely place to visit; it has an old-world charm and its traditional maritime way of life is well-preserved. The highlight is the old town, sitting on a sandbank nearly separated from the mainland and surrounded by a lagoon shimmering like mirage. Two forts and a series of old watch towers protect the harbour and town. The beaches are excellent, particularly Raz Al Jinz just to the south, which is a famous turtle-nesting area and perhaps Oman’s most memorable natural spectacle.
When booking a luxury holiday to Muscat and the East Coast, you’ll receive expert advice from our regional specialists. They will use their own experience and knowledge to design your perfect tailor-made itinerary.