Salalah is one of the hottest new destinations in luxury travel. Partly due to its location, which puts you within day trip distance of most of Oman’s attractions. And partly due to the city itself; Salalah is an exotic and colourful beach city, with a hint of East Africa about it, which sits about half way along the Dhofar coastline.
Enjoying a subtropical climate, lush banana and papaya plantations surround the city, bent-double coconut palms line the pure white beaches, and the Dhofar Mountains provide a dramatic backdrop. A luxury holiday in Salalah could include anything from long, lazy days on the beach, adventure tours of the desert or hiking in the mountains.
Way before Salalah was known for its beaches or mountain and desert adventure, it was known for frankincense. It’s still harvested from the Boswellia trees that surround the city, as it has been since Biblical times. Dhofar frankincense is considered the finest in the world and the scent is never far away: wafting from the mosques and through the streets and souks.
Exploring the woody, citrus smelling streets of the Old Town is a definite highlight. And the atmospheric Al Husn Souk next to the huge Sultan’s Palace is a must for an luxury holiday to Salalah. As is walking along the seafront to the remnants of the ancient city of Zafar, now the Al Baleed Archaeological Park.
At heart, however, Salalah is a laid-back beach city, with a dazzling coastline more reminiscent of Zanzibar than Northern Oman. A handful of luxury hotels overlook the perfect powdery beaches and warm Indian Ocean, and it’s an idyllic location for a tranquil beach holiday.
The scope of adventure and activities available outside the city is quite extraordinary. There’s wonderful hiking in the Dhofar Mountains, where you can meet local tribes. World-class bird watching in the lush lagoons that dot the coast, and great sailing off the coast.
North of the city lies the vast ‘sand sea’ of the Empty Quarter, where you spend the night in a luxury Bedouin tent beneath the desert stars. Or explore the dunes by 4×4 or quad bike. Farther into the desert lie the mysterious ruins at Shisr, rumoured to be the Lost City of Ubar.
When booking a luxury tour to Salalah with Lightfoot Travel, you’ll receive expert advice from our regional specialists, who’ll use their own experience to design your perfect tailor-made itinerary.