Salalah is the precious natural gem of Oman. Located in the southern region of Dhofar, the city has plenty to offer visitors. Here is our guide to spending two full days in Salalah, to enjoy a full architectural, cultural and natural experience.
Before Setting Off
Before traveling, it is important to choose the best time for visiting Salalah. Generally, Salalah has hot desert-like weather, and temperatures are very high throughout the year. Nevertheless, during Al Khareef season (Monsoon) from June to early September, Salalah becomes a green heaven with continuous drizzle, refreshing weather and mind-blowing views to enjoy. It is also essential to pack light clothes that are long and covering, as locals appreciate modest attire. Make sure to bring bug spray/ cream, sunblock, sunglasses, hats, water-proof comfortable shoes and a light jacket. In addition, if you are visiting during Al Khareef season, make sure to book your hotel or guest house early, to avoid disappointment or sky-rocketing prices.
Start off the first day with a mouthwatering breakfast with a great view of the sea and the golden beach. You can try Sakalan or Darbat restaurants, which have multi cuisine menus and a wide variety of dishes. You can also try the Souly Eco Lodge restaurant which offers Mediterranean dishes with great seating in a wooden beach hut, for a more authentic local experience. Then, head east to Taqa Castle, around 11 km (6.8 miles) away. The castle is one of the most beautiful historical attractions in the country and, a wonderful example of unique Omani architecture.
Drive east again to the Old City of Samharam, around 8.8 km (5.5 miles) away from the castle. The city is known to be part of the ancient frankincense trade route in the southern region of Oman. Its port was famous for shipping exceptional Omani frankincense to royalty across the globe. A visit to the city is an unmissable walk through history and ancient Omani heritage. Then, head to the nearby Archeological Gallery, where you can discover more about the civilization that lived there and the significance of the city.
Drive back closer to the center of Salalah, to the beautiful beach of Taqah. It is around 12 km (7.5 miles) away from the gallery. The beach is distinguished with its mind-blowing white sands and crystal blue waters. Watching the sunset over the beach is an unforgettable experience. Right next to the beach, you’ll find Ajyad restaurant, where you can have a tasty dinner with an amazing view of the beach. Afterwards, you can walk north for few minutes until you reach Masjid Shiekhia Salma Bint Ahmed, which is one of the most elegant mosques in Salalah.
Most places close by 10 or 11 pm, usually malls and shopping centers close by the latter. So, use the remaining time to do some shopping in the malls of Salalah, or enjoy some Omani hot drinks and delicious sweets at one of the cafes.
Start the second day with a unique Mediterranean breakfast at the Lebanese restaurant “Tabliyi”. Then, drive to the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, which is around 5.4 km (3.4 miles) away from the restaurant. It is the largest mosque in Salalah and is distinguished by its amazing Omani architecture, and exquisite interior decorations that include: crystal chandeliers, beautiful carpets, and well-crafted wall patterns. Drive east on Ar Rubat St. to the second roundabout where you’ll find Al-Nahdah Tower. This is an architectural landmark that represent the city of Salalah, the second largest city in the country.
Continue driving for 8 km (5 miles) to Al Balid Archeological Site, one of the top touristic attractions in the city of Salalah. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are continuous tours in golf carts for visitors to see the whole site, and learn about its history. So, take as many photos as you can, and ask as many questions as you want. Now, head to the Museum of the Frankincense Land, which is right next to the archeological site. Here you can learn all about the famous frankincense tree of Oman, and the unique history of frankincense trade with civilizations around the world.
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You can’t leave Salalah without tasting traditional Omani food. So, now head to Bin Ateeq Restaurant, which is around 5.3 km (3.3 miles) away from the frankincense museum. Enjoy an authentic mouthwatering meal and try some Omani desserts or Omani coffee (kahwa). Then, head west for around 4.3 km (2.7 miles) to Salalah’s Public Park. Enjoy the fresh air and the lovely weather, or have a chat with some of the locals.
End the second day with a relaxing visit to Al Hafa beach, which is around 5.6 km (3.5 miles) away from the park. It is one of the best known and most beautiful beaches in Salalah.