Salalah is known for its unique Khareef (monsoon) festival, in which the whole city turns green and attracts visitors from all around the world. Nevertheless, there is more to this mind-blowing gem in terms of natural beauty and architectural wonder. Here are the best things to do, and the most splendid places to visit in Salalah.
The city is the birthplace of the current Omani leader, Sultan Qaboos, and is located in the Dhofar Governorate in southern Oman. It is the second largest city in Oman, but the biggest in Dhofar, and the biggest sea port in the Arab Peninsula. From the north, the city is surrounded by a mountain range that turns green with spectacular waterfalls during the Khareef season. From the south, it has a long beautiful coast that is embellished with white sands.
Al Mughsail Beach
Al Mughsail beach is located in Salalah in southern Oman. It has beautifully white sands, and crystal clear waters. What adds to the beach’s beauty is the green mountain that surrounds it and the natural fountains that burst out of its rocky edges.
Salalah also has one of the most famous Sultan Qaboos mosques in Oman. The mosque is located in the city center and is an architectural wonder. It has two big domes, and two tall minarets, all of which are white and ornamented with golden shapes. The mosque’s interior is decorated with beautiful lanterns, the walls are engraved in unique patterns and the floor is covered with green rugs. Reflecting the wonderful Omani architecture, the Sultan Qaboos Mosque is one of the must-visit attractions in Salalah.
Taqah Castle is one of the most popular castles in the Dhofar Region, and one of the most beautiful in Oman. This castle was built to be the residential house of a tribal leader called Sheikh Ali bin Taman Al Ma’shani, who was the grandfather of the mother of Sultan Qaboos. The castle now has several museums that exhibit weapons and tools that were essential to the old Omani way of life. Between its architectural design, plantations and ancient contents, the castle is a unique place that must be included in a visit to Salalah. Don’t forget to wait for an unforgettable view of the sunset from the famous point in the castle.
Al Marneef Cave
The Marneef Cave is located near Al Mughsail Beach in Salalah. The charm of this place starts with the the surrounding mountain that has several benches for tourists to enjoy the marvelous view of the beach and the blowholes – Al Marneef Blowholes, which are also called Al Mughsail Blowholes or Fountains. These holes in the ground are known to be sea caves, through which sea waters come, creating beautifully high fountains that splash water around them. Between the white sandy beach, the magnificent mountain, the deep cave and the charming fountains, Al Marneef Cave is the perfect escape for all nature lovers.
Enjoy the crystal waters of the Sea of Oman, and the surrounding beautiful mountains and white sandy beaches of Salalah through a trip in a local wooden Omani boat. Whether a short or long trip, a boat journey will offer a unique experience, where you can relax and watch the pure natural beauty of Salalah and the Dhofar region.
Al Balid Archeological Site
Al Balid is an open archeological site that is located on the Sea of Oman and is near to Al Husn Palace and Salalah’s famous Haffa Souq. It has been declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage unique sites in Oman. It was a well-known ancient city in Salalah, whose ruins are now among the top attractions in the city. There are information signs near every ruin and regular tours in Gulf cars take visitors around the site.
The Salalah Festival lasts from July to September every year. It happens when the temperature drops to 23 degrees C (73 degrees F), while the rest of Oman and the Gulf countries are boiling. That causes lots of rain which turns Salalah into a complete green area. Omanis prepare some cultural and traditional shows to celebrate this monsoon season and to welcome tourists and visitors from all over the world. This is one of the most famous festivals in Oman, and one of the top reasons for attracting tourists.
Salalah’s Coconut Drink
One of the most unique local shops in Salalah is its famous fruit huts. They can be found almost everywhere near the roads and on the beaches. They serve natural fruit juices, but are most famous for their mouthwatering coconut drink, which they serve in its shell. With the surrounding natural beauty and fresh air, Salalah’s coconut drink is the perfect on-the-go refreshment that everybody needs.
Sumhuram and Khor Rori
Khor Rori or Sumhuram is a famous archeological site located in Salalah. It is a fortified town that dates back to the Hadramawt empire of the 1st century CE. Some sources believe it was founded to control the profitable Frankincense trade of Dhofar. Khor Rori is also known to be the Frankincense exporting port in Dhofar. This unique site offers an overview of the ancient town, and the crystal waters of the Sea of Oman, and is a must-visit attraction.
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