Destination Oman: Samail Castle
Shaquel al Balushi finds that the Samail Castle is an enchanting fortress that continues to keep its eye on the region.
There’s something eerily unique about a castle. Yes, with military-themed architecture and heavily fortified walls, they all may look identical, but under the surface, each castle tells a different story – and that’s what makes my trips to these areas all the more special.
And as spectacular castles go, the one at Samail has to be among my favourites, as it sits atop a rocky crop, and is nestled carefully amid the dramatic mountainous backdrop and date farms.I suspect that this is what gives the castle its commanding features.
The ancient port of al-Baleed
In the last 150 years the new town of Salalah has grown out of the stones of the remains of the ancient Middle Age settlement al-Baleed (from al Balad, meaning ‘town’), a spit of land in the lagoon at the eastern end of the beach at Salalah.
Behind a large steel fence, heaps of rubble as high as a house can be seen scattered around a large area. From the road you pass through a gate and find yourself in the grounds of what is being developed into a large archaeological park in Salalah.
For a small fee the grounds are already open to interested visitors as well as 2 museums about the history of Oman.
Khor Rori, exploring the ruins of Sumhuram
Khor Rori is a village known for its many archaeological ruins. This site was discovered in 1900 and is now open to everyone, and contains a lot of ancient history.
When ruins speak
During your holiday in Oman, particularly in the Dhofar region, don't miss the town of Khor Rori, also known as Sumhuram. It is located about 25 miles from the city of Salalah
This village was formerly an ancient city in South Arabia. It has been classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 1998.
To get there, just take the road leaving Salalah towards Mirbat. Once in the area, a sign saying "Sumhuram Archaeological Site" will tell you which direction to go.
26 magical lost cities that you really can visit
Ubar. Shisr, Oman. When this desert settlement in southern Oman ... it was hailed as the discovery of the lost frankincense city of Ubar, ... A guardian keeps the key to the fenced site, which consists of ruins of a fort and well.
Taqah Castle – Dhofar
Taqah Castle (حصن طاقة) is the most popular castle to visit in the region of Dhofar in the South of Oman. Taqah Castle is located in Taqah, an old city 33 kilometers east of Salalah.
Taqah Castle was built in the 19th century. This makes it a relatively new castle in comparison to forts and castles found in the north of Oman, such as the forts in Nizwa, Bahla, and Nakhal, which are hundreds, if not thousands, years old. Taqah Castle is also different from other landmark castles in Oman, In the fact that it used to be a private residence for a tribal leader, Sheikh Ali bin Taman Al Ma’shani
– the grandfather of the mother of Sultan.
TOMB OF JOB
Of all of the lands and places mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, none lie so far off the beaten path as distant Oman. More than a thousand miles away from the Holy Land, across rugged mountains and nearly impassable deserts, Oman lays claim to a site that could be the oldest of the Abrahamic tradition: the homeland of the Prophet Job. Yet for all of its improbabilities, Salalah’s assertion that Job came from this distant land is strangely,if loosely, supported by certain facts of history and geography. The tradition of Job being a native of southeastern Arabia dates back several thousand years, and no other place claims the enigmatic Biblical figure as its own.
Jabal Al Akhdar, the "Green Mountain"
Up until a few years ago entry to the Jabal Al Akhdar, the “Green Mountain,” was forbidden to foreigners. Grapes, peaches and pomegranates flourish in the temperate climate. The region is above all famous for its roses, from the petals of which rosewater is distilled in late April and May.
Up until a few years ago entry to the Jabal Al Akhdar, the “Green Mountain,” was forbidden to foreigners and to Omanis who did not live there. But since the establishment of social conformity in the living conditions and an infrastructure for the villages of the Sayq Plateau, situated more than 2000 meters above sealevel,.... READ MORE
Masirah Island is in Central Coastal Oman.
Satellite image of Masirah
Masirah is an Indian Ocean island off the east coast of Oman and is 95 km long and between 12 and 14 km wide. The population is estimated to be 12,000. It contains an Omani air base, a fish factory, and a few small towns.
The island slowly started to appear on the traveller radar in the 1990s and it holds interest for anyone seeking a real desert island experience. Its deserted beaches and interesting wildlife are the main draws
8 Things Oman's Capital City Muscat is Famous For
Muscat is one of the most beautiful cities in Oman – it’s no wonder that it’s the capital city of this stunning country. Between must-see attractions, magnificent cities and fancy roads, here are the top things that the splendid city of Muscat is famous for.
Al Qurum Beach
Al Qurum is one of the most famous suburbs – and one of the most naturally-attractive spots – in Muscat. It is specifically known for its spectacular beach that is covered in golden sand and has magnificent views over the Gulf’s turquoise waters. Al Qurum Beach is one of the top natural attractions in Oman and one of the top