Salalah Things to Do
Capital of the Dhofar province in the South of Oman, Salalah is rich with culture, history, and natural beauty. Visitors will have plenty to enjoy in this ancient coastal city, from long beaches facing the Arabian Sea to famous archeological sites and a buzzing city of markets and shops with local foods and goods.
In the City
Historic sites, museums, and cultural centers can be found all over the city of Salalah. One important site to visit is the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, named after the king of Oman. It is an impressive structure right in the center of the city, which also makes it convenient for shopping and other sightseeing.
Another thing to see in the city is the Museum of the Frankincense Land, which is known to be a very good museum with all of the exhibits well displayed and labeled in English. It features two halls: the Maritime Hall and the History Hall, with exhibits showing the area’s involvement in the ancient spice trade, such as Ming porcelain brought by ship from China and a life-size section of a dhow, where you can stand at the helm on deck.
Al-Baleed Archeological Park is one of the most interesting places to visit in the Salalah area. It is the site of the ancient port city of Zafar that reached its peak in the 12th century, trading with Africa, India, and China. Its major export, of course, was frankincense, but it also traded Arabian horses and gold.
The site covers a wide area of 64 hectares with a 2.2km path for walking, which enables visitors to see all of the major structures, including the City Wall, Citadel, and Grand Mosque. At night the park is lit with floodlighting, adding an interesting atmosphere to the ancient site. Visitors enjoy arriving in the late afternoon and early evening to see it both in daylight and after dark.
Nature and Wildlife
Mughsayl is a magnificent sandy beach outlined by sculptured cliffs and blow holes formed in the limestone rocks where plumes of water can reach a height of 30 meters or more. The unique coastline stretches 4 kilometers and is a popular bathing and picnic spot.
Go at high tide to see the sea burst dramatically through the rock slabs jutting out from the cliffs, revealing many blow holes, the largest of which are covered with metal grids. The view along the coast where the mountains meet the sea is spectacular, and the nearby Khawr Mughsayl is home to much wildlife, especially of interest to bird watchers who can see such exotic birds as flamingos, pelicans, storks, and countless migratory birds.
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