Overview

Perched on the north east corner of Arabia and with beautiful fjords and khors (rocky inlets), small villages and dramatic, mountain-hugging roads, the Musandam Peninsula is dubbed the ‘Norway of Arabia’. Separated from the rest of Oman by Fujairah, one of the United Arab Emirates, it is warmed by the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman which are home to dolphins and stunning coral reefs. Normally reached by road from Dubai, visitors can also take the five hour ferry trip between Muscat and the Musandam Peninsula.

Highlights

Leave the resort and explore the natural surrounding and the fascinating history of the area.

Historic sights

Influences of past empire builders can be seen at Khasab Castle, an impressive edifice built in the 17th-century by the Portuguese. The remain of the fortress include towers at each corner and an old round tower in the courtyard. There's also a museum that has exhibits on the importance of the Musandam region and the local ways of life.

Rocks that rolled

Ancient rock carvings (petroglyphs) on large boulders that have fallen from the mountain above are scattered by the roadside near the village of Tawi not far from Khasab. Showing representations of boats, animals and warriors, these pre-Islamic artworks give an enigmatic hint into the region’s earliest inhabitants.

Fjord cruises

With some major roads no more than twisting dirt tracks, a dhow cruise offers the most relaxing way to view the region. Huge rocks and jagged cliffs tower over the crystal clear waters and little villages that are only accessible by boat reveal a bygone way of life. Dolphin watching cruises, diving trips and excursions to the biggest fjord, Khawr Shamm, are available through the tour desks in most hotels.

When to visit

The best time to visit Northern Oman is between October and March, when temperatures are warm yet enjoyable. In the east and north the climate is more Mediterranean, but the surrounding desert helps summer temperatures soar to 40C. The south has a year round tropical climate and even a monsoon from July to September – keeping temperatures in the high 20Cs.