Oman : Salalah
The South of Oman is the complete opposite of the north. The light summer rains cool the hot summer temperatures to a pleasant 25oC and turn the arid landscape and Dhofar Mountains into a lush, green oasis with some unique flora and fauna found no where else in the country. The birdlife is outstanding with a large number of birds more commonly found in Africa. This goes for the plant and mammal life too with Baobab tree forests, famous Oman frankincense trees and the elusive Arabian Leopard found in the mountains.
With Oman's long seafaring and trading history you will notice a large number of people in this area are of African origin whereas the architecture has been influenced by the neighbouring country of Yemen. The area has lots to offer ranging from historical forts to the Queen of Sheba's Palace, natural wonders include the blowholes and a lovely white sandy beach at Mughsayl to the Frankincense Trail. The warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for swimming and there are also reefs and wrecks to scuba dive. We would also recommend an overnight trip into the Empty Quarter north of Salalah to see the lost city of Ubar and to camp out under the stars in the enormous sand dunes that stretch from here all the way into Saudi Arabia.
Please note that during the Khareef Salalah can get very busy. Many residents of the Gulf countries come down to Salalah on holiday to escape the heat and also to experience something here in the UK we take for granted but is quite unusual for them ... the rain and green mountains!
The Hilton Salalah is nestled amid coconut palms, orange, lemon and papaya trees in beautifully landscaped gardens next to a long stretch of white sandy beach on the outskirts of Salalah. It has 147 well-appointed rooms and suites many of which have balconies overlooking the emerald green waters of the Indian Ocean. The hotel has been thoughtfully designed to reflect Omani tradition with a nod towards the Yemeni influenced architecture found in this part of the country.
The large rooms have a light and fresh feel to them with great views either towards the Indian Ocean or over the Dhofar Mountains. The ocean facing rooms have large balconies where as the Mountain view rooms have smaller balconies only big enough to stand on.
The hotel is a fair distance from the centre of town but it's easy to take a taxi. The hotel has limited recreation facilities with a tennis court, gym with sauna and a large swimming pool (with slide for the kids) but within the hotel there is a small tour operator who can organize scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing trips. There is also plenty to see and do in the local area including day trips or overnight camping trips into the Empty Quarter which we highly recommend.