What to See in Nizwa and Salalah (Oman)

by | July 18, 2022

Nizwa (Oman)

According to PLUS-SIZE-TIPS, Nizwa is the administrative center of the El-Dahiliya region. The city is located on the El Jaif plateau, 175 km southwest of Muscat. In the 6th-7th centuries, Nizwa was the capital of the state and its main cultural center. To this day, attractions such as the ancient fort and mosques of Sual (9th century AD), Ash-Shavatina and Ash-Sharjah have been preserved here. Nizwa Fortwas built in the heart of the city in the 12th century and for centuries was the residence of the local rulers. The central tower of the fort has a height of 35 m and a diameter of 45 m, its foundation goes 30 m underground. Opposite the fort there is a market where, in addition to food, you can buy local handicrafts, including silver jewelry, which are considered the best in the country. Another attraction of Nizwa is the Daris irrigation canal, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Irrigation canals (falaji) are the only sources of water in Oman. There are a lot of them built here. Falaji began to be erected about 2 millennia ago to provide settlements and agricultural fields with water. Falaj Nizwa – the largest in Oman.

North of Nizwa in the city of Samail is the mosque of Mazen bin Gaduba, named after Mazen bin Gaduba, who became the first person in the region to convert to Islam. The mosque was built in 627 AD and is the oldest mosque in the state. Since ancient times, Samail has been the religious center of the starna. To date, there are about 300 mosques in the vicinity of Samail.

Nizwa is the best starting point for traveling through the El Akhdar (Green Mountains) mountains, one of the most picturesque places in Oman. There are many walking and car routes. On the slopes of the mountains a few kilometers to the west Nizwa is home to the legendary ancient city of Bahla. Bahla is known for its ancient fort and pottery. Bahly Fort is the oldest in the country, some of its parts were built in pre-Islamic times. Today, the plan of the fort has the shape of a triangle.

In the vicinity of Nizwa, it is worth visiting the Jabrin castle of the mid-17th century and the mountain village of El Hamra, which is over 400 years old. From Al-Hamra, the road begins leading to the highest point in the country – Shams (3009 m), where one of the most beautiful canyons in Oman is located – Wadi Nahr. Also from El-Hamra it is worth going to the cave of El-Houta. The length of the cave is 2.7 km. A special train delivers tourists to the cave, and inside it there is a hiking trail with a length of 850 m. In the cave, giant stalactites, stalagmites and columns that have been formed over millions of years, and a vast lake 800 m long are

interesting. the original village of Misfat El-Abrien, the ancient city of Izki, the city of Adam – the “homeland” of the ruling dynasty of Al Bu Said, where the legendary Sultan Ahmed Zafari was born, and the springs of Wadi Tanuf.

Salalah (Oman)

Salalah is located 1030 km southwest of Muscat on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The city is the administrative center of the Dhofar Governorate.

Salalah is mentioned in biblical writings: in its vicinity are the tomb of the prophet Job and the ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba. In Salalah, it is worth visiting the Sultan’s Palace, the City Museum, which tells about the history of the Dhofar region, its geology, flora and fauna and the history of the incense trade, as well as the ruins of the port and fort of the ancient city of El Blade from the 10th century AD.

Sandy beaches stretch to the west of Salalah: Mugsayul, Kandak, Kurum, Dahariz and Rakhiyut. On the Mugsayul beach you can see unique “sea fountains”: water beating against the coastal rocks penetrates through the holes formed in the rocks and exits, forming a powerful column of water. In addition, a section of the Mugsayul coast with an area of 0.5 sq. km is declared a protected area, because many birds live here. In winter, a variety of birds from Africa, Europe and India arrive in Mugsayul.

The coast, located east of Salalah, is known for its historical sights. Here are such ancient port cities as Mirbat, Taka and Sada with forts. Fort Sady is the easternmost in the chain of defenses along the coast of Dhofar. Sada is also famous for the honey produced here. The city of Taka is famous for its ceramics and silverware, while the tomb of Imam Bin-Ali, who ruled the country in the 11th century, is located in Mirbat. In the vicinity of Taki is the picturesque area of ​​Wadi Darbat. Wadi Darbat is the main source of water in Dhofar. During the monsoon, waterfalls form in Wadi Darbat. Not far from here, the Arabian leopard reserve Jabal Saman is interesting, where since 1985 the population of the Arabian leopard, which has been on the verge of extinction, has been restored.

From Taki to the north of the region there is an ancient trade route “Frankincense Path”, along which Oman traded incense produced here with the countries of Europe. During the tour along the “Frankincense Path” you will see the city of Tumrait, where the bulk of the Boswellia plant, from which incense was produced, visit the Saman plateau with altitudes up to 1800 m, on which there are caves Taui Attir 100 m wide and 250 m deep, inhabited by birds, Forest of baobabs, whose age reaches 2000 years, as well as sand dunes and wadis of the Rub al-Khali desert, among which the ancient “lost” city of Ubar, dating back to 100 BC, was found.

In the eastern part of Dhofar, 310 km from Salalah and 50 km from the coast, there is the Hallaniyat archipelago consisting of 5 islands. In winter, the islands attract lovers of ecotourism: many birds stop here on their migration route. Dolphins and turtles also live in coastal waters.

Salalah (Oman)