Enjoy an introductory look at a remarkable variety of attractions east and west of Salalah, including ancient sites, a lively marketplace and one of Oman’s most beautiful beaches.
After departing from the pier, you will begin a leisurely drive through Salalah, once a royal stronghold for the country's sultans. Built around the ancient port of Samhuran along the frankincense trade route, Salalah has grown to become the second-largest city in Oman.
You will learn more about the region's history at the Al Balid Archaeological Park. As you walk among the ruins, the importance of Al Balid as an ancient trade hub for medicinal frankincense will become abundantly clear. Then, you will gain a different historical perspective in the sardine fishing village of Taqah. A visit to the ancient hillside castle there reflects a turbulent past.
You'll next travel to Khor Rori Creek, allegedly the site of the ruined city of Samhuram, the capital of ancient Arabia's exotic frankincense trade. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a glimpse of an even earlier time. Excavations at the site have produced evidence of an ancient city with trade links by sea to Far Eastern destinations and even distant Greece. It is also purported to be the site of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba, which is now in ruins and undergoing restoration. Be sure to look for camels drinking at the freshwater stream there.
After a lovely lunch at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Salalah, you will have free time for shopping in the Al Husn Souk, a warren of small stalls packed with perfumes, tribal rugs, gold jewelry and the inescapable frankincense.
Finally, before returning to the pier, you will stop at Mughsail Beach to watch the seawater explode geyser-like out of a rocky blowhole. The choppier the sea, the bigger the spectacle!