Hajar Mountains, Oman: Explore the oasis villages and date groves

Last updated 8th June 2017

The southern slopes of the Hajar Mountains, which drop from more than 3,000m straight into the Gulf, are famous for their oasis villages and date groves. They are in stark contrast to the sand dunes of the sparsely populated Wahiba desert.

The brand new Alila Jabal Akhdar, up in the cool mountain air of Jabal Al Akhdar, is a sanctuary of peace and space. The stillness of the surrounding area infiltrates every inch of the hotel where camouflaged rooms crafted from local stone have spectacular views across the infinity pool down the canyon. All the more amazing, then, that it’s thrown open its doors to families, who flock here to chill out both mentally and physically – the temperature is 10°C cooler than on the coast.

The scenic, rugged coast south of Muscat has deep sapphire waters entwined with coves that hide white, sandy beaches. It’s a hot, arid and unforgiving shoreline, but exceedingly beautiful. South of Sur, Raz al Jinz is Oman’s most easterly point and a mecca for green turtles.

Oman’s unspoilt environments

West of Sur, the vast Wahiba desert of undulating sand rises up to 200m. An off-road, roller-coaster ride across the ever-changing dunes towards the Desert Nights Camp will get you all screaming with excitement.

At the other end of the country, Dhofar’s lush greenery, waterfalls and streams are unique in the Gulf, thanks to the hydrating Khareef monsoon. From the first to third centuries, this part of Oman was the wealthiest region in the world due to its trade in horses and frankincense.

Situated on the coast, Salalah’s unspoilt beaches offer a range of watersports and diving activities. Several luxury family- friendly resorts have opened along this stretch of coast – and dozens more are due to open over the next few years.

If accommodation at sea for a night or two floats your boat, why not sail away with Oman Charter on its eight-person catamaran? Teenagers often vote it their favourite Omani experience and the friendly captain and skipper will keep all amused with card games and paddle board races at sunset. The stunning Daymanyiat Islands nature reserve is a relatively new discovery for tourists, and you may still be lucky enough to have the bay to yourselves – apart from the local hawksbill turtles and abundant birdlife.

Now that you’ve gained some insight into the Hajar Mountain region, explore the best hotels for families in Oman.