Ever thought of a destination where clouds seem to be touching the land, creating an awe-inspiring ambiance, that too in a place like the Middle East? You may think we are making a joke but we are not. Here we are talking about none other than Salalah, the capital of Oman’s southern Dhofar region!

While Oman is much like the rest of the Gulf States, Salalah, for a few months each year, transforms into a lush green landscape. The Khareef season, or as you say monsoon season which lasts from June to September, turns the area into sort of a paradise. Hundreds of tourists, especially from the Gulf States, flock to the destination to experience a rare sight and enjoy a quick fun-filled getaway.

If you too are planning to visit Salalah for a holiday trip, and looking for things to do and places to see, then you are in for a treat. In this article, we are going to spill the beans on the top things to do in Salalah to make the most of your excursion. Scroll down and find some insightful details to help you plan your trip accordingly.

You might also like to read: Best Affordable Tourist eSIM Cards in Oman in 2024

Must Visit Attractions and Things to Do in Salalah

The best time to visit Salalah is during the monsoon season. It’s also in this period that schools go off and the majority of families go on vacations and holiday trips. But even past the monsoon season, there is a lot to do and see when visiting Salalah, making it a must-visit tourist destination in the Middle East.

First things first, let’s talk about those pristine beaches. Come post-monsoon, these stretches of sand become ideal for swimming, so don’t forget your swimsuit! And if you’re worried about getting there, fret not. Salalah isn’t just a small town anymore. With its modern infrastructure boasting multi-lane motorways and luxurious hotels, getting here is a breeze.

Now, if you’re up for an adventure, why not take a road trip? The journey is as breathtaking as the destination itself. Whether you choose to cruise down Motorway 31 through Oman’s interior or opt for the scenic route along the south coast from Sur, all the routes have awe-inspiring views that would make the journey pretty wholesome and enjoyable.

But hold on, we’re just scratching the surface here. Salalah has so much more in store, from ancient ruins to bustling souks, and everything in between. Now let’s move forward and take a closer look at the top attractions to visit and things to do in Salalah, Oman.

Let’s get started with the list:

  1. Shop around in Haffa Souk

Once upon a time, Frankincense (a popular resin used for making fragrances) was traded with gold, and the Boswellia trees in Dhofar were used to produce the best quality ones in the region. Fast forward to today, you can get your hands on the unique aromatic resin for only a few Omani Riyals at the popular Al Haffa Souk.

This renowned market also known as Al Hosn or Al Husn Souk is located beside the Al Hosn Palace and surrounded by coconut grooves and a stunning beachfront. The market is Salalah’s most ancient Souk and if you are fond of historical sites, then this is the place to be at.

You may find huge tubs containing frankincense in shades of silver, yellow, and green. These tiny granules are believed to have many healing properties and can be used to treat gut diseases, build up libido, and keep away bad spirits.

Besides this, there are a few shops selling souvenirs, bukhoor, frankincense burners, and clothes. If you do visit Salalah sometime, do visit Al Haffa Souk to get a glimpse of old Omani bazaars. Its location close to the Sultan’s place makes it a must-visit site for visitors and tourists. The Souk remains closed on Friday mornings but stays open until late at night.

  1. Visit The Ancient City of Samharam

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away – about 40 minutes to the east of Salalah – lies the fascinating archaeological site of Samharam. You can stroll through the remnants of ancient storehouses, multi-story homes, and even a temple dedicated to the moon god Sin. All this is sure to take you back you’ll be in time to a bygone era.

But wait, there’s more. Adjacent to the site, you’ll find a museum brimming with artifacts and insights into the rich history of the region. And if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of dusky camels leisurely bathing in the serene waters of the Khor Rori lagoon nearby.

Samharam isn’t just any archaeological site; it’s part of a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage listing, recognizing the Land of Frankincense. This designation also includes the iconic Boswellia trees of Wadi Dawkah, the ancient caravan oasis of Shishr, and the captivating ruins of the medieval town of Al Baleed in Salalah.

Samharam is the perfect destination to add to your itinerary when visiting Salalah, Oman.

  1. Gaze at Waterfalls in Wadi Darbat

If you’re in Dhofar, get ready to chase some extraordinary waterfalls! But hold on, these aren’t your everyday rivers and lakes – There’s something special about them that makes them a must-see attraction when visiting Salalah.

The aquamarine pools are tucked in between the towering mountains, with waterfalls cascading down, creating a truly bewitching display of nature.

Now, let’s talk about the stars of the show – Ain Athum and Ain Garziz. These iconic waterfalls are well-known for their sturdy paths, convenient handrails, and bustling roadside stalls, especially during the festive khareef season. But if you’re looking for something truly special, Wadi Darbat is where it’s at.

Wadi Darbat steals the spotlight with its picturesque low waterfalls that gracefully spill into turquoise pools during the khareef. Venture deeper into the wadi, past its vine-snared trees, and you’ll stumble upon a tranquil pool where you can even hop on a small boat ride.

these waters flow onward to the Samharam estuary, eventually merging into the majestic Arabian Sea. So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just someone looking for a serene escape, chasing waterfalls in Dhofar promises an adventure you won’t soon forget!

  1. Pay a Visit to Wali’s Masjid at Taqah Fort

So, there’s this mud-walled fort in Taqah, which is kind of new compared to other forts in Oman. It was built back in the 19th century, but the walls and towers we see today were added in the 1960s. Then, in 1994, it got a makeover and was turned into a museum.

Now, even though it’s a newbie in the fort scene, Taqah Fort still has that traditional Dhofari vibe going on. Inside, you’ll find some cool samples of local architecture. Back in the day, this place was where the local Wali (sort of like a governor) did his thing until the 1970s.

You can even plop down in the old governor’s majlis (that’s just a fancy word for a meeting room) with its colorful cushions and vintage peacock paintings.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the fishing village of Taqah! It used to be famous for its myrrh. But for most Omanis, Taqah holds a special place because it’s where Sultan Qaboos’ mom, Mazoon Al Ma’ashani, rests. You can find her grave right next to the fort.

It’s one of the top attractions to see when visiting Salalah for a holiday trip.

  1. Go High on Jebel Samhan

let’s talk about Jebel Samhan, the big mountain in Dhofar that reaches a whopping 2,100 meters! That’s pretty high up, right? From up there, you get these amazing views above the clouds – it’s like you’re on top of the world.

Now, when’s the best time to visit? Well, it depends on what you’re after. If you’re a visitor from another country, you probably want to go on a nice, clear day. That way, you can see all the beautiful valleys dotted with shrubs, stretching out to the deep blue ocean.

But if you’re from around here, like the Arabian Peninsula, you might prefer to just chill out with a cup of spiced milk tea, known as Karak, from one of the food trucks. You can watch the clouds dance and change shapes in the sky – it’s quite a sight!

Now, getting up there isn’t too tricky. There’s a paved walkway with railings that takes you to the lookout point. It’s about a 50-minute drive from Taqah, so not too far at all. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even book a hiking trip with one of the local guides. They’ll show you all the cool spots and hidden gems along the way.

Jebel Samhan is also home to a nature reserve where you can find some pretty interesting critters. It’s the last place you’ll find the Arabian leopard, and there’s a bunch of other animals too, like the Indian-crested porcupine, striped hyena, honey badger, and even this little creature called the rock hyrax.

Can you believe its closest living relative is the elephant? Nature sure is full of surprises! This should be on your list of things to do in Salalah.

  1. See the Sinkhole: Tawi Attair

Have you heard about this amazing place called Tawi Atair, also known as the “Well Of The Birds”? It’s a stunning sinkhole located just past Wadi Darbat. This sinkhole isn’t just any sinkhole – it’s the third-largest one in the entire world!

the walls of the sinkhole are all honeycombed with limestones, making it a real marvel to behold. If you take a stroll to the edge and peer down into its depths, you’ll see why it’s called the “Well Of The Birds” – because you’ll spot birds flitting in and out of the rift, adding to the serene atmosphere.

Here’s a fun fact: this sinkhole is massive! It spans about 100 meters across and plunges down a whopping 210 meters. To put that into perspective, it’s more than twice the height of Big Ben in London!

If you’re up for a little adventure, you can also check out “The Location of Gravity.” Now, don’t let the sign fool you – it’s the opposite of what it says! It’s about 27 kilometers southwest of Taqa on the road to Mirbat.

When you put your car in neutral at this spot, it’ll seem like it’s magically driving itself uphill. But don’t worry, it’s just an optical illusion – still it may feel like a bit of magic though.

  1. Visit the Tomb of Job (Prophet Ayoub’s Tomb)

So, there’s this super important site in Dhofar that holds a lot of religious significance. It’s the tomb of Prophet Job, who’s mentioned in the Old Testament and revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. It’s located atop an isolated hill overlooking Salalah, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Now, even if you’re not particularly religious, visiting this site is worth it. The drive there is stunning, especially during the khareef season when everything’s lush and green. you’ll spot cows, goats, and camels grazing peacefully. It’s quite a sight And on a clear day, the view over the Salalah Plain is just something else!

When you get there, you’ll find a juice stand selling refreshing fresh coconut and sugar juice for a fair price. And if you’re feeling hungry, there’s a small restaurant below the tomb with some fantastic views and tasty egg roll-ups.

Finding the tomb isn’t too tricky – just follow the signs along Ittin Rd and turn left at the signpost for An Nabi Ayyub after about 22 kilometers. The mausoleum itself is pretty simple, but inside, it’s perfumed by the scent of frankincense and lit up by a chandelier. You’ll see a long tomb covered with a decorative cloth.

Job’s tomb isn’t the only holy site in Salalah. Downtown, you can check out the petrified footprints of Prophet Saleh’s camel, and just a ten-minute walk away on Airport Road, you’ll find the tomb of Prophet Imran. So, if you’re interested in Islamic history, Salalah has got you covered!

  1. Feast like a King at Local Restaurants

Your holiday trip to Salalah won’t be complete without trying out local delicacies. If you’re a meat lover, you’re in for a treat. Imagine juicy camel meat sizzling on hot wadi rocks, served up with spiced rice and zesty fresh limes. It’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth!

You can check out the roadside restaurants near Atin Park. They’ve got everything from mouthwatering Dhofari-style grills to refreshing fresh juices and those classic cold mezze dishes. And the best part? You can enjoy your meal while soaking in the stunning views as Atin Street winds its way up towards Job’s tomb. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic with your buddies, accompanied by piping hot tea.

If you love munching on seafood, then head over to Liyali Hadhramout near the Haffa Souk for a taste of charred fish and other delectable Yemeni dishes.

Now, if you’re more of a veggie enthusiast, fret not – Salalah has you covered. There are some fantastic Indian restaurants and cafeterias scattered around town. Take Udupi Restaurant, for example, located across from the Sultan Qaboos Mosque on 23rd July Street. They serve up a variety of North and South Indian dishes, including the perfect masala dosa!

And if you’re in the mood for something different, swing by Al Tannour Lebanese Restaurant just down the road from Udupi. It’s a great spot for breakfast, with cozy outdoor seating covered from the sun. Make sure you try their foul, shakshouka, or cheese and honey ma’anesh, paired with a refreshing minty tea.

  1. Go Beaching at Mughsail Beach

one of the top spots to hit up when you’re in Salalah for a holiday is Al Mughsayl Beach (sometimes spelled Al Mughsail Beach). It’s like the superstar of tourist attractions in Dhofar, Oman, loved by both locals and visitors alike.

Al Mughsayl stretches out with its crystal-clear blue waters and soft white sands, flanked by majestic mountains on both sides. The whole scene is just picture-perfect, making it a prime spot for a picnic or some quality beach time.

The beach has these dramatic cliffs that drop right down to the water’s edge, creating this epic backdrop. Oh, and if you visit during the summer, You can actually walk out under these limestone overhangs and feel the spray from Mughsail’s famous blowholes as the waves crash against the rocks.

Now, getting there is a breeze – just a 45-minute drive west of Salalah. But heads up, it can get pretty busy during the summer months. However, if you visit during the winter, you’ll find that the crowds thin out, and the waters calm down, making it the perfect time for a swim, some bodyboarding, or just kicking back with a picnic.

Here’s a little tip for you – if you’re visiting during the Khareef season, make sure to stop by Eftalqot meadows on the road to Mughsail. You’ll witness hills and cliffs covered in delicate yellow flowers, which is a rare sight to see.

  1. Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Another worth-visiting place in Salalah, Oman is Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This place is a real gem, and it’s not just because it’s the largest mosque in the city but also because it’s named after the beloved Sultan of Oman, adding to its significance.

the architecture of the Sultan Qaboos Mosque is breathtaking. It’s a beautiful blend of traditional Arabic design and modern touches, creating a sight to behold. And once you step inside, you’re greeted with an aura of grandeur and tranquility that’s hard to put into words.

Besides Muslims, Non-Muslims are welcome to visit and soak in the spirituality that fills the air. The mosque stands tall in the city center, drawing thousands of worshippers each day since it was completed back in 2009.

Inside, prepare to be awestruck by the sight of a stunning crystal chandelier hanging from a meticulously carved 36-meter dome. And if that’s not impressive enough, wait until you see the 20-ton handwoven carpet that covers the floor – it’s got a whopping 115 million individual knots!

But it’s not just the interior that’s worth seeing. Step outside, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds, offering a peaceful spot to rest and reflect.

Now, if you’re planning a visit, keep in mind that non-Muslims can tour the interior from Saturdays to Thursdays, between 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Just make sure to dress modestly, and ladies, it’s a good idea to cover your hair as a sign of respect. We vouch that a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an experience you won’t soon forget!

  1. Hop Over to Al Baleed Archaeological Park

You simply can’t leave Salalah without paying a visit to the Al Baleed Archaeological Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is packed with ancient wonders that will captivate history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.

As you step into the park, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of an ancient city that once thrived in Salalah. The ruins scattered throughout the site tell a tale of a bygone era, with each stone and structure holding secrets waiting to be unraveled.

What makes the Al Baleed Archaeological Park truly special is its accessibility and educational value. Information signs are strategically placed throughout the site, providing visitors with insights into the significance of each archaeological find.

Whether you’re interested in ancient architecture, or cultural heritage, or simply love to immerse yourself in history, this park has something to offer everyone.

  1. Wander in the Town of Mirbat

When it comes to must-see attractions in Salalah, Mirbat town is definitely one that stands out. But there’s something about Mirbat that’s truly out of this world – a stretch of land that defies the laws of gravity.

Imagine you’re cruising along in your car, except there’s a twist – you’re in neutral gear, yet your car is moving forward, picking up speed as if it has a mind of its own. And to add to the eerie atmosphere, you’re surrounded by a thick blanket of fog, courtesy of the hilly terrain of the area.

This phenomenon is what locals and visitors alike refer to as the “anti-gravity spot” in Mirbat. Scientists may have their explanations, but there’s no denying the spine-tingling feeling you get when you experience it firsthand. It’s like something out of a spooky movie!

So, if you’re up for a bit of mystery and intrigue during your visit to Salalah, be sure to make a stop in Mirbat and experience this mind-bending phenomenon for yourself.

  1. Soak in Tranquil Vibes at Marneev Cave

Another gem you shouldn’t miss while exploring Salalah is the Marneev Cave, located near the beautiful Al Mughsail Beach. Here, you can marvel at nature’s artistry as you witness natural fountains spraying seawater through the sea caves.

Sit down on one of the benches and take in the mesmerizing sights and sounds around you. The combination of mountains, caves, and fountains creates a picturesque scene that adds to the allure of this site.

If you plan on visiting Salalah for a holiday trip from Dubai, check out this interesting read on the Dubai to Oman Road Trip

To obtain an Oman e-visa, visit the official Government Portal and apply online from the comfort of your home.


Leave A Reply