The mountainous, sun-struck Arab country of Oman lies on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsular, facing the shimmering, deep blue Arabian Sea.
Oman's capital city of Muscat is soaked in history, dotted with 16th-century museum-forts, royal palace grounds and serene whitewashed mosques. Sunbathers, swimmers and surfers will be happy to discover seemingly endless stretches of soft, white-gold sands lining Oman's coast, fringed by resorts and luxury hotels. Wildlife lovers and outdoor adventurers, meanwhile, will find plenty to do in Oman – from rock-climbing in the canyons of Wadi Ghul to dolphin spotting in the Oman Fjords.
Sun-seekers flock to the northeastern coast of Oman to relax and unwind on the silky sands, and in the array of high-end all-inclusive hotels and resorts. The most popular beach going area is the coastal stretch running several miles east from Muscat. Here, you can surf, swim and snorkel, but also enjoy easy access to the museums and markets of buzzing Muscat.
For an alternative beach break, check out the cheap hotels in Oman's southern city of Salalah, a small, historic city bordering unblemished palm-studded sands, rich with wildlife.
For a true desert island experience, investigate the hidden hotels on Masirah Island – a small, rocky and wild island off Oman's east coast. The island's west coast beaches are perfect for swimming, while the shallow north coast waters are full of graceful Loggerhead sea turtles.
For an inspiring, culture infused and inexpensive Oman city break, search dealchecker to find the best hotel deals in the country's capital city of Muscat. Shoppers can spend hours sifting through Muscat's traditional souks and splurging in the high-end malls. History buffs can explore the city's museums – from the Museum of Omani Heritage to the National Museum of Oman – and visit the Al Alam Palace, a gold-and-blue royal residence surrounded by striking 16th-century forts.
The subtropical city of Salalah sings with souks selling locally produced frankincense and fresh fruit gathered from the area's surrounding banana plantations and rainforests. Aside from Salalah's sweeping beach, visit the striking bright-white Sultan Qaboos Salalah Mosque, and learn about the area's local history at the Museum of Frankincense Land.