From Sinbad the Sailor to Lawrence of Arabia, the cultural associations of Oman ooze heroic adventure on sparkling seas and vast empty deserts.
It is no surprise that in the 21st century it is in Oman – at Zighy Bay on the Musandam Peninsula to be precise – that you can paraglide from towering cliffs down to your resort villa.
Oman rejoices in a uniquely diverse landscape of spectacular mountains, desert and beach. Most resorts combine two of the three: mountains meet sea, mountains meet desert, towering sand dunes meet lapping waters.
The mountains offer serenity and breathtaking panoramas, but also an inspiring range of outdoor activities. You can take gentle hikes along ancient donkey paths or tackle the full complement of sheer rock climbs.
Driving through the mountain passes near Jebel Shams – the highest point in Oman translates as “sun peak” – is not for anyone prone to vertigo. The scenery is magnificent: soaring jagged fingers of rock plunging into deep, dramatic canyons. Local accommodation is simple, and the sights you happen upon seem straight from a storybook. The village of Misfat, for example, has an oasis on top of a hill shades by banana trees and palms.
For authentic Arabian desert experiences, you are spoilt for choice. Wahiba Sands is the great desert expanse that stretches across the centre of Oman, characterised by ridge after ridge of dune in a prism of red and gold colours receding into the distance.
If you thirst for adventure, Oman has everything you need. Whatever the choice, the experience is magical.