Salalah Oman Travel Guide

Salalah is a city located in the Dhofar region of Oman, known for its stunning landscapes, ancient history, and unique culture. Here is a travel guide to help you plan your visit to Salalah:

Salalah is a city in southern Oman and the capital of the Dhofar Governorate. Oman has a long history as a center of the frankincense trade, with the best of it coming from the Dhofar region, and with the Zanzibar undertones of the Sultanate's earlier ties to East Africa, Salalah feels unique—in fact, a world away from Muscat.

A brief History of Salalah

Reaching its zenith in the 13th century, when Salalah was an important trading post along the Frankincense Road, the city was the working capital of Dhofar. As trade slowed, the city eventually fell into decline.

Salalah was incorporated into the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman in the 19th century and served as its capital from 1932 to 1970. In 1970, the capital was moved back to Muscat.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit Salalah is between June and September, during the monsoon season when the city is transformed into a lush green paradise.

Getting there:

Salalah has its international airport, Salalah Airport, with direct flights from many major cities in the region.

Places to visit:

      • Al Baleed Archaeological Park: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this park features the ruins of an ancient city and a museum showcasing the history of the region.
      • Wadi Darbat: This natural park is famous for its waterfalls, lakes, and abundant wildlife, including the Arabian leopard.
      • Salalah Gardens Mall: This modern shopping center offers a variety of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.
      • Sultan Qaboos Mosque:  One of the largest mosques in the world, this stunning architectural marvel is a must-see.
      • Frankincense Land Museum: Learn about the history of frankincense, an important commodity in the region, at this museum.
      • Haffa Souq: This traditional market offers a variety of local products, including frankincense, textiles, and spices.

Things to do: 

      • Beaches: Salalah is known for its beautiful beaches, including Al Mughsail Beach, Taqah Beach, and Ain Garziz Beach.
      • Camel ride: Take a camel ride through the desert and experience traditional Omani culture.
      • Dolphin watching: Take a boat tour and watch dolphins swim and play in the ocean.
      • Trekking: Explore Salalah's stunning landscapes by trekking through the mountains, valleys, and waterfalls.


      • Machboos: A traditional Omani rice dish made with meat, spices, and vegetables.
      • Shuwa: A slow-cooked lamb or goat dish, marinated in spices and wrapped in banana leaves.
      • Omani halwa: A sweet dessert made with sugar, rose water, and cardamom.
      • Dates: Oman is known for its high-quality dates, which are often served with tea.


Salalah offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. Some popular choices include the Crowne Plaza Salalah, the Hilton Salalah Resort, and the Juweira Boutique Hotel.

Salalah is a unique and fascinating destination, with something to offer every type of traveler. Plan your visit to this beautiful city and experience the culture and history of Oman.

Here are the Top 10 attractions in Salalah

Al Baleed Archaeological Park:

This Park is home to the ruins of the ancient city of Zafar, which was once an important port and trading center. Visitors can explore the remains of the city's walls, houses, and mosques, as well as a restored castle and a museum showcasing artifacts from the site.

Wadi Darbat:

This natural park is located about 30 kilometers from Salalah and is a popular destination for outdoor activities like hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. The park features a series of waterfalls and pools, and during the monsoon season, the wadi is filled with lush vegetation.

Salalah Gardens Mall:

This modern shopping center offers a range of international and local brands, as well as a food court, a cinema, and a children's play area. The mall is a popular destination for families and shoppers.

Sultan Qaboos Mosque:

This grand mosque is one of the largest in the Middle East, with a capacity for up to 20,000 worshippers. The mosque's impressive architecture features marble floors, ornate ceilings, and intricate carvings.

Frankincense Land Museum:

This museum is dedicated to the history and culture of frankincense, an important commodity in the region for thousands of years. Visitors can learn about the history of the spice, its uses in traditional medicine and trade, and the process of harvesting and processing the resin.

Mughsail Beach:

Mughsail Beach is one of the most popular places that tourists visit when in Salalah. There is a great vantage point at the nearby Al Marneef cave and Mughsail blowholes.

Al Marneef Cave:

Al Marneef Cave is a strange rock formation right on the coast. It's easy to get to with a car park and boardwalk built on the spot, with Mughsail Beach close by.

Al Fazayah Beach:

Al Fazaya is, in my opinion, the best beach in Salalah to explore. It is a stretch of sugar-white sand about 5 kilometers long, with huge rocks dotting the shoreline. In a way, it made me re-explore the beaches of the Algarve, in southern Portugal, a few years ago, just with a different color scheme and wilder demeanor.

A 4x4 is recommended to get from the main Salalah-Surfeet road to the beach (however, we met and got a small car there and got it up and down perfectly).

Khor Rori:

Khor Rori is located just to the east of Salalah and was once one of the most important cities in the world, as it was a major trading post along the incense route. Little remains of Khor Rori's heyday, but the ruins of the Sumhuram Archaeological Park are worth a visit if you make your way here anyway.

Taqah Castle:

Taqah is also located to the east of Salalah and is home to a fishing village and a beautiful white sand beach. The main attraction to come to Taqah now is visit the Taqah Castle. The castle dates from the 19th century.

Taqah Castle entrance fee: OMR 0.50

Mirbat Fish Market:

Located about 70 kilometers east of Salalah, the main attraction now is the Mirbat morning fish market and the bustling but small harbor.

Haffa Souq:

This traditional market is located in the heart of Salalah and offers a range of products, from handmade crafts and textiles to spices, perfumes, and frankincense. Visitors can haggle with vendors and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of the souq.


Salalah is known for its pristine beaches, with crystal-clear waters and white sand. Some popular beaches include Al Mughsail Beach, famous for its blowholes and rock formations, and Ain Garziz Beach, a great spot for swimming and snorkeling.

Camel ride:

Taking a camel ride through the desert is popular in Salalah, with options ranging from short rides to multi-day treks. Camel rides offer visitors a chance to experience the traditional Bedouin lifestyle and enjoy the stunning desert landscapes.

Dolphin watching:

Boat tours are available for visitors who want to watch dolphins play and swim in the waters off Salalah's coast. Experienced guides who can provide information about the local marine life usually lead the tours.


Salalah is a great destination for hiking and trekking, with a variety of trails and routes available. Some popular options include the Jebel Samhan Nature Reserve, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, and the Wadi Darbat waterfalls trail.

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