Combining thrilling history with gorgeous beaches and luxury spas, Oman’s second-biggest city is cradled by tempting ocean waters and the soaring Dhofar Mountains. A refreshing rainy season waters down the intense heat of the Gulf region, painting a rich green hue across the land and separating it from the barren desert elsewhere. Banana plantations sprawl out, and dense gatherings of coconut palms rustle together, before Salalah's cherished powdery white beaches. Sweet fragrances linger in Salalah's souqs, where exotic incenses, perfumes and spices are traded.
Set in Dhofar province, the desert staging is smudged with greenery and life during the downpours and misty rains of Khareef season. The clouds tame the heat and fuel stunning waterfall torrents, with a local festival celebrating the arrival of this monsoon each year. Even in drier months, the earlier deluges ensure that there is an added vibrancy to the ravines and wadis nearby. Enjoy the sunshine and settle into the sandy embrace of luxury beaches, before indulging in stress-relieving massages. Head to popular spots like Al Mughsail beach, where explosive blowholes boom with frothing spray, as the waters collide with coastal rock formations.
Travel back in time at the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed ancient city of Dhufa - which has been reclaimed from the rusty desert soil at Al Baleed Archeological Park. An ancient centre of frankincense trade, the on-site museum explains the history of this precious ingredient, extracted from the region's fragrant Boswellia trees and exported far and wide.