Destination Guide: Salalah, Oman
Salalah is one of probably only two places in the Arabian peninsula (besides Yemen) that experiences a monsoon season, which is called Khareef and lasts from July to September. Khareef means “autumn” in Arabic but it refers to monsoon when describing Salalah. During this time, the brown landscape of Salalah and its surroundings is completely transformed to a beautiful and lush green, and locals and tourists alike flock to Salalah.
My wife and I visited Salalah in July 2016 to take advantage of the cooler and wet weather.
We spent 2 nights weekend in Salalah.
We visited following places:
Anti Gravity Point
Al Mughsayl Beach
Marneef Cave and Blowhole
We stayed at the Hilton Resort Salalah which is a category 1 Hilton Hotels.
You only need 5,000 HHonors Points for a night stay, what a steal! The retail price is about $150 per night.
The rooms are huge in size with typically American King size bed. It feels very "American" resort style in terms of furniture, I could be mistaken this as in Hawaii or Caribbean...
Nice Welcome amenity for HHonors Diamond member, even in Category 1 Hilton Resort!
Nice shape of coconut drink.
Hotel lobby at day time.
Some Hotel decors...
We've got a rental car and drove around to explore the region.
Our first destination is the "Anti-Gravity" Point
Many people come to Salalah Anti Gravity Point to see their cars going up the hill at Neutral gear (without any acceleration). This is a really amazing experience. This point is near Tawi Atair / Mirbat.
A lot of goats and camels can be seen next to the road, watch out animals crossing the road!
At the Anti Gravity Point, drive turned off engine and try to go against the hill!
It worked! The car is moving (slowly) without engine on!
Our next destination is Wadi Darbat.
Driving up hill, notice how green during the Khareef season!
Meeting up with some Omani locals. We're the only non-Arab tourist during our stay, so others see us as a rarity!
Some enroute scenery.
Wadi Darbat (Darbat Valley) is the most beautiful and scenic spot in Salalah for the mountain and spring lovers. The place is packed with tourists in the Khareef season.
It is really hard to believe this is from the Arabian Peninsula!
At Salalah the weather is 24 degrees throughout the day with about 90% humidity. This is almost twice as cool as to North GCC countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
The high humidity ensure the humidity is kept in the plants.
Many tree trunk appeared to be black color because it is wet.
On the way back from Wadi Darbat, there are lines of camels crossing the road....
We visited a local fruit market.
Coconut is available for OMR0.2 (half a dollar) each!
The next day we visited Al Mughsayl Beach.
Al Mughsayl Beach
Mughsayl Beach (also written as Mughsail Beach) is the most liked beach by the locals and tourists alike.
Mughsayl is a long stretch of blue water sea and white sand. The landscape is pretty nice and the beach has mountains on both the sides, which make the view elegant and photogenic.
During the Khareef season, the wave is high and water is very choppy.
Marneef Cave and Blow Hole are located just besides Mughsayl beach.
The stairs from Marneef Cave will lead to the famous blowholes.
These three entertaining blowholes have meshes over them. The water jet from the blowholes vary according to the season, but can get as high as 28m in the sky in Khareef season.
An Omani local painter at the cave.
At the blowholes
Avoid getting wet from the water...
There are some treks where you can climb up to the top of the hills/cliff around the beach.
On top of the hill above Al Mughsayl Beach and the Marneef Cave.
View from the top of the hill.
Salalah is a very relaxed tourist destination, it is still relatively unknown to most tourist outside Middle East as we were the only 2 non-arab tourists during our stay in our hotel and from all the sightseeing spots. The climate poised for an excellent heat escape from the GCC countries. We have seen many Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, KSA registered cars in Salalah. The people in Salalah are very friendly as the rest of Oman. Beauty really has an address!