Salalah: A Trip to Oman – Khareef Festival

Salalah is a city known for its ancient history, archaeological remains, frankincense trees and beautiful beaches. Salalah is famous for its annual monsoon festival, the ‘Khareef Festival’, when you can see the best of the city with festivities all around that include performance, food, music and games. The drive to the city is known to experience zero gravity which is a mystery! It is a beautiful, raw destination to travel to if you are looking for adventure, exploring, time away from crowded area and those who enjoy the beautiful beach!

HOW TO GET THERE

You can log on to www.ozonetourismoman.com to find out more about their routes from the rest of the World.

BEST TIME TO GO

There is a special season celebrated in Salalah and it’s called Khareef Season which is translated to Monsoon season. This is when the country is at its greenest and waterfalls and sinkholes fills the earth which is June to September, however, those are the hottest months yet the most popular months and hotels are usually full and peak rates. Yet, it is still the most celebrated season. You try to decide to visit post the peak season, You wanted to avoid the humidity and the heat and was only looking for some relaxing beach time, so from October to April, the weather is still very pleasant.

WHERE TO STAY

Ozone Tours provide hotels staying in Salalah and it was exactly the sort of holiday break you needed. A beautiful beachside infinity pool along the coast of Dhofar with its own private beach set way only 15 minutes away from Salalah airport and a great kids club for Children as one of the options.

Hotels Bookings

The hotel with 4 different categories of the room from a deluxe suite (garden or sea view), premier sea view rooms, pool suite rooms (with private pools) which could also be connecting rooms for larger families. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, lagoon or picturesque gardens, each guest room will be equipped with interactive LED TVs, luxurious bath products and minibars. Ensuite bathrooms include a rain shower and separate bathtubs, walk-in dressing room and terrace or balcony, with the villas enjoying separate living areas.

You were picked up by the hotel’s personal pick up chauffeur on time, the Omanis are one of the friendliest people you could ever encounter. Love for their country and humble. Omani people are ethnically diverse, the Omani citizen population consists of many different ethnic groups. The majority of the population consists of Arabs, with many of these Arabs being Swahili language speakers and returnees from the Swahili Coast, particularly Zanzibar. Because of their hospitality, tourists from all over the world flock here.

Minutes to Win It

Taxis are easily accessible from the hotel and the hotel organized one in 10 minutes. Being 15 minutes away from the airport, getting around into town was not difficult.

The hotel with 3 restaurants and recommends you try the Mekong (Asian) being Anantara’s signature Asian restaurant, the Mekong will offer guests cuisines from China, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Unfortunately doing our stay, we did not book ahead of time so it was fully booked for dinner. Breakfast was served in the all-day dining Sakhalin which was rich in choices from Gluten-free/vegan/Arabic/Continental and American.

Spa Service in Salalah:

  • luxurious treatment rooms
  • Indoor and outdoor tea pavilion relaxation areas
  • Hammam treatment room (Soon to open)
  • Rasul treatment rooms
  • Ayurveda treatments
  • Female salon and nail spa
  • Traditional Thai massage suite.

THINGS TO DO IN SALALAH

Visit the Waterfalls

The waterfalls can only be seen during Khareef season which is Monsoon season. There are some really nice waterfalls at Ayn Khor (عين كور), Ayn Hamran (عين حمران), Ayn Tubrook (عين طبرك), Ayn Athoom (عين اثوب), Wadi Darbat (وادى درباتand Wadi Ayn (وادى عين).

Paddleboarding at Wadi Darbat

Also another Monsoon activity only but make sure this is on your list! Unfortunately, when we were there, we were not able to do it but it has been recommended several times!

Beach buggy drive at Al Baleed Salalah

A fun and exciting experience at the hotel by the Indian ocean! You need to book with the hotel concierge or the activity centre. Drive into the water and onto the sand and enjoy the thrill!!

Sunset at Cliff Taqa

This beautiful landscape is one of the most beautiful places to see the sunset and capture it with your camera! Also a huge spot for drone lovers! Here is where the Arabian peninsula tapers southward towards Africa.

 Al Mughal Blowholes

The beauty of storms and Monsoon season is watching these blowholes explode! Through an underground channel, seawater rushes in at high pressure and jets out in a geyser-like spout on the cliff. Corresponding with the force of the waves, the spouts can rise several metres high! Tourists from all over the gulf come to this beautiful place to watch the incredible show!

Drive to Ayn Sahalnoot and Wadi Sahalnoot

Wadi Sahalnoot is just 15km from Salalah and it gets resplendent in greenery during Khareef every year. The valley has an impressive and beautiful natural scenery. While you drive on the meandering roads of this valley you can see greenery all around during Monsoon season. The roads are narrow with sharp bends so one must be cautious while driving.

Visit the fruit huts

Driving into the hotel, we came across the fruit huts that reminded me of Sri Lanka. The fruits are fresh and the coconut water is very popular.

Massage at Al Baleed Salalah

Your last day could be adventurous or relaxing. You could head out to the highest peak for sunrise or sunset views, explore the old town and the areas around Kotor and Boka Bay, you could even drive to Ada Bojana for kitesurfing lovers and explore the beach site. On your last day, you could relax in Prcanj and get to know the people living there or even take a boat to St. George Island and do some beach hopping by boat. If you are looking for shopping, then Tivat is the area where they have Regent Port Hotel and shops are located around the property. It’s a beautiful walk and an impressive port!

Mughsayl Beach

The stretch of mountains on both sides of the route offers a spectacular backdrop. The beach is ideal for barbecues and picnics as there are some hut-like sitting areas onsite. I am certain that on Monsoon season the backdrop gets even more dramatic with the crashing of the waves and the mist into the mountains. The stretch of beach was extremely one of the most impressive ones I have seen in the gulf!

 

Travel Info

Currency:  Omani Riyal

Dress code: Oman is a conservative Muslim country so please dress accordingly out of respect to the Omanis – It’s also wise to always exercise sensitivity when taking photos.

Tour Guide Info:  Ozone Tours & Travels Provide Guide about the culture, history and the nature in Oman.

Visa:  Foreign nationals must obtain a visa to enter Oman, which can be secured on arrival at Muscat International Airport or through the Ozone Tours & Travels. Currently, there are two types of entries available: Single-entry 10-day visa on arrival or single-entry 30-day visa on arrival. We suggest checking the Ozone Travels website before planning your trip, as Oman’s visa regulations change frequently.

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