TROPICAL ARABIAN RETREAT
Depart the UK bound for exotic Salalah in Oman’s southern Dhofar province. Although it's the hub of the region, Salalah is still relatively small and under the radar as a holiday destination - perhaps one of Arabia’s best-kept secrets. This part of Oman has a wonderful wild coastline where papaya and banana plantations thrive by virtue of the unusual climate – the “khareef” monsoon season in the summer months periodically gives it a lush landscape that is rarely found in this part of the world. It is a terrific place to mix beachside relaxation with cultural treasures, take in some unusual historical sights and explore colourful souks and desert landscapes.
During your 8-night stay, accommodation will be at the luxurious Al Baleed Resort by Anantara. With 136 rooms, this is a larger resort than the others featured in our Escape holiday collection but with top facilities, great service and a location from which you can explore the natural diversity of the region, there really is nowhere better to stay when in this part of the world.
You’ll have lots of time to relax here - at the infinity pool, at the spa or on a sun lounger at the beach where you can absorb the unique coastal landscape. The resort also offers cooking classes, water sports and a cinema under the stars. Your guide will be on hand to take you out to explore the Frankincense trail introducing you to historical highlights such as the ancient ruins of Sumharan City, once the most easterly outpost on the incense trade route. There is time too to visit the Jebel Qara Mountains where you’ll find birdlife, natural limestone formations and springs. Wadi Ayun is especially photogenic with its green and blue hues of water surrounded by vegetation. A dhow cruise or a dolphin watching adventure can be included too.
Your stay can be more relaxed if you choose and if you’d prefer it more action packed then that’s possible. We can include a day or even a night exploring the dunes of the nearby Empty Quarter – the world's largest uninterrupted sand desert.
This holiday was inspired by a research trip two of the ETG team took to Oman in 2019. Salalah was initially an add on to a tour of the more well-known attractions of Oman but they fell in love with the region and couldn’t wait to go back on holiday with their own families and explore in more depth. This was all before the pandemic, which of course derailed travel for a very long time. Oman was one of the first destinations we were able to arrange holidays too again and with people first looking for relatively simple trips with a cultural twist - the idea of both this holiday and the whole "Escapes" collection was born.
Long-standing ETG clients Lynne and Andy were the first to take a trip based around this holiday in November 2021 and wrote about their experience of 'the Arabian Tropics'.
Sitting between a freshwater lagoon and a pristine stretch of coastline, with modern Middle Eastern design, the atmosphere here is serene and relaxed, with added warm and friendly service. Food is renowned, with three restaurants to choose from - both casual and formal options. A delicious breakfast spread is set out, while Asian and Mediterranean dishes are served up for lunch and dinner. For something extra special, enjoy a BBQ in your villa or a romantic dinner on the sand.
There is a range of room categories, with 40 premier and deluxe rooms as well as 96 villas, most with private pools. Rooms are all spacious with dark wood furnishings, lovely bathrooms with large bathtubs and either terraces with courtyards or balconies. We recommend the Beach Pool Villas, with their large indoor and outdoor lounge areas, cabana by the private pool and gate that leads straight out onto the beach.
This holiday is priced at £3,500 per person, based on two people travelling.
All prices are for high season, including international flights, private transfers, 8 nights accommodation on a half board basis and experiences as described.
Rather than trying to attract your attention by listing the lowest possible cost for this holiday, this price is a realistic indication for the high season, when the weather and holiday experience will be at their best. Prices are subject to availability and may be less in the low season or higher in peak season.
When to go?
The whole of Oman has a tropical desert climate with very hot summers and pleasant winters. Typically, winter is the more comfortable time to go, from October through to March before the heat cranks up too high. However, don’t rule out Salalah in July and August, the Khareef (monsoon) cools things down and creates lush green landscapes and seasonal waterfalls that are incredibly unusual in this part of the world.
Book With Confidence
An ETG experience cannot begin unless our travellers feel secure in every respect. Financially secure: we are fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. Fully supported: our friendly team is on hand to help 24/7 before, during and after your trip. Free from hassle: we will ensure your trip runs like clockwork. Plus, all our experiences are tried and tested by our discerning team, so you can rest assured that any excursion you take with us is sound.
Anantara as a global brand are committed to preserving each of their destinations. This ranges from coral preservation to animal conservation through to supporting host communities at grassroots level. Each individual hotel is encouraged to weave sustainability into its operations and to manage energy consumption and waste management carefully. Al Baleed Resort has eliminated all plastic bottles in the resort and has built an onsite water bottling facility which is saving approximately 250,000 plastic bottles a year and other initiatives are in places to reduce plastic waste.
The promotion of local cultural awareness is important for Anantara and Omani culture is celebrated at the resort. Our holidays are never just beach resort holidays though, getting out and about and exploring the region with your guide and interacting with the local people is truly the best way to support the local region – Omanis are warm and welcoming and keen to share, expect friendly conversations and don’t be surprised if your guide invites you for coffee at their home!
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