For the intrepid couple seeking a honeymoon that whisks them out of the ordinary and off the beaten trail, beyond the more obvious romantic getaways, Oman beckons with mystery, allure and adventure. Allow us to open your eyes to a land that has it all, from historic culture in exciting cities to gorgeous scenery and wildlife on exotic beaches. Begin your married life with a honeymoon to remember or rekindle the romance with an unforgettable couple’s holiday.
Combine culture and adventure by starting in the Omani capital of Muscat, known affectionately as the “Norway of Arabia” for its fjords and mountains and yet steeped in traditional Arabic culture. Be enchanted by the fabulous architecture of glorious Al Alam Palace and explore the Grand Mosque, which, though it was built at the beginning of this century, takes design cues from the ancient Arab world with its golden dome. Delve into the history of this intriguing part of the world in Bait Al Zubair Museum, the Natural History Museum and at an Iron Age archaeological site. If you prefer to take things a little easier and simply sit back and relax together, watching the world glide by, head for the marina where you can embark on a cruise along the coastline on a traditional fishing boat. Shop for keepsakes in the waterfront souk to remind you of your Middle Eastern adventure, and surrender completely to the charms of Muscat with a night of music at the national opera house. Spoil yourselves with a stay at The Chedi; set on its own private beach, with the Gulf on one side and the Al Hajar mountains as a backdrop, it’s also well placed for city explorations. Enjoy indulgent treatments at the resort’s Balinese spa, choose from traditional and modern cuisine and relax amid elegant Omani design in your luxury suite. Alternatively, set yourselves apart from the busy city with a stay at spectacular Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the capital, you will find yourself in utter opulence on a gorgeous peninsula overlooking the ocean. Of the resort’s three distinct hotels, we suggest Al Husn – the Castle, for a romantic retreat.
From the hustle and bustle of the city, continue your journey, venturing into the endless stretches of desert surrounding Muscat. Wahiba Sands is the name given to these undulating red dunes, some of which soar up to 500 feet. For a little exhilaration, board a 4×4 and embark on a wild ride up and down the slopes. Hop on a sandboard to negotiate the terrain yourself, or take things at a more sedate, elegant and traditional pace on camelback. Hauntingly peaceful, with no civilization as far as the eye can see, Wahiba Sands is home to the oasis of Desert Nights Camp, which rises like a mirage, luring you with the scent of frankincense and welcoming you with every luxury and comfort you would expect from a five-star resort. Here, bed down in bedouin-style tents, which, although traditionally designed, are fully air conditioned, with hot showers, outdoor decking and gorgeous, spacious interiors. Spend romantic evenings dining around a fire beneath a canopy of stars, enjoying morsels of succulent lamb and barbecued delights to a soundtrack of live traditional Omani musicians. Wake up early for the chance to sit together and enjoy the most stunning sunrise over the sands.
The peak of luxury
Escape the desert heat and travel inland, over the Al Hajar mountains, to a sanctuary perfect for nature lovers – the stunning Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort. Accessible only by 4×4, in the UNESCO protected region of Nizwa, this singular hotel stands on the edge of a spectacular gorge and every suite boasts matchless views of the mountains. Hike the rugged landscapes, taking advantage of the fresher temperatures afforded by the lofty elevation and relax in the sumptuous spa.
A honeymoon in Oman wouldn’t be complete without sun, sea and sand. A ferry to Masirah Island will whisk you into an unspoilt paradise, packed with stunning flora and fauna and gorgeous scenery. Familiarize yourself with the local inhabitants with a tour of the wildlife museum and wander down the beach to find the myriad of turtles who have favored the shores of this tiny island as their hatching ground for centuries. Having marvelled at the natural world, harness its power with a spot of kitesurfing, or simply stroll arm in arm around the island’s undeveloped, sleepy fishing villages, for an unhurried look at the simple life.
For coastal luxury combined with further adventures, head for Zighy Bay on the Musandam peninsula in the northernmost part of Oman. There is no shortage of action here: plunge beneath and snorkel or scuba dive in the crystal waters, or soar above, paragliding from the mountains and over the bay. The scenic, mountainous terrain that backs the coast is perfect for biking or hiking, and you can take a sunset cruise around the fjords to wind down. After action-packed days, spend romantic nights at the Six Senses Zighy Bay in a stunning remote setting overlooking the ocean with the craggy cliffs behind. Relax in utter beauty and privacy in your suite or villa with its private plunge pool, dine in the gourmet restaurant, take a dip in the ocean or lounge by the freeform infinity pool with a refreshing cocktail. This idyllic location in exotic Oman makes for a peaceful yet exciting getaway, rounding off an unforgettable honeymoon packed with exploration and culture.
For further wonders, why not take in a few more treasures of the stunning UAE, from glittering Dubai with its shining malls and pristine beaches to the capital city of Abu Dhabi, where the thrills of Ferrari World are sure to excite the senses. Go a step further and plunge into the crystal waters around Sir Bani Yas Island for superb scuba diving.