The small, yet energetic Omani city of Khasab is a melting pot of sights, from charming old souks and historic castles, to bustling modern markets and a lively harbour. It’s also the gateway to the stunning waterways and islands of the Musandam fjords – The Norway of Arabia. From Khasab Harbour, traditional Dhow boats enter these stunning fjords that form part of the Strait of Hormuz, and offer rugged coastal views and dolphin sightings. Past mountain villages lies Jabal Hareem Peak – Musandam’s highest point – which is known for its marine fossils.
There are plenty of highlights to discover in the capital of the Musandam peninsula.[ReadMoreMob] The Portuguese-built, stone-turreted Khasab Fort was the former home of the Wali of Khasab and is now a museum with model boats, handicrafts and archaeological finds. Within the heart of the city, two very distinct areas – the Old and New Souk Areas – demand discovery. [ReadMore]
The Old Souk is where you’ll find traditional markets resounding to a mix of languages such as Kumzari. The New Souk has a more modern feel. LuLu Market is the largest supermarket in Musandam and enjoys all the hustle and bustle of Arabian life. Given piracy has been a tradition in these parts for well over 200 years, a visit to the harbour to see Iranian traders come and go with semi-illicit goods in their jet boats is well worth a look.
The Fjords of Musandam are Oman’s version of the Norwegian Fjords. Khasab and other cities in Musandam are made up of a variety of rock formations branching in and out of the ocean that extend to form the Omani tip of the Strait of Hormuz. The fjord scenery is unmatched by any natural water scene in this part of the world as it blends the majestic Hajar Mountains with the crystal-like waters of the Gulf of Oman.
Musandam Fjords by Dhow boat
The significance of the Musandam Fjords cannot be underestimated; the roads here weren’t finished until around ten years ago. Exploring via dhow boat is the best way to admire the contrasting scenery of concrete-coloured rock and turquoise waters.