Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved country in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years.

A significant portion Oman’s economy involves tourism and trade of fish, dates (a flowering plant species in the palm family, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit), and certain agricultural produce. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 70th most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index.

Oman is an exotic destination filled with incredible attractions and cities. The capital of Oman is Muscat, and it is home to important royal residences and buildings from which the Sultan governs the country. Oman currently has a population of over 5 million. If you are thrilled by desert landscapes, incredible mountain ranges, Fjords, beautiful coastlines, and historic forts, then Oman is your best bet.

From breathtaking to historic destinations, below is a list of 20 amazing places you can visit in Oman.

1. Muscat

Muscat, the capital city of Oman, has a beautiful historic district. Buildings with East African-style wooden balconies and several fortresses make Muscat a perfect relaxing destination. You can explore the markets, museums, forts, mosques, palace and areas near the sea.

2. Masirah Island

Masirah Island is just off the coast of Oman and it is a unique destination for travelers in search of sun, beaches, wildlife and history. In this small island, regular ferries are available to get you to and from the mainland. Masirah island is home to several species of turtles that lay eggs on its shores, and is an ideal place for dolphin watching in Oman.

3. Misfat Al Abriyeen

Misfat Al Abriyeen is a small village, no doubt but it can help capture a more traditional atmosphere. This mountain village is made up of stone buildings in shades of brown and orange, and it can look like an Italian mountain village than something you expect to find on the Arabian Peninsula. There’s an ancient watchtower above the village that you can climb to see the whole village and its surrounding fields and dams filled with water.

4. Salalah

Salalah is the capital city of southern Oman’s Dhofar province, and a city of great importance particularly because it is the ancestral home to the Sultan Qaboos, the reigning sultan in Oman since 1970. This beautiful city is known for its banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waterfalls. The Khareef, an annual monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and creates seasonal waterfalls. Salalah also important for the trade of frankincense (an aromatic resin used in incense and perfume). In Salalah, there are two markets with shops selling incense and good quality products made from rosin.

5. Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab is all about adventure. In this beautiful Omani valley, you get to take a boat across the river, hike for about 45 minutes through a stunning valley, then swim through a series of pools where you eventually reach a cave that has a waterfall. This is undoubtedly one of the remarkable things to do in Oman.

6. Wadi Bani Khalid

In contrast to Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid is more about relaxation. This beautiful stunning oasis is located in the desert with crystal clear green water surrounded by date palms and rugged mountains. The pools are massive and very refreshing. This is a perfect place for an afternoon relaxation.

7. Samail Castle

Samail Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Oman. The castle is surrounded with mountains and huge palm trees. The castle is a true oasis in the desert mountain and before Samail, there is another small fort known for its watchtowers which overlook the entire valley.

8. Nizwa

Nizwa has many interesting places to visit such as the animal and vegetable market, the castle with old Portuguese cannons, the potteries and the old town. In Nizwa, you can also visit the famous Falaj canal system and supply of water to the oasis, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

9. Jibreen Castle

Jibreen Castle (or Jabrin Castle) is a perfect example of military architecture in the region. It was built by Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Ya’arubi in 1670. Exploring the interior of this huge castle is so fantastic. You can also enjoy the views from the top of the tower and also discover the fabulous ceilings of many rooms inside the hall.

10. Ras Madrakah Beach

On this beach of Ras Madrakah, thousands of crabs make the wild beach their territory and it’s very amusing running after them towards the water. This gives you the perfect natural beach experience.

11. Jebel Akhdar

The landscapes here are very amazing and it is a very perfect place for off-road experience, with the perfect vehicle of course. Green Mountain, as it is often called, is part of Al Hajar Mountains range and it is 9800 feet high.

12. Bahla

Bahla is located in Northern Oman and it is an incredible destination for tourists and visitors. In Bahla, you can see the walls of the city, which are made from adobe and stretch for nearly seven miles in length.

13. Haat Village

The Haat village is lost in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar Mountains. In this village, there are several stone houses that are protected by palm trees. There is also a small river, Falaj irrigation system, and a water tank. It is heavily protected by a member of the village who is always present.

14. Al Hazm

Al Hazm is a place with lots of history. It has a large fortress and various ruins of an old village. There’s also an ancient tomb at the top of hill with charming scenery, mixing green palm trees and desert mountains.

15. Sadah Coast

Sadah is a small village by the sea and it has landscapes that are amazing and of unique beauty. The surrounding mountains are made of black rock and over the rocks are sands from the beach. Driving to this coast is very fantastic.

16. Omani Family Homestay

To be received by an Omani family is a unique experience because these people are friendly and excellent hosts, more importantly, when you get an invitation to drink tea, coffee or eat, accept it, it’ll be a memorable experience.

17. Musandam Fjords

Musandam Peninsula is separated from the rest of the country. It is widely known for its refreshing fjords of desert mountains and waters covered with shades of blue. This place is mostly called the “Norway of Arabia” because of the serenity and beauty.

18. Khasab Fortress

This is located in the capital of Musandam and it is more accessible coming from the United Arab Emirates because it is closer there than it is to the rest of Oman and that’s due to the fact that the Musandam region is separated from the rest of the country. It was built by the Portuguese in 1623 and today, it serves as the Traditional Musandam Culture Museum.

19. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a stunning modern mosque that lives up to its name with space for 20,000 worshippers. The main prayer hall features a massive chandelier, blue mosaic tiles, and the second largest Iranian rug in the world; it reportedly took 600 women four years to weave this rug.

20. Wahiba Sands

To have that true desert feeling, riding on camels, or riding on your off-road vehicle watching camels wander past, with friends or family; the Wahiba Sands is the perfect place for this.