Salalah Travel Guide + 10 Things To Do In Salalah
Updated November 2023, Salalah Travel Guide + 10 Things To Do In Salalah was originally published in July 2020
Most attractive during the lush and green khareef season, Salalah is Oman’s southern city and capital of the Dhofar Governorate. Oman has a long history as a center of Frankincense trade as much the finest come from around the Dhofar region and with Zanzibari nuances from the Sultanate’s former ties to East Africa makes Salalah feel quite unique, in fact, a world away from Muscat.
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A Quick History Of Salalah
Reaching its zenith in the 13th century when Salalah was a main center of trade along the Incense Trail, the city was the functioning capital of Dhofar. As trade slowed, the city eventually fell to ruin.
In the 19th century, Salalah was absorbed by the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, and from 1932 to 1970 it was the capital. In 1970 the capital was moved back to Muscat.
Things To Do In Salalah
Al Baleed Archeological Site & Museum Of The Frankincense Land
The ruins of Al Baleed are what remains of the ancient city of Zafar, where Frankincense was loaded on to ships bound for India. The area’s history dates back over 4,000 years and not much is known as to what lead to the ultimate abandonment of the Port of Zafar. The Museum of the Frankincense Land is a must-visit along with the Archeological Site.
Entrance to Museum of the Frankincense Land: 2 OMR
As you’ll see in this post, many of Salalah’s attractions are actually located outside of the city. Dahriz Beach is a unique one, as the beach is sat smack in the middle of the city. A lit promenade backs the coconut-fringed beach, making this a great place to picnic in the day or stroll in the evening.
Al Husn Souq
Al Husn Souq is the place to go to pick up just about anything. From clothing to Frankincense, jewelry, to souvenirs to spices you can find just about anything you might be looking for. The locals working in Husn Souq are very forward and friendly, visit twice and several people will likely even remember you.
Owing to its subtropical climate and lush khareef season, Salalah and the Dhofar region are home to a number of fruit plantations, most notably coconuts, as well as bananas and papayas. Take a two kilometer walk east of the Corniche in Salalah to reach the color fruit stands.
Short on time in Oman? Read my one week Oman road trip guide
Things To Do Near Salalah
Mughsail Beach is one of the most popular places tourists visit when in Salalah. There is a great viewpoint near the Al Marneef Cave nearby and the Mughsail Blowholes.
Al Marneef Cave
The Al Marneef Cave is a strange rock formation right on the coast. It’s easy to get to with a parking lot and walkway built right up to it, with the Mughsail Blowholes right nearby.
Al Fazayah Beach
Al Fazaya, in my opinion, is the best beach in Salalah for exploring. It’s a roughly 5 kilometer long stretch of sugary white sand with huge boulders dotting the coast. In a way, it took me back to exploring South Portugal’s Algarve beaches a few years ago, just with a different color scheme and a more wild demeanor.
A 4WD is recommended to get from the main Salalah-Surfeet Road down to the beach (however we chanced it and took a tiny car down there and made it down and up just fine).
Khor Rori sits just due east of Salalah and was once one of the most important in the world as it was an important trading post along the Frankincense route. Little is left from Khor Rori’s heyday, but the ruins of Sumhuram Archeological Park are worth a look if you’re coming all the way out here anyway.
Taqah is located just east of Salalah too, home to a fishing village and a lovely white sand beach. The main attraction to come to Taqah now is to visit the Taqah Castle. The castle dates back to the 19th century.
Entrance to the Taqah Castle: 0.50 OMR
Mirbat Fish Market
Located about 70 kilometers east of Salalah, the main attraction now is the morning Mirbat Fish Market and the bustling yet small port.
Looking for more ideas? Check out the 12 best things to do in Oman
Where To Sleep In Salalah
We stayed at the Belad Bont Resort in Salalah on my recent visit, which I thought was a great midrange option.
Off To Yemen Next?
I know that a few of you that are planning to come to Salalah intend to continue on to travel across mainland Yemen. If that’s the case check out my guide to crossing the Oman-Yemen border at Surfeet.
Have Any Questions About Visiting Salalah?
Ask any questions about any of the things to do in Salalah in the comments section below.