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A summer cool down in Oman

While during the summer months temperatures on the Arabian Peninsula tend to rise above 40 degrees Celsius, the climate in certain areas of Oman such as the Al Hajar Mountains and region of Dhofar is temperate and enjoyable. Thus, a trip to the Sultanate is a good idea even in summer! Coolness can be found in southern Oman, where summer coincides with the monsoon season and a daily rainstorm cools the landscape and makes wildlife grow and flourish. From snorkeling with majestic sea creatures which love the Omani summer months and kiting at sea to a refreshing dip in one of the wadis or a round of golf under the stars in the cooler evening air. Keep cool in Oman with these six activities.

A totally rainy holiday – natural phenomenom “Khareef”
No other region contrasts more with the stereotypes of the Arabian Peninsula than the coastal plain of Dhofar during the three summer months. Due to the monsoon rains from June to September, temperatures in the southernmost region of Oman drop to a “chilly” 20 degrees Celsius, the barren slopes are suddenly covered by cloud forest vegetation and a tropical atmosphere prevails in the capital Salalah. This climatic change is known as "Khareef" (monsoon season). Within a narrow strip of land stretching about 250 kilometers from east to west, there is a jungle atmosphere between the coconut palm-lined beaches and the plantations with exotic fruits. At its deepest point, the monsoon extends only about 30 kilometers inland from the coast, creating a dramatic contrast between the green, coast-facing oasis landscape and the surrounding still very arid Empty Quarter.

Wadis full of water fun
It’s sunny and warm in Oman in the summer, so water fun is always a good idea. With temperatures of 26 to 31 degrees, it is a lot cooler underwater than above. A visit to one of the wadis is a must. The Arabic word wadi is best translated as river gorge. Oman is home to a large number of these shady valleys where pools of fresh water are surrounded by green palms and plants. The wadis are mostly hidden in the mountainous landscape. The road to them often leads through a shady gorge and the lake at the end is a refreshing surprise.

A three-hour drive southwest of Oman’s capital Muscat lies the Wadi Bani Khalid, one of the most popular wadis in Oman. The walk to the wadi is short (about 10 minutes) and it is rewarded with a stunning lake full of crystal-clear water surrounded by jagged mountain scenery. Take a refreshing dip or find a spot in the shade to enjoy a picnic. Another beautiful wadi is Wadi Darbat. This popular wadi is located in southern Oman in the Dhofar region, about 40 kilometers north of Salalah. Wadi Darbat is part of a natural park full of waterfalls, mountains, rivers, lakes and caves. The large lake is popular with the Omani people, too. Follow their example and bring your own picnic. A fun way to get in touch with the friendly and hospitable locals.

Snorkeling at the Daymaniyat Islands
The underwater world along the coast of Oman is relatively untouched and lends itself perfectly to snorkeling. During the summer months, from July to October, the plankton-rich waters off the coast of Muscat are popular grounds with whale sharks. One of the best snorkeling spots to see these majestic creatures, along with other fascinating marine life, are the Daymaniyat Islands in the Gulf of Oman. Located off the coast of the capital between Barka and Al Seeb, these nine islands form a protected marine reserve where endangered sea turtles, pristine coral reefs and exotic fish live peacefully.

A whale shark and snorkelers swimming in the sea

Snorkeling with whale sharks off the coast of Muscat © MolaMola Diving Center

Hiking in the Hajar Mountains
The high mountains of Oman, the Hajar Mountains, are characterised by pleasant warm temperatures around 30 degrees during the summer months with mild temperatures during the evening. One of the most spectacular hiking routes in Oman is the Balcony Hike (the W6 route). The trail begins in Al Khitaym, a village 130 kilometers (130 miles) west of Muscat as the crow flies. For four kilometers, the hike leads along the 500-meter-deep Wadi Ghul Gorge, known as "the Grand Canyon of Oman”. The barren rock cliffs and jagged rocks have an almost otherworldly feel. Back and forth, the hike takes about three to four hours.

Green mountains in foreground and mountain landscape in background

The green oasis of Wakan in the Hajar Mountains in Oman © Ministry of Heritage & Tourism Sultanate of Oman

Playing golf in Muscat
For a game of golf, enthusiasts can visit the various golf courses around Muscat. The courses here are fresh green under clear blue skies. During the day, temperatures can rise considerably in the scorching sun, but the Ras Al Hamra Golf Club has come up with a solution. This course is floodlit at night, so golfers can comfortably hit their balls in the cool of the evening. With an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the sport is pleasant. Don't forget to occasionally leave the ball and look up where a dark sky is lit up by thousands of shining stars.

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