The Norway of Arabia
Located on the Straight of Hormuz between Oman, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, Khasab is small, but far from sleepy. Khasab was virtually unreachable by land for centuries until a modern coastal road that hugs the twists and turns of the spectacular coastline was recently opened. This relative isolation has contributed to its considerable steeped-in-time charm and welcoming residents.
Renowned as “the Norway of Arabia” for its beautiful fjords and massive cliffs (but far more temperate climate) Khasab is best enjoyed from the water. Go for a dhow cruise—a traditional Arab sailing boat—and get up close and personal with the spectacular scenery and the dolphins that live in the aquamarine waters. Back on dry land, catch a glimpse of Khasab’s Portuguese colonial past with a trip to Khasab Castle. Built in the 17th century, the castle has been restored to its former glory and houses a unique collection of items that help tell the history and heritage of this fascinating area. And be sure to stop by the Sikkit market in the center of town to pick up the region’s main export—palm dates.
Dominating the small harbor is the well-preserved 17th century stone fort. Learn about the area’s history as you explore the complex, which also houses an interesting ethnographic museum.
Cruise around the khors (fjords) on the Musandam Peninsula on a traditional dhow and see why this area is called the Norway of Arabia. Take in beautiful coastline, snorkel in crystal-clear water offshore from Telegraph Island, and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins.
The “Mountain of Women,” is named for the days when local women would retreat into the mountainous caves for protection from pirates and rival tribes when the men of the area were on expeditions. Take in some amazing fossils, petroglyphs, and an ancient graveyard, as well as stunning views of the area.
Khasab, Oman At a glance