What to See in Masirah and Sohar (Oman)

Sohar (Oman)

Masirah, Masirah island (Oman)

Masirah Island is located 20 km off the east coast of Oman. It can only be reached by ferry from the coastal village of Shanna.

The area of the island is 649 sq. km. The relief of the island is mountainous (the highest point is Mount Madrub (256 m)), and deserted beaches stretch along its shores, where turtles (olive, leatherback and green turtles) swim in the summer to lay their eggs. For a beach holiday, the western coast of the island is suitable, where the waters are the calmest. Also on the west coast you can see about 300 species of birds, including flamingos and birds of prey. The east coast offers excellent conditions for surfing and protected beaches where turtles swim. On average, the height of the waves on the local coast is 1.5-2 m. In the summer, during the monsoon “harif” on the east coast of the island of Masirah, wind and kite surfers gather.

In addition, the coastal waters of Masirah perfect for snorkelling and diving. Diving is best off the west coast of the island in Masirah Bay. There are extensive coral reefs with thickets of “cabbage” and “brain” corals.

Fishing is also available on Masirah Island. In the open sea you can catch marlin, tuna and barracuda.

Sohar (Oman)

According to Rrrjewelry, Sohar is the capital of the fertile coastal plain of El Batin. It is located 230 km northwest of Muscat. Sohar – once the capital of the state and an ancient port city. It is believed that the famous Sinbad the Sailor was born in Sohar. Sohar is the second largest city in Oman and one of the oldest cities in the world.

The main attraction of Sohaar is its fort, which stands on a high hill off the coast. The fort was built in the 4th century AD. Persians and rebuilt under the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century, as evidenced by the ruins of a Christian church located here. The fort acquired its modern appearance in the 18th century. Today the fort Sohaar is Oman ‘s only white stone fort. It is surrounded by four-tiered walls with 5 towers and is connected to the surrounding areas by a 10-kilometer underground tunnel, which was used during sieges. The most interesting part of the fort is its museum, open to the public since 1993. It consists of 6 sections, located on 3 floors, and tells about the history of the city. From the top floor of the museum you can get to the observation deck, which offers a beautiful view of the entire city. Be sure to visit the fish market Sohaar – Suk-Siyahya, look at the mosque of Sultan Qaboos and walk through the narrow streets of the old town. In winter, on Fridays, spectacular bullfights are held in the city arenas, which are an integral part of the culture of the Al Batinah region.

In the vicinity of modern Sohaar, copper ore deposits are located, which began to be developed as early as 5000 years ago. Tourists are invited to visit such ancient copper mines as Arja, Taui Arja and El Abyad.

In the eastern part of the Al-Batinah region, on the border with the capital region, the ancient cities of Oman are of interest, each of which is protected by a fort. The city of Barka is located on the coast.with a fort of the 17th-18th centuries, on the walls of which the name of Ahmed Zafari is mentioned, who won a victory over the Persians in the early 18th century and created a large pirate state; and the town of Swake, with a 17th-century fort. West of Barka is the 17th century Beit Naman Castle, which served as a transit point for merchants. To the south is the city of Nahal with one of the most beautiful forts in Oman. The fort stands on a 200-meter hill at the foot of the Eastern Hajars. It is believed that it was built in pre-Islamic times. Not far from Nakhl, there are two ancient capitals of the state – Al-Hazm and Rustaq.. Rustak served as a capital in the 17th century, but the city has been known since earlier times. His fort was built before the adoption of Islam, it acquired its current form in the 17th century. The fort has 4 towers, the highest of which reaches 18.5 m. Rustak is also famous for its honey and the dry beds of the “wadi” rivers surrounding the city, on one of which is Wadi Hokain – in the rainy season, a picturesque waterfall 10 m high is formed. Al-Hazm became the capital of the state in the early 18th century under the fifth ruler of the Yaruba dynasty, Sultan bin Saif II. The location of the new capital was not chosen by chance: Al-Hazm stood at the crossroads of important routes from the interior of the country to the coast. The city fort was built in 1725. The fort consists of massive structures and has labyrinths of secret passages, a prison and battle towers. In the vicinity of Al-Khazm, there are hot sulfur springs of Ain El-Kasfa with a water temperature of +45 degrees, the waters of which help in the treatment of rheumatism and skin diseases.

In addition to historical attractions, the Al-Batin area is famous for its picturesque valleys of drying rivers: Wadi Bani Gafar, Wadi Bani Auf and Wadi Sahtan, where you can take jeep safaris.

Sohar (Oman)