Musandam is the northernmost part of Oman on the Strait of Hormuz, 500 km away from Muscat, and is separated from the rest of its mainland by the United Arab Emirates. It is one of Oman's most impressive landscapes known for its spectacular rugged mountains and fjord-like sunken valleys which have led the area to be called "The Norway of Arabia". Undoubtedly, it is the most spectacular area anywhere in the Arab Gulf with the steep red rock Hajar Mountains plunging into the blue waters off the Arabian Sea from a height of almost 2000 meters, creating a labyrinth of massive fjords (or khors).
Khasab is the principal town in Musandam region, a lively place in the scenic north with landmarks that include the ruins of Bait Al Qufl, fortified buildings, and picturesque Khasab Castle that overlooks the harbor. From here you can take a relaxing half or full day dhow cruise through the turquoise waters of the 17 km long inlet "Khor Ash Sham", Musandam's most spectacular fjord, to explore the dramatic mountains that tower over the waters below. The combination of amazing scenery, swimming, snorkeling, and possibly spotting dolphins make this excursion truly unforgettable. Khasab can be accessed by road from Dubai (approx. 3 hours) or by air from Muscat (approx. 45 minutes). The world's fastest passenger ferries now provide services between Muscat and Khasab, offering luxurious comfort for the 5 hour, 450 km sea journey.
The nearby village of Tawi is home to fascinating rock paintings and petroglyphs depicting animals and warriors dating back millennia, a testimony to the long-standing settlement of the region.
At the tip of the Musandam Peninsula is Kumzar - a town accessible only by boat. Kumzar marks the northernmost settlement of Oman, a place where the people have their own unique language and culture dating back over 500 years.
Telegraph Island, or Jazirat Al Maqlab, is another popular destination in the region for snorkelers, combining awe-inspiring scenery above the water with a bounty of treasures beneath. In the 19th century, a British repeater station was located on the island to boost messages along the London to Karachi telegraphic cable. Abandoned nearly 150 years ago, the island remains deserted but for the ruins of the repeater station. A fascinating relic of the British Empire.