The Grand Canyon of the Middle East.
If your after some holiday ideas inspiration I can highly recommend a visit to Oman. The best time of year is the northern winter, when the daytime temps for visiting in December will feel like summer for some. Daytime temperatures are around 25 degrees! So depending on where you come from you (like the UK) you would call it Summer. One of the most amazing things about this country, besides the people, is the outdoor scenary; beautiful beaches and impressive mountains. One of my favourite places to visit in the coolers months is Jebal Akhdar - meaning The Green Mountain. It is called the Grand Canyon of the Middle East. The mountain is part of the Al Hajar range which winds down the country. I love visiting this place for the air is amazingly fresh and the views are just like nothing I have seen before.
Up on the Mountain there is an old abandoned village on the side of a valley showing how Omani's lived in the past. There are old fruit trees and an ancient falaj water irrigation systems that wrap around the mountain feeding water to the village and their crops. Such an amazing feat of engineering that dates back hundreds of years.
Another place I like to visit - but have yet to stay overnight (note to husband) - is the Alila Hotel which at 2,000 metre above sea level sits majestically on on the very edge of the mountain range with breathtaking views. Its a place to base yourself if your looking to hike or explore the mountains.
When we were there at Christmas time they were trimming up a Christmas tree (yes Oman is a muslim country but a very welcoming country) which was made from the local bracken bush. You would never expect something so prickly and sharp been transformed into something to convey the spirit and beauty of the season. The hotel is built out of the rock that the mountains are made of and sits so well into its natural environment. If you've got the time - you must stay there or even stop for lunch. It really is worth the visit.
We have done many day trips from Muscat up to the mountain and it's a comfortable two hour drive. There are many little oasis's along the way to stop and cool down and take photos of spectacular green scenery in a sea of dust and rock. Omani's are known for being super friendly and are known to invite people to their homes for coffee and locally grown dates. They love meeting people. Its a sparse and brutal environment which in summers has very hot temperatures, so I think meeting new people makes them very happy. Without a doubt the Mountains of Oman will forever be one of my favourite places on earth to visit again. You will not be disappointed and will thoroughly enjoyable this destination with so much history and scenery to take in.