After I told you about my trip to the highest mountain in the Emirates in one of my last posts, I would like to say to you today about another absolutely worthwhile tripon the Arabian Peninsula. If you arevacationing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you should definitely go to Musandam, where you should visit the fjords of Oman.
Without exaggeration, it was probably one of the most beautiful trips I was ever allowed to take in the mountains!
At the end of 2017, I spent a week in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), in the north of the UAE. RAK is not too far from the Oman border. Adjacent to it to the north is the Musandam peninsula, which is part of the territory of Oman and makes up the Arab side of the Strait of Hormuz.
Musandam is a so-called exclave, which means that the peninsula itself is not connected to the actual territory of Oman. In between are parts of the Emirates.
Because of the strategic importance of the Strait of Hormuz, Musandam has long been a restricted military area and has only opened to tourism in the past decade. Accordingly, the region is mostly untouched!
Norway Arabia – Fjords of Oman
In terms of landscape, Musandam is particularly worth a visit because of its mountain world. Because of the imposing fjords at the northern end of the peninsula, Musandam is often called the “Norway of Arabia.”
Reason enough for me as a mountain lover and photographer to visit the fjords of Oman. As you can see in the following panorama picture, the landscape is really unique!
Excursion to Oman
Travel to Musandam for tourists is often offered in the Emirates. Just ask in your hotel where you can findthe best book on a trip to Musandam. You definitely have to calculate a whole day and start really early. The passport should not forget her! From Dubai, it takes a little longer to get there than from RAK, from where you need about an hour by bus to the border.
At the border, you have to calculate at least an hour, maybe a little more, because you are checked both on the edge of the Emirates and by the authorities of Oman. You also have to fill out a few things to get a visa. The border guards look a little dark but are very correct,and you are addressed personally with your full last name at the passport control. A lot of value is placed on this!
Please also note that photography at the border facilities is strictly prohibited!
Then continue by bus along the coast until after another hour, you reach the village of Khasab in the north of the peninsula. Khasab is the capital of Musandam and means “fertility” in Arabic, which refers to the freshwater and the flourishing date growth.
With the dhow from Khasab to Khor Sham
In Khasab, I go onboard a dhow with the predominantly German-speaking tour group, a type of ship that is widespread in Arabia. We all have to take off our shoes and sit comfortably on carpets and cushions on the upper deck.
The type of ship to KhorSham, in the 16 km long spectacular fjord, can now begin.
After about 20 minutes we reach the entrance to the fjord. What can you say, I really know the Alps by heart, but the strange and untouched landscape of sea and mountains here in Oman has an entirely different charm.
I stare up into the mountains in awe and take numerous photos – just incredible here!
As you can see, it is incredibly hazy all day long, and the sun is burning down on us! We first visit the small town of Nadi. There are actually people in the fjord who can only reach the city by a small boat. There are other localities in the fjord, but they must not be entered as part of the tour out of respect for the locals.
We stop in several places under the mountains so people can go snorkeling. In between, there is a really delicious meal! The hills are less than 1000 m high, but they look incredibly sublime due to the adjacent sea.
I use the time to take more photos and just let my mind wander!
While I enjoy the time onboard, one of the Arab crew members catches a starfish (… of course, he will be rereleased)!
We spend a good 4-5 hours on the boat and drive deep into the fjord. You can also go kayaking here.
Do you see the kayaker in the picture?
It is already late in the afternoon, and the warm afternoon sun shines on the sea. On the way back to Khasab, we can see a colony of dolphins that we have been looking out for all day long.
Wide-angle lens for imaging extensive mountain landscapes
Extensive mountain landscapes and panoramic images can be shown particularly well with a wide-angle lens. Many of the photos you see in this post are with the Sony SEL1018 F4 OSS (10-18mm) super wide-angle lens. I have already used this excellent APS-C lens on my Sony Alpha 6000 for many of my mountain photos of the Alps.
The fjords of Oman – a place that touches
Around 6pm, I leave the dhow and take the bus home. It is already dark.
This excursion really touched me, you are so small in this landscape, and after such an event, you simply take home a lot of positive things.