Oman's coastal areas showcase a stunning convergence of tradition and natural beauty, making them idyllic escapes not just for the thousands of tourists that visit the country every year but, most importantly, for the locals and expats who have become accustomed to its pristine beaches that are nothing short of paradisiacal.
From the beaches in Dhofar that enjoy the kisses of the Indian Ocean to the remote beauty of Masirah Island and Ras al Jinns that offer untouched stretches of sandy beaches and a haven for nature lovers and sports enthusiasts to the scenic drive along the Batinah Coast revealing a tapestry of fishing villages, ancient forts, expansive date palm plantations, and the historic shipyards of Sur, the Omani coastline is a testament to nature's artistry. Musandam is also another treasure trove of adventure that is not fully explored but already promises unique beauty, making everyone who visits it fall in love with its rawness and ruggedness.
While many people seem to have a good grasp of the beauty of Oman's coastlines, it is interesting to note that there are still small coastal villages that have evaded the radar of adventure lovers.
On a recent coastal road trip to Dhofar, one of the most memorable discoveries we chanced upon was the beautiful remote beaches and sleepy town of Sarab. Just a 30-minute drive from Duqm, Sarab has remained a secret, revealing its beauty only to those willing to take the detour to explore its challenging cliffs and beautiful hidden sea chambers.
Sarab combines the startling beauty of Sur and Jalan Bani Bu Ali and offers much more when it comes to natural attractions. Since the majority of the local population depends on fishing for their livelihood, Sarab has limited accommodations or places to eat. Like many remote coastal villages in Oman frequently visited by strong winds, Sarab feels like a town forgotten by time, with many homes in some sort of disrepair.
On a weekend, the town centre comes to life as people of different nationalities go for Friday prayers in the various mosques scattered in the small town. It's a boisterous scene, but visiting during the weekday, save for some kids running around chasing after camels, is quite peaceful and serene.
Venturing further to the village by the sea has made our trip worth it. With dozens of fishing dhows spread across the waters, it was breathtaking to see such an amazing view from the top of one of the mountains overlooking the town—again, the view reminds you of Sur but is elevated by the snaking road that seemed to go on forever.
A few kilometres away from this village is a dirt road that leads to the sea. It was empty, the white sand sometimes being moved by the strong wind, and the sea birds complaining that their routine was being interrupted not just by juvenile seabirds but also by the waves.
The highlight of our stopover in Sarab is the visit to the nearby cliffs by the sea. Walking on its pristine beaches, we eventually found one of its best-kept secrets — a cave by the ocean that not only has an opening that looks up to heaven but also a giant doorway for the waves to come in. It was a picturesque scene, one that is worth a series of posts on Instagram.
If you visit this part of Sarab during low tide, you will have an amazing experience tracing the shore, which leads to some shallower caves. Every once in a while, you will come across fishermen collecting shells from the shore. The expat workers employed as fishermen also spend their time fishing by the cliffs, and that pretty much is the main activity for many of them.
If you're planning to do a coastal road trip, Sarab is definitely a good stop just to see the raw rugged beauty and enjoy, even just for a short time, the intriguing caves that pepper the Sarab shores.