SOHAR (ولاية صحار)

A two-hour stop was enough to enjoy Sohar, often congratulated for being well-kept. We parked next to the Corniche, an example of this civic pride. Providing an attractive pavement along which to stroll, this coast road is the social heart of town – joggers use it for exercise, visitors come for lunch at the cafes or lean against the sea wall to watch fishermen land their catch, while Sohar’s youth parade from the fort to the fish market in jeeps, waving flags for National Day.

Next to it, Sohar’s distinctive square-towered fort, built in the 13th century, allegedly boasts a 10km tunnel intended as an escape route during a siege. There is the tomb of Sayyid Thuwaini Bin Sultan Al Busaid, ruler of Oman from 1856 to 1866. The fort has recently been well restored, with several rooms furnished to give an idea of military life in 19th-century Oman. But as usual, it was closed.

Parking location – Sohar: 24.362344N 56.750452E