February offers a mild, Mediterranean-esque climate in Oman. The mystical port city of Muscat, the dreamy capital of the Sultanate of Oman, surrounded by beautiful mountains and desert, which also houses two 500-year-old Portuguese forts, a Royal Opera House, and a mosque with an impressive 164-foot dome makes for an unusual and exciting holiday destination. The city has a character quite unlike its neighbouring capitals. Though modern, you’ll hardly find any high-rises here and even functional buildings are required to reflect tradition with a dome or an arabesque window.
Top things to see and do: Visit the Sultan Qaboos, the only mosque in Muscat, open to non-Muslims. The Persian carpet here measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; head to the Royal Opera House, a majestic architectural masterpiece; try the Omani Shuwa which is considered one of the main national dishes of Oman and consists of tender, spiced, delicately cooked meat; go to the National Museum to understand Oman’s rich history; enjoy Muscat’s pristine beaches that are perfect for any water-related activity and indulge in all kinds of water sports; don’t miss Muttrah in the heart of the old city of Muscat, famous for its traditional souk and the extraordinary corniche that combines views of crystal clear waters, mountains and the city’s old houses and buildings.
How to get there: The Muscat International Airport is the only international airport. Air India Express offers flights to Muscat from Amritsar, Delhi, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram. For travelling from outside of India, one can choose from operators like Oman Air, British Airways, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, and Emirates, depending upon where you are travelling from.
Where to stay: The Sheraton Oman Hotel in the Muscat Governorate area or Crown Plaza Muscat a 2 minute walk from the beach, overlooking the Gulf of Oman and featuring a private bay.