Shutterstock / Marcin Szymczak

Al Hamra

This venerable village at the foot of the Hajar Mountains is one of the oldest in Oman, and it is interesting for its well-preserved row of two- and three-storey mud-brick houses built in the Yemeni style. There are many abandoned houses in the upper parts of the village, which make for an atmospheric stroll, especially at sunset when the honey-coloured buildings appear to melt into one.

Visitors are welcome, and there's a museum devoted to domestic pursuits that helps open up the inner life of this 400-year-old community. As with most rural villages in Oman, it's best to explore on foot.

Al Hamra has a new as well as an old quarter; these are located either side of a large plantation of dates. The route through the old quarter is best explored on foot by following the falaj (irrigation channel) at the bottom of the village.