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The southernmost governorate of Oman is a world away from the industrious north and separated geographically by an interminable gravel desert. Edged by the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter to the north and an escarpment encircling the main city of Salalah in the south, this region is a fascinating place to visit, particularly during or just after the khareef (rainy season) when mists and light rains transform the hillsides from desert brown to luscious green.

If travelling between July to September, try going overland to Salalah and returning by plane. This is the best way to sense the full spectacle of the khareef across the top of the escarpment; after eight hours of gravel plains, Dhofar seems like a minor miracle. With lots of historical interest – from the city of Ubar in Shisr to Al Baleed Archaeological Park in Salalah – Dhofar is a must on most itineraries of Oman.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Dhofar.