Bibi Miriam's Tomb


The ruined tomb of Bibi Miriam is about all that remains of the 2nd-century settlement of Qalhat, one of the most ancient sites in Oman. There’s not much left to see, but if you pay the site a visit, you’ll be in excellent company: both Marco Polo in the 13th century and Ibn Battuta in the 14th century stopped here on their travels. A site restoration began in 2014 and is ongoing. Until it's complete, you can spot the tomb from the highway.

If you make it over to the outlying grounds that extend to the sea, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your journey to Qalhat was a tad more adventurous than that of your travelling forebears. In Marco Polo's day, Qalhat was a busy port frequented by merchant ships from India and a hub for the trade in horses from the interior. Today only the tomb, water cistern and remnants of city walls are visible, and in place of barques and dhows, all that the sea brings to the shore are sharks, sardines and rays. If you camp nearby, you'll find the water is often spangled at night with green phosphorus.