#68 Oman – Wadi Shab & Wahiba Sands
With many parts of the Middle East suffering a downtown in tourists due to political upheaval, one Gulf state has deservedly been boosted up the list of must-go destinations due to its reputation of being consistently calm, safe and peaceful. Dubbed the Switzerland of the Gulf, Oman, in the far southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, has kept its natural and historical gems quiet.
While it boats the oldest ruined towns in the world at multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, its perhaps two of its natural wonders that most inspired me. Along the country’s northeast coast lay multiple wadis, the local equivalent of a fjord. Exploring Wadi Shab begins where it hits the sea, its widest point. From there, hiking gets increasingly challenging (though never too difficult) the further one heads inwards and upwards between the cliff sides. But as adventurers cross old waterways and swim through pools to make it further, the beauty of the white rocks, green waters and red cliff walls only dazzles more, the farther you go.