An ancient crossroads of civilisations and cultures, Oman offers intrepid travellers the chance to engage with an Arab country that’s refreshingly humble. Its varied landscapes leave a treat for the eyes, with unspoiled stretches of coastline strewn with white-sand beaches. Mudbrick villages cling to the side of rocky valleys. Soaring mountain ranges are sliced with bottomless canyons, while the great Wahiba Sand Dunes seem to ripple endlessly into the desert. All this is spread across three huge regions. The northernmost is home to Muscat, Oman’s chaotic capital. Here you can find a myriad of old forts, grand mosques and royal palaces – some explorable on foot, others requiring a little more effort to reach. To escape the crowds, take a day trip to Nakhal Fort, a stone-carved citadel found at the foot of the Hajar Mountains. These towering peaks stretch all the way to the United Arab Emirates, hiding riverbed oases and jagged fjords. In the southern region, the palm-fringed beaches of Salalah make for an ideal retreat after the long, dusty journey down the coast. Accommodation options are aplenty here, with a range of hotel resorts and simple guesthouses to choose from in the bigger cities and coastal towns.