Affectionately described by its people as 'The Jewel of the Middle East", the Sultanate of Oman lies on the eastern edge of the region with a picturesque, white-sand coastline that faces out onto the turquoise Indian Ocean. 

Steeped in a rich culture and history, the country possesses a past that includes tales of pirates and smugglers with a few years of Portuguese occupation to boot!

The capital city of Muscat is quaint and most importantly, very safe to walk around in, with the Omani people being renowned for being the most friendly and hospitable in the Middle East. 

Vaious sights of OmanCredit: Wayne Farrell

Whatever your tastes or budget, you will find amazing things to do and see in this wonderful country.

For those who like to look back in time, Muscat has a plethora of museums and galleries including Bait Al Zubair which gives the visitor a in-depth look at traditional Omani handicrafts and heritage, where you can also sample one of the country's most famous and valuable exports: Frankincense. 

If you feel like a spot of daring-do. then look no further than the town of Nizwa, where a quick off-road ride in a 4x4 will bring you into the canyon at Snake Gorge. It's one way in and one way out, so once you jump off the ledge into the water filled canyon, you have only the option to trek down the gorge until you come out the other side.

Climbers will love Oman's via ferrata sites and adventurers and explorers alike will adore the abundance of trekking and mountain bike trails that Oman is slowly but surely becoming famous for.

But with over 1000km of beautiful coastline, water-sport is the life's blood of tourism in the country with dive sites to rival anywhere in the world. A quick jump into the ocean at Ras Al Hadd will have you coming into contact with dolphins and sea-turtles with one of the world's best marine life sanctuaries allowing you to watch mother turtles laying eggs in the sands at night.

Following that, why not take an overnight trip out to the amber dunes of Wahiba Sands, where you can camp out, Lawrence of Arabia-style, under the stars after a hearty meal of barbecued meat and rice.

On the way back, stop off at the Muttrah Souq where you are can find all the gold and silver trinkets you could ever require. Remember that bargaining is a must: start at 20% of the asking price and meet in the middle. You will, of course, be doing this while sipping traditional Omani kahwa, which is served as a goodwill gesture at every stall you visit.

To recover from your caffeine excess, finish off your trip at one of Muscat's five star hotels and spas, and you will be hard pushed to find a more perfect getaway within the region.

Just don't tell anyone else about it. Ok?