Long Weekend Trip to Salalah, Oman, with Audi Q7

Every month a new trip will be uploaded to this site: enjoy!

Who in their right mind undertakes a 1,200-kilometre drive on an evil, tyre-eating, interminable strip of straight tarmac across one of the most barren, flattest, hottest desert landscapes on this planet?

There must be something really special about the destination, an observant reader might venture; and indeed, in this case, there is: the town of Salalah, the southern-most port in Oman. It’s the only geographical region in the entire Middle East to benefit from the annual monsoon winds, creating a micro-climate that covers the area in lush green vegetation, unleashes spectacular waterfalls, wraps mountain peaks in thick fog, and transforms what is the second-largest city in Oman into a tropical paradise.

Download the KML file for your GPS by clicking here. Once downloaded, you can import the file into your GPS device and take it on the road, or double-click that file and it will open automatically in Google Earth if you have that installed (all adventurers should! Google Earth).

And here is an interactive map of the route.
View Salalah – October 2010 in a larger map

Audi Q7 in Salalah

The feeling you get when after 1,200km of barren desert you suddenly emerge into a verdant paradise is incredible - Dar Rossetti, 12, goes crazy in the fresh air of the Dhofar Mountains from the roof of an Audi Q7.

The monsoon season, the “Khareef” in Arabic, only happens during the summer months, from June to September.

Audi in a wave

The Audi Q7 proved to be the ideal car for this tough trip - fast and solid on the rough tarmac, comfortable and sporting the most advanced safety features, and then rough enough to play off-road and experience Salalah to the fullest!

Foggy tree

Salalah View

The GPS route I propose will take you up and around, and off-road, in the Dhofar Mountains.


Fellow adventurer Rui Guimaraes pensively studies the view over the Indian Ocean from a vantage point west of Salalah - the landscape is mesmerizing and touches the soul.

Gun market in Salalah

At the gun market in the old quarter of Salalah, men trade rifles and hunting equipment.

Jebeli tribesman

A Jebeli tribesman dressed in traditional clothing carries a curved knife and hunting rifle wherever he goes.

Old wall in Mirbat, Salalah

The old quarter in the village of Mirbat

Young gecko, by Melissa Royle-Guimaraes

A young gecko peers out from a verdant fern - photo by Melissa Royle-Guimaraes.

Please read the original article: Driving the Green Miles. Published by The National, Oct 10, 2010.

Or view a pdf file of the original article here, as published.

Please make sure you read the Disclaimer and plan your trips with due care.

22 thoughts on “Long Weekend Trip to Salalah, Oman, with Audi Q7

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    • I think the rainy season ended a few months before December, so you might still catch some grass, but I think it’ll be mostly dry and the magic will have passed. Better wait for next summer and use UAE National Day for wadis, which is when you might get them flowing nicely.

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  7. Just back from 9 days in Salalah, used the info from your site along with some of the routes and waypoints – very useful, thanks so much for taking the time to share the info. Writing a blog on my website now (given you a couple of honourable mentions) – http://www.mbfullemptyquarter.com.

  8. Well done, Paulo – you posted this trip just at the right time of year. We will make the trip down again and see where your tracks take us.

  9. your website is good, thank you! I want to go to salahla with that car – can u tak eme?

    • Dear Dulce, if you can change a flat tyre in the dark, de-shell a kg of fresh shrimp with your fingernails, spot my car up a rough and narrow mountain track, and sleep in a tent without complaining, you’d still need to convince my wonderful wife of 23 years! 8)

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