Sweeping down from the lively Port Sultan Qaboos to the 16th-century forts of Mirani and Jalali, the Muttrah Corniche marks the seafront boundary of Muscat’s Old Town. Walking or driving the coastal Al Bahri Road covers one of Muscat’s most scenic stretches, sandwiched between the lapping waves of the Gulf of Oman to the north and the looming Al Hajar Mountains, which separate the neighborhoods of Old Muscat from the modern city in the west.
Start out from the harbor where wooden dhows jostle for space with modern cruise liners and the circular towers of Muttrah fort keep a watchful eye over the bay. From here, the road runs east for around 3km along the coast, passing by the famous Muttrah fish market and souk and Al Lawatiya Mosque, with its striking gold-dome topped minaret, before jutting inland through the historic city gates of Old Muscat center. The leafy Al Riyam Park and the golden sands of Al Bustan Beach also lie along the Corniche, breaking up the sprawl of dazzling white architecture and making ideal dolphin-spotting areas.