Al Hamra is one of the oldest, best-preserved towns of Oman, having been established in the 17th century during the Ya'arubi dynasty. With winding stone streets and rows of traditional mud-brick homes, it’s easy to get lost in its back alleys and feel as if you’ve entered another time and place. With the hot sun overhead, Al Hamra certainly feels like the desert—yet there are dozens of palm trees throughout the basin providing respite from the heat.
For the best view of the city and the surrounding Western Hajar mountain range, climb to the top of the ancient Al Hamra watchtower. In town you can also find Bait al Safah, a 400-year-old traditional home full of artifacts and historical furnishings, and Beit al Jabal, another old mud home with a little less polish. Many of the homes are two stories, supported by wooden beams, and are partly open to the sky, maintaining a unique rustic feel and preserving the culture of this area.