Located on the south-east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman has borders with the United Arab Emirates, with Saudi Arabia and with Yemen. Much of the central part of the country is a vast desert plain, crossed by Wilfred Thesiger during his explorations of the 'Empty Quarter'. In the north, the impressive Al Hajar range of mountains rise up close to 3000 metres, with the capital city of Muscat occupying a thin strip of coastal land between these rocky peaks and the Gulf of Oman. Far too hot for most of the year, the Al Hajar mountains are perfect for trekking during the period from November to early March. Sheer-sided canyons, shaded oases, rugged trails, hidden gardens and far-reaching views from the top of Jabal Akhdar will provide unforgettable memories of this friendly Arab state. Explore the forts and market streets of the inland town of Nizwa, camp on a pure white-sand beach and watch the sailing dhows as they ply their age old trade routes - this is the Middle East's best kept secret.