There’s something about an oasis — or even just the idea of it — that naturally draws people. It could be the unexpected juxtaposition of cool water surrounded by dry, arid land and sand. Or perhaps it’s the welcoming shade of verdant palms swaying in the wind. Maybe it’s both.
Whatever pops into your head when you think of an oasis, be prepared to get blown away by these jaw-dropping oases around the world. It’s amazing how beautiful our planet is!
Crescent Lake, Dunhuang, China
Known locally as Yueyaquan, Crescent Lake is a moon-shaped body of water located just 6 kilometres from the town of Dunhuang. It’s a popular destination, where tourists are offered camel and 4×4 rides.
Ziz Oasis, Tafilalet, Morocco
The largest oasis in Morocco, the Ziz Oasis, springs up from the world’s largest desert — the Sahara.
Khar Nurr, Mongolia
A welcome respite for any desert explorer, this beautiful lake in Central Asia is encircled by sand dunes. Khar Nuur, which means Black Lake, is the second-largest freshwater lake in Mongolia.
Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman
From its curved entryway to its deep azure waters and even deeper gorges, Wadi Bani Khalid is a sight to behold!
Mihir Garh, Rajasthan, India
Okay, so this isn’t exactly an oasis in the traditional sense. But this absolutely gorgeous 5-star hotel (once a fort) in the middle of the Thar Desert should definitely be considered an oasis, right? It’s easily one of the world’s most extraordinary hotels.
Siwa Oasis, Egypt
Tucked between the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert and the Qattara Depression sits this stunning oasis just 50 kilometres from the Egypt-Libya border. Besides being stunning, the land is known for being extremely fertile, explaining the countless date palm and olive trees.
Liwa Oasis, UAE
What’s special about the Liwa Oasis is that it’s the place of birth for the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But, naturally, if there’s one thing the UAE does well, it’s upscale their heritage sites. Today, you can ride a 300-metre-high Moreeb sand dune (one of the largest in the world) before calling it a day at one of the plush luxury properties in the area.
Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, USA
Majestic, breath-taking, sacred — these three words would be the easiest way to describe the mighty Havasu Falls. This isn’t an accessible location to reach, but it sure would be worth it!
Huacachina Oasis, Peru
With a name that translates to ‘weeping woman’, Huacachina has a legendary tale behind it. The story goes that this natural lake was formed from the tears of a green-eyed woman weeping for the death of her beloved. Today, only life and joy abound here, as you can take paddle boat rides on the water or ride the dunes on a sandboard.
Ubari Oasis, Fezzan, Libya
Peppered throughout an area known as the Ubari Sand Sea are around 20 micro lakes — small, palm-fringed bodies of water that stand out in what’s essentially… a sea of sand. Some 200,000 years ago, this region was a massive lake that received plenty of rainfall. Today, only hints of that mega lake remain as these beautiful oases.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, Brazil
Beach or desert? With towering, powdery-soft white sand dunes and the occasional deep blue lagoon, it might be easy to get confused. There’s definitely no sea or ocean here. Instead, this arid area has seasonal rainwater lagoons — the two largest being Lagoa Azul and Lagua Bonita.
Timia, Agadez, Niger
Another one for the Sahara Desert! This beautiful enclave is the Timia Oasis, located amidst the Aïr Mountains of the Agadez Region in northern Niger. IT holds water all year round and is known for its fruit trees — something unusual for the Sahara.