Oman’s evocative landscapes and its overwhelming hospitality make it an absolute delight to explore.
Our short trip starts in the capital, Muscat, a lively city with an interesting old town and a good place to get to grips with modern Oman. From here we drive to the Indian Ocean coast, looking for turtles, and then travel into the vast sands of the Arabian Desert, camping overnight next to towering dunes and hoping to meet Bedouin nomads – a journey to satisfy any latent desert fantasies that you may hold! We visit Nizwa, with its historic fort and travel into the mountains through dramatic scenery, visiting traditional village and Jebel Shams – the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’.
This is a journey to the heart of ancient Arabia, where age old traditions still hold sway amid a timeless land.
Day 1 – Arrival Muscat
Arrive in Muscat and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to explore the city. Overnight at Al Falaj Hotel or similar.
Day 2 – Muscat – Sur – Ras Al Jinz
Visit the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the Middle East. Then drive through spectacular scenery of rugged mountains to the small fishing town of Quriyat, and then continue to Wadi Shab, a gorgeous oasis with inviting pools where it may be possible to take a dip. After lunch, continue to Sur, renowned in the past for its dhow shipyards, before reaching Ras al Jinz on the coast. After an early dinner, visit the turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz, where at night green turtles, after a journey of thousands of kilometres, come ashore to lay their eggs. Overnight Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve or similar. (BLD)
Day 3 – Ras Al Jinz – Wadi Bani Khalid – Wahiba Sands
Drive to Wadi Bani Khalid – an oasis spot in the middle of barren and dry mountains. It is one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman and its pools with clear deep blue water give you an opportunity to take a refreshing dip. After lunch, we head into the Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white sea of sand. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight. After some exciting sand dune driving we reach our desert camp for the night. Overnight at 1000 Nights Camp or similar. (BLD)
Day 4 – Wahiba Sands – Ibra – Jabrin Castle – Bahla – Nizwa
Morning drive to the historic town of Nizwa, Oman’s cultural capital. Before reaching Nizwa we visit Ibra Old Houses. Then proceed to Jabrin castle, built in the 17th century and one of the finest of its kind. Its magnificent plasterwork, the carved doors and the painted wooden beams of the ceilings make this castle very different from others in Oman. Afterwards continue to Bahla, one of the oldest small towns of Oman and in the 12th century the local tribal capital. We will stop and admire the views of the city and its magnificent fort before continuing to Nizwa for the night. Overnight at Al Diyar Hotel or similar. (BLD)
Day 5 - Nizwa – Jebel Akhdar – Jebel Shams
This morning we visit Nizwa souq as well as its famous fort, built in the 17th century. We then drive to Jebel Akdhar. In Arabic Jebel Akhdar means green mountains, and the area is famous for its gardens, farms and terrace plantations. We visit Wadi Habib to see one of the remote villages and fruit plantations. We then continue to the spectacular Jebel Shams where we will overnight in the mountains. Overnight at Jebel Shams Resort or similar. (BLD)
Day 6 - Jebel Shams – Al Hamra – Wadi Bani Awf – Muscat
After breakfast, enjoy the spectacular view of Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’. We then drive to Al Hamra and Misfah, to see one of the oldest villages of this region. The traditional mud houses dating back from 400 years are still occupied. After an early lunch, we head to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon and with what is called the ‘snake gorge’ in the middle of the steep mountain cliffs. This is a stunning part of Oman with fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. We drive to the town of Nakhl with its fully restored fort on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat for the night. Overnight at Al Falaj Hotel or similar. (BLD)
Day 7 – Departure Muscat
Explore Muscat on a half day city tour, visiting the old walled district of Muscat. We also visit Muttrah Souq, where you can bargain for handicrafts and silver items. In the afternoon we take a sunset cruise, before transferring to Muscat airport for your return flight. (BL)
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