This tour takes you along the rugged, beautiful and virtually deserted coast road to the ancient town of Sur, offers the opportunity to see turtles hatching, and to overnight in a Bedouin encampment in the Wahiba Sands. Alternatively you can combine this itinerary with our Nizwa and the Mountains itinerary - see the Best of Oman combination itinerary.
Day 1 Depart from London Heathrow on an overnight flight to Muscat
Day 2 Depart mid-morning by a 4WD vehicle along the scenic and rugged coastal route. This drive along the coast offers great views of the blue waters of the Gulf of Oman. First stop is the Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue-green water at the bottom. Later, there is a stop at a white-sand beach where you can swim. Take a picnic lunch at Wadi Tiwi with its lush green plantations, and then continue through mountain terrain to the ancient port of Sur. If you wish, you can go on to watch the turtles nesting on the sands at Ras Al Jinz, a sanctuary for green turtles. Overnight at Carapace Lodge.
Day 3 After breakfast, continue driving along the coast passing several small fishing villages until you reach Al Ashkarah town, where the road heads inland. Stop at Jalan Bani Bu Ali where you can see (from outside only) the 200-hundred-year-old mosque with 52 domes, as well as the extensive ruins of an old fort. As you travel inland, the rocky scrubland and hills begin to be covered in sand that drifts in until everything is coated in wind-blown sand. Wadi Bani Khalid, with its deep blue-green waters and pretty small villages embedded in the mountains, makes a good stopping point for a swim before continuing to the desert. The Wahiba Sands are a vast mass of red and white sand with dunes rising up to 200 meters. You stay at a Bedouin encampment about 20km into the Sands. Your experienced driver can take you riding the dunes for some sand-bashing fun on your way to the Thousand Nights Camp, the overnight stop. Your home for the night is a Bedouin tent lit by oil lamps. Sit cross-legged on a carpet for a traditional Bedouin dinner, served in the main meal tent. Your guide will explain the various features and customs of Bedouin life.
Day 4 After breakfast at the camp, head out of the Sands to drive back to Muscat. On the way, stop at Ibra, an ancient trading town situated on the old caravan route to Sur from the interior. You can walk through the alleys of the old quarter to see the grand old merchant houses with ornate doors and windows. Arrive in Muscat in time for lunch and a four night stay at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort at Al Bandar.
Day 8 Depart from Muscat on your day flight back to London Heathrow
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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