Discover the magic of the Sultanate of Oman - history, desert and sea
From high mountains and vast deserts to historic forts and dazzling mosques, Oman has it all. Situated on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula, this country can offer a cultural heritage that is older than 6000 years, warm waters, where dolphins and turtles live, deep fjords to be explored by dhow and desert landscapes with tempting possibilities for trekking or camel riding.
On this amazing tour you will have the chance to enjoy the open desert landscapes of Wahiba Sands, home to isolated settlements of semi-nomadic Bedouin; to explore the lively capital Muscat, voted Arab capital 2012, with its lovely port and bustling souq, where you can buy anything from spices to shoes; to discover historic events in Nizwa; to witness the birth of a new life at Ras al Hadd, and to experience sailing on a traditional dhow. Oman’s diversity of landscapes, wildlife and heritage means that there is truly something for everyone, who comes to visit this extraordinary country.
♦ Muscat - the bustling capital of Oman with its beautiful bay
♦ Ras al Jinz - the scientific center for observation of giant turtles
♦ Oman's beautiful nature - Wahiba Sands and the wadis
♦ Nizwa - the cultural capital of the country
Day 1, Sunday: Arrival in Muscat
Arrival at Muscat International Airport. After proceeding through immigration and collecting your luggage you will be met by your driver in the arrivals hall. Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Overnight in Muscat.
Day 2, Monday: Batinah tour
After breakfast excursion to the Batinah, the fertile coastal area of the country. First stop is the small town of Barka, where we visit the fish market. We then continue to the village of Nakhal, surrounded by countless date palms, and known for its hot springs. Visit the beautifully restored Nakhal fort, built in 16th c. on a huge rock by an Imam of the Bani Kharous dynasty. After a picnic lunch (not included in price) at the hot springs of Ain Thowarra we will head to Rustaq for a photo stop at the hot springs and at Al Hazm fort. Return to Muscat and overnight.
Distance: appr. 325km
Day 3, Tuesday: Muscat citytour incl. 2-hour boat trip
At 09:30 h depart for the citytour, which begins with a visit to the magnificent Grand Mosque, built with sandstone and marble. A beautiful Swarowski chandelier and a huge handmade Persian carpet adorn the main prayer hall. Then continue to the Muttrah Souk, a traditional oriental market. Enjoy the lively atmosphere and the scent of frankincense and spices. You visit Bait Al Zubair museum. This privately owned museum, located in the old town of Muscat, is known for its fine collection of traditional costumes, antique jewellery and weapons. Afterwards we will have a photo stop at Al Alam Palace, the palace of the Sultan followed by a 2 hours boat ride along the coast of Muscat. On the way back to the hotel photo stop at the Royal Opera House and drive through the ministries- and embassies area (Lunch included in a local restaurant during the tour). Overnight in Muscat.
Distance: appr. 80km
Day 4, Wednesday: Muscat – Birkat al Mauz – Bahla - Al Hamra – Jebel Shams – Nizwa
After breakfast we will leave Muscat and depart towards the interior of Oman. First stop is the village of Birkat Al Mauz with its many gardens. Continue to Bahla for a photo stop and proceed to the small town of Al Hamra, where many of the traditional mudhouses are still intact. From there we go up to the village of Misfat which literally clings to the side of the mountain. Take a walk through the village and see the traditional irrigation channels (Falaj). We will then switch to 4x4 vehicles and go further up to Jebel Shams, the ‘mountain of the sun”. Enjoy the spectacular view from the ‘Grand Canyon’. (Lunch during the tour in a local restaurant) Proceed to Nizwa for overnight stay.
Distance: appr. 350km
Day 5, Thursday: Nizwa – Jabrin – Al Mudayrib – Wahiba
After breakfast, visit Nizwa, former capital of Oman. Visit the Nizwa Souq. It lies in the vicinity of the walls of the famous Nizwa Fort. Its building embraces both traditional and modern architectural lines. Through its many alleys and divisions, Nizwa Souq has remained for hundreds of years home to a number of local industries, such as daggers, copper, spinning, livestock sale, fish, vegetables and handicrafts. Later, you will visit Jabrin Castle, Omans most beautiful castle with its winding hallways, hidden staircases and beautifully decorated interior. Then you continue the journey towards the desert, on the way visit a 18th century village of “Al Mudayrib”, still inhabited as it always was and has managed to keep its atmosphere and character, although here too new buildings are emerging around the old settlement. Later arrive in Wahiba Sands‘. 4x4 vehicles will take you to the camp. Dinner (included in price) and overnight at the Desert.
Distance: appr. 220km
Day 6, Friday: Wahiba – Wadi Bani Khaled – Sur
After breakfast you will have some free time to enjoy the desert atmosphere. Then the 4x4 vehicles will take you back to the bus. We will then visit Wadi Bani Khaled, which stands in strong contrast to the desert with its natural pools and greenery. Optional lunch in a local restaurant (not included in price). After lunch we will continue to the coastal town of Sur. Dinner in the hotel (included in price). Overnight in Sur
Distance: appr. 210km
Optional: night excursion to Ras Al Jinz turtle resevre, where you can see the nestling turtles (paid on spot)
Day 7, Saturday: Sur – Wadi Tiwi - Muscat
After breakfast we will have a short city tour in Sur and a visit to the dhow building yards. After that we will start our journey back to Muscat along the coast. We will stop at the beautiful Wadi Tiwi and have lunch at the Wadi Shab Resort (included in price). Accommodation at the hotel in Muscat and free time. Overnight in Muscat
Distance: appr. 250km
Day 8, Sunday: Departure
Transfer to the airport and departure or extension of your tour with more overnights in Muscat
The price includes: ► Accommodation in Standart hotels in Nizwa and Sur, camp in Wahiba (chalet room), Standart hotel in Muscat in dbl standard room, incl. breakfast ► English speaking local guide (excl. transfers) ► Airport transfers with local driver ► Meals as per the program: 4 half board & 1 Full board day ►Entrance fees to the places/sights mentioned in the program ► Drinking water during excursions
The price does not include: ► Flights ► travel insurance ► visa ► Meet & Greet Muscat inside the airport/transit ► drinks and meals not mentioned ► personal expenses ►tips
Price of extra services: ►single room supplement: 310 EUR ►extra night in Muscat at 4* hotel: 80 EUR pp in a double room; 130 EUR single room ►This tour can also be arranged with superior accommodation - hotels with higher standard: on request
Visa: The visa is issued upon arrival to citizens of all EU countries.
• 5 OMR (around 13 USD / 10 EUR) for stays up to 10 days
• 20 OMR (around 55 USD / 40 EUR) for stays up to 30 days.
Practical information: The tour can be arranged in July, August and December only on request. Visitors should ask permission before attempting to photograph people or their property. ‘No Photography' signs exist in certain places and must be observed. Women should dress modestly beyond the hotel grounds, i.e. long skirts or dresses (below the knee) with covered shoulders; men should wear trousers and shirts with sleeves. Tight-fitting clothes should be restricted to hotel restaurants to avoid giving offence although this is not strictly followed by some Westerners. Shorts should not be worn in public and beachwear is prohibited anywhere except the beach. Women should cover their head with a scarf when visiting a mosque. Collecting seashells, abalone, corals, crayfish and turtle eggs is also prohibited. Avoid tap water and dairy products, which are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.
Recommended period of travelling: September - April