Be dazzled by the dreamlike world of Oman.
Adventure from portside Muscat and Muttrah into the heart of Oman’s richly coloured past. Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that make this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses. The treasures aren’t all man-made: trip to the blazing remote landscapes of Wahiba Sands for a desert getaway with the Bedouins, and soak up breathtaking canyon views at Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf before returning to the seaside capital.
Why you’ll love this trip
- Experience some traditional Omani hospitality with a one-night camping getaway under the stars in Wahiba Sands
- Discover Oman’s most phenomenal fortresses and mosques, including the beautifully preserved Jabrin Fort
- Explore the busy fishing harbour of Muttrah and mine the bustling souq for hidden treasures – anything from unique silverware to frankincense
- For a capital city, Muscat sure packs a lot of charm. Explore the tranquil waterfront and visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Day 1: Muscat
You will be treated “to warm Omani Welcome” with coffee and dates after which your Leader will provide you with a short orientation to point out the facilities and services around your hotel.
The rest of the day is free for you to make you own discoveries, or try one of the recommended restaurants for a local dinner
Day 2: Muscat
A very special lunch today; The Sidab Women’s Group is one of the unique models in empowering women through establishing a project that benefits the participants. It is an environment-friendly project that is based on the manufacturing of environmentally friendly bags that replace plastic bags. We learn about the centre and enjoy some home cooked Omani Food before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon
Day 3: Ras al Jinz
Drive through the spectacular rugged landscapes to Hawiyat Najim Park the location of the Bimmah Sinkhole a picture-perfect sink hole formed due to limestone erosion. The turquoise waters make an excellent stop to paddle the feet. We spend 30 minutes here before continuing to Wadi Shab. Due to accessibility issues, we will only be stopping at Wadi Shab for a photo stop and to enjoy a refreshing break, we will then continue to Wadi Tiwi
Wadi Tiwi is known as the wadi of nine villages, emerald pools and thick date plantations; we drive to the viewpoint to enjoy incredible vistas of the wadi before taking an easy walk past pools and palms and through the village.
We continue Ras al Jinz for the evening. Check into our hotel located on the beach and enjoy some free time before an early dinner.
This evening we make the short journey to Ras All Jinz Turtle Reserve. The easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important turtle-nesting site for the endangered green turtle. Over 20,000 females return annually to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs. Our excursion this evening is conducted in conjunction with the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and Research Centre by their experienced guides the area is under government protection and the only way to see the turtles is to join this tour. Upon arrival at the centre we will be advised if the activity will commence or not, this is a reserve and the turtles are not captive so it is up to mother nature if there will be turtles for viewing or not. Most nights there are at least one or two turtles with many more present between July and September. We don’t like to disappoint but there is a small possibility that the tour will not commence in which case your tour Leader will inform our office and an alternative activity will be arranged during your tour.
Day 4: Wahiba Sands
Notes: Activities are arranged at the discretion of camp management, and some may not be available during low occupancies and off-season periods.
Day 5: Nizwa
Then its over to Jabrin Castle, which is considered one of the finest and most picturesque Castles in the whole country. Often referred to as Jabrin Fort, it is indeed a castle as it was designed as a residence, with beautiful carved wooden doors and ornate lattice work. Continue to Nizwa with a stop at Bahla viewpoint.
Day 6: Jebel Shams
Spend some free time in the souk before travelling to Misfat Al Abyreen a unique mountainous village located 1,000 m above sea level on the mountain foothills. The village has amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks.
Enjoy a short trek into the village where you can see the famous falaj network (the old Omani water distribution system. We continue to Al Hamra one of the oldest villages in Oman at the foot of the Hajar Mountains we take a walk around the mud brick houses before continuing our journey onwards and upward to Jebel Shams, stopping on the way for amazing views of the Hajar Mountains and Oman’s highest point. Even on the hottest days, it’s nice and cool up here. On arrival, check into your hotel.
Day 7: Muscat
This is a stunning part of Oman, with fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. The 36 km scenic drive is over gravel road with twists and turns and offers off road adventure but at a relaxed and soft pace.
Please note this drive through “snake gorge” is subject to weather conditions and if wet it may not be possible in which case an alternative route will be taken.
Drive to the town of Nakhl, and see its fully restored fort on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat for the night.
Today we spend a lot of time travelling off road and due to road conditions and weather timing may change at short notice, this means that lunch may be a little later. We recommend grabbing some snacks for the journey.
Day 8: Muscat
7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Mini Bus, 4×4
Hotel (6 nights), Desert Camp (1 night)
- Muscat – Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
- Muscat – Sidab Womens Corporation with Lunch
- Ras Al Jinz – Turtle Reserve
- Hawiyat Najim Park – Bimmah Sinkhole
- Wadi Tiwi – Visit
- Wadi Bani Khalid – Visit
- Wahiba Sands – Desert Dune Sunset
- Jabrin – Fort visit
- Ibra – Old Village Walk
- Misfat Al Abyreen – Village Walk
- Al Hamra – Village Walk
- Nizwa – Souq visit
- Jebel Shams – Grand Canyon visit
Images courtesy of Intrepid Group
INT – ELSO