Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
Oman’s rise as one of the most exciting travel destinations of the Middle East is not surprising. This is a land of stark contrasts; 21st-century malls stand beside traditional ‘souqs’ in the capital, new condominiums rise above crumbling housing in pretty coastal towns, and deserts spread across vast portions of the country, yet travel south and you’ll find waterfalls and luscious plantations that’ll have you believing you’ve swapped continents. With just seven days, waste no time in hitting the road upon arrival, with the first stop at Al Hamra taking you to ancient palaces, majestic forts and bustling markets capturing the traditional Omani way of life. Pass breathtaking mountain gorges - or ‘wadis’ - along the way to Wahiba Sands, where you’ll be bedding down for the night in Bedouin tents. You’ll also have a day to explore Salalah and its wonderful green scenery and plethora of cultural sights before flying back to Muscat to end the trip.
You’ll be whisked away upon arrival at Muscat’s international airport to the mountainous village of Al Hamra, situated around 50 miles from the Omani capital. Waste no time in exploring your new surroundings, with trips to the impressive Al Hazam and Rutaq forts. There’s also an enroute stop at Wadi Bani Auf, a giant gorge chiselled into the rocky terrain. Spend the night in Al Hamra’s The View Hotel, perched on the hilltops.
Depart Al Hamra for a trip to Jabreen and Bahla, a UNESCO World heritage site famous for its longstanding pottery industry. There’s chance to explore a second UNESCO site at Bat, one of the most complete collections of settlements and necropolises dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C. The final stop-offs of the day are to Wadi Ghul and Wadi Nakhar, two stunning mountain gorges etched into the looming rocky terrain. Back to Al Hamra for a second night in The View Hotel.
This morning the trip makes its way to the popular city of Nizwa, a regional capital and the birthplace of Islam in the Sultanate of Oman. Must-see attractions in the city include the famous 17th century Round Tower Fort and the central souq (market), as well as excursions out of Nizwa to a mountainside village which boasts some dense date plantations. The remainder of the day will be spent on the road to the Wahiba Sands - where you’ll be bedding down for the night on the dunes in tents.
Early risers can enjoy the spectacular sunrise over the deep red sands of Wahiba. Fill up with a campside breakfast before exploring some traditional Bedouin houses in the desert. Before heading to the final stop of Ras al Jinz, take a detour to Wadi Bani Khalid, a site comprising a tiny collection of small houses embedded in the mountains and overlooking a deep valley with azure waters nested below. Turtle watching is planned at night in the coastal town of Ras al Jinz.
Today, you will drive to Muscat for a flight to the southern city of Salalah, but there’s plenty in the way of sightseeing beforehand. First up is a stop at a fish jetty and dhow (traditional Omani boats) factory, as well as the impressive Sineslah Fort. There’s also time to explore the revered Bibi Miriam’s Tomb and the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with turquoise water at the bottom. From Muscat, board the evening flight to Salalah and transfer to the Hilton Salalah.
With only one day to explore this luscious southern region of Oman, there’s a lot to fit in. Hit the road early with visits to the fishing village of Taqa, an old town with an interesting castle surrounded by watchtowers and Taqa stone houses. It’s then on to Khor Rori creek, the site of the ancient capital Arabia’s frankincense trade. An afternoon visit takes you to the tomb of a Biblical Prophet, Job, which is perched high up in the “Jebels” (mountains). The journey up is quite spectacular, and there’s plenty of opportunity to stop and admire the view before returning to Salalah City and your hotel in the evening.