Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)
Travelling on a comfortable day flight, we arrive into Muscat, Oman's capital, and transfer to our hotel for check in and dinner at the hotel
After breakfast, we explore Muscat visiting the Grande Mosque (dress code applies), see the Sultan's Palace flanked by the 16th century forts of Jalali and Mirani and glimpse the old town and see the Muttrah Souq which is located on the Corniche. Later this afternoon, we'll transfer to the pier to take a sunset cruise along the coastline in a traditional style Dhow., before dinner at a local restaurant.
We leave Muscat this morning (travelling in 4x4 vehicles) travelling along the coast road to Wadi Al Arbyeen, a quiet place that lends itself for a walk (approx 1 hour) past isolated villages on the river banks. We arrive at our next accommodation with time for lunch (included) before an afternoon exploration of Wadi Tiwi, a spectacular deep and narrow gorge cut into the mountains. Our walk (approx. 1 hour) takes in emerald pools, date and banana plantations and gurgling falaj (or springs). We return to our accommodation, which has its own beachfront, for dinner and overnight.
We travel slightly further south this morning to the city of Sur, famous for its Dhow building. The shipyards still function today and we may be lucky to see dhows being built by hand as we visit. After time for lunch, we leave the coast behind and head inland to the magnificent desert of Wahiba Sands, whose dunes cover an area of over 200kms. Bedouin desert camps come into view as we travel and the dunes change colour as the sun sets, with hues of reds, oranges and browns and are a spectacular sight to see. After exploring the dunes by our 4x4 we overnight at the camp enjoying traditional Bedouin cuisine and hospitality.
After exploring the dunes some more this morning, and having our Bedouin breakfast, we leave the desert for the historical capital of Oman, the city of Nizwa. En route we visit Sinaw Souq (or market) and see the village of Birkt Al Mauz, (walk of approx. 30 minutes) which lies in the foothills of Jabal Akhdar, in lush plantations of dates irrigated by the falaj system. We continue to Nizwa with dinner at our hotel.
Today is a day to explore Jebel Akhdar, or Green Mountain. Here the cooler mountain air and greater rainfall creates a verdant landscape in the Hajar mountian range. Our hike will take approx. 3.5-4 hours (with opt out points) at higher altitude from the village of Al Aqur to Sayq following old mountain paths which link villages showcasing terraced farms, ancient irrigation systems and with wonderful views over Wadi Muhaydin. The changing seasons are clearly seen in the mountain villages with the variety of crops and fruits. Today's walk can be described as one of the best in Oman.
We take our transport today and head out after breakfast for Jebal Shams, Oman's highest mountain at just over 3000m. Our walk from the village of Al Hamra takes us along the W6a route for approx 3 hours where we then take transport up to the mountain peak. We'll see the village of Misfah, built into the side of the mountain and see Wadi Gul, known as the Grand canyon of Arabia as we make our way back to Nizwa.
We visit Nizwa town and its souq this morning before exploring the fort with its 360 degree citadel tower. The fort's museum has an interesting timeline comparing the history of Oman and the Middle East with the rest of the world. After time for lunch, we take our 4x4 vehicles and driver to Jebel Misht to see the impressive beehive tombs of BAT dotted along the impressive backdrop of Jebel Misht, or comb mountain. BAT, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ancient necropolis with over 100 burial sites
We leave the desert town of Nizwa to make our way back to Muscat. En route we travel via Mussanah enjoying the tapestry of mountain colours at Wadi Bani Auf as we go. At Nakhal we see the 17th century fort, one of the most impressive in Oman, dramatically located at the edge of the Jebel Akhdar mountains, surrounded by an oasis. Here it is reported that the oasis has healing warm springs with waters running up to 45'C, and we will have the opportunity to take a dip! We arrive into Muscat with time to enjoy our farewlell dinner at a local restaurant.
With a relaxed morning, perhaps with time for a dip in the hotel pool or a late breakfast, we make our way to Muscat's Seeb airport for our flight back to the UK. Again, taking advantage of a day flight, we arrive back into London with time to connect home.