Summary

Destinations: Middle East
  • 7 Days From
    R 27200
  • Trip code: AXV
  • Activity: Culture, New Cultural Holidays, Cultural Wonders
  • Min age: 16
  • Group size: 4 - 15
Leisurely

Visit the highlights of Oman

Oman, the most beautiful of the Gulf States boasts a rich culture and ancient heritage waiting to be discovered during this one week cultural adventure. Starting off in the capital of Muscat, here we gaze in awe at the Grand Mosque, wander through the colourful Mutrah Souq and see the Omani capital and coastline through seafarers eyes on a traditional dhow cruise. No visit to Oman is complete without exploring their magnificent landscapes on offer; camp and 4WD in the dunes of the Wahiba Sands; marvel at stunning views over the ‘Grand Canyon of Arabia’ from Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest mountain; wade in the cooling, turquoise waters of some of the land’s most idyllic desert oasis’ and uncover the historic forts before witnessing the weekly live auction cattle market in Nizwa, an event not to be missed!

Key information
  • 5 nights hotels & 1 night desert camp, all en suite
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and 4WD
  • Group normally 4 to 15 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Activities
  • 5 nights hotels & 1 night desert camp, all en suite
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and 4WD
  • Group normally 4 to 15 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
Highlights
  • See Muscat’s Grand Mosque and colourful Mutrah Souq
  • Camp and 4WD in the dunes at Wahiba Sands
  • Enjoy spectacular views from Jebel Shams over the Grand Canyon of Arabia
  • Witness the unmissable weekly live auction cattle market in Nizwa
  • Discover Nizwa’s 17th Century fort 
  • Swim in the turquoise, cool waters of Wadi Bani Khalid
  • Visit a Bedouin family and enjoy Kahwa (Omani local coffee)
  • Take a cruise on a traditional Dhow boat
What's included
  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Arrival & departure transfers for group flights
    Food

    All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners are included.

    Omani cuisine is influenced by Arab, Persian, Indian, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and African cuisine. Rice is a staple dish and often includes a variety of flavours and ingredients and meat such as chicken, fish and lamb feature prominently. Dishes are full of rich mixtures of spices, herbs and marinades. Dates are much loved and are an essential part of the Omani diet.

    Curry, soups, fresh salads, and vegetable dishes are all very common. Coffee is the national beverage but tea is also drunk. Yoghurt drinks and softs drinks are also popular. Alcohol is not readily available but can be purchased in some hotels and likely to be quite expensive. 

    During the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste and experience a variety of dishes and eat in local eateries and restaurants. Included lunches will be picnic lunches and other meals will be eaten in local cafes/eateries. The night spent at the desert camp will also include a BBQ with traditional dishes.

    Non-Muslims are permitted to bring in two litres of alcohol by air only. Care must be taken not to cause offence through the use of alcohol and should not be consumed in public places apart from licensed premises, such as hotels & restaurants. 

    Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Highlights

  • See Muscat’s Grand Mosque and colourful Mutrah Souq
  • Camp and 4WD in the dunes at Wahiba Sands
  • Enjoy spectacular views from Jebel Shams over the Grand Canyon of Arabia
  • Witness the unmissable weekly live auction cattle market in Nizwa
  • Discover Nizwa’s 17th Century fort 
  • Swim in the turquoise, cool waters of Wadi Bani Khalid
  • Visit a Bedouin family and enjoy Kahwa (Omani local coffee)
  • Take a cruise on a traditional Dhow boat

Dates & Pricing

 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
20 Oct 2019
26 Oct 2019
Guaranteed (Fully Booked)
R 27300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
17 Nov 2019
23 Nov 2019
Guaranteed (Available)
R 27300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Dec 2019
21 Dec 2019
Available
R 27300
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
19 Jan 2020
25 Jan 2020
Available
R 28800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
23 Feb 2020
29 Feb 2020
Available
R 28800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
22 Mar 2020
28 Mar 2020
Guaranteed (Available)
R 28800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
18 Oct 2020
24 Oct 2020
Available
R 28800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
15 Nov 2020
21 Nov 2020
Available
R 28800
 
Start
Finish
Availability
Price
13 Dec 2020
19 Dec 2020
Available
R 28800

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Accommodation

Hotels and desert camp

Throughout the tour you will spend 5 nights in comfortable hotels and 1 night in a tradtional Bedouin style tent at a desert camp in Wahiba Sands. All accommodation offers en suite facilities.

All accommodation has air-conditioning except the Sheikh tent where a Bedouin experience is maintained. Temperatures in the desert at night tend to be a lot cooler than elsewhere, so air-conditioning during the evening at the camp is not necessary.

At the desert camp all tents are equipped with bedding and proper beds, plug sockets, electricity (from a generator) and have a ceiling fan, kettle, tea/coffee, minibar and towels. The en suite bathrooms attached to the Sheikh tents at the desert camp include a flushing western style toilet, sink and shower with open views up to the sky. It is recommended to pack a torch as there is limited lighting at night between tents and the main restaurant area.

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Some hotels visited on the itinerary do have swimming pools.

With accommodation in Oman, couples may be automatically allocated twin beds rather than doubles, unless requested otherwise, particularly unmarried couples. Please advise us a time of booking if you are travelling as a couple and would like to specifically request a double bed.

Single supplements are available (on request) and are valid for all 6 nights during the tour. Please enquire at time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Essential Info

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners are included.

Omani cuisine is influenced by Arab, Persian, Indian, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and African cuisine. Rice is a staple dish and often includes a variety of flavours and ingredients and meat such as chicken, fish and lamb feature prominently. Dishes are full of rich mixtures of spices, herbs and marinades. Dates are much loved and are an essential part of the Omani diet.

Curry, soups, fresh salads, and vegetable dishes are all very common. Coffee is the national beverage but tea is also drunk. Yoghurt drinks and softs drinks are also popular. Alcohol is not readily available but can be purchased in some hotels and likely to be quite expensive. 

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste and experience a variety of dishes and eat in local eateries and restaurants. Included lunches will be picnic lunches and other meals will be eaten in local cafes/eateries. The night spent at the desert camp will also include a BBQ with traditional dishes.

Non-Muslims are permitted to bring in two litres of alcohol by air only. Care must be taken not to cause offence through the use of alcohol and should not be consumed in public places apart from licensed premises, such as hotels & restaurants. 

Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Is this trip for you?

*This trip is rated Activity Level 1- Leisurely*

This is a busy itinerary that visits the main highlights of Oman with a focus on providing a real taste of all this country has to offer. We travel by private air-conditioned minibus and 4WD throughout the tour. Although this is a cultural trip, some days can be long and tiring and there is some walking involved so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The people of Oman offer a very warm welcome to tourists. Oman is hot during the day so care should be taken to drink lots of water and to stay hydrated. On day 6, when departing Nizwa to Wadi Bani Auf, the stretch of graded road is very adventurous as it involves steep bends and bumpy roads which may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.

Full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 Land Only

Start Muscat; afternoon Dhow cruise and visit Mutrah Souq

Land only clients should arrive into Muscat and at the start hotel before midday in order to ensure you are able to join the main group briefing and the dhow cruise later in the afternoon. In the afternoon after a main group briefing, we will be picked up from our hotel and travel through the old part of Muscat and have a photo stop at the Sultan’s palace. Afterwards, we visit the Siban Women’s association where there is the opportunity to interact with the local woman and enjoy a coffee together before transferring to the marina to embark on a relaxed dhow cruise (traditional fisherman’s boat). See the Muscat coast through the eyes of ancient seafarers who plied this route for centuries. During the cruise, soft drinks, tea, coffee and dates will be served on board. During the evening, we stop at a local restaurant for dinner and will be transported back through the centuries on a visit to the bustling, colourful Mutrah Souq. Here there will be lots of photo opportunities and chance to observe the local way of life whilst wandering around this vibrant traditional Arab market. *Ramee Guestline Hotel or similar*

Day 2

Visit Muscat’s Grand Mosque; onto Sur via beautiful Wadi Shab. Evening visit to Turtle reserve

After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and visit the Grand Mosque, the highlight of the Omani capital. Completed in 2001, the Grand Mosque is a beautiful building which looks modern but shows that modern craftsmen have retained the skills necessary to create this wonderful traditional environment. The handmade carpets, the chandeliers, the ceiling of the great dome in the main prayer room are absolute ‘must sees’.  Kindly note, ladies should be fully covered and please carry a head scarf and men should wear trousers. We then drive to Sur via visiting the fishing village of Quriyat, the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom and Wadi Shaab where we enjoy a walk and picnic lunch before arrving at our hotel in Sur, where we will be spending the night. This evening after an early dinner, we’ll drive to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. Oman is a vital area for Green turtles in the Indian Ocean and the Green Back turtle are heavily protected by the government of Oman. In fact, over 275 of the Sultanate’s beaches double-up as nesting grounds for five of the seven recognized species of sea turtles, the most common being the Green Back turtle. Here we are led to the beach by an ecologist to see the female turtles return to their beach to lay eggs. (Please note that the main nesting season is Jun-Aug, at other times of the year, there may or not be turtles every night but a visit to the reserve is still worthwhile). *Sur Plaza or similar*

Meals Included : breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 3

Drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, swim in the turquoise pools and enjoy a picnic lunch. Continue to Wahiba Sands and explore the spectacular dunes. Overnight in desert camp

This morning after breakfast, we first transfer to the desert oasis of Wadi Bani Khalid to relax a bit and enjoy a swim in the beautiful turquoise pools and a picnic lunch before continuing to the Wahiba Desert.   Here, on the edge of the desert, we change vehicles from the minibus to 4WDs to begin our desert experience. The Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white sea of sand and dunes rising up to 200 meters are also host to a variety of flora and fauna. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight. We further drive towards the dunes and our desert camp to check in for the evening. During our time at the camp, there is the chance to take a camel ride (optional- extra cost). *1000 Nights Camp or similar*

Meals Included : breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 4

Morning visit to a Bedouin family and enjoy Omani coffee; visit Birkat al Mouz and walk through its oasis and date plantations; onto Nizwa

Breakfast at camp before checking out and driving towards the ancient city of Nizwa, Oman’s former capital. En-route we visit a Bedouin family, and enjoy Kahwa (local Omani Coffee) and spend some time with them learning about their customs and traditional way of life. We’ll continue our drive via Birkat al Mouz, one of the region’s most well known village ruin. We’ll walk through its oasis and date plantations before continuing to Nizwa. With the 2 sets of ruins, a large banana plantation and the scenic surroundings, the site is also home to the old Falaj irrigation system listed as UNESCO World heritage. Upon arrival in Nizwa, we check into our hotel where we will spend the next two nights. *Tanuf Residency Hotel or similar*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner

Day 5

Transfer to Jabrin, one of Oman’s finest castles; stop at historic Bahla Fort; enjoy a walk and picnic lunch in Wadi Nakher. Visit Jebel Shams for amazing views

After breakfast at the hotel, we visit Jabrin, the finest of Oman’s castles built in the late 17th century, which became a seat of Omani learning. The castle displays the highest achievement in Omani ceiling painting & beautifully executed woodcarvings. We also pause at the Bahla Fort for a photo, the only UNESCO listed fort in the country and lovingly restored over many years before transferring to Wadi Nakher, located in the depth’s of Oman’s deepest canyon. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch before proceeding to Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest mountain and where we can enjoy spectacular views of the ‘Grand Canyon of Arabia.’ Later in the afternoon we visit the village of Misfat Al Arbayeen, passing the ruins of an old fort on the way. We continue through narrow alleys between old stone houses and take a short walk in the Tanoof old abandoned village before returning back to Nizwa for the evening. *Tanuf Residency Hotel or similar*

Meals Included : breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 6

See Nizwa’s famous cattle auction market, fort and Souq; continue to Nakhal fort and hot spring; back to Muscat for final evening

We start our day with visiting Nizwa’s famous live cattle auction market, the one day of the week where this ancient city truly comes alive which sees farmers and traders arrive from near and afar to barter and trade in one of the Middle East’s most renowned markets. We’ll visit the impressive Nizwa Fort, built in the 17th century to defend the city’s natural wealth and its strategic location. Later we visit Nizwa’s renowned Souq,  famous for intricately hand-carved “Khanjars” (daggers) & ornamental silver jewelry and live-stock trading. Departing Nizwa, we continue to Wadi Bani Auf; this stretch of graded road is very adventurous as it involves steep bends and bumpy roads. Then stop at the charming mountain village of Bilad Sayt where one is awestruck by the beauty of the landscape.  This afternoon we stop at the Nakhal Fort and hot spring. The exact date in which this ancient fort was built is unknown, but many believe that it was built in pre-Islamic times, more than 1500 years ago.  We then transfer back to Muscat for our final evening in Oman’s capital city. *Ramee Guestline Hotel or similar*

Meals Included : breakfast,dinner

Day 7

End Muscat

For land only clients the tour ends this morning after breakfast.

Meals Included : breakfast

Map