A private eight-day tour of northern Oman's natural and historical highlights
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- Explore the palaces, mosques & museums of whimsical Muscat
- Stay in luxury hotels throughout, featuring gourmet restaurants & spas
- Watch turtles nesting at a world-famous site
- Drive & hike among spectacular gorges, including visiting Oman's 'Grand Canyon'
- Marvel at the spectacular sand dunes of the Wahiba Sands desert
- 2 Nights Muscat
- 1 Night Ras Al Jinz
- 1 Night Wahiba Sands
- 1 Night Jebel Akhdar
- 2 Nights Jebel Shams
- 2 Nights Nizwa
City | History & culture | Natural world | Wildlife
See the varied natural and cultural highlights of northern Oman on this unforgettable eight-day tour in the company of a private driver. After exploring the palaces, mosques and museums of whimsical Muscat, you'll enjoy a breathtaking drive along Oman's spectacular Gulf Coast to see the turtle-nesting beaches of Ras Al Jinz, before heading inland to discover vast sand dunes, pretty mountain villages, terraced fruit orchards and the 1000-metre-deep Wadi Nakhr Gorge, known as Oman’s 'Grand Canyon'. To finish, discover the forts and markets around Oman's ancient capital, Nizwa, and drive through date plantations and sparkling springs to the majestic fort at Nakhl. It's all knitted together with traditional and luxurious hotel stays and a private guide throughout.
Day by day itinerary
UK to Muscat
After complimentary VIP lounge access at the airport, fly to Muscat, arriving on day two, and transfer to your hotel. Muscat offers the visitor a rare opportunity to witness a modern centre existing in harmony with traditional culture. Take a stroll along the Muttrah Corniche, sip a coffee in one of the many waterfront cafes and marvel at the 16th century Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali that flank the official palace of Sultan Qaboos, the magnificent Al Alam. Take a tour of the Grand Mosque and Bait al-Zubair Museum for an introduction to Oman’s history and development, visit the fish market and the colourful Muttrah Souq, before heading to your hotel for the evening, either the contemporary Radisson Blu or the opulent Shangri La, featuring a luxury spa.
Stay: Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat (Superior) or Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa (Deluxe)
Muscat – Ras Al Jinz
Depart Muscat by 4WD along the scenically rugged coastal route, enjoying continuous glimpses of the breathtaking blue waters and pristine white beaches of the Gulf of Oman. Passing the fishing village of Quriyat, your first stop is the Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue-green water at the bottom. Later, stop at a white-sand beach for a swim before going on to the lush green plantations of Tiwi. Driving on, the road winds through mountain terrain and the ancient port town of Sur, to Ras Al Jinz, a sanctuary for green turtles, where you'll enjoy dinner at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. After dinner, it's a short walk or drive to the beach for a magical evening watching the turtles nesting on the sands.
Stay: Ras Al Hadd Hotel (Superior) or Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve (Deluxe)
Meals: B D
Ras Al Jinz – Wahiba Sands
After breakfast, drive past small fishing villages to Al Ashkarah town and head inland, where the rocky scrubland soon gives way to sand dunes. After stopping to view the 52-domed mosque at Jalan Bani Bu Ali, continue driving to Wadi Bani Khalid with its pretty villages embedded in the mountains. The deep blue-green waters are ideal for a short swim before venturing deeper into the Wahiba Sands desert, a vast mass of red and white sand dunes that can rise up to 200 metres. A fun ride on top of the dunes finally drops you at the luxurious Desert Nights Camp where you’ll enjoy a barbecue dinner.
Stay: 1,000 Nights Camp (Superior) or Desert Nights Camp (Deluxe)
Meals: B D
Wahiba Sands – Jebel Akhdar
After breakfast, it's a short drive to a Bedouin camp where, over coffee, your guide explains the relationship between the Bedouins, their camels and the desert terrain. Pausing at the stately ruins of Al Manzifah near Ibra, and the lush date plantations of Birkat al-Mauz, you'll reach Jebel Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajar mountain range, famed for its fruit orchards terraces that dot the mountain slopes. Enjoy an optional hike here through mountain villages and terraced farms before reaching the picturesque villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib and Al Ain that dot the landscape, before heading to your hotel that overlooks a spectacular landscape of peaks, gorges and wadis.
Stay: Sahab Hotel (Superior) or Alila Jabal Akhdar (Deluxe)
Meals: B D
Jebel Akhdar – Jebel Shams
After breakfast, leave the green mountain and stop at the abandoned village of Tanuf at the exit of a deep mountain wadi, and at Misfah, where stone dwellings are carved into the mountainside. Heading for Jebel Shams, the highest peak in the range, enjoy spectacular views over Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’, the 1000-metre-deep Wadi Nakhr Gorge. The best walk in the area is a rocky five/six hour trek following the rim of the Saydran Gorge to the southern summit of Jebel Shams at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres. After the descent, head for the oasis city of Nizwa and check in to your chosen hotel for a two night stay. Day seven is spent touring Nizwa, the ancient capital of Oman. Discover 17th century tower forts, souqs with weekly cattle auctions, ad markets selling ornamental silver jewellery and intricate hand-carved khanjar daggers. You'll also visit the historic fort town of Bahla on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list, encircled by a 12km winding wall and famous for its pottery, alongside the 17th-century castle of Jabreen, home to exquisite frescoes and beautiful wood carvings.
Stay: Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel (Superior) or Alila Jabal Akhdar (Deluxe)
Meals: B D
Nizwa – Muscat – UK
In the morning, leave your chosen hotel and reach the 400-year-old village of Al Hamra, a wide plantation set between rough mountain terrain. From here, climb off-road tracks to the highest point for stunning views of the valley below. Driving down into the Wadi Bani Awf, one of the most diverse and astonishing mountain valleys, pass the little village of Hat and the beautiful terraced oasis of Bilad Said. After leaving the wadi, drive through date plantations and sparkling springs to the majestic fort at Nakhl before returning to Muscat in time for your flight home, arriving on day nine.
Optional extension to Salalah
To extend your stay, head to Salalah in the lush green south of the country, visiting ancient fishing villages and castles alongside a stay in a luxury hotel.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
Special offer for departures 1 September 2018-15 March 2019: Save up to £200 pp.
Book by: 25 September 2018
- Return scheduled flights
- Private transfers throughout
- English-speaking private driver-guide
- 7 nights accommodation
- Meals and sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
Surcharges apply for travel over the Christmas and New Year period, please call for details.
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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