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Short description

A private eight-day tour of northern Oman's natural and historical highlights

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Muscat
  • 1 Night Ras Al Jinz
  • 1 Night Wahiba Sands
  • 1 Night Jebel Akhdar
  • 2 Nights Nizwa


Recommended for:
City | History & culture | Natural world | Wildlife

After exploring the palaces, mosques and museums of 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, the 1000-metre-deep Wadi Nakhr Gorge, known as Oman’s 'grand canyon', and the forts and markets around Oman's ancient capital, Nizwa.

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-2

Fly to Muscat and transfer to your hotel. Muscat offers the visitor a rare opportunity to witness a modern centre existing in harmony with traditional culture. With its natural harbour, Muscat, meaning ‘anchorage’, lies in a natural bowl. 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 Palace. 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, and take a tour of the newly opened Royal Opera House.

Stay: Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat (Superior)

Stay: Shangri La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 3
Muscat - Tiwi - Ras Al Jinz

Depart Muscat by four-wheel-drive along the scenic and rugged coastal route, with 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 where you can enjoy a swim, then 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. Enjoy dinner at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. After dinner, there’s a short walk or drive to the beach to watch the turtles nesting on the sands.

Stay: Ras Al Hadd Hotel (Superior) or Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve (Deluxe)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 4
Ras Al Jinz - Wahiba Sands

After breakfast, drive past small fishing villages to Al Ashkarah town, leave the coast 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 desert.

The Wahiba Sands are vast mass of red and white sand with dunes rising up to 200 metres, which also host a variety of flora and fauna. 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)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 5
Wahiba Sands - Al Manzifah - Birkat al-Mauz - Jebel Akhdar

After breakfast there’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, we reach Jebel Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajar mountain range, famed for its fruit orchards laid out in terraces along the mountain slopes and irrigated by ancient falaj water systems.

Peaches, apricots, figs, grapes, apples, plums and pears are grown here from July to September and almonds and walnuts are also included in the crop. Roses fill the air with fragrance from March to April when they are in full bloom, and rose water is distilled in the homes of the villagers. Jebel Akhdar invites an easy two-hour walk at high altitude through mountain villages and terraced farms.

The picturesque villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib and Al Ain dot the landscape, and your overnight destination, the brand new Sahab Hotel, overlooks a spectacular landscape of peaks, gorges and wadis.

Stay: Sahab Hotel (Superior) or Alila Jabal Akhdar (Deluxe)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 6
Jebel Akhdar - Tanuf - Misfah - Jebel Shams

After breakfast, leave the green mountain and stop at the abandoned village of Tanuf right 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, you will 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- to six-hour trek following the rim of the Saydran Gorge to the southern summit of Jebel Shams (Qarn al-Ghamaydah) at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres. After the descent, you head for the oasis city of Nizwa.

In the evening, check into your chosen hotel for dinner and a two-night stay.

Stay: Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel (Superior) or Alila Jabal Akhdar (Deluxe)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 7
Nizwa - Bahla - Jabreen

Today we tour Nizwa, ancient capital of Oman and one of the oldest cities in the Sultanate, and its surrounding sights. Nizwa is known for its 17th century round tower fort, and the souq with its Friday cattle auction, ornamental silver jewellery and intricately hand-carved khanjar daggers. The historic fort town of Bahla, a few kilometres outside Nizwa and now included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, is encircled by a 12km winding wall and is famous for pottery. A short distance beyond, the castle of Jabreen, also built in the 17th century and a seat of Omani learning, displays fine examples of Islamic architecture with exquisite ceiling paintings and beautifully executed woodcarvings. In the late afternoon, return to your hotel in Nizwa.

Stay: Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel (Superior) or Alila Jabal Akhdar (Deluxe)

Breakfast & dinner included

Day 8
Nizwa - Hat - Bilad Said - Wadi Bani Awf - Nakhal - Muscat and departure

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 up on off-road tracks to the highest point at 2,050 metres 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. After visiting the fort, return to Muscat in time for your flight home.

Breakfast included

Optional extension to Salalah

A great option to extend your stay in Oman is to visit Salalah in the lush green south of the country. Our recommended extension includes return flights from Muscat to Salalah, private transfers, 2 nights at the Salalah Rotana Resort (Deluxe) with daily breakfast and a full day private tour of this fascinating region.

Your tour begins with a visit the fishing village of Taqa, an old town with an interesting castle, surrounded by watchtowers and stone houses. Continue on to Khor Rori lagoon, site of the ruined city of Samhuram, former residence of the Queen of Sabah and the capital of ancient Arabia's frankincense trade. Excavations have produced evidence of an ancient city with trade links by sea to Greece and the Far East. Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar, is close by and was important early in the 9th century for trade in frankincense, horses and slaves. One of Dhofar's best-known historic sites is Bin Ali's tomb, just outside Mirbat. The twin-domed structure is a fine example of medieval architecture.

Next you'll head to beautiful Wadi Darbat and the natural spring of Ayn Razat, followed by a drive into the Qara Mountains in the western part of Salalah. Visit the ancient tomb of Prophet Job, surrounded by the verdant mountains and the stunning landscapes of the Salalah Plains. Then head to the coast and Al Mughsail Beach, where giant blow holes send plumes of water high into the air, before taking the long and winding road towards Oman's western border to see Frankincense trees growing amid the arid, unforgiving environment.  On your return to Salalah you'll stop to take photos at Mughsail Lagoon, where migratory birds, as well as the occasional flamingo, can be seen.


Map for Northern Oman Adventure


Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior Deluxe

8-day tailor-made journey from £5,695 incl. flights


Special Offer

Special offer for departures prior to 30 November 2018: Save up to £180 pp.

Book by: 5 April 2018


  • Return scheduled flights
  • Private transfers throughout
  • English-speaking private driver-guide
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Meals and sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary

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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