I had the perfect Big Short Break in Oman...
First stop - Muscat
I have just returned from a fantastic whistlestop weekend in Oman. First stop - the capital city Muscat, where I stayed the Al Bustan Palace. Re-opened in early 2009 after extensive refurbishment works the hotel and gardens are immaculate and the beach is lovely. My tour of Muscat's hotels also included visits to the Shangri La (a paradise for children, with all sorts of facilities and activities available) and The Chedi (a zen-like property with cool and airy public areas and stunning swimming pools). Finally, before heading out of the city we squeezed in time for a tour of the flawless Grand Mosque.
Dune-bashing was one of the highlights
Up next was the old capital of Nizwa, famed for its impressive fort, traditional souq and the wonderful bustling livestock market on Fridays, full of vibrant characters. Next stop, the Wahiba Sands, where we stayed at the 5 star Desert Nights Camp; a truly luxurious way to experience the desert. We watched the sunset sitting in the dunes and the next morning I rode a camel, went sandboarding and quad-biked up steep dunes. The whole experience was topped off with some dune-bashing in our 4x4 with our great guides Hamdan and Faizel.
Turtle Conservation Centre
En route to the coast, we stopped off at the picturesque Wadi Bani Khalid and our final destination was the Turtle Conservation Centre for a night excursion to see the green turtles who nest on the beach here. We were lucky enough to see one of these vast creatures laying eggs (usually around 100 at a time) and also to see a few small young turtles that had just hatched and were hurriedly making their way for the sea.
Perfect Big Short Break destination!
Cut to the next morning and a quick stop in Muscat for brunch before our flight back to London. That's what I call a Big Short Break! It's amazing how much can be squeezed into a long weekend and I can't recommend Oman as a destination highly enough - stunning landscapes, a wide variety of activities on offer, endless coastline, extremely friendly and hospitable people and altogether an unforgettable experience.
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