Oman will ignite your children's adventurous spirit during this brilliant combination of off-road drives along wadi gullies and rough mountain tracks where you'll explore the Omani countryside and camp out in the open in true Bedouin-style before you board a catamaran and sail around the Daymaniyat Islands and Bandar Khayran Reserves.
Thanks to our exclusive Sharky & George fun packs, which contain games and quizzes specifically chosen for each child, your family-friendly adventure to Oman starts even before your direct flight to Muscat.
This evening it's time to sit back, relax and enjoy the on-board services while you fly overnight from the UK to the Sultanate of Oman. You'll be able to sleep through the seven-and-a-half-hour journey then wake refreshed and ready to start your holiday from the moment you disembark at Muscat Airport.
Step off your plane at Muscat Airport and into the welcoming warmth of Oman. Once you're through the normal passport controls and have reclaimed your baggage, your driver will be waiting to greet you in the arrivals hall.
Depending on which of the excellent luxury beach hotels in the Omani capital you've chosen to stay in, the journey could take anything between 30 minutes and one hour.
At the hotel, your room will be available immediately as we've arranged early check-in. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure with the children by the hotel pool or on the beach. In the evening, you'll be able to enjoy a pre-reserved celebratory dinner to mark the beginning of a very special holiday.
Muscat has some of the best beaches in Oman. The extensive stretches of sand and the clear blue waters mean you can spend the day lazing along the shoreline. You may simply want to absorb some Muscat sunshine, but the children will almost certainly want to indulge in whichever watersports are available.
The youngsters can test their nautical skills as they skim across the sea in a kayak or test their balance on a paddleboard. For a speedier thrill for older children, you and they can try water skiing or wakeboarding, or if you want to captain the vessel, spend some time out on the water sailing a manoeuvrable Hobie Cat catamaran.
Enjoy a good breakfast at your hotel before leaving Muscat on a one-and-a-half-hour journey, first along the Al Batinah coast, then inland to the sensitively restored Nakhal Fort. The children will love running around what looks like a giant sandcastle overlooking a palm tree-filled valley before continuing to the hot springs of Ain a'Thawwarah for a relaxing dip of your toes in the therapeutic waters.
From there, you'll begin the epic off-road journey into the Hajar Mountains, climbing to an altitude of around 6,500ft as you pass through the ancient villages and craggy scenery of Jebel Akdhar until you reach Rustaq. Then it's literally all downhill from there through famous Wadi Bani Auf as far as the village of Bilad Sayt, where you'll take a break for a well-deserved lunch.
Then it's back on track in the direction of your hotel, where all you'll have to do is enjoy a cocktail (or mocktail, obviously!) while taking in the views as the sun sets behind the mountains.
After breakfast at your hotel, it's mountain exploration day where you'll discover interesting facts about the rural Oman lifestyle. Visiting both Al Hamra, a mud-brick town which is a living museum, and the isolated village of Misfat al Abriyyin, nestled in its own oasis of palms, to see how its traditional irrigation system or falaj works.
You'll drive through the immense Wadi Ghul (known as Arabia's Grand Canyon), a huge gorge carved between the towering mountainsides, then stop off to investigate the ruins of an abandoned village. Next it's up to Jebel Shams, the highest peak in the Hajar range to see how the Oman farmers survive there by producing carpets from sheep's wool.
It's back on the road to drive along the Wadi an Nakhur, the deepest gorge in the Middle East, following the narrow and winding boulder-strewn track before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
Eat breakfast as you watch the sunrise before hitting the road to Nizwa for a visit to a popular local market. Enjoy some free time to absorb the souq atmosphere, practice your family haggling skills and investigate the old fort before heading for the UNESCO sight of Bahla, which is well known for its hand-crafted pottery.
Stop off for lunch under the shady palms of the Birkat al Mauz
date plantation before continuing on to the desert zone known as
the Wahiba Sands. En route you'll pass through the merchant town of
Ibra and the well-preserved village of Mudayrib. You'll arrive at
the desert camp site along tracks made by the nomadic Bedouin as
the sun sinks on the horizon.
This evening the family will experience a delicious desert dinner and then some serious stargazing in night skies unaffected by light pollution.
After a delectable breakfast in the desert, you'll enjoy the drive to the oasis Wadi Bani Khalid. At the village Badaa, you'll discover how produce such as bananas, mangos and papaya are still farmed using traditional methods. Enjoy some free time to wander around the village and meet with the local community.
Don't miss exploring the wadi's amazing rock formations which are full of natural pools and springs. Relax, go for a swim and then laze under the shade of a date palm tree for a picnic lunch.
On the drive back to camp, your guide might let you take your turn at the wheel and experience some off-road driving in desert conditions accompanied by a lesson in how do get out of the sand if you get stuck. Enjoy a relaxing early evening then dinner under the stars by the side of the camp fire.
A desert sunrise starts the day followed by breakfast in the majlis - the camp communal sitting area - before you set out for the fishing town of Sur. Here you'll have time to see the shipyards where traditional Omani dhows (wide hulled merchant ships) are manufactured, before continuing your journey along the coastal route of the Hajar Mountains.
You'll arrive back in Muscat in the afternoon where you'll board your private charter catamaran to set sail along the Muscat coastline. Take in the sights of the port, forts and the Sultan's Palace as you navigate away from Muscat toward Oman's unique National Marine Nature Reserve in the Daymaniyat Islands. You'll anchor up in a quiet bay in this uninhabited archipelago. Time to relax or a leisurely swim before dinner is served on-board or on a nearby beach, if you prefer.
While breakfasting on the deck of the catamaran, watch the sky light up with colourful hues as day breaks over the Gulf of Oman. After upping anchor, you'll cruise over the calm waters to another of the Daymaniyat Islands where you'll moor up for the rest of the day.
After a fish lunch on-board, with fish sourced from passing fishermen, you can disembark and head over to the island's shore to spend the afternoon on the beach, snorkelling or exploring the island. After a peaceful sojourn on the island, it'll be time to collect your belongings together and return to the boat. After dinner, you'll be able to enjoy a chilled evening with drinks on deck.
Spend the morning on-board the catamaran at your leisure or take part in some of the optional activities available.
Once lunch is finished, you'll sail away from the Daymaniyat Islands en route to the area known as the Bandar Khayran Reserve, a popular diving/snorkelling location due to the immense diversity of marine life there. Then, you'll navigate around the stunning maze of channels which separate the multitude of tiny islands before anchoring up in a quiet bay for the evening.
The final day of your amazing holiday in Oman begins with an early breakfast on board the catamaran.
You'll then sail back into the marina at Muscat where a driver will be waiting to collect you and take you on the ten-minute drive to the airport for your daytime flight home. The flight time is around eight hours and you will be back in London at lunchtime.
If you would like to book the itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.
If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.
If you are looking for something extra special, we can discuss with you upgrading your accommodation, flights or activities.