Itinerary Highlights
    • Discover Muscat from north to south: the must-sees of Muscat and the Gulf, the Rub Al Khali desert and the beaches of the Arabian Coast
    • Stay in beautiful accommodations along the way: boutique hotels, camps in the desert and beachside resorts
    • Alternate between free exploration and private visits, a 4x4 rental car and private transfers

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The Sultanate of Oman might be small but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to its wealth and diversity of landscapes. Bustling cities, emerald oases, turquoise wadis, mighty mountain ranges and golden deserts are just some of the natural sights you can expect to see on your two-week adventure in Oman. This journey will take you from north to south, from the cultural scene of Muscat to the sublime beaches of Salalah on the Arabian Coast. Along the way you’ll discover the pretty fishing port of Sur, soak in the tranquility of the Wahiba desert and make a detour through Nizwa and the villages of the Saïq plateau, all the way to the rocky ochre peaks of the Hajar and the vast expanses of the Rub Al Khali desert.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

WINGS UP TO OMAN

Your Omani adventure starts today. Head to the airport, whizz through security and fuel up on some nibbles and refreshments in the airport lounge before boarding your direct flight to Muscat. Flight time is around seven-and-a-half hours, giving you plenty of time to kick back and relax. Most direct flight set off in the evening, so you’ll touchdown in Oman tomorrow morning.

DAY 2

MUSCAT WITH A LOCAL

A member of our team will be waiting at the airport to whisk you off to your contemporary hotel in Qurum, an upscale neighbourhood overlooking the ocean. After settling into your home, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with a member of our local Concierge team. They’ll give you a general introduction to life and culture in Oman, before discussing your itinerary with you and providing a few handy tips and recommendations. This afternoon is all about discovering Muscat. Head out with a knowledgeable expat guide who has become a real local after living in the city for so long. The tour is relaxed, informal and designed around you. You can visit a collection of beautiful sites, including the Mutrah souk, the Corniche (waterside promenade) and Riyam Park with its huge monument of a censer (incense burner) that has become the symbol of the city. Round off your first day in Oman by sharing a meal with your guide. Discuss your first impressions of the city, daily life in Oman and receive plenty of tips and recommendations for the rest of your trip.

DAY 3

MORE OF MUSCAT

This morning, you’ll collect your rental car directly from the hotel and enjoy a day at leisure discovering Muscat and its surroundings. The Omani capital sits between the desert and the sea and between the past and the present. The ramparts of the old city and the sultan's blue and gold palace have dictated the architecture of the modern city, which has no overly tall buildings and respects the sand-and-white colour code. You can also visit the Portuguese forts, the fish market in Muttrah harbour and the great Sultan Qaboos Mosque, which is adorned with 35 Swarovski crystal chandeliers. To dig deeper into the nation’s history and culture, head to the National Museum to admire some of the 7,000 objects on display. Enjoy a delicious meal and a good night’s sleep in your hotel before hitting the road tomorrow.

DAY 4

JOURNEY ALONG THE GULF OF OMAN

Hop into your hire car this morning and set off for your next destination in Oman: the charming fishing village of Sur. The journey takes just two hours, however we recommend making a few stops along the way. Winding its way between wadis (streams or riverbeds), oases, mountains and the ocean, this magnificent road skirts the Gulf of Oman, offering sublime views. We recommend setting off early to make a stop at the lush green gorges of Wadi Dayqah and Wadi Arbaeen. There is also Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, two parallel wadis sunken in ochre limestone ravines. The emerald waters flow between date palms and banana trees and form beautiful natural pools. This region is one of the most scenic in the country and is perfect for a spot of hiking and swimming. Settle in for one night in a small hotel in the centre of the village then spend the rest of the day discovering Sur. This historic village – nestled between the mountainous foothills of the Hajar ash-Sharqqi, a lagoon and the shores of the Gulf of Oman – was a port of call for sailors and pirates heading for Africa in ancient times. Sur also rubs shoulders with Al Ayjah, a tiny village renowned for its production of the traditional – and iconic – dhow sailing boats. This evening you have two options: head out with a local guide for a tour of Sur followed by a private meal or simply kick back and relax at your hotel.

DAY 5

VISIT A WADI IN THE MOUNTAINS

Make sure to fuel up on breakfast this morning as you have an adventurous day ahead. In the company of a knowledgeable private guide, head off the beaten track to discover Wadi Bani Khalid and its beautiful surroundings. This tranquil natural pool is set in a narrow valley 2,000ft above sea level. The warm turquoise waters are perfect for swimming in, while the magnificent backdrop of mountainous desert makes the experience that much more memorable. You’ll then have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness with a hike to some more of the region’s splendid sites. This afternoon, head back to the hotel to pack up and jump back into your rental car. Your next destination is a safari-style camp in the middle of the Wahiba Desert. Enjoy a candle-lit dinner surrounded by sweeping golden dunes and settle in for a spot of stargazing before bed.

DAY 6

TRAVEL THROUGH THE DESERT

This morning is yours to explore the Wahiba desert before setting off for a half-day’s journey through the desert landscape to Nizwa, a historic city surrounded by the highest mountains in Oman. Along the way, stop at the village of Ibra to admire the ruins of ancient mud-brick mansions before settling in for one night in a small hotel well-located for discovering the city. The rest of this afternoon and this evening is yours to spend discovering Oman’s second-largest city. Until just 50 years ago, few travellers ventured into the ultra-conservative town that factional and hostile imams called home. Recently modernised following a major urban development project, Nizwa is now a beautiful city that welcomes travellers keen to admire its historic character and originality. A visit to Nizwa is also an opportunity to soak in Oman's rich architectural heritage. Numerous citadels and forts, most of which were built under the Yarubid dynasty in the 17th century, are incredible feats of architecture and often demonstrate Portuguese influence. Make sure to take a stroll down the walkway of the fort in the old town, as it offers 180-degree views of the Hajar massif and the dome of the Qaboos mosque.

DAY 7

EXPLORE SOUQS, FORTS AND PALM GROVES

Your next destination in Oman, Jabal al Akhdar, is only an hour’s drive away, but there’s plenty to see and do along the way. The souq in the nearby town of Bahla is famed for its beautiful pottery, while the fort is one of the most impressive in the region. Further is Al Hamra, where you can visit ancient remains of the old town and the Bait Al Safah house-museum and its surrounding palm grove. You can also make a stop at the impressive Misfah palm grove to enjoy a leisurely walk along a well-marked trail. Then it’s on to Jabal al Akhdar, where you’ll settle in for two nights in a luxurious resort. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing in your new digs and tuck into a delicious evening meal at the resort’s restaurant.

DAY 8

A TASTE OF TRADITIONAL OMAN

Today is yours to spend discovering the splendid Jabal Al Akhdar, a mountainous region considered one of the most traditional parts of the country. The arid landscape is punctuated with verdant oases, the small stone or adobe villages have remained unchanged for centuries and old forts, orchards and terraced crops are all plentiful. The region’s lands were long worked by the Bani Riyam tribe, who made the area famous for its cultivation of roses, pomegranates, apricots and olives. The lands are fertile year-round thanks to a long-standing underground system of aqueducts called falaj. Spend today hopping from village to village, discovering a peaceful way of life.

DAY 9

TO THE ARABIAN COAST

Enjoy one last delicious breakfast in your resort before heading back to Muscat, a two-hour drive away. Drop your rental car off at the airport and hop onto a one-and-a-half-hour flight to the port city of Salalah, in the south of Oman. On arrival you’ll be privately transferred to a charming hotel in the north of the city. Spend the rest of today exploring your new environment. Salalah’s history dates back thousands of years and houses sites like the Al Balid archeological site and an ancient souq where gold, myrrh and frankincense are still traded. The region is also home to a collection of picturesque sandy beaches and rich diving spots.

DAY 10

EXPEDITION TO THE DESERT

This morning you’ll be met by a private local guide to embark on an expedition into the heart of the sweeping Rub Al Khali desert. Nicknamed the ‘Empty Quarter’, this mythical desert is home to endless amounts of red and golden dunes and djebels (rocky hills) that were traversed by thousands of camels in the days of the incense trade. Here, perhaps even more so than in the Wahiba Desert, there is that feeling of being completely and totally in the middle of nowhere. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the city of Ubar. Once an important stopover or incense caravans, today only a few vestiges of this golden age remain, along with a small museum. Spend this evening relaxing in your tranquil camp in the heart of the desert. Tuck into a delicious meal around the fire, admire the starry night sky and settle in for a good night’s rest in your comfortable tent.

DAY 11

DID SOMEONE SAY BEACH?

Wake up in the heart of the desert and enjoy breakfast with a view before discovering the historic incense trees on your way back to Salalah. Once you’re back in the city, settle in for three nights in a beautiful beachside resort. The rest of today is yours to play with. Head to the beach for some fun in the sun and relax in your new home.

DAY 12

CULTURE IN THE SALALAH

After all the nature of the last few days, it’s time for a bit of culture. Today you’ll be met by a passionate local guide for a private tour of Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region. Besides being a tropical paradise, this seaside city harbors beautiful cultures and traditions. You’ll visit a classic mosque, where you can mingle with the locals, before heading to an authentic market to meet jabalís (mountain people) and fishermen who come here to sell their wares. After loading up on local products, travel to the coconut and banana plantations that have made Salalah so famous. After a fueling lunch, climb up to Wadi Darbart, a beautiful natural pool surrounded by wilderness where only camels are permitted to swim. Bedouins live in this wadi for part of the year with their herds, as well as jabalís, who raise cows. Finish your culturally immersive day with a visit to the Omani Woman Association, which promotes the handicrafts and work of the women of Dhofar.

DAY 13

EXPLORE THE ARABIAN COAST

It’s your final day in beautiful Oman and what better way to enjoy it than basking on the coast? Spend this morning relaxing, swimming and having fun in the sun before heading out on a trip to Mirbat, slightly further up the coast. Formerly the capital of Dhofar, this charming city is home to the 700-year-old seaside properties of merchants. Other sites include the Royal Farm, the Mamura Palace, the Ben Ali Mosque and Ain Razat, the remains of the former palace of the Queen of Sheba. We can also arrange for you to do a private tour of historic Dhofar, which gives you the opportunity to admire archaeological ruins, traditional ports and ancient incense trees.

DAY 14

RETURN FLIGHT

Sadly, the time has come to bid farewell to Oman and head back home with plenty of memories and mementos in tow. Today you’ll be privately transferred to the airport in Salalah to catch a one-and-half-hour domestic flight back to Muscat. Here you’ll have some time to relax in the airport lounge before boarding an eight-hour direct flight back to the UK.

A la carte

AN EVENING IN SUR WITH A LOCAL




Head out this evening with a friendly local guide to explore the beautiful fishing village of Sur. Much like your tour of Muscat, this evening’s exploration of Sur is relaxed, spontaneous and tailored to your wishes. You’ll have the opportunity to discover Sur Bay, before heading back down to visit a traditional Dhow Factory. When dinnertime comes around, settle in for a delicious meal with your guide at one of their favourite places in town.



PRIVATE TOUR OF HISTORIC DHOFAR




A trip to the south of the Oman is an opportunity to get to the heart of a story thought to be buried in the sands of the Arabian Nights. Discovering the archaeological site of Al Baleed reveals that this history was real and very rich, especially given that this was during a time when incense was more valuable than gold. The old souq is still a great place to enjoy the fragrance of this unique resin from Dhofar. Visits to the ancient port of Soumhouram, where ships docked to load up on their precious merchandise, and the Taqah fort complete this historical tour of Dhofar. You’ll also have the opportunity to head west of Salalah to learn more about the harvesting of incense resin. Incense trees still grow on the lower slopes and steep plains of Jabal Dhofar, as they are sheltered from the monsoon rains and are cooled down in summer by a gentle wind.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £5,650 to £6,780 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £6,000 per person.
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