- Stop in elegant hotels and a private camp in the heart of the desert
- Private tour of Muscat and the Daymaniyat Islands, Seeb village with a local guide, and a visit to the Wadi Ban Khalid's natural swimming pools are all included in the itinerary
- Personalise your trip with a detour to Hajar or a hike in Jebel Akhdar
- You'll have access to all of our additional services, including our local Concierge
Contact one of our Oman specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
ELEGANT AND INTIMATE OMAN
BEDOUIN EXPERIENCEThis is a personalised canvas tent camp lit with candles and oil lamps, in the heart of the red sand dunes of the Sharqiya Sands desert. Enjoy the clear night sky and remoteness of your camp. A once-in-a-lifetime experience to be enjoyed as a couple, far from the world.
Flight to Muscat
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
Welcome and priority clearance through customs formalities at Muscat airport, followed by a private hotel transfer. The transfer is approximately a one-hour drive. Upon arrival, take in the sumptuous natural setting outside of the city, where there is bare tawny rock everywhere and cliffs are eroded by the salt of the deep blue sea. Four-night stay in a type of Omani fortress that has been converted into a hotel, with its pink fortress walls overlooking the rugged cliffs. Belonging to an internationally-renowned hotel chain, this building is actually part of a large group of three buildings. Stay in the chicest of the three and enjoy exclusive access to the magnificent infinity pool and the private yellow sand beach. The Arabic atmosphere sets the stage for this Middle-Eastern trip. The rooms are large, decorated with 'mashrabiya' (screens), silks, precious wood and Persian carpets. They overlook the sea, where there are hundreds of dolphins that can be approached by boat. A variety of water activities are available, including diving with a nearby PADI centre. Far below, there is a reserve that is home to century-old sea turtles.
Included in the itinerary - Visit to the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman and Muttrah Souq, with a private guide. Opened in April 2016 in a minimalist building, the museum traces the country's history and traditions with more than 7,000 exhibits. The tour ends with a stroll through Muttrah Souq, the oldest souq in the Sultanate of Oman and one of the city's most popular spots. In a maze of covered alleyways where the fragrance of incense mingles with the scent of sandalwood, it's the perfect environment to enjoy the liveliness and charm of the place.
At the end of the day, intoxicated by so much beauty, discovery, and overcome with healthy and happy tiredness, relax in the spa and enjoy being pampered. The hotel is world-renowned for these experiences. Finally, decide whether to take the opportunity to try local dishes or enjoy the familiarity of an international menu.
The Omani capital is the point of transition between desert and sea as well as past and modernity. The walls of the old city and the Sultan's blue and gold palace, a symbol of rebirth, have dictated the architecture of the modern city, where buildings have height restrictions and follow a colour code of sand-yellow and white. The three main districts are Muscat, Ruwi and Muttrah. Soak up the lovely atmosphere. Stroll along the Portuguese forts, in the souq, at the fish market in the port of Muttrah and in front of the Sayyida Fatima bint Ali Mosque. Admire the splendour of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and its 35 Swarovski crystal chandeliers.
Included in the itinerary - Half a day in Seeb with a local. The day after you arrive, meet your local expert guide who can teach you about Oman. Over the years, they have gotten to know every nook and cranny of the city in great detail. This is the perfect time to discover a more authentic aspect of Omani heritage, off the beaten track. Seeb, this fishing village that has become a small town, reveals the daily life of the Omanis through the fish market, the small alleys of the old souq and the coastal road with its fishermen's huts. During this informal walk, including the detour through the great mosque, discuss daily life in the Sultanate of Oman and garner a wealth of tips for the rest of the trip. This tour lasts about four hours, including the air-conditioned 4x4 transfers from the hotel along with refreshments.
Included in the itinerary - Private tour of the Daymaniyat Islands. Off the coast of Muscat, discover a pristine landscape with swathes of white sand, turquoise lagoons and the surreal vision of camels splashing through the shallows along the beaches. These islands are known as a nesting place for seabirds. The ideal visibility is popular with photographers, and divers can appreciate the countless fish, such as blackspotted rubberlips, giant trevallies, parrot fish, red mullets, unicornfish and surgeonfish. This day on the water includes getting up close and personal with lobsters, large stingrays and a few leopard sharks. A driver will take you to Barka where a private motorboat awaits. The captain is at the helm with masks and snorkels and a delicious barbecue lunch will be served later.
Use a free day to wander the streets of Muscat or simply relax at the hotel.
Muscat - Sharqiya Sands
In the morning, a private driver-guide will pick you up from the hotel to take you to the next stage of your trip. The journey to the Sharqiya Sands, the great Middle-Eastern desert, begins in a comfortable 4x4 vehicle. Making its way between wadis, oases, mountains and ocean, a magnificent road runs along the Gulf of Oman in the direction of Sur, offering those who take it sublime views of nature. Leave early enough to stop at Wadi Dayqah and Wadi Arbaeen, green gorges that seem like mirages. Embedded in ochre limestone ravines, the waters of Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, two parallel wadis that descend from eastern Hajar, have the clarity and colour of emeralds. They flow between date palms and banana trees, framed by steep cliffs, they spring off mounds of boulders, falling and curling into natural pools. This region is one of the most scenic in the country and is particularly great for hiking and swimming. The road then gives way to a trail that winds between ancient villages to the top of the impressive Selmah Plateau (6,500ft), with a vantage point that looks towards the Arabian Sea and, far to the south, the Sharqiya Sands. After lunch, it's time to leave the mountains and travel in the direction of Wadi Tayeen, passing by the impressive Old Fort in Al Mudayrib, to reach the private camp, in the peaceful desert of Sharqiya Sands by sunset. Stay for two starry nights in a traditional Bedouin tent furnished with just the right amount of luxury so as not to misrepresent the authenticity of the place. At night, the handful of black and white striped tents glow with candles and oil lamps. A communal tent is decorated with embroidered cushions scattered over carpets on the ground. The table, beside the fire, is set at sunset, and the refined cuisine is served by an on-site chef. An intimate and sublime interlude in the middle of the wild sand dunes.
Marvel at the red dunes peaking at over 650ft and the camel caravans led by Bedouins renowned for their hospitality and nomadic camps. The desert setting of Sharqiya Sands is a magnificent experience to enjoy meditatively alone or share a family moment of bonding with the vastness of nature.
Included in the itinerary - Explore the Wadi Bani Khalid. Travel on some astounding roads through one of the sultanate's most beautiful valleys, nestled between the mountains and with a great many springs, to discover one of the many natural pools of the Wadi Bani Khalid. Depending on the season, waterfalls supply the basin with crystal clear waters. Continue along the rock and go a little off-piste to get a grasp of the magnificent scene: beautiful basins, caves, waterfalls and natural slides.
Sharqiya Sands - Jebel Akhdar
It takes about four-and-a-half hours to reach Jebel Akhdar, but this itinerary takes a slow pace so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful inland features. At the beginning, leave the Sharqiya Sands to reach the village of Al Wassil surrounded by sand dunes, then head west to the towering mountain of Jebel Shams. The road soon reaches the ruins of an abandoned ghost town, a village called Ibra. It continues to the Wadi Muhaydin and leads to the village of Birkat Al Mouz, which has also been deserted by its inhabitants for a few years now. Now, it's no more than 30 miles to the mountain of Jebel Akhdar. Stay at a property that is discreetly luxurious and full of character, perched on the heights of the imposing Jebel Akhdar, some 6,500ft above sea level. Scattered across the cliff-side, the attractive swimming pool and the 78 suites and villas made of stone are all integrated into their surroundings. Inside, warm tones match contemporary shapes as well as traditional crafts. Dark wooden furniture and carved marble bathtubs blend well with woven baskets and works from the local pottery maker. A must during your trip is to admire the wild scenery of the beautiful mountain from your shaded balcony.
Optional – Detour through the Hajar mountains, to the city of Nizwa, the unique village of Misfat Al Abriyeen and the small town of Al Hamra.
A la carte
A DETOUR IN THE MOUNTAINS: NIZWA AND THE SURROUNDING AREA
As an optional extra, take a detour through the Hajar mountains, between the Sharqiya Sands desert and the Jebel Akhdar highlands. The city of Nizwa can be found at the bottom of a valley thick with palms and flanked by the highest peaks of Oman. As recently as 50 years ago, tourists did not venture into this ultra-conservative city. The sultanate's second largest city was recently modernised after a major urban development project but has not lost its historical character or originality. It's pleasant to visit since it has opened up to the world and to tourism. A detour through Nizwa will also reveal Oman's rich architectural heritage. Many citadels and forts built during the Yaruba dynasty in the 17th century reveal Portuguese influence. The road around the old city's fort offers panoramic views of the Hajar mountains and the dome of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Continue through the mountains, to the village of Misfat Al Abriyeen. Surrounded by palms and hanging from the side of a canyon beside the small town of Al Hamra, Misfat Al Abriyeen is one of the most beautiful villages in the country. Take the opportunity to meet the inhabitants and visit a traditional Omani house, located in the heart of the ancient city.
PRIVATE GUIDED HIKE ACROSS THE SPLENDOURS OF SAIQ
While in Jebel Akhdar, take this hike to discover the traditional life of the mountains, around the village of Al Ayn, known for its cultivation of rose bushes, and the abandoned village of Wadi Bani Habib. Level: Medium. Mountainous and rugged terrain. This four-hour hike is accompanied by a local guide.
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