TOUR CODE: BSTOMAN
Trip Type: Independent Journey
This 8-day journey takes you from the picturesque capital deep into the mountains, deserts, and ancient cities. Beginning in Muscat, we cross the rugged interior to the imposing forts of Nakhal and see dramatic landscapes and traditional villages before reaching Nizwa. Explore the old forts of Jabrin and Nizwa before heading into the spectacular Jabal Akhdar Mountain, entering the vast Wahiba Sands, where we sleep at a rustic desert camp under a blanket of brilliant stars. Continue to the historic old dhow shipyards of Sur and on towards Raz Al Jinz, the nesting grounds of rare green sea turtles. Return to Muscat via the coastal road to enjoy some free time before the journey home.
ARRIVAL IN MUSCAT
On arrival at Muscat International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Meet your guide this morning for a half-day Muscat city tour. We drive toward the beautiful embassy quarter of Muscat en route to visit the magical Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (except on Fridays). The imposing structure is a fine example of modern Islamic architecture. The grand mosque’s five minarets symbolize the five core values of Islam. Admire the architectural beauty of its sandstone domes, minarets, courtyards, and the main prayer hall is truly stunning. Explore the excellent Bait Al Zubair Museum, followed by a photo stop at the Al Alam Palace, before taking a wander around the Muttrah Souq.
* Please be aware that to enter the Grand Mosque, ladies should be fully covered (including a headscarf), and men are not allowed in wearing shorts.
MUSCAT/NAKHL/WADI BANI AUF/BILAD SAYT/AL HAMRA/NIZWA (B)
Leave Muscat, and we head to Nakhl in al Batinah south governorate. Our first stop is Nakhal for a photo stop of the splendid Nakhal Fort perched on a rocky outcrop. From here, we drive into the Wadi Bani Awf. The road leads us through the Wadi. We will pass by impressive Wadi Canyons (snake canyon) and small villages. Proceed to Bilad Sayt, a town famous for its clay houses and the Oasis in which the village population lives. Continue driving to Al Hamra, a 400-year-old village in the region of Ad Dakhiliyah. Then head to the charming Misfat Al Abriyeen in the foothills of Oman’s Hajar mountain range overlooking a steep valley, famous for its ancient irrigation system or falaj. We descent to the historic old city of Nizwa and check in to the hotel.
NIZWA/BAHLA/JIBREEN/WADI MAEEDEN/JEBEL AKHDAR (B)
The first stop of the day will be in the historic old city of Nizwa, home to an imposing 17th-century fort and the adjoining Nizwa Souk, famed for its Friday cattle auction. Stop at the 13th-century Bahla Fort (photo stop), the oldest and first Omani fort built in the Islamic style. Visit the 17th-century Jabrin Castle. The castle displays the highest achievement in Omani ceiling painting and beautifully executed woodcarvings. Continue to Wadi Al Madeen, journey along a thrilling winding road to Jebel Akhdar or the Green Mountain, located 6,561 feet above sea level in the Al Hajar mountain range.
JEBEL AKHDAR/WAHIBA SANDS (B/D)
Jebel Akhdar is famed for its cool climate and tropical fruit orchards typically laid out terrace style along the slopes of mountains, endowed with natural springs and aflaj. Today we visit the communities of Saiq and Wadi Bani Habib, with its old traditional Omani houses. Then, travel to the beautiful village of Birkat Al Mauz, where you’ll walk through the lush date plantation. Continues into the desert, towards the rolling dunes and shifting sands of Wahiba where, after a bit of dune-bashing, visit a Bedouin home and experience the warm hospitality of a Bedouin family and enjoy Arabic coffee and dates. We settle down for a peaceful night at a desert camp. A camel ride (optional) offers a unique desert experience.
WAHIBA SANDS/WADI BANI KAHLID/SUR/RAS AL JINZ (B/D)
After breakfast, enjoy the sunrise at the Wahiba Sands. Wahiba Sands is one of the most fascinating and mysterious deserts in the Arab Gulf region. It is also home to a few thousand Bedouins known to have inhabited this inhospitable region for at least 7,000 years. One of the stunning features of Wahaiba Sands is the shifting colors of sand at different times of the day. Drive to the picturesque Wadi Bani Khaled. With turquoise waters, lush vegetation, and palm trees, this is a slice of paradise. Catch a glimpse of the pretty villages scattered all over Wadi Bani Khalid as they cling precariously to the slopes of the rugged mountainside. Enjoy the clear waters of the Wadi and the sight of palm trees all around. (Please bring along your swimwear; bikinis not allowed. Also, please note that light clothing and walking shoes may be more suitable for this trip). Our journey continues to the turtle nesting grounds of Raz Al Jinz, passing by Sur, a historic old port town famous for its Dhow Building Yard. We walk along the seaside and visit the Dhow Building Yard before heading to Raz Al Jinz. Arrive in Raz Al Jinz later this afternoon with time to freshen up before heading out this evening to search for turtles.
WADE TIWI/FINS BEACH/BIMMAH SINKHOLE/MUSCAT (B)
Drive towards Muscat via the Coastal Road. Explore Wadi Tiwi, a deep and narrow gorge carved out of the mountains, running between towering cliffs right down to the sea. Then off to the white beaches of Fins. Proceed to visit the Bimah Sinkhole; a spectacular limestone crater created many years ago by a collapsing mountain filled with blue-green seawater. We continue the journey back to the capital to enjoy some free time before the journey home.
MUSCAT DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast, it is time to say goodbye and fly back home.
Meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner
Per person, based on double occupancy
Click on Terms & Conditions for important information.