Experience some traditional Omani hospitality with a one-night camping getaway under the stars in Wahiba Sands. Discover Oman’s most phenomenal fortresses and mosques, including the beautifully preserved Jabrin Fort. Explore the busy fishing harbour of Muttrah and mine the bustling souq for hidden treasures – anything from unique silverware to frankincense. For a capital city, Muscat sure packs a lot of charm. Explore the tranquil waterfront and visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Adventure from portside Muscat and Muttrah into the heart of Oman’s richly coloured past. Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that make this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses. The treasures aren’t all man-made: trip to the blazing remote landscapes of Wahiba Sands for a desert getaway with the Bedouins, and soak up breathtaking canyon views at Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf before returning to the seaside capital.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 3
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
You will be treated “to warm Omani Welcome” with coffee and dates after which your Leader will provide you with a short orientation to point out the facilities and services around your hotel.
The rest of the day is free for you to make you own discoveries, or try one of the recommended restaurants for a local dinner
After breakfast at the hotel, visit the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Then drive down to the busy fishing harbour at Muttrah, with its quaint wooden dhows and fishing boats, stop at the bazaar (souq) where you can mingle with the locals and browse the silver and spice shops. Also see the two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani, which guard the entrance to the city.
A very special lunch today; The Sidab Women's Group is one of the unique models in empowering women through establishing a project that benefits the participants. It is an environment-friendly project that is based on the manufacturing of environmentally friendly bags that replace plastic bags. We learn about the centre and enjoy some home cooked Omani Food before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon
Ras al Jinz
Your adventure starts this morning. As we will be returning to the starting point hotel you may want to consider storing some of your luggage at the hotel in Muscat and packing lighter for your five day 4x4 Tour.
Drive through the spectacular rugged landscapes to Hawiyat Najim Park the location of the Bimmah Sinkhole a picture-perfect sink hole formed due to limestone erosion. The turquoise waters make an excellent stop to paddle the feet. We spend 30 minutes here before continuing to Wadi Shab. Due to accessibility issues, we will only be stopping at Wadi Shab for a photo stop and to enjoy a refreshing break, we will then continue to Wadi Tiwi
Wadi Tiwi is known as the wadi of nine villages, emerald pools and thick date plantations; we drive to the viewpoint to enjoy incredible vistas of the wadi before taking an easy walk past pools and palms and through the village.
We continue Ras al Jinz for the evening. Check into our hotel located on the beach and enjoy some free time before an early dinner.
This evening we make the short journey to Ras All Jinz Turtle Reserve. The easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important turtle-nesting site for the endangered green turtle. Over 20,000 females return annually to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs. Our excursion this evening is conducted in conjunction with the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and Research Centre by their experienced guides the area is under government protection and the only way to see the turtles is to join this tour. Upon arrival at the centre we will be advised if the activity will commence or not, this is a reserve and the turtles are not captive so it is up to mother nature if there will be turtles for viewing or not. Most nights there are at least one or two turtles with many more present between July and September. We don’t like to disappoint but there is a small possibility that the tour will not commence in which case your tour Leader will inform our office and an alternative activity will be arranged during your tour.
Pack you swimmers and towel this morning. After breakfast, we make a stop in Sur, and important city in Oman's maritime past before driving to the palm-lined Wadi Bani Khalid. Follow a well-worn path into the heart of this rocky oasis and discover a big pool that offers both visual and physical refreshment, particularly in the hotter months, enjoy some free time here and perhaps some lunch in the local restaurant. For those who want adventure of the more active type you can make the short 20 minute hike to Muqil cave, the path can be slippery and your Tour Leader will let you know conditions at the time; we do not recommend entering into the cave but the walk itself is very scenic and offers some more deserted pools. After departing the Wadi we make a brief stop to deflate our tyres a little as we make our way to Wahiba Sands, we check into our camp and make the exhilarating drive over the dunes to watch a desert style sunset. In the evening, enjoy some traditional music over dinner, around an open fire, under the stars.
Notes: Activities are arranged at the discretion of camp management, and some may not be available during low occupancies and off-season periods.
Head north to Ibra, which was one of the oldest cities in Oman, and once the centre of trade, religion, education and art. Wednesday is Women’s Market in Ibra, we take a stroll through the market which is predominantly operated by women, stalls offer fabrics, dresses, dressmaking materials, henna, honey and much more. Continue to old Ibra and take a walk through the old crumbling mud brick houses for a taste of historical life.
Then its over to Jabrin Castle, which is considered one of the finest and most picturesque Castles in the whole country. Often referred to as Jabrin Fort, it is indeed a castle as it was designed as a residence, with beautiful carved wooden doors and ornate lattice work. Continue to Nizwa with a stop at Bahla viewpoint.
Check out the Nizwa Fort and Souk this morning. Nizwa Fort was built over a span of 12 years in the 17th century by Sultan bin Saif al Yaruba, the first imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty, the fort boasts a 40m tall tower with stellar views of the date palm plantations.
Spend some free time in the souk before travelling to Misfat Al Abyreen a unique mountainous village located 1,000 m above sea level on the mountain foothills. The village has amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks.
Enjoy a short trek into the village where you can see the famous falaj network (the old Omani water distribution system. We continue to Al Hamra one of the oldest villages in Oman at the foot of the Hajar Mountains we take a walk around the mud brick houses before continuing our journey onwards and upward to Jebel Shams, stopping on the way for amazing views of the Hajar Mountains and Oman's highest point. Even on the hottest days, it's nice and cool up here. On arrival, check into your hotel.
After breakfast, check out Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’, with a short soft trek along what is referred to as the balcony walk which circumferences the “Grand Canyon of Oman” then it’s back in the vehicles as we make our accent to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon and what is called the ‘snake gorge’ in the middle of the steep mountain cliffs.
This is a stunning part of Oman, with fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. The 36 km scenic drive is over gravel road with twists and turns and offers off road adventure but at a relaxed and soft pace.
Please note this drive through “snake gorge” is subject to weather conditions and if wet it may not be possible in which case an alternative route will be taken.
Drive to the town of Nakhl, and see its fully restored fort on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat for the night.
Today we spend a lot of time travelling off road and due to road conditions and weather timing may change at short notice, this means that lunch may be a little later. We recommend grabbing some snacks for the journey.
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you will be free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Muscat.