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. Spend a whole day uncovering the majesty and mystery of the world wonder of Petra. The first glimpse of the Treasury from the narrow path of the Siq is unforgettable. Experience the best weightlessness this side of outer space with an effortless float in the super-salty waters of the Dead Sea
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 makes 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 and travelling to the cosmopolitan city of Amman, explore Jordan’s mystic desert landscapes in Wadi Rum, visit the stunning ruins of Petra and trek to the remote hilltop village of Dana on this enriching and exciting tour of Jordan. With cultural gems, ancient artefacts and warm hospitality waiting around every corner, Jordan is an enthralling and magnetic land to visit.
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.
Travel to Jordan. Although the flight is not included, a complimentary departure transfer to Muscat Airport and a complimentary arrival transfer in Amman are included with your trip. Please remember to let your booking agent know your flight details to confirm this service.
On arrival at Amman Queen Alia International Airport , you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This is simply an arrival day, so you may arrive in Amman at any time. There will be an important welcome meeting in the evening, usually at around 6 pm. The afternoon is your free time to relax or start exploring the city of Amman.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a journey to Wadi Rum (approximately 5 hours). A half-day jeep safari will take you through some of the most striking desert scenery on the planet. Wadi Rum is full of weird and wonderful lunar-like rock formations, and traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the area – from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum are those carved by nature – the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks. Tonight, sleep in a simple Bedouin desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. Enjoy dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin hosts. Meaning ‘desert dwellers’ in Arabic, the Bedouins are a semi-nomadic people, and in Jordan up to 40 per cent of the general population is thought to have Bedouin ancestry. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts as well as the chance to sleep beneath the twinkling desert night sky will sure make up for it.
After waking up in the unique surrounds of the camp this morning, head out on a trek around the area (approximately 12 to 15 kilometres), with a stop for tea and a lunch break. You might scale one of the large sand dunes for sensational views of the valley – the perfect chance to snap some unbelievable pictures. Explore the distinctive rock formations and bask in its eerie silence. Wadi Rum is probably best known for its connection with the enigmatic British officer T E Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917–18. Tonight is again yours to enjoy the traditional Bedouin hospitality and the clear night skies of the desert.
This morning you'll leave your desert camp, taking 4WDs to the main entrance, which is opposite the Seven Pillars of Wisdom – the mountain named after Lawrence of Arabia’s book. The visitor's centre here is also a great spot to buy some jewellery and handicrafts, mostly made by a women's co-operative aimed at supporting local industries. Continue your journey to the fabled city of Petra by private vehicle (approximately 2 hours). The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt – a Swiss explorer. In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage-listed site. Once arrived, spend the afternoon on a guided tour of Petra. Squeeze through a mile-long narrow path, known as the Siq, through huge towers of rock and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury complex. It’s amazing to think that this enormous, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock.
Enjoy a free day of self-discovery as you explore Petra on your own. The site is surprisingly big, and so it is up to you to choose your own route around the complex. You could explore the old Roman road, other smaller temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre. For those who are feeling a bit more active, there's the challenging but highly rewarding 1-hour walk up the steps to the secluded yet stunning Monastery.