Oman, a nation on the Arabian Peninsula, has terrain encompassing desert, riverbed oases and long coastlines on the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. Wahiba Sands is a region of dunes inhabited by Bedouins. The port capital, Muscat, is home to the massive, contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and the old waterfront Muttrah quarter, with a labyrinthine souk and busy fish market.
MUSCAT, SUR, WADI BANI KHALID, NIZWA
Welcome to the Sultanate of Oman. Your chauffeur will await you in the arrival hall of Muscat International Airport and will escort you to your hotel.
Start your Half-Day Muscat City Tour from the Sultan Qaboos Mosque-Grand Mosque, the 5th biggest Mosque in the world (please consider the dress code). The Mosque is open from 0800 HRS till 1100 HRS (except Friday). Pass the embassy quarter and enjoy a guided tour through the beautiful Royal Opera House (tour services are just available if there is no rehearsal on stage). Visit the Bait Al Baranda Museum. After this you drive along the corniche to Muttrah Souk, the oldest souk in Oman. Continue to Al Alam Palace (photo stop), which is flanked by two Portuguese Forts, called Al Mirani and Al Jalali. Afternoon at leisure.
Leave the capital of Oman to explore the beauty of the country. Cross Wadi Al Mayh (in case guests stay in Shangri-La, Al Bustan, Al Naseem or Al Falaj Hotel) and continue to Wadi Dayqah, one of the biggest freshwater reservoirs in Oman. Enjoy a walk along the dam before heading to Wadi Tiwi – known as the “Wadi of Nine villages” with its string of emerald pools & thick plantations and then proceed to Sur along the coast line.. Reach Sur and visit one of the nowadays rare traditional dhow factories, an open air dhow museum and enjoy a walk through Al Aygah with its beautiful old, wooden doors. In the evening you have the possibility to visit the turtle beach where turtles can be seen laying their eggs as well as baby turtles leaving their nests (please note that during your stay it is low season and there is no guarantee to see any turtles).
Today you will have a small glimpse of how it is to be a real Bedouin. Leave the city and drive to Asyla, heading along white, sandy beaches with mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean. After a photo stop in Gaheid be ready for an unique desert experience! You will cross the Sharqiyah Sands, enjoying its beautiful dunes and peaceful atmosphere. One of the most important things in a Bedouins life is to be hospitable so we will stop by at one of their houses where we will enjoy a authentic home cooked Omani lunch and will get to know how it is to still live in the desert in the 21st century. In the early afternoon we will leave from the desert village and continue to the desert camp.
Enjoy a breakfast in the desert before leaving for the chance to have a swim or to take a walk in the evergreen Wadi Bani Khalid. From there you will head to one of the desert cities, where locals from all over the place are coming to the main market day either on Wednesday in Ibra with its traditional women’s market or on Thursday in Sinaw with its camel and fish market. In both cities you will also see the old, abounded districts. On your way to Nizwa you will have the chance to visit beehive tombs nearby Izki. They have just been discovered a few decades ago and are still one of the thousands of secrets of the former Arabic civilization. You will soon find yourself surrounded by some of the highest mountains in Oman and walk along the banana and date trees in Birkat al Mauz or just enjoy the view of the village.
Take off to the old part of Nizwa where you visit the silver souk and the round tower fort. Take off the busy main road and follow a smaller one passing some of the traditional, small villages before reaching the old mud city Al Hamra. These from the government refurbished estates give you an insight into the former lifestyle of the peasant population. Drive up the Jebel Shams, also called “mountain of the sun”. Its plateau gives you an impressive view of the canyon, also known as “Oman’s Grand Canyon”. In the afternoon you can enjoy a walk in the beautiful old village Misfat al Abryeen, where you will also stay for one night in a traditional house including an Omani homemade dinner.
In the morning you will leave the sun mountain heading for another adventures ride through the mountains. You will cross Wadi Bani Awf, one of Oman’s most memorable landscapes. A small walk through the canyon close by the mountain village Bilad Said and a picnic lunch before you leave this region. On your way to the hotel you will stop at Al Hazm fort, which you shouldn’t miss out! It might be not the biggest or the oldest fort, but the elaborate renovation makes it to one of its kind! Continue to the seaside.
Your chauffeur will await you in the hotel lobby to transfer you to the airport just in time so that you can reach your flight.
Museum, Culture, Desert, Mountains, Lakes
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