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Arrive at Muscat. You’ll be escorted through the visa/immigration process in the Premium Plaza Lounge before being taken to your hotel.
Spend your first day in Oman being pampered in a five star resort, surrounded by 124 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. Then it’s time to explore the intriguing mix of old and new that make up the involving city of Muscat. You’ll be taken on a private tour to see the Sultan’s Palace, the harbour and the busy shops of Mutrah. You’ll be able to wander round the ancient Old Mutrah Souk, see the magnificent Jalali, Miran and Mutrah Forts and browse around Bait Zubair and the Natural History Museum.
Stay: Two nights in a sea view room at the Al Bandar, Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort.
On day four you head for the rugged, mountain scenery of the Hajar Ranges, watching out for indigenous wildlife as you go, before arriving at your Nizwa hotel. Your second day sees you touring this birthplace of Islam in Oman. You’ll visit the Souk and Goat Market – a spectacle not to be missed – as well as the famous Round Tower Fort. Haggle for hand-carved daggers and ornate silver jewellery in the souk before admiring the ceiling paintings and carving in Jabrin – one of Oman’s finest castles and now a centre of Omani learning.
Stay: Two nights in a double room at the Golden Tulip Nizwa.
Now your Omani adventure takes a romantic turn as you journey through a sea of red and white sand dunes – some rising to 200 metres – home to surprisingly diverse wildlife. You’ll sleep in a luxury, Bedouin-style tent, out in the desert, at a genuine oasis. You’ll also be able to visit a local Bedouin family, take a camel safari, go for quad bike rides and try trekking and sand board riding in the dunes.
Stay: One night in a luxury tent at Desert Nights Camp.
Revisit Muscat and, along the way, soak up the atmosphere of Bibi Miriam’s Tomb or stop at Fins Beach for a swim. See the spectacular Bimah Sinkhole, a limestone crater full of turquoise water before journeying on to Dibab and Wadi Arbayeen.
Stay: One night in a city view, double room at the Crowne Plaza Muscat.
Today you fly to Khasab, just 640 km from Muscat. Here you’ll have the opportunity to drive up Jebel Harim (the Mountain of Women) in a 4×4 to see the stunning views from the summit. You’ll visit the Bedouin village of Sayh and see fossils dating back millions of years. Next day you’ll be cruising through the ‘fjords of Musandam’ aboard a traditionally decorated Omani dhow. You’ll see unchanged local villages and be able to swim in the crystal waters off Telegraph and Seebi Islands. Watch out for inquisitive dolphins.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Atana Khasab Hotel.
Your discovery of Oman continues with a quick flight, via Muscat, to Salalah on the shores of the Indian Ocean. As well as lazing on fine beaches, you’ll spend time touring the fabled castles of this historic region, visiting the watchtowers and stone houses of ancient Taqa and exploring the ruined city of Samhuram – once the capital of Arabia’s frankincense trade. Mirbat, your next destination, was famous for its trade in slaves and horses, as well as frankincense, and you’ll also see Dhofar’s famous Bin Ali’s Tomb. Salalah offers you groves of coconut, banana and papaya plus sights like Prophet Saleh’s Sacred Camel Footprint, the Al Husn Souk and a market selling cattle and guns. Al Husn Palace and the Al Balid Museum are also local attractions.
Stay: Two nights in the Rotana Resort and Spa.
On your return to Muscat you’ll be taken to the Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort for two days of pampering and relaxing in five star luxury.
Day 14: From your hotel you’ll be driven to Muscat Airport for your return flight home.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at the Al Bandar, Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort.
It was a complicated itinerary for 12 people and Tania got it spot on!- EM, South Africa, 2015