We begin our journey in the ‘Green Mountains’ of Jabal Al Akhdar where we can enjoy the magnificent landscape and remote villages, before continuing to the ancient capital, Nizwa, where we explore the bustling souk and imposing desert fortresses.
After a night in the rolling dunes and 'deafening' silence of the Wahiba Sands we finish our journey in Muscat, where ancient sites sit alongside the ultra modern. Highlights of the tour include enjoying the most spectacular scenery imaginable, a night in a luxury Bedouin-style desert camp, and an optional visit to the Muscat Opera House.
London / Muscat
Depart London Heathrow on an Oman Air overnight flight to Muscat.
Muscat / Jabal Akhdar
On arrival in Muscat, transfer by 4WDs up the mountains to the luxurious five-star Alila Jabal Akhdar resort where two nights are spent. Perched on a cliff top overlooking the stunningly dramatic ‘Green Mountain’ gorge, this uniquely designed luxurious hotel is the perfect base for exploring the rugged scenery of Oman’s mountain landscape.
Lunch at the hotel on arrival. Check into rooms (guaranteed from 14.00 hrs) and remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy the cliff-top infinity pool and spa. Dinner at the hotel.
Morning visit to the pretty village of Birkat Al Mauz to enjoy a walk through the lush green date plantations. Continue through Wadi Al Madeen to Jabal Al Akhdar, 2000 metres above sea level, the green jewel of the Al Hajjar mountain ranges, famed for its fruit orchards and roses which fill the air with fragrance in full bloom.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Return to the hotel and the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner at the hotel.
Jabal Akhdar / Nizwa / Wahiba Sands
Depart (with luggage) to the oasis town of Nizwa, once Oman’s capital. Visit Nizwa’s famous Round Tower Fort, built in the 17th century, and its Souq renowned for its Friday cattle auction, intricately hand-carved “Khanjars” (daggers) and ornamental silver jewellery.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to the elegant, elaborately decorated 17th century Jabrin Castle, more of a Mughul palace than a fort. The castle displays the highest achievement in Omani ceiling painting and beautifully executed woodcarvings. Visit the old Bahla Fort with its seven mile wall and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the oldest fort in Oman and is believed to have been built in pre-Islamic times.
Continue to Wahiba Sands and check into the luxury Safari Desert Camp where one night is spent. Here enjoy the incredible expanse of desert, the spectacular sunset, the inky night sky and the ‘deafening’ silence. Dinner at the tented camp.
Wahiba Sands / Muscat
Morning departure (with luggage) to Muscat with a stop en route at the village of Qalhat to see Bibi Mariam’s tomb, the only standing remains of this once thriving port city. Stop at Fins beach and at the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom. At Dibab take an off road track to visit Wadi Arbayeen, characterised by date palms and pools of water.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Muscat and check into the five-star Shangri-La’s Al Bandar Hotel, set within lush landscaped gardens which flow down towards the sea where three nights are spent. Dinner at the hotel.
Morning visit to the Zawawi Mosque and the Bait Al Zubair Museum to explore the richness of Omani history including a restored traditional home and recreation of an old rural village. Return to the hotel.
Lunch under own arrangements. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities or enjoy an optional visit to the Old Muttrah Souq with its myriad of local and imported merchandise, including fabrics, spices, perfumes and richly handcrafted artefacts. Dinner under own arrangements.
Optional late afternoon transfer to Muscat Opera House for an early evening opera performance (schedule TBA).
Optional early morning departure for a boat ride to see dolphins. Return to the hotel. Morning visit to the striking modern Al Alam Palace which is the ceremonial residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Visit the Bait al Baranda Museum with its ethnic artefacts before visiting the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, whose prayer hall floor is covered by the world’s second largest single piece of Persian carpet; the hall is also lit by enormous crystal chandeliers.
Return to the hotel for lunch under own arrangements. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities or enjoy an optional visit to the Old Muttrah Souq with its myriad of local and imported merchandise, including fabrics, spices, perfumes and richly handcrafted artefacts. Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Muscat / London
Late morning transfer to the airport for an afternoon Oman Air flight to London Heathrow arriving in the early evening.