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 sightseeing in Jabal Al Akhdar, 2,000 metres above sea level, the green jewel of the Al Hajjar mountain ranges, famed for its fruit orchards and roses.
Lunch at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar which was recently featured on BBC’s Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby. Return to the hotel with 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. Continue 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.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Wahiba Sands and check into the luxury Bedouin-style desert camp where one night is spent. Here enjoy the incredible expanse of desert and the spectacular sunset. Dinner at the tented camp.
Wahiba Sands / Muscat
Morning departure (with luggage) to Muscat with a stop en route at Wadi Bani Khalid, characterised by date palms and pools of water.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Muscat and check into the five-star Ritz Carlton Al Bustan Palace, set within well-manicured gardens and with breathtaking views of the Sea of Oman and the Al Hajar Mountains, where three nights are spent. Dinner under own arrangements.
Morning sightseeing of Old Muscat including Bait Al Zubair Museum to explore the richness of Omani history including a restored traditional home and re-creation of an old rural village. Continue to the striking modern Al Alam Palace which is the ceremonial residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman and also the Bait al Baranda Museum with its ethnic artefacts. Finally enjoy a visit to the Old Muttrah Souq with its myriad of local and imported merchandise, including fabrics, spices, perfumes and richly handcrafted artefacts. Return to the hotel.
Lunch under own arrangements. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities. This evening enjoy a sunset Dhow Cruise including dinner on board.
Morning visit to 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. Visit the Zawawi Mosque before a private guided tour of the Royal Opera House. Return to the hotel.
Lunch under own arrangements. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the hotel’s facilities. Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Optional evening opera performance of La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi at the Royal Opera House starring the legendary Plácido Domingo who will sing Germont. Ticket prices are on request and are subject to availability. Return transfers are not included. Please note that if you would like a ticket to the opera then you will miss the farewell dinner, however the cost of this will be deducted from the tour price.
Muscat / London
Early morning transfer to the airport for a morning British Airways flight to London Heathrow arriving in the early afternoon.
It simply does not get any better- VC, India, 2013