NORTHERN OMAN ADVENTURE
Northern Oman Adventure Tour
After exploring the palaces, mosques and museums of Muscat, you'll enjoy a breathtaking drive along Oman's spectacular gulf coast to see the turtle-nesting beaches of Ras Al Jinz, before heading inland to discover vast sand dunes, pretty mountain villages, terraced fruit orchards, the 1000-metre-deep Wadi Nakhr Gorge, known as Oman’s 'grand canyon', and the forts and markets around Oman's ancient capital, Nizwa.
Days 1 - 2Muscat
Arrive in Muscat and transfer to your hotel. Muscat offers the visitor a rare opportunity to witness a modern centre existing in harmony with traditional culture. With its natural harbour, Muscat, meaning ‘anchorage’, lies in a natural bowl. Take a stroll along the Muttrah Corniche, sip a coffee in one of the many waterfront cafes and marvel at the 16th century Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali that flank the official palace of Sultan Qaboos, the magnificent Al Alam Palace. Take a tour of the Grand Mosque and Bait al-Zubair Museum for an introduction to Oman’s history and development, visit the fish market and the colourful Muttrah Souq, and take a tour of the newly opened Royal Opera House.
Days 3 - 4Muscat - Tiwi - Ras Al Jinz
Accommodation: 5*Breakfast, dinner
Depart Muscat by four-wheel-drive along the scenic and rugged coastal route, with continuous glimpses of the breathtaking blue waters and pristine white beaches of the Gulf of Oman. Passing the fishing village of Quriyat, your first stop is the Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue-green water at the bottom. Later stop at a white-sand beach where you can enjoy a swim, then on to the lush green plantations of Tiwi. Driving on, the road winds through mountain terrain and the ancient port town of Sur, to Ras Al Jinz, a sanctuary for green turtles. Enjoy dinner at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. After dinner, there’s a short walk or drive to the beach to watch the turtles nesting on the sands.
Days 4 - 5Ras Al Jinz - Wahiba Sands
After breakfast, drive past small fishing villages to Al Ashkarah town, leave the coast and head inland, where the rocky scrubland soon gives way to sand dunes. After stopping to view the 52-domed mosque at Jalan Bani Bu Ali, continue driving to Wadi Bani Khalid with its pretty villages embedded in the mountains. The deep blue-green waters are ideal for a short swim before venturing deeper into the desert.
The Wahiba Sands are vast mass of red and white sand with dunes rising up to 200 metres, which also host a variety of flora and fauna. A fun ride on top of the dunes finally drops you at the luxurious Desert Nights Camp where you’ll enjoy a barbecue dinner.
Days 5 - 6Wahiba Sands - Al Manzifah - Birkat al-Mauz - Jebel Akhdar
After breakfast there’s a short drive to a Bedouin camp where, over coffee, your guide explains the relationship between the Bedouins, their camels and the desert terrain. Pausing at the stately ruins of Al Manzifah near Ibra, and the lush date plantations of Birkat al-Mauz, we reach Jebel Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajar mountain range, famed for its fruit orchards laid out in terraces along the mountain slopes and irrigated by ancient falaj water systems.
Peaches, apricots, figs, grapes, apples, plums and pears are grown here from July to September and almonds and walnuts are also included in the crop. Roses fill the air with fragrance from March to April when they are in full bloom, and rose water is distilled in the homes of the villagers. Jebel Akhdar invites an easy two-hour walk at high altitude through mountain villages and terraced farms.
The picturesque villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib and Al Ain dot the landscape, and your overnight destination, the brand new Sahab Hotel, overlooks a spectacular landscape of peaks, gorges and wadis.
Days 6 - 7Jebel Akhdar - Tanuf - Misfah - Jebel Shams
After breakfast, leave the green mountain and stop at the abandoned village of Tanuf right at the exit of a deep mountain wadi, and at Misfah, where stone dwellings are carved into the mountainside. Heading for Jebel Shams, the highest peak in the range, you will enjoy spectacular views over Oman’s ‘grand canyon’, the 1000-metre-deep Wadi Nakhr Gorge.
The best walk in the area is a rocky five- to six-hour trek following the rim of the Saydran Gorge to the southern summit of Jebel Shams (Qarn al-Ghamaydah) at an altitude of almost 3,000 metres. After the descent, you head for the oasis city of Nizwa.
In the evening, check into your chosen hotel for dinner and a two-night stay.
Days 8 - 9Nizwa - Hat - Bilad Said - Wadi Bani Awf - Nakhal - Muscat
In the morning, leave your chosen hotel and reach the 400-year-old village of Al Hamra, a wide plantation set between rough mountain terrain. From here, climb up on off-road tracks to the highest point at 2,050 metres for stunning views of the valley below. Driving down into the Wadi Bani Awf, one of the most diverse and astonishing mountain valleys, pass the little village of Hat and the beautiful terraced oasis of Bilad Said. After leaving the wadi, drive through date plantations and sparkling springs to the majestic fort at Nakhl. After visiting the fort, return to Muscat im time for your onward flight or extend your stay to explore Old Muscat and the beach resorts of the gulf coast. Alternatively, opt to add an extension to Salalah in the lush green south of the country.
Days 9 - 10Arrive Salalah
Fly south to Salalah and transfer to your chosen hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the facilities, or exploring at your own pace.
Days 10 - 11Full day guided excursion
Your day begins with a visit the fishing village of Taqa, an old town with an interesting castle, surrounded by watchtowers and stone houses. Continue on to Khor Rori lagoon, site of the ruined city of Samhuram, former residence of the Queen of Sabah and the capital of ancient Arabia's frankincense trade. Excavations have produced evidence of an ancient city with trade links by sea to Greece and the Far East. Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar, is close by and was important early in the 9th century for trade in frankincense, horses and slaves. One of Dhofar's best-known historic sites is Bin Ali's tomb, just outside Mirbat. The twin-domed structure is a fine example of medieval architecture.
Next you'll head to beautiful Wadi Darbat and the natural spring of Ayn Razat, followed by a drive into the Qara Mountains in the western part of Salalah. Visit the ancient tomb of Prophet Job, surrounded by the verdant mountains and the stunning landscapes of the Salalah Plains. Then head to the coast and Al Mughsail Beach, where giant blow holes send plumes of water high into the air, before taking the long and winding road towards Oman's western border to see Frankincense trees growing amid the arid, unforgiving environment.
On your return to Salalah you'll stop to take photos at Mughsail Lagoon, where migratory birds, as well as the occasional flamingo, can be seen.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for your onward flight.
5* RADISSON BLU HOTEL, CAPE TOWNLocated near interesting attractions such as Robben Island, Table Mountain and Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Radisson Blu Hotel overlooks the beauty of a private marina and is proud to add to the panoramic beauty of its rim-flow, heated swimming pool a beautiful spa and fitness centre. ...
5* RAS AL JINZ TURTLE RESERVE , OMANThe deep turquoise blue water of the Sea of Oman is hypnotic, contrasting vividly with the majestic mountains that rise behind the resort. This is the fascination of Oman. The experience is elevated at Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Sultanate of Oman. Three hotels await your arrival. And each gets better as you explore. ...
Itinerary OverviewDays 1 - 2 Muscat Days 3 - 4 Muscat - Tiwi - Ras Al Jinz Days 4 - 5 Ras Al Jinz - Wahiba Sands Days 5 - 6 Wahiba Sands - Al Manzifah - Birkat al-Mauz - Jebel Akhdar Days 6 - 7 Jebel Akhdar - Tanuf - Misfah - Jebel Shams Days 8 - 9 Nizwa - Hat - Bilad Said - Wadi Bani Awf - Nakhal - Muscat Days 9 - 10 Arrive Salalah Days 10 - 11 Full day guided excursion Day 11 Departure
- Airport Taxes
- English-speaking private driver-guide
- 7 nights accommodation
- Sightseeing as indicated.
Minimum 2 passengers (or single supplement will apply) assuming flights from the UK. other European or worldwide departure airports available on request.