Oman

Highlights of Oman

This 12-day holiday takes in the highlights of Oman but also has the time to include some less well known gems as well. Beach, desert, mountains, turtles, souks, forts, camels, you’ve got it all covered! You can either self-drive or we can arrange for you to be accompanied throughout by an English speaking chauffeur. We will suggest hotels to suit your budget.

Highlights

  Dolphin spotting & snorkelling
  Hike Oman’s Grand Canyon
  Explore imposing desert forts
  See turtles lay their eggs
  Wild camp on a remote beach
  Relax in a snazzy resort

12 days from £1,500 pp

Plus international flights from £500 per person

A self-drive 12-day holiday in Oman for a family of four usually starts from £6,000 based on mid range hotels (excluding international flights). Guided holidays start from around £7,000.

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Highlights of Oman day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Muscat
Arrive in Muscat where you will be met by a Stubborn Mule representative and transferred to your hotel. 


Day 2 Muscat
An exciting first morning as you take a boat ride off the coast to look for dolphins. Although there is of course no guarantee, the chances of finding a pod are high. The kids will be entranced as they leap and flip out of the water. You will then moor up off a deserted beach to go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. Brightly coloured fish flit through coral and if you are lucky you may even see a turtle.

You will be back in Muscat around lunch time and the afternoon is free. Perhaps head to the souk and wander along the narrow pedestrianised alleyways packed with gold, antiques, colourful textiles and spices.


Day 3 Nizwa
If you are on a self-drive trip your rental car will be dropped off this morning. If you are travelling with a driver-guide, he will pick you up after breakfast.

We suggest that your first stop should be the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Mosque. This is a vast and hugely impressive building with marble courtyards and graceful minarets. The main prayer hall is huge and the floor is covered in the second largest carpet in the world. Each possible corner is illuminated by the enormous chandelier (the second largest in the world, again). The entire mosque retains a beautifully peaceful atmosphere.

From here, head inland and visit Jabrin Fort. This is situated in a stunning location in the heart of a date palm oasis. Children love exploring the labyrinth of corridors and courtyards inside the fort and the views from the walls are spectacular. You can also visit Nizwa fort, in the heart of the city, and wander through the souk. Here you can watch the silver and coppersmiths at work. The children will enjoy rummaging through trays of old silver jewellery and marvelling at the displays of battered old rifles, daggers and swords.


Day 4 Jebel Shams Balcony Walk
This morning set off into the mountains to Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun). This is the second highest peak in the Arab Gulf region, rising to over 2000 metres. Known as Oman’s Grand Canyon, the scenery in this area is stunning, the huge canyon stretching for miles through a dramatic and barren landscape.

You will follow the Balcony Walk through the canyon which leads to a deserted village. The abandoned houses offer a glimpse of the old way of life and the children will be very happy exploring. The views throughout are extraordinarily spectacular.

In the afternoon you will return back to Nizwa for the night. Perhaps stop en route to visit the picture-perfect oasis of Misfah, nestled in the groove of a steep mountain. Date and banana palms spill down the hillside, irrigated by a stream that descends from a high spring. Traditional stone houses line the narrow paths that cut through the palm groves. The children will love following the irrigation channels around the mountain, stopping for a glass of mint tea in a friendly cafe.


Day 5 Wahiba Sands
An exciting day today as you head south into the desert. The Wahiba Sands are a huge sand sea, a vast area of immense sand-dunes that reach more than 100m high and are constantly shifting with the winds. This afternoon perhaps climb a dune to enjoy the sunset or take a camel ride into the desert. Alternatively for a dose of adrenalin, enjoy a spot of dune-bashing, careering up and down the steep sided dunes in a 4WD.

You will spend the night in a desert camp. In the evening enjoy a delicious dinner then find a quiet spot and lie back to appreciate the multitude of stars.

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Day 6 Wadi Bani Khalid – Ras Al Jinz
Rise early to climb one of the dunes that soar above the camp to watch the sun rise over the desert

After a delicious breakfast, head towards the coast. We recommend that you stop along the way to visit Wadi Bani Khalid. This is a lush valley where you can follow a trail up the wadi (canyon) to several beautiful deep emerald pools. Younger children will enjoy swimming in the larger shallow pool; older children will want to head to the smaller deep pools where they can jump off a series of ever higher ledges!

End the day at the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve. Almost every night, endangered green turtles come ashore to dig holes in the beach and lay their eggs. This is a mesmerising spectacle and a highlight for nature-loving families. (Note that the activity happens late at night and therefore may not be suitable for younger children).


Day 7 Sur – Wild Beach Camping
After a leisurely breakfast drive to Sur. This is an attractive seaside town that is famous for its many shipyards. These still make traditional Omani sailing boats (dhows) used by fishermen throughout the Arabian peninsula.

From here continue up the coast, stopping at Wadi Shab. This is a beautiful valley where the river has cut a deep gorge through the mountains. You can hike up the side of the valley for around 45 minutes to a beautiful series of pools where you can swim. If you are feeling more intrepid, follow the river upstream, clambering over the occasional boulder, to a cave with a waterfall inside. The whole area is spectacularly beautiful.

It’s then a short drive on to Fins. Here there are numerous small coves with steep cliffs that drop to idyllic white beaches and beautiful turquoise sea. You will spend the night wild camping on one of the beaches. The camp will already be set up for you; all you need to do on arrival is enjoy a sunset swim and take a wander up the beach. A chef will be on hand to cook you a delicious barbeque dinner which you can enjoy under the stars.


Day 8 Bimmah Sinkhole – Muscat Beach
After breakfast you will leave your camp behind (no dismantling required!) and will head north. Stop for an invigorating morning dip in the Bimmah Sinkhole. This is a circular limestone hollow boasting the most incredibly clear turquoise waters.

From here, continue north towards Muscat for four nights in a resort hotel on the beach.

There are many different accommodation options near Muscat. Here you very much get what you pay for and despite an exhaustive search, we have yet to find that perfect boutique mid-range property! If you can possibly afford it, it is therefore well worth spending the last four nights in one of Muscat’s top-end resorts. These are supremely comfortable and also on particularly good stretches of beach.


Days 9-11 Muscat Beach
Three full days to relax and enjoy the pool or the beach.


Day 12 Muscat
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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