Overland to Oman: Dunes, Forts & Mountains
Journey into Oman across the desert from Dubai and explore the ports and villages of the coastal region before heading inland to discover the ancient forts, deserts, oases, mud-brick villages and mountains of this beautiful country. Round off your voyage of discovery with some time in the thriving city of Muscat.
DUBAI – AL AIN – SOHAR – RUSTAQ/NAKHL – QURIYAT – WADI SHA’B – WAHIBA SANDS – WADI BANI KHALID – NIZWA – JABRIN/BAHLA – MISFAH/AL HAMRA – GRAND CANYON – NIZWA – MUSCAT
You are collected from your Dubai location for your journey across the desert to Al Ain where you can visit this beautiful garden city before crossing the border into Oman. The road then takes you to the coast and the fishing port of Sohar where you check in to your beach hotel.
Sohar Beach Hotel
A morning to explore the fishing town of Sohar, fabled home of Sinbad the Sailor. Take in the magnificent 13th century castle, lively port and bustling souq in the historic quarter. Then you head east to see some of Oman’s most famous military forts which guard the base of the Jabal al Akhdar massif. Visit Al Hazm Castle with its tall towers and secret tunnels before heading to Rustaq, famous for its 13th century fort built on three levels and its medicinal hot water springs (Ain al Kisfah). From here you proceed on to Nakhl to see the magnificent old fort which was built to fit around the rock upon which it is perched. You then stop at the nearby Ath Thuwarah Oasis to explore the source of the natural springs before checking in to your hotel in Muscat.
You are collected from your hotel for the start of your journey along the coast via the fishing port of Quriyat, the azure waters of the Bimah sinkhole and the beautiful white beach of Fins. You stop for a picnic lunch (optional extra) at Wadi Sha’b, with its shallow green pools and abundant shade, crossing the wadi for a walk along the ravine floor alongside the wadi. Your journey continues into the desert as you approach the magnificent Wahiba Sands and drive across the sands to your camp for the night. You have the option to enjoy some exhilarating dune-bashing, a quiet camel trek, or simply watch the sun set over the red dune landscape before returning to the camp for dinner.
Today you drive further inland to Oman’s Interior. You stop en route at Wadi Bani Khalid where a short walk will take you to the deep blue pools, fringed with vegetation where you can swim in the clear waters of the wadi and enjoy lunch (optional extra) in a café overlooking the palms. Your journey continues to the ancient capital of Nizwa for the first of a two-night stay.
Start your day with a visit to Jabrin to explore one of the best-preserved castles of the region. Home to the Sultan in the 1700s, it has been painstakingly restored and the guided visit will transport you back to the 18th century. A view of Bahla fort with its mountain backdrop and 7-mile long walls can be appreciated, before a visit to a family potters where the famous local earthenware is still made using the same tools as in centuries gone by. You drive then to enjoy a brief walk around the old mud-brick village of Misfah, perched on the side of the mountain where narrow streets run alongside the famous ancient water channels, know as falaj. En route into the mountains, you will have the opportunity also to stroll around Al Hamra, another ancient mud-brick village with brightly-painted doors set amongst an oasis of palms. Winding upwards into the rocky mountains, your road eventually comes to an end at the spectacular Wadi Ghul, Oman’s kilometre deep “Grand Canyon” where the wadi way below you can just be made out from one of the dizzying canyon-side viewing points. Back then to your hotel in Nizwa.
An early start to catch the fascinating goat market in Nizwa where you will be transported back in time as you witness the traditional sale of livestock brought in from all over the country for the Friday market. You will have time to explore the numerous souqs selling Omani wares such as silver, pots, dates and daggers before spending time in Nizwa’s 17th century fort and castle, the largest in the Arabian Peninsula. From here you drive back to the coast to Muscat where you will stay for 2 nights.
Today you can enjoy a morning tour of Muscat and a visit to the ornate Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in Arabia. After a visit to the beautiful marble opera house, you then drive to the port area of Muttrah, to visit the old souq where you can bargain for Omani silver, frankincense, shawls, and other local souvenirs. Your tour continues in old Muscat where two Portuguese forts guard the entrance to the bay. The morning is rounded off by a visit to Bait al Zubair Museum, which houses a fascinating collection of historical and cultural artifacts which give you a good overview of the country, its history and its people. Rest of the day at leisure.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or enjoy the optional extension of a few days in your beach resort, or a trip to the beautiful Dhofar region around Salalah.
• Airport transfer in Muscat
• Bed & Breakfast (unless otherwise specified)
• One dinner
• Fully guided private tour
• Private 4×4 vehicle/driver
• Muscat City Tour
• Monument entrance fees
• Hotel taxes
• International flights
• Airport transfer in Dubai
• Hotels in Dubai
• Tour extensions
• Additional hotel nights
• Bespoke tour variations
WADI BANI KHALID
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