7 hours from London
£3999 per adult / £1999 per child
BEST TIME TO VISIT
October – April
YOUR OMANI TALE
The land of Oman is home to many things, frankincense, oases, seafaring and trade, traditions, wisdom, animals, vegetation and sandy secrets you’ll struggle to keep. This Omani adventure will acquaint you with this Arab Sultanate on all levels – literally: whether up high on mountain tops, down low in the valleys, or on softer grounds between the dunes and date palms of the desert, we leave little unexplored on this journey of the senses.
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Chapter 1: THE BEGINNING – JEBEL SHAMS / JEBEL AKHDAR
Swooping-in to Muscat, Oman we let nothing go to waste – explore the city and enjoy a chef-experience dinner in a night of R&R before heading out to the mountains.
Rise and shine with a coastal drive before heading inland where your adventure begins. The desert is far from barren in the lush oases of Oman, where date palms shade you and the hot springs of Ain a’Thawwarah await. From here on in it’s awe-inspiring wadi after jebel (valley after mountain) and rugged off-road drives amongst the magnificent mountain scenery and village settlements with tastes of local hospitality and flavours and mountain top views. Choose from the bougainvillaea and banana palm embellishments of Misfah, learning lay-of-the-land secrets of Omani farming, or descend into the winding wadi of Snake Canyon, canoeing your way through whilst the kids have their own guided nature tour. Visit an eerily beautiful abandoned village, passing the magical works of the local carpet weavers to an eventual end at Jabal Shams’ Sama Heights resort. There’s plenty of opportunity for an adrenalin rush or few; scale the edge of the Grand Canyon, climb a Via Ferrata or abseil away – the kids will remain in safer straights entertained by scavenger hunts and crafting. The lively livestock market of Nizwa is a maker of memories for the little ones who will hunt their way around the area collecting clues to give them an advantage for the family quiz.
Ascend the lofty heights of Jebel Akhdar offering your ‘salam’ (greeting of peace) to the mountain communities and farmers who toil away at rose terraces and pomegranate bushes that engulf the region. Check in to the Anantara Jabal Akhdar Hotel just in time for a jaw-dropping sunset over the magnificent Hajar Mountain range. Whilst here, picnic lunches, village walks and early morning yoga await you.
Chapter 2: THE MIDDLE – WAHIBA SANDS
The next chapter of your Omani family fable is a tale of time, set amongst the soft ochre dunes with the wisdom of the ages. In the Sharqiya Sands (known locally as Wahiba Sands), you’ll learn the secret to the survival that’s allowed the Bedouin people of Oman to thrive through the centuries. Ignite campfires, source water, bake bread and savour qahwa (coffee) and dates to the captivating strumming of a live Oud (Omani guitar-like instrument). Watch the blazing sky turn to the darkest night as the sun kisses the horizon for a sunset that dreams are made of. Have a village astronomer guide your gazes from starlight to star bright, mapping the journeys of the travellers before you. Taste the rainbow at Wadi Bani Khaled, where the fertile oasis provides offerings of dates, bananas, mangoes and papaya to the neighbouring villages. Follow the wadi out to a steep-sided canyon riddled with rock pools that are ideal for cooling off in.
Chapter 3: THE END – MUSCAT
The kids will delight in what’s to follow as you leave the desert to make your way out to the coast to spend a night in a luxury Eco-Tent at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. The kids will have lots of turtle-inspired activities whilst here and if you’re lucky, you can catch the brave baby turtles scamper out to sea at dawn. Making your way back to Muscat, you’ll stop off in the idyllic fishing village of Sur. The shores of Sur are scattered with the traditional wooden sailing boats (dhows) that have stretched as far as the Indian Ocean, these vessels are of just as good use today to the Omani fisherman as they were to the explorers, traders and colonialists who have graced the coast of Sur, before you. Continuing along the water’s edge, you will reach the Hajar range you once overlooked from the mountaintop, this time though, you can swim in the beaches below and grab some lunch before arriving at the Kempinski in Muscat in the afternoon.
Over the next few days, Muscat will supply an abundance of culture and we will dive right in with a city tour. Witness the largest Persian Carpet you’re likely to ever see in your life at The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, catch a show at the Royal Opera House, or just admire its displays of contemporary Omani architecture and breathtaking interior design. Haggle your way into owning the treasures of the Mutrah Souk, ladened with traditional jewellery, frankincense, perfumes and textiles, before a meander around The Bait Al Zubair Museum and feasting your eyes on the extravagant blues and golds of Al Alam palace, serving you a history of over 200 years. A village tour to Sidab will allow you to support the local initiative of the Ladies of Sidab, who have come together to create and sell their local handicrafts. You will wrap your Muscat living with beach days of stand up paddle boarding, dolphin watching, snorkelling and sandcastles on the shore with plenty of opportunity of child-free dinners and child-friendly activities.
Your final day will be at your leisure, reflect on the wonders of Oman; the mountains high, the valleys low and all the wildlife in between before packing your bags and bidding masalama to Muscat for your flight home.
OTHER ADVENTURES YOU MIGHT LIKE
OUR ITINERARIES ARE FULLY BESPOKE AND CAN BE TAILORED TO SUIT YOUR GROUP
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