Oman in Depth

Oman Tailormade Holiday

Oman Tailormade Holiday – Oman in Depth – an 11 day tailor-made holiday from £2775 per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room.


Oman is an intoxicating mix of incredible scenery and fascinating culture. On this tailor-made tour we take in the very best of the country from the far north to the deep south, from the desert to the coast.

Follow ancient spice trails, tackle the dunes of the Wahiba Sands, marvel at vast canyons and enjoy superb coastal scenery in this enigmatic corner of Arabia.

 

 

When referring to the Arab world, there’s a differentiation between the Middle East and North Africa, and the Gulf. The latter’s oil-rich states are often characterised by glittering high-rise developments, shopping malls, five-star hotels and industrial quantities of air-conditioning. Indigenous populations are often outnumbered by poorly paid guest workers, and little remains of traditional culture. Oman is an exception.

The mostly benign absolute monarchy of the late Sultan Qaboos saw an insular conservative kingdom evolve to adopt a more modern outlook. However, as much as Oman has used its oil revenues for infrastructure development, it has retained its traditional culture and identity. This tailormade tour explores the country in depth from Khasab in the far north to Salalah in the distant south. Expect barren deserts and rugged coasts, as well as verdant oases and lush plantations.

From remote mountain villages and simple farms to ornate tribal palaces, impressive mosques and modern cities, Oman displays its many faces. If you think you know the Gulf prepare to think again.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture 
  • History 
  • Wildlife 

Tour pace

Busy

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary

(Approximate driving time today is 3 hours)

Start your Oman holiday when you arrive at Dubai where you will be greeted by our representative and then transfer by road to Khasab (without guide). Khasab is also known as Musandam, the north most peninsula of Oman overlooking the strait of Hormuz. Check in to the hotel and then later this afternoon; enjoy lofty views on a 4WD mountain safari to Jebel Harim which is the highest point of the Musandam peninsula. The road winds through spectacular views of wadis, valleys and small village settlements. You will also visit Khawr Najd, a beautiful lagoon situated in the rugged mountains and also Khalidyah Park, a majestic Acacia woodland home to a variety of bird life. Overnight Atana Khasab (B)

This morning we board a traditional Arab dhow to enjoy a full-day’s cruise to Khor Sham. A great way to begin your Oman holiday. You will sail through the majestic fjord, surrounded by spectacular mountains and white sand beaches, passing  occasional tiny fishing villages. Scanning the water’s surface, be sure to look out for energetic and curious dolphins riding the dhow’s bow. We anchor at Telegraph and Seebi Island, excellent places for swimming and snorkelling where the pristine waters teem with colourful marine life. After a relaxed lunch aboard, we sail back to the harbour of Khasab and return to the hotel. Overnight Atana Khasab Hotel (BL)

Note: The cruise is a shared activity.

 

After breakfast, enjoy a morning orientation tour of Khasab city. Visit Khasab Fort built in the 17th century by the Portuguese and the neighbouring village of Qadah to see the prehistoric cave paintings. You will also visit Wadi Tawi before returning to the hotel where the rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight Atana Khasab Hotel (B)

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to the capital Muscat. On arrival meet our local representative and proceed to visit the impressive Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the Middle East. Afterwards, stop for a photo at the magnificent Royal Opera House before a drive through Muscat’s old, walled district with a visit to Bait Al Zubai Museum for its Omani cultural displays. Later we head to the bustling Muttrah Souk situated just off the attractive corniche where it’s possible to bargain for handicrafts and silverware. Overnight Al Falaj Hotel (B)

Note – You will not be accompanied by a guide on the flight to Muscat.

(Approximate overall driving time today is 3.5 hours)

Today drive through spectacular rugged mountains towards Sur. En route we stop at the unusual water filled depression known as Bimmah Sink Hole and Wadi Shab, an oasis of inviting pools where it may be possible to take a dip. After lunch, explore Sur, in the past renowned for its dhow shipyards, before continuing along the coast to Ras al Jinz. After an early dinner we visit the green turtle sanctuary where, after a journey of thousands of kilometres, these magnificent creatures come ashore to lay their eggs. Overnight Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve (BD)

Note: The turtle watching is conducted in groups and not on a private basis. Turtles visit the beaches of Oman all year round, and sightings are common but can never be guaranteed.

(Approximate overall driving time today is 3 hours)

This morning drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, a welcome oasis in the middle of barren and arid mountain landscapes. It’s one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman, and its pools of clear deep blue water are a great opportunity for a swim. After lunch we head into the Wahiba Sands, an undulating red and white sea of dunes. After some exciting dune driving, arrive at our desert camp. This evening take the opportunity to climb up to the top of dunes for what should be a memorable Arabian sunset. Overnight 1000 Nights Camp (BD)

Note: The camp does not sell alcohol but you can bring it with you.

(Approximate overall driving time today is 5.5 hours)

After breakfast, we leave the dunes behind and drive to the historic town of Nizwa, Oman’s cultural capital. En route visit Ibra Old Houses and explore Jebel Akhdar. In Arabic Jebel Akhdar means Green Mountains and the area is justifiably famous for its gardens, farms and terraced plantations. Visit Wadi Habib to see one of the more remote villages and its nearby fruit plantations, before continuing to Nizwa. Overnight Al Falaj Daris (BD)

(Approximate overall driving time today is 2 hours)

This morning we visit Nizwa’s souk, its busy livestock market and its atmospheric fort. Afterwards drive to the 17th century Yaruba dynasty castle of Jabrin, where magnificent plasterwork, painted wooden beams and carved doors make it unique in Oman. Afterwards, continue to Bahla, one of the oldest towns in Oman and a 12th century tribal capital. Admire the views of the town and its magnificent fort before continuing to Jebel Shams. Overnight Jebel Shams Resort (BD)

(Approximate overall driving time today is 5 hours)

This morning in the softer light we take in spectacular views of Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’. Afterwards drive to Al Hamra and Misfah, to see the region’s oldest villages. Here traditional mud houses over 400-years-old are incredibly still occupied. Thereafter enjoy a quite mesmerising journey through the mountains to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon, to see the ‘snake gorge’ surrounded by vertiginous mountain cliffs. Finally, we visit Nakhl and its restored fort, perched on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat where you will transfer to the airport for an evening flight to Salalah. On arrival meet our local representative and transfer to your hotel. Overnight Salalah Garden Residences (B)

Note: You will not be accompanied by a guide on the flight to Salalah.

(Approximate overall driving time today is 4 hours)

This morning we travel to Taqa and visit the fort and the impressive ruins at Sumhuram which give an insight into life 2000-years-ago. The adjoining port of Khor Rori was once an important trade centre and the main conduit for the export of frankincense. Just before Mirbat, visit Bin Ali’s Tomb, marked by a twin-domed mosque and adjoining cemetery. In Mirbat, the former capital of Dhofar, visit the old merchant houses, built in traditional Omani-style. Returning to Salalah stop at Ayn Razat Gardens, a quiet place at the foot of the lush Qara Mountains. This afternoon we travel west towards Al-Mughsail Beach passing scattered frankincense trees. At the beach witness the surprisingly spectacular blow holes before visiting the Tomb of Prophet Ayub (Job), located in the mountains north of Salalah. Overnight Salalah Garden Residences (B)

(Overall driving time today is approx. 1.5 hours)

This morning visit Al Balid Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to ‘The Museum of the Frankincense Land’. The museum’s displays focus on the geography and history of the Frankincense trail, and Oman’s rich marine heritage. Afterwards we drive through lush green plantations of various fruit and vegetables, stopping optionally to taste fresh coconut water at a street stall. Stop briefly at the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque and Al Husn Palace. At Al Hafa souk, famous for the sale of high-quality Frankincense, follow fragrant, winding alleys populated by stalls offering incense boxes, decorated clay incense burners, and bags of incense. There’s plenty of time to explore before returning to the hotel. Later transfer to the airport for your onward flight from Salalah. (B)

Note – If you wish to extend you stay in Salalah to enjoy the beach or take a day trip into the empty quarter please let us know or alternatively you may wish to return to Muscat and enjoy a beach stay there. Contact us if you wish to tailor your perfect Oman itinerary.

Dates & Price.

We offer this Oman Tailormade holiday for private departures only.

Prices start from £2775 per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room.

We can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please contact us to discuss your travel plans.

Tour Notes

This is a private and tailor-made Oman holiday so there is no minimum or maximum group size.

Return flights from London to Dubai and back from Salalah to London at £450. Contact us for a quotation

Airport transfers are included on arrival and departure.

Solo occupancy room supplement for the Oman holiday is from £625.

Please contact us for a quote for extra nights accommodation pre and/or post tour in Oman.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

This is a tailor-made Oman holiday so the itinerary can be customised to your exact requirements. For example if you wished to add extra nights at a beach hotel in Dubai before travelling to Khasab or staying extra nights on the beach as Salalah at the end of the tour.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation as per itinerary (different hotels can be booked)
  • Internal flights from Khasab to Muscat and Muscat to Salalah
  • Services of an English-speaking driver/guide
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Private air conditioned transport
  • Entrance fees for sites as listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa if applicable
  • Drinks
  • Tips (discretionary)

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour…seeing Oman and meeting with locals was an amazing experience. It is a country of such differences….mountains one minute…desert the next. The local people are so friendly and welcoming and eager to speak about their country and culture. With a private guide we went to places that we never would have on our own…including some great places to eat…where the locals go..always a good sign. Highlights for us were seeing the turtles, and a great living museum which is an old Omani house where you see local ladies making bread, sandlewood oil etc and get to learn about Omani life. We also had a great time in the desert..what an experience. We would highly recommend this tour. Chilling for five days in a lovely hotel was the perfect end!

 

Mrs. J Rees, UK