Oman – From the Desert to the Coast Tour – a 8 day Small Group Tour.
Oman is an intoxicating mix of incredible scenery and fascinating culture. On this short group tour we take in the very best of the country, visiting the towns of Muscat and Nizwa, packed full of history before heading further inland.
Follow ancient spice trails, tackle the dunes of the Wahiba Sands, meet traditional communities and enjoy superb coastal scenery in this enigmatic corner of Arabia.
Discover the real Oman on Undiscovered Destinations tour of this Middle Eastern gem!
Travelling in comfortable air conditioned 4WD vehicles and mini buses, we will explore the Sultanate of Oman from the ‘Desert to the Coast’. This action packed tour includes a stay in the desert at Wahiba Sands, named after the Wahiba tribe, the region is home to Bedouin who manage to eke out an existence around the few oases. It is also home to a surprising amount of wildlife. Immortalised by the travels of Wilfred Thesiger, a journey into the sands offers a superb opportunity to experience desert wilderness.
Optional Salalah (South Oman) Pre-Tour Extension
Discover the South of Oman on this extension to the main tour.
Pre-tour Day 1 - Salalah Extension
Arrive in Salalah and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at Salalah Garden Residences or similar
Pre-tour Day 2 - Salalah Extension
Exploring Salalah and surrounds
This morning we head east to the Dhofar region. Our first destination is Taqa where we visit the fort and the impressive ruins at Sumhuram which give an insight on 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 we reach Bin Ali’s Tomb, marked by a twin-domed mosque and adjoining cemetery. In Mirbat, the former capital of Dhofar, we visit the old merchant houses, built in traditional Omani-style. Returning to Salalah we call in at Ayn Razat Gardens, a quiet place at the foot of the lush Qara Mountains. In the afternoon we drive west towards Al-Mughsail Beach passing scattered stands of frankincense trees. At the beach we 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 or similar. (BL)
Pre-tour Day 3 - Salalah Extension
4WD to the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali)
Today we take 4WD vehicles and drive into the Qara mountain range from where there are spectacular views of the Salalah plains, dotted with thick shrubs and woodland. We continue west on a graded road, crossing the huge gravel desert of Al Nejd. After almost 175km we reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ‘Lost City of Ubar’. The legendary ancient kingdom of Ubar was said to have existed in one of the most inhospitable places on earth – the vast and forbidding Rub’ Al Khali desert, or Empty Quarter. According to myth the desert swallowed Ubar. Quite literally, it sank without a trace, becoming the fabled ‘Atlantis of the Sands’. The buried city was spotted by satellite and in 1992 benefited from work carried out by a team of explorers led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Afterwards we drive into the Empty Quarter to experience the ‘world’s largest sand desert’. From the top of the dunes breathtaking views over the vast sea of sand await. Later we head back to Salalah, stopping at the Bedouin settlement of Thumrait for lunch. Overnight Salalah Garden Residences or similar. (BL)
Pre-tour Day 4 - Salalah Extension
City tour – Depart Salalah – Fly to Muscat – this is then Day 1 of the main group tour
This morning we 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 vegetables and fruits, stopping to taste a fresh coconut water at a street stall. We also stop briefly at the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque and Al Husn Palace. At Al Hafa souk, famous for the sale of high-quality Frankincense, we 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 we return to the hotel. Later we drive to Salalah Airport to catch an afternoon flight to Muscat. On arrival we transfer to hotel accommodation. Overnight Al Falaj or similar. (B)
Day 1 - Arrival Muscat
(Approximate driving time: forty-five minutes)
Arrive in Muscat and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending upon flight schedules there may be time to explore the city independently. Overnight at Al Falaj Hotel or similar.
Day 2 - Muscat – Sur – Ras Al Jinz
(Approximate driving time: three-and-a-half-hours)
Today we drive through spectacular rugged mountains towards Sur. En we route we stop at Bimmah Sink Hole and Wadi Shab, an oasis of inviting pools where it may be possible to take a dip. After lunch we explore Sur, in the past renowned for its dhow shipyards, before continuing to Ras al Jinz. After an early dinner we visit the green turtle sanctuary where, after a journey of thousands of kilometres, mature females come ashore to lay their eggs. Overnight Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve or similar. (BLD)
Day 3 - Ras Al Jinz – Wadi Bani Khalid – Wahiba Sands
(Approximate driving time: three-hours)
This morning we drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, an oasis in the middle of barren and dry mountain landscapes. It’s one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman, and its pools of clear deep blue water are a welcome 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, we arrive at our desert camp. Overnight 1000 Nights Camp or similar. (BLD)
Day 4 - Wahiba Sands
Today is free to relax. There’s lunch at a Bedouin house, and a range of activities are available from the desert camp (which may be booked in advance – please advise if you would like the full list), or just take in the views over the dunes. Overnight 1000 Nights Camp or similar. (BLD)
Day 5 - Wahiba Sands – Ibra – Jebel Akhdar – Nizwa
(Approximate driving time: five-and-a-half-hours)
After breakfast we drive to the historic town of Nizwa, Oman’s cultural capital. En route we 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. We call in at Wadi Habib to see one of the more remote villages and its nearby fruit plantations, before continuing to Nizwa. Overnight Al Falaj Daris Hotel or similar (BLD)
Day 6 - Nizwa – Jabrin Castle – Bahla - Jebel Shams
(Approximate driving time: two-hours)
This morning we visit Nizwa’s souk, its busy livestock market and its fort. Afterwards we 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 we drive to Bahla, one of the oldest towns in Oman and a 12th century tribal capital. We admire views of the town and its magnificent fort before continuing to Jebel Shams. Overnight Jebel Shams Resort or similar. (BLD)
Day 7 - Jebel Shams – Al Hamra – Wadi Bani Awf – Muscat
(Approximate driving time: five-hours)
Today we take in spectacular views of Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’. Afterwards we drive to Al Hamra and Misfah, to see one of the region’s oldest villages. Here traditional mud houses over 400-years-old are still occupied. After an early lunch we head to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon, to see the ‘snake gorge’ in the middle of steep mountain cliffs. Later we drive to Nakhl and visit its restored fort, perched on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat. Overnight Al Falaj Hotel or similar. (BLD)
Day 8 - Departure Muscat
This morning we visit the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the Middle East. Afterwards we drive through Muscat’s old, walled district and visit Bait Al Zubai Museum for its Omani cultural displays. Later we head to Muttrah Souk where it’s possible to bargain for handicrafts and silverware. In the late afternoon we take a sunset cruise, before transferring to Muscat airport to meet onward flights. (BL)
Optional Musandam Peninsular Post-tour Extension
Extend your tour with a visit to the Musandam Peninsular
Post Tour - Day 8 - Muscat airport overnight stay
After the sunset cruise transfer to the airport and stay overnight at a hotel next to the airport. Overnight Hotel Sundus Rotana (Novotel) or similar. (B)
Note: Due to timings of domestic flights it is not possible to fly same day up to Musandam Peninsular.
Post Tour - Day 9 - Muscat – Musandam Peninsular
Today we board a flight to Khasab (Musandam) and on arrival transfer to hotel accommodation. In the afternoon we take a 4WD safari to Jebel Harim, the highest point of the Musandam Peninsula, where we are rewarded by impressive views of the wadis. Afterwards we visit the lagoon of Khor Al Najd before returning to the hotel via Al Khalidiya park, an acacia woodland home to a variety of butterflies and birds. Overnight Atana Khasab Hotel or similar. (BD)
Post Tour - Day 10 - Full day dhow cruise
This morning we board a traditional Arab dhow to enjoy a full-day’s cruise to Khor Sham. We sail through the majestic fjord, surrounded by spectacular mountains and white sand beaches, passing the occasional tiny fishing villages. Scanning the water’s surface, we look out for dolphins riding the dhow’s bow wave and wake. We anchor at Telegraph and Seebi Island, excellent places for swimming and snorkelling where 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 or similar. (BLD)
Post Tour - Day 11 - Return to Muscat and depart
Transfer to the airport for our flight back to Muscat. If you have an evening flight out of Muscat then the tour ends here or alternatively you can book extra accommodation in Muscat (please contact us for prices). (B)
Dates & Price.
Depending on the exact date of your departure, the itinerary may vary. Please check with your travel consultant.
Minimum Group Size
This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.
Return flights from London to Muscat start at £350. Contact us for a quotation
Please note that for clients doing the Salalah extension it is possible to fly to Salalah from Dubai rather than having to go back via Muscat. So for example UK – Salalah (via Dubai) and then Muscat – UK (via Dubai) at the end of the trip.
Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.
Single Supplement from £455 on the main 8 day small group tour.
Single Supplement from £175 on the Salalah extension.
Single Supplement from £245 on the Musandam extension.
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.
If you arrive into Muscat before the extension, the extension price is from £955 per person based on at least 2 people travelling sharing a room. Price includes the internal flights from Muscat – Salalah – Muscat.
Single Supplement from £195 on the Salalah extension.
Extension price to Musandam is from £925 per person based on at least 2 people travelling sharing a room. Price includes internal flights from Muscat – Khasab – Muscat.
Single Supplement from £285 on the Musandam extension.
If you are a solo traveller please contact us at the time of booking to check on the status of the extension and whether it is guaranteed to operate.
Oman Private tour
If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.
Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please get in touch with us so we can tailor your perfect Oman tour.
Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?
Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.
For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA
- Arrival and departure transfers
- All accommodation
- Services of an English-speaking guide/tour leader
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Transport in 4WD convoy
- Entrance fees for sites as listed as part of the itinerary
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips (discretionary)