A Week in Oman

7 days
from
$3,299 NZD
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
AXV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–15
Min age:
16

Visit the highlights of beautiful Oman 

Oman, the most beautiful of the Gulf States boasts a rich culture and ancient heritage waiting to be discovered during this one week cultural adventure. Starting off in the capital of Muscat, here we gaze in awe at the Grand Mosque, wander through the colourful Mutrah Souq and see the Omani capital and coastline through seafarers eyes on a traditional dhow cruise. No visit to Oman is complete without exploring their magnificent landscapes on offer; camp and 4WD in the dunes of the Wahiba Sands; marvel at stunning views over the 'Grand Canyon of Arabia' from Jebel Shams, Oman's highest mountain; wade in the cooling, turquoise waters of some of the land's most idyllic desert oasis' and uncover the historic forts before witnessing the weekly live auction cattle market in Nizwa, an event not to be missed!

Highlights

  • See Muscat's Grand Mosque and colourful Mutrah Souq
  • Camp and 4WD in the dunes at Wahiba Sands
  • Enjoy spectacular views from Jebel Shams over the Grand Canyon of Arabia
  • Witness the unmissable weekly live auction cattle market in Nizwa
  • Discover Nizwa's 17th Century fort 
  • Swim in the turquoise, cool waters of Wadi Bani Khalid
  • Visit a Bedouin family and enjoy Kahwa (Omani local coffee)
  • Take a cruise on a traditional Dhow boat

Key information

  • 5 nights hotels & 1 night desert camp, all en suite
  • Travel by air-conditioned minibus and 4WD
  • Group normally 4 to 15 plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Oman

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities 
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Arrival & departure transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Optional Camel ride at camp
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Muscat
to
Muscat
  • Day 1

    Start Muscat; afternoon Dhow cruise and visit Mutrah Souq

    Land only clients should arrive into Muscat and at the start hotel before midday in order to ensure you are able to join the main group briefing and the dhow cruise later in the afternoon.

    In the afternoon after a main group briefing, we will be picked up from our hotel and travel through the old part of Muscat and have a photo stop at the Sultan's palace. Afterwards, we visit the Siban Women's association where there is the opportunity to interact with the local woman and enjoy a coffee together before transferring to the marina to embark on a relaxed dhow cruise (traditional fisherman's boat). See the Muscat coast through the eyes of ancient seafarers who plied this route for centuries. During the cruise, soft drinks, tea, coffee and dates will be served on board.

    During the evening, we stop at a local restaurant for dinner and will be transported back through the centuries on a visit to the bustling, colourful Mutrah Souq. Here there will be lots of photo opportunities and chance to observe the local way of life whilst wandering around this vibrant traditional Arab market.

    Ramee Guestline Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit Muscat's Grand Mosque; onto Sur via beautiful Wadi Shab. Evening visit to Turtle reserve

    After breakfast at the hotel, we check out and visit the Grand Mosque, the highlight of the Omani capital.

    Completed in 2001, the Grand Mosque is a beautiful building which looks modern but shows that modern craftsmen have retained the skills necessary to create this wonderful traditional environment. The handmade carpets, the chandeliers, the ceiling of the great dome in the main prayer room are absolute 'must sees'.  Kindly note, ladies should be fully covered and please carry a head scarf and men should wear trousers.

    We then drive (approx.1.5 hours) to the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom and Wadi Shaab where we enjoy a walk and picnic lunch before transferring (approx. 1 hour) to our hotel in Sur, where we will be spending the night.

    This evening after an early dinner, we’ll drive (approx. 1 hour) to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. Oman is a vital area for Green turtles in the Indian Ocean and the Green Back turtle are heavily protected by the government of Oman. In fact, over 275 of the Sultanate's beaches double-up as nesting grounds for five of the seven recognized species of sea turtles, the most common being the Green Back turtle.

    Here we are led to the beach by an ecologist to see the female turtles return to their beach to lay eggs. (Please note that the main nesting season is June-August, at other times of the year, there may or not be turtles every night but a visit to the reserve is still worthwhile).

    Sur Plaza or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, swim in the turquoise pools and enjoy a picnic lunch. Continue to Wahiba Sands and explore the spectacular dunes. Overnight in desert camp

    This morning after breakfast, we first transfer (approx. 1 hour and 45 min) to the desert oasis of Wadi Bani Khalid to relax a bit and enjoy a swim in the beautiful turquoise pools and a picnic lunch before continuing (approx. 1-1.5 hours) to the Wahiba Desert.  

    Here, on the edge of the desert, we change vehicles from the minibus to 4WDs to begin our desert experience.

    The Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white sea of sand and dunes rising up to 200 meters are also host to a variety of flora and fauna. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight. We further drive towards the dunes and our desert camp (approx. 1 hour) to check-in for the evening.

    During our time at the camp, there is the chance to take a camel ride (optional- extra cost).

    1000 Nights Camp / Arabian Oryx or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Morning visit to a Bedouin family and enjoy Omani coffee; visit Birkat al Mouz and walk through its oasis and date plantations; onto Nizwa

    Breakfast at camp before checking out and driving towards the ancient city of Nizwa, Oman's former capital.

    En-route we visit a Bedouin family, and enjoy Kahwa (local Omani Coffee) and spend some time with them learning about their customs and traditional way of life.

    We’ll continue our drive via Birkat al Mouz, one of the region's most well known village ruin. We’ll walk through its oasis and date plantations before continuing to Nizwa. With the 2 sets of ruins, a large banana plantation and the scenic surroundings, the site is also home to the old Falaj irrigation system listed as UNESCO World heritage.

    Upon arrival in Nizwa, we check into our hotel where we will spend the next two nights.

    Tanuf Residency Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Jabrin, one of Oman's finest castles; stop at historic Bahla Fort; enjoy a walk and picnic lunch in Wadi Nakher. Visit Jebel Shams for amazing views

    After breakfast at the hotel, we take a short drive (approx. 30 minutes) to visit Jabrin, the finest of Oman’s castles built in the late 17th century, which became a seat of Omani learning. The castle displays the highest achievement in Omani ceiling painting & beautifully executed woodcarvings.

    We also pause at the Bahla Fort for a photo, the only UNESCO listed fort in the country and lovingly restored over many years before transferring (approx.1.5 hours) to Wadi Nakher. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch before proceeding to Jebel Shams, Oman's highest mountain and where we can enjoy spectacular views of the 'Grand Canyon of Arabia.'

    Later in the afternoon we visit (transfer approx. 45 minutes) to the village of Misfat Al Arbayeen, passing the ruins of an old fort on the way. We continue through narrow alleys between old stone houses and take a short walk in the Tanoof old abandoned village before returning back (approx. 30 minutes) to Nizwa for the evening.

    Tanuf Residency Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    See Nizwa's famous cattle auction market, fort and Souq; continue to Nakhal fort and hot spring; back to Muscat for final evening

    Today is a longer day and we start our morning with a visit Nizwa's famous live cattle auction market, the one day of the week where this ancient city truly comes alive which sees farmers and traders arrive from near and afar to barter and trade in one of the Middle East's most renowned markets.

    We’ll visit the impressive Nizwa Fort, built in the 17th century to defend the city’s natural wealth and its strategic location. Later we visit Nizwa's renowned Souq,  famous for intricately hand-carved “Khanjars” (daggers) & ornamental silver jewelry and live-stock trading.

    Departing Nizwa, we continue to Wadi Bani Auf; this stretch of graded road is very adventurous as it involves steep bends and bumpy roads. When there is wet weather conditions, it may not be possible to drive this section of graded road due to safety. If this occurs, an alternative stretch of road will be driven.

    Then stop at the charming mountain village of Bilad Sayt where one is awestruck by the beauty of the landscape. 

    This afternoon we stop for a photo stop at the Nakhal Fort and hot spring. The exact date in which this ancient fort was built is unknown, but many believe that it was built in pre-Islamic times, more than 1500 years ago. 

    We then transfer back to Muscat for our final evening in Oman's capital city.

    Ramee Guestline Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    End Muscat

    For land only clients the tour ends this morning after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Oman

Visas are required by all non-Arab nationalities.

British nationals need a visa to enter Oman. 

You should apply for an e-visa before you travel. Applications can be made through the Royal Oman Police Portal

If you’re travelling as a tourist, you can apply for an unsponsored visa.  E-visa applications are usually approved within 1-3 working days but we suggest applying 1-2 weeks before your trip as occasionally there can be delays. A digital copy/scan of the photo page of your passport and a digital passport photograph are required for the E-visa application. Please see the Oman Police website for further criteria. Digital passport photos are available from most high street photo printing companies. Once approved, tourist visas are valid for 30 days from the date of issue so you cannot apply for your visa too far in advance. 

As this information may change we advise you to check with the Embassy before travel.

 

Vaccinations

Oman

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for Oman. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners are included.

Omani cuisine is influenced by Arab, Persian, Indian, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and African cuisine. Rice is a staple dish and often includes a variety of flavours and ingredients and meat such as chicken, fish and lamb feature prominently. Dishes are full of rich mixtures of spices, herbs and marinades. Dates are much loved and are an essential part of the Omani diet.

Curry, soups, fresh salads, and vegetable dishes are all very common. Coffee is the national beverage but tea is also drunk. Yoghurt drinks and softs drinks are also popular. Alcohol is not readily available but can be purchased in some hotels and likely to be quite expensive. 

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste and experience a variety of dishes and eat in local eateries and restaurants. Included lunches will be picnic lunches and other meals will be eaten in local cafes/eateries. The night spent at the desert camp will also include a BBQ with traditional dishes.

Non-Muslims are permitted to bring in two litres of alcohol by air only. Care must be taken not to cause offence through the use of alcohol and should not be consumed in public places apart from licensed premises, such as hotels & restaurants. 

Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Weather

Temperatures and humidity are high throughout the year on the coast. From May to September is the hottest season, so we avoid scheduling trips at this time of year. Temperatures rise even higher inland, but here humidity is lower so higher temperatures are more tolerable and nights are cooler. In spring and autumn expect sunny weather throughout, with warm to hot days (around 35 degrees celcius) and pleasant night time temperatures. There is little chance of any rain except from December to February. February will be about 5-10 degrees celcius cooler. In December days are warm (20-25 C).

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 1- Leisurely

This is a busy itinerary that visits the main highlights of Oman with a focus on providing a real taste of all this country has to offer. We travel by private air-conditioned minibus and 4WD throughout the tour. Although this is a cultural trip, some days can be long and tiring and there is some walking involved so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The people of Oman offer a very warm welcome to tourists. Oman is hot during the day so care should be taken to drink lots of water and to stay hydrated. On day 6, when departing Nizwa to Wadi Bani Auf, the stretch of graded road is very adventurous as it involves steep bends and bumpy roads which may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels and desert camp

Throughout the tour, you will spend 5 nights in comfortable hotels and 1 night in a traditional Bedouin-style tent at a desert camp in Wahiba Sands. All accommodation offers en suite facilities.

All accommodation has air-conditioning except for the Sheikh tents where a Bedouin experience is maintained. Temperatures in the desert at night tend to be a lot cooler than elsewhere, so air-conditioning during the evening at the camp is not necessary.

At the desert camp, all tents are equipped with bedding and proper beds, plug sockets, electricity (from a generator) and have a ceiling fan, kettle, tea/coffee, minibar and towels. The en suite bathrooms attached to the Sheikh tents at the desert camp include a flushing western-style toilet, sink and shower. It is recommended to pack a torch as there is limited lighting at night between tents and the main restaurant area.

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the hotels usually used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at different hotels of the same standard and quality due to availability.

Some hotels visited on the itinerary have swimming pools.

With accommodation in Oman, couples may be automatically allocated twin beds rather than doubles, unless requested otherwise, particularly unmarried couples. Please advise us a time of booking if you are travelling as a couple and would like to specifically request a double bed.

Single supplements are available (on request) and are valid for all 6 nights during the tour. Please enquire at time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailor made trips:
0800 643 997
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2019
    Jennifer Cox

    Fantastic Oman holiday

    This holiday was a fantastic mix of ancient sites (castles, forts, ruined mud brick villages) and natural wonders - The Grand Canyon of Arabia (Jebel Shams), the endless sand dunes of Wahiba Sands, swimming in wadis etc.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many highlights - watching a turtle nest and lay its eggs, watching the sunset over the sand dunes, the hustle and bustle of the morning cattle auction at Nizwa, Muscat's Grand Mosque with it's incredible dome and chandelier, sampling countless dates and drinking Omani coffee. The camp in Wahiba Sands was also very luxurious considering its location.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader (Qais) was very experienced and had a great sense of humour - the Omani people in general were incredibly welcoming everywhere we went.

Dates & Prices

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