The Sultanate of Oman is a hidden gem of an antique land that boasts a rich history, unspoiled natural scenery, and some of the most genuine and hospitable people you'll ever encounter. Famed as a center of frankincense production, Oman also once ruled over Indian Ocean trade with an empire stretching from Zanzibar to Baluchistan, the evidence of which is reflected today in its diverse peoples and cultures. In addition to being a destination for history buffs, Oman is an outdoor adventurer's paradise with almost 2,000 miles of pristine coastline, hiking and trekking trails galore, and lush river courses secreted away in its desert canyons. If you're yearning for an authentic Arabian experience with monumental sand dunes, peaceful oases, formidable desert fortresses, great people, and time-honored traditions, then Oman is the destination for you.
The following sample itinerary is for a 10-day excursion showcasing Oman's historic, cultural, and natural treasures.
❊ - indicates a UNESCO World Heritage Site
DAY 1 - Arrive at Muscat International Airport
-Our representative will welcome you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel.
-Rest of the day free to rest and acclimate.
DAY 2 - Muscat
Note: Every morning your guide and driver will meet you after breakfast.
-Start your day with a visit to the monumental Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (built in 2001) and then tour the equally impressive Royal Opera House Muscat (2011), a gleaming temple to the performing arts.
-After enjoying lunch along the Corniche, tour the Bait Al Zubair museum with exhibitions of Omani history and culture.
-Spend the afternoon exploring the charming streets of Muscat's Old Port before getting lost in the Mattruh Souq (bazaar).
DAY 3 - Muscat - Ras al-Jinz
-Depart Muscat after breakfast en route to Wadi ash-Shab, a spectacular desert river course that provides some magnificent swimming and canyoneering experiences.
-Next, stop at the ruins of the once-thriving trade center at Qalhat*. The port city flourished from the 11th-16th centuries CE, and the monuments reflect the rich architectural and urban design legacies of the Princes of Hormuz.
-Continue on to the port city of Sur where you'll see shipwrights building dhows, traditional Omani sailing vessels, just as they have for centuries.
-Arrive for dinner at the scenic coastal locale of Ras al-Jinz, the easternmost point of the Arab world.
DAY 4 - Ras al-Jinz - Wahbiya Sands
-Awake and walk a short distance to the beach to visit the Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve. Depending on the time of year, you'll either observe mother green sea turtles laying their eggs or witness their hatchlings making a mad dash for the surf. It's a sunrise you'll never forget.
-After lunch you'll start your desert safari, arriving at Wahiba Sands, a stunning sand sea that stretches beyond the horizon. Soar over the dunes in a 4x4, or opt for a more leisurely camel ride. You'll savor a Bedouin feast for dinner at your luxury campsite and then count the constellations in a bejeweled night sky.
DAY 5 - Wahiba Sands - Jebel Akhdar
-Appreciate the serenity of your desert surroundings over breakfast before heading to Jibrin Castle (1675 CE), one of Oman's more impressive and best-preserved fortresses.
-After touring the fort, take a spin on a potter's wheel and learn about traditional Omani ceramic arts at the nearby al-Adawi Pottery Center.
-Next, you'll visit Oman's former historic capital of Nizwa where you'll explore its souq, tour Oman's largest castle (1650s CE), and perhaps catch its famous livestock market.
-Following your visit to Nizwa, you'll ascend the nearby peak of Jebel Akhdar where you'll settle into your luxury mountain retreat, home for the next two nights.
DAY 6 - Jebel Akhdar
-Depart your hotel for a scenic excursion through the Hajar mountain range to Jebel Shams, Oman's tallest mountain at 9,872 ft. The mountain peak affords the best views of the spectacular al-Nakhour Canyon below, known as the "Grand Canyon of Arabia."
-Next, you'll appreciate Oman's rich biodiversity as you take a guided nature walk (if desired) along any number of mountain trails before sitting down to picturesque picnic.
-Return to your resort for an afternoon of luxurious spa treatments in a tranquil natural setting.
DAY 7 - Jebel Akhdar - Khasab
-Begin your day at the terraced hillside village of Misfat al-Abriyyin and learn about the importance of Falaj* aqueducts in sustaining agriculture in Oman.
-Next, you'll stop at the ancient town of Bahla* to view its imposing fortress, believed by locals to be haunted by jinn (genies).
-Continue to al-Ayn* to visit its Bronze Age Beehive Tombs located in the shadows of Jebel Misht, the highest rock escarpment in Arabia (5,706 ft).
-Pay a visit to the city of Nakhl, a vast, palm-studded oasis with a castle that offers breathtaking views.
-Return to Muscat that afternoon for a quick, one-hour flight to Khasab in the remote Musandam Peninsula. You'll be met at the airport by your guide and escorted to your private dhow where you'll spend the next two evenings.
DAY 8 - Musandam
-You'll spend the day cruising along the rugged, mountainous coastline of the Musandam Peninsula, known as the "Norway of the Middle East" due to its dramatic, fjord-like landscape.
DAY 9 - Musandam - Muscat
-Continue your cruise of Musandam and enjoy swimming in hidden coves with pristine beaches that you'll have all to yourself. Musandam is teeming with sea life, particularly with dolphin, manta rays, and sea turtles, making it an idyllic spot for diving and snorkeling.
-Return that afternoon to Muscat where you'll enjoy a farewell dinner on the last night of your trip.
DAY 10 - Depart for Home
-We will transfer you to Muscat International Airport for your flight home.
INCLUDED WITH ANTIQUE LANDS' CUSTOM JOURNEYS: