A Week in Oman

8 days
from
£1,849
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AXV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–15

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

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:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

    Depart London

    Depart London

  • Day 2

    Arrive Muscat; afternoon Dhow cruise and visit Mutrah Souq

    Upon arrival in Muscat in the morning; you will be met by your tour leader and transferred to our hotel.

    Later 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 3

    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 to Sur via visiting the fishing village of Quriyat, 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 arrving at our hotel in Sur, where we will be spending the night.

    This evening after an early dinner, we’ll drive 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 Jun-Aug, 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 4

    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 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 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 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 or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    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 6

    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 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 to Wadi Nakher, located in the depth's of Oman's deepest canyon. 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 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 to Nizwa for the evening.

    Tanuf Residency Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

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

    We start our day with visiting 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. Then stop at the charming mountain village of Bilad Sayt where one is awestruck by the beauty of the landscape. 

    This afternoon we 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 8

    Depart Muscat; arrive London

    Those on the group flight will be transferred to the airport to check in for the flight back to London which arrives back later on in the day.

    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. The FCO currently states:

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. For all other visas, please follow the guidance on the portal. 

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. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 tradtional Bedouin style tent at a desert camp in Wahiba Sands. All accommodation offers en suite facilities.

The en suite bathrooms attached to the Sheikh tents at the desert camp include a toilet and shower with open views up to the sky. 

All accommodation has air-conditioning except the Sheikh tent 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. 

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

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:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936