Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes Overview: Visit the Grand Mosque. Drive through the Embassy district and along Corniche and Qurum Park to Mattrah. Visit the fish and vegetable markets and the famous Muttrah souq. Drive past the Corniche to the capital area before a photo stop at the Sultan's Palace, flanked by the 16th century Portuguese Forts of Jalali and Mirani. Next, visit Bait Al Zubair Museum housing a fine display of Omani culture and history. Before returning to your hotel, stop at Al Bustan Hotel the Jewel of the Sultanate of Oman and the Middle East for a photo.
Duration: 8 hours Overview: Journey to the past through the Sumail Gap that divides the Western and Eastern Hajars and travel to the old capital of Oman, Nizwa to visit its silver souq and a big round fort. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (not included). Drive to Bahla with its huge loam fort. Bahla is also known as the pottery capital of Oman. Because of its cultural value, Bahla is on UNESCO's list of heritage monuments. Next, visit Jabrin fort, one of most significant forts of Oman with its painted ceiling, dungeons and hidden passages.
Duration: 4 hours Overview: Pickup from your hotel at 1800 hrs and proceed to the Muttrah. Drive along the waterfront Cornich to the bustling Muttrah souq. Spend some time here and take a short walk along the Cornich. See the fully illuminated "Frankincense Burner." Stop for a photo of the magnificent Al Alam Palace, official palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos flanked by the 16th century Portugese forts Mirani & Jalali. Enjoy a delicious Middle Eastern dinner Kargeen restaurant - try the Lemon Mint, which is the highlight of their menu. (No alcohol served). Transfer to your hotel at around 2130 hrs.
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes Overview: You will be picked up in the morning and transferred to the marina, to board the boat for a wonderful tour to chase dolphins. It's a sight not to be missed when the dolphins are in flight. Also explore the hidden treasures of Oman's magic coastline.
Duration: 9 hours Overview: Travel the coast from Muscat to Quriyat and over the plateau down to the narrow coastal track. Reach Wadi Shab and hike up one of Oman's scenic wadis. Enjoy a picnic lunch here. After lunch, swim through the famous 'keyhole' and relax at Fins Beach before returning to Muscat.
Duration: 9 hours Overview: Drive through Sumil Gap and Izki by a 4WD vehicle to the roof of Oman to see the Saiq Plateau, which for hundreds of years has been accessible only by donkeys. See a terraced garden where a variety of pomegranates, apricots and lemons are grown as also rose gardens, which bloom in April. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade and interesting walks in Wadi Bani Habib, Shrejaya, Al Ain and Aqur before returning to Muscat. The weather here is cooler and drier as compared to Muscat.
Duration: 9 hours Overview: Drive along the Batinah Coast towards the most beautiful remote village in Oman, Billad Sayt in the Western Hajars. Near Awabi, turn into the beautiful Wadi Bani Awf. After a spectacular drive, reach the magnificent village of Bilad Sayt, with an amazing view of Palm groves and terraced gardens between the stone walls. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade, before returning to Muscat via Nakhl.
Duration: 10 hours Overview: Board your 4WD vehicle and drive to Nizwa - the historical and heritage capital of Oman. Nizwa, the city of gold and silver handicrafts is about 175 kms from Muscat. Stop at Nizwa Souk, famous for its antiques and silver jewellery and the Round Tower Fort and then proceed to Wadi Nakher at the base of the canyon. Later visit Misfah, the scenic mountain village with its very old stone built houses and structures. Stop at Wadi Ghul - the farming village in the mountains en route to Jabel Shams, the highest peak of Ajbelk Akhdar Enjoy the breathtaking view of Jabel Akhdar ranges and return to your hotel in the evening.
Duration: 9 hours Overview: Board your 4WD vehicle and drive south, crossing the Hajar Mountains. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and stop for photos along the way. Visit Wadi Bani Khalid a beautiful oasis in the middle of the barren and dry mountains. Take a dip in the refreshing turquoise blue pools of fresh water, which, at some places are 20ft deep. Drive to Wahiba Sands, a vast undulating red and white sea of sand dunes rising up to 200 meters, also host to a variety of flora and fauna. Enjoy a roller coaster sand dune ride in your land cruiser, as you go deeper into the sands of Wahiba. The whole area is breath taking and you may even spot Bedouin and camels on the move.
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes Overview: The tour heads towards Barka, to visit the camel breeding farm which is home to hundreds of Omani thoroughbreds. Drive past a picturesque village set among date plantations to Wadi Abyadh. Enjoy the crystal clear rock pools and experience an adrenaline rush with some wadi bashing. Later, travel to Wadi Mistal, which cuts through the Hajar Mountain Ranges. After a 30 km drive through the wadi, reach the face of the mountain where there are two villages, Hadash and Wekan and take a picnic lunch here. Continue to drive up the steep and winding road, to visit the agricultural village of Wekan, 1700m above sea level. Marvel at the beautiful landscape and enjoy the cool and pleasant weather. Pomegranates, grapes, walnuts, apricots and dates are also grown here. Return to Muscat.
Duration: 5 hours Overview: The coastal town of Barka was the site of the ousting of the Persians by Ahmed Bin Said in 1747. The impressive Barka Fort played an important role in the defence of the town over the centuries. Renovated in the 1980s, the fort has four towers, one of which has an unusual octagonal structure. Explore the towers, prisons and prayer rooms of this fort and climb the towers for an excellent view out to sea and of the surrounding area.
Duration: 9 hours Overview: Taking its name from its shape, Little Snake Canyon is a perfect place to explore if you need to stretch your legs. Located 15.5km into Wadi Bani Auf, it's accessible to all for the first few 100m, though you may have to get your feet a little wet. Little Snake Canyon is shady for the most part and has spectacular views. The more adventurous and very experienced hiker will find Big Snake Canyon (known as Wadi Bimmah), close to the village of Al Zammah, a true challenge, with boulders to climb over, pools to jump in to and water to swim through.
Duration: 4 hours Overview: During the annual camel racing season, races take place across the country with the last meet held in Barka. While robots have replaced children as jockeys, the excitement of cheering on a favourite camel will send hearts pumping. A thrilling experience to rival horse racing! The racing season is from October to March.
Duration: At your own pace Overview: Beekeeping has been practiced in Oman for centuries, using hollowed out date palm logs as hives. The honey derives its distinctive flavour from the samr, sidr, and ghaaf trees, coconut palm, prickly pear and papaya trees that the bees pollinate. One of the best places to shop for this sweet delight is in the souq in Sohar where the honey is rumoured to be the best in Oman.
Duration: At your own pace Overview: The khanjar is the traditional dagger of Oman. Curved in shape and sharpened on both edges, it is carried in a sheath typically decorated in silver, on a belt similarly decorated in silver filigree curved motifs. You'll spot the khanjar on the flag of Oman, as part of the national emblem and worn by men in formal dress. Prior to the 1970s, the release of the khanjar from its sheath was considered a social taboo and men would only do that if they sought revenge or assassination! See khanjars in the souqs and museums.
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