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Here’s What Your Amazing Holiday Could Look Like...
Channel your inner Indiana Jones as you explore this surprisingly diverse and fascinating country. Your self-drive Essential Oman Journey will take you from the historic mosques and souks of the port city of Muscat, up into the stark, yet fertile hills of the Al Hajar Mountains, then on into the desert for a real Arabian adventure in the dunes. What’s more, you’ll also spend time in a reserve for endangered green turtle.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Muscat
On arrival, sip coffee and eat dates with the friendly locals on your first morning in this fascinating coastal city. Enjoy maldouf, a traditional flatbread flavoured with date syrup, for breakfast before exploring the city or sipping cocktails by the pool. On your second day, join a guided tour and immerse yourself in Oman’s history. Marvel at the beauty of the main prayer hall in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, home to one of the world’s largest chandeliers, before bartering for souvenirs at the colourful Muttrah Souq. You’ll be escorted along the Cornice to visit the fish market, then snap a selfie outside the magnificent Al Alam Palace, flanked by the 16th century Portuguese forts of Al Mirani and Al Jalali
There’s no need to rush in the morning. Your rental car will be delivered to your hotel for maximum convenience, as it’s time to hit the road - which you’ll find in excellent condition. Drive into the stark, yet fertile hills of the Al Hajar Mountains, home to fruit orchards and swathed in pink Damask roses - distilled to make Omani rose water - throughout April and May. Perched on the rim of a vast canyon in the Green Mountains, your home for the next two nights is a luxury spa resort offering incredible views from one of the highest points in Oman - not to mention excellent stargazing.
As you leave the hills behind you, if you haven’t explored the ancient city of Nizwa already, now’s your chance. Also known as the ‘Pearl of Islam’, Nizwa once served as the capital of Oman – as evidenced by its dramatic fort. Climb to the top of its 40m-tall round tower for views of the surrounding date plantations and the Hajar Mountains. Next up, real Arabian adventure awaits as you delve into the desert for a memorable overnight stay in Bedouin-style tents - without sacrificing creature comforts. Spend time dune bashing or biking across the sands before heading back to the camp to enjoy alfresco dining by an open fire as the sun disappears behind the dunes.
5* Wahiba Sands Desert Nights Camp
After a final morning of desert fun, you’ll head back to the Arabian Sea to stay within a reserve for endangered green turtles on an unspoilt shoreline surrounded by mountains. This is the only place where the public can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea-giants and guests of the reserve get to join both evening and dawn guided tours if they wish. The best time to travel and see the turtle hatching is during summer time - May and September – when temperatures on the coast average 25°c and 36°c.
3* Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve
After a morning of turtle watching, drive back along the coast to Muscat for a last opportunity to barter for traditional souvenirs in the souks or head to the high-end Amouage Perfume factory, which offers tours and a range of fragrances, soaps and leather goods in its shop. Alternatively, take in even more of the nation’s history with a visit to either Muscat Gate or the impressive National Museum. Of course, you could always return to the sands to catch some last minute rays with an afternoon at the beach instead.
5* Kempinski Muscat
Depart Muscat and return to the UK
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