To keep your travels and adventures with us interesting, we offer special one-off tours to exotic destinations.
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|Date & Duration:||12th-31st January 2018 - 17 days|
|Cost:||USD5500 - What's included?|
|Arrival & Departure points:||Muscat/Muscat|
|Group size:||Min 6, Max 12|
|Adventures:||-dhow cruise -wadi walks and swims -safari into the desert|
Enjoy the best Oman has to offer on our insightful and indulgent Oman Odyssey trip!
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
-dhow cruise in the fiords of the Musandam Peninsula
-safari into the Empty Quarter to experience this amazing desert
-discover a unique and interesting culture unlike the other Arab states
-visit the old markets and shop for frankincense and exotic treasures
-be amazed at the variety of stunning and ever-changing scenery: mountains, wadis, deserts and coast
Day 1 - Muscat
Arrival day - welcome dinner and briefing about our exciting trip around Oman, full of all the highlights!
Day 2 - Muscat
Visit the beautiful Grand Mosque in the morning followed by a quick tour of Muscat's showpiece Opera House. In the afternoon we get an insight into this amazing land with a visit to the museums in old Muscat, which will prepare you for the rest of the trip. Time permitting, we will head to the old market too, or take a stroll along the beautiful corniche.
Day 3 - Muscat to Musandam Peninsula, Khasab town
Today we fly up to the Musandam peninsula, another special part of Oman. We check into our hotel and then go out for an afternoon dhow cruise in the spectacular fiords of the peninsula. Relax on board, see dolphins and experience a very different culture
Day 4 - Khasab to Muscat
A half day city tour of Khasab provides an introduction to part of the Musandam Peninsula and its capital of Khasab. The Khasab fort is picturesque stronghold built in 17th century. The structure you see today is the result of extensive restoration work carried out in the late 20th century. The fort's location offers excellent views and photo opportunity. Drive to Wadi Tiwi where one could see the pre-historical rock paintings depicting camels, ships etc. Fly back to Muscat
Day 5 - Muscat to Jebel Shams
Start your adventure tour of Oman. Visit Nakhl fort which also has the highest fort in Oman, standing proudly on top of a hilltop. The fort is 350 years old and is set in a gorge, surrounded by a mountain enclave. Next to it is the Al Thowara Oasis where one can witness the source of the natural springs. Between Nakhl and Rustaq a hidden road leads up a 2000 m part of the Hajar Mountain range. Stop at Wadi Bani Auf where the main attraction is the old houses nestled on the slopes of the mountain and this Wadi is also well known as the "snake gorge" because of the wide variety of desert snakes that live here. This stretch of graded road is very adventurous!
Visit the charming village of Bilad Sayt where one is awestruck by the beauty of the landscape. Bilad Sayt is a village which famous for its clay houses and the Oasis in which the village population lives. Drive uphill to the peak of the Hajar Mountain. Oman's Grand Canyon is situated amidst the rocky terrain of the Jabal Shams mountain which over 3,000m making it the highest mountain
Day 6 - Jebel Shams to Nizwa
Enjoy the morning view - Jabal Shams is the highest peak in the 700 km long Hajar mountain range. You might even be pleasantly surprised to see a few shepherds accompanying their grazing sheep! Experience an untamed and rugged countryside, a pristine world interrupted here and there by tiny settlements. From here proceed to Wadi Ghul, where you can see the Arabian Grand Canyon. Continue your journey to the villages of Al Hamra and Misfah also known as Misfat Al Abreen. The village of Al Hamra boasts a set of ancient ruins. Misfah is a typical Omani village that gives guests an insight into how the locals used to live centuries ago. The houses are made of clay and mud in order to keep the interior cool even during the summer months. Misfah has a falaj system and green terraces which provides the population of Oasis dwellers abundant bounty in terms of fruits (mango, papaya, banana and dates) and vegetables in spite of the dry vegetation elsewhere.
Day 7 - Nizwa to Wahiba Sands
Breakfast at hotel and check out. 08.00 AM - Visit the Nizwa fort which has been strategically built atop a hill overlooking the ancient city with its colorful domes and bustling market below. Spend some time in this traditional city and visit the interesting fort with the round tower and the museum and stroll thru the Souq. Nizwa Fort, built by Imam Sultan bin Saif al Ya'arubi in 1668, is the biggest fort in the Arabian Peninsula. The fort was once used as the Imam's headquarters and is a stronghold designed to withstand some of the most aggressive sieges. The traditional doors are inches deep and over the lintel of each is a hole through which boiling date syrup could be poured over the marauding enemies. Wahiba Sands is a vast mass of undulating red and white sand dunes rising up to 200 meters and stretching as far as the eye can see. The sands are the traditional homes of the Bedouins, so it is common to see them moving through the desert with their camels. The camp's serene environment and simplicity is a wonderful experience after our daily urban lives in the city. Sleep sheltered by luxury style accommodation under a roof of starry skies and enjoy the once in a lifetime experience! Enjoy a traditional Arabic meal, Omani coffee and dates.
Day 8 - Wahiba sands to Ras el Jinz
After breakfast visit a Bedouin family in middle of the desert. Drive to the beautiful Wadi Bani Khalid. The wadi has clear deep blue waters, where the shade of the palm trees is inviting for a relaxing siesta! Catch a glimpse of the pretty villages scattered all over Wadi Bani Khalid as they cling precariously to the slopes of the rugged mountain-side (Please bring along your swim-wear, the clear warm waters of the Wadi are very inviting!). Continue to your hotel in Ras al Jinz. After a refreshing shower and dinner, assemble in the main lobby of the Carapace research Centre. Around 21:00 PM the rangers will divide you into groups. Proceed on a 15 min walk to the place where the green turtles nest on the calm beaches of Ras Al Jinz. The turtles can be seen late at night or early in the morning (21:00 PM or 04:00 AM). Enjoy this natural phenomenon - an experience that is guaranteed to stay in your memory for a long time.
Day 9 - Ras el Jinz to Muscat
Breakfast at hotel and check out. 08.00 AM - Start your journey today to Sur and visit the fishermen's harbor where you can witness the fishermen in action. Dhows are traditional Omani wooden fisher boats that are even today, built by hand - we will visit a dhow building yard. Next adventure: Wadi Shab where beautiful clear pools of the wadi oasis are a serene and rewarding sight in the otherwise barren environment. Time for another swim in the inviting blue waters! After visiting the Wadi - we visit the Bimah Sinkhole, a natural hole in the round created by a collapsing mountain. The hole is filled with blue-green sea water.
Day 10 - Muscat
After a leisurely breakfast we take public transport (fun in itself) to visit the Mutrah Souq, stroll along the beautiful cornice and get back to the hotel in time for a swim. Maybe there is evening something happening at the Muscat festival for us to take a look at!
Day 11 - Muscat to Salalah
We fly 1000km to Salalah, check in at our beachside hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is afternoon is free to enjoy some relaxation on a white sandy beach, or take a taxi into town and visit the frankincense market, or go to the row of tropical fruit stands for a fresh coconut milk in it's shell!
Salalah is very different to the rest of Oman geographically and culturally - more laid-back than Muscat and with it's own small-town charm.
Day 12 - East and West Salalah
The excursion begins in the morning with a visit to the old fishing village of Taqah, famous for the manufacture of Dried Sardines and its traditional & old Dhofari Houses. Visit the century old Taqah Castle, the former official residence of the Wali (Governor) of the region & obtain a glimpse into the rich history of the region. Continue onto the ancient ruins of the once famous city of Sumharam (Khor Rohri). The city was the easternmost outpost of the Hadramawt Kingdom on the ancient incense route between the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and India. Khor Rori was an important port on the coast of Dhofar, and one of the major trading cities with frankincense, believed to have been the hub & harbor for the shipping of Frankincense (UNESCO World Heritage site). A picturesque drive then leads you to Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar and the beginning of the 'Frankincense trail'. A picnic lunch box / lunch at local restaurant en route. Stroll through the streets lined with old Omani mud houses & visit the "twin-domed Bin Ali's Tomb" as a photo stop... a classic example of medieval architecture. On our way back to western Salalah, explore the natural spring of Ayn Razat, beautifully laid out amidst the tranquil lush mountains & nourished every day of the year by natural underground spring water. Thereafter we proceed to Qara Mountains to explore the western part of Salalah. On a road steadily winding up a steep incline, herds of camels and cattle are a common sight which gives a scenic view of a traditional Dhofari rural beauty. Visit the ancient tomb of Prophet Job situated in the scenic green mountains of the Salalah Plains. Proceed to the beach of Mughsail where the white sand touches the deep blue of the ocean and at high tide, where waves burst through the natural blow holes. We continue along the road towards the western border of Oman, with its breath-taking cliffs on either side, to see the historical Frankincense trees growing in their natural habitat.
Day 13/14 - Empty Quarter
No trip to Oman is complete without a trip out into the sands of the Empty Quarter - Rub el Khali. We camp out under the stars and enjoy a night in the desert away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world, returning the next day.
Day 15 - Salalah
Today you are free to enjoy Salalah - maybe another swim on that gorgeous white sandy beach, maybe mingle with the locals in town or spend time in the frankincense market.
Day 16 - Salalah to Muscat
We fly to Muscat and enjoy a final afternoon and night together - we will see how much time we have - and see what we feel like doing - last minute shopping, an evening by the sea, maybe there is something on at the Muscat festival...there are so many things to do!
Day 17 - Muscat
We say our farewells after breakfast as another fantastic Venus Adventures, full of great memories, fun and new friends comes to an end. What a great trip it has been!
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