Day 1: Arrival at Muscat - Muscat city tour including Grand Mosque - Old Muscat - Bait al Zubair - Bait Al Baranda - MutrahSouq
Your tour manager will meet & assist you at Muscat International Airport after luggage & customs area, and then he will drive you to the Grand Mosque: The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat is the most prominent architectural mosque in the Sultanate which is the summit of Islamic architecture where tradition and modernity are present. The mosque was built to be in line with the large population and urban development. The construction began in 1995 and took six years to complete. Made by marble, sandstone and wood, it has four corner minarets and a taller central minaret. All five minarets represent the five pillars of Islam. Inside the mosque you will find a great Persian carpet, big chandeliers, colored windows, glazed tiles and a very beautiful mihrab.
After the visit of the Grand Mosque we will proceed to Old Muscat town to visit Bait al Zubair Museum as well as the outside of the Sultan Palace and the forts buildt by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The next stop will be in Muttrah visiting the Bait al Baranda Museum. After the visit, we will take a short walk in front of the sea watching mosques and some old merchant houses. The souq of Muttrah is the most important in the country where you can see all the handicrafts of Oman and of other places of the world. The souk offers the Omani dagger or Khanjar and beautiful silver handicrafts and Pashmina shawls. Drive back to the hotel.
Hotel: Ramee Hotel in al Qurum
Day 2: Muscat - Nakhl - WadiBani Auf - BiladSayt - Al Hamra
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. Pick up at 8:00 am. The first stop is Nakhl where you will find the highest fort in Oman, standing proudly on top of a hilltop as well as the nice Nakhl hot springs.
Stop at Wadi Bani Auf where the main attraction is the old houses nestled on the slopes of the mountain. This wadi is also well known as the snake gorge because of the wide variety of desert snakes. Here, we will enjoy traditional Omani coffee with an Omani family. Then we proceed to BiladSayt, a village that is famous for its clay houses and the oasis in which the village population lives. After this visit, enjoy a picnic lunch on top of the mountain. We continue driving to Al Hamra, a 400-year-old town in the region of Ad Dakhiliyah. From there we proceed to Misfat Al Abriyeen which is one of the prettiest traditional villages in Oman. Check in to the hotel.
Hotel: Misfat old house
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 3: Nizwa - Bahla - Jabreen - Jabal Shams
Breakfast and check out. Pick up at 8:00am. Drive to Bahla one of the big oases of the interior of Oman. The impressive fort, a masterpiece of clay architecture, has been inscribed in Unesco´s World Heritage List since 1987. There are also the remains of a fortified wall, up to five meters high and over ten kilometers in length, with many watchtowers built in. The wall surrounds the extensive date gardens and fields.Bahla was the capital of Oman at the Nabatina dynasty for four or five centuries from mid-12th to the 17th when the Ya´arubi dynasty took over.
We will also visit Jabreen which is another oasis surrounded by date plantations with an important fort. It was built by Imam Sultan bin Saif Al Ya'arubi in 1670 as a defensive stronghold and as living accommodation for the Imam. It has two huge towers with walls two meters thick. Inside the fort one feels like in a palace with its elegance and elaborately decorated ceilings. After our visit, we go up to Western Hajar Mountains.
Hotel:Al Diyar hotel
Day 4: Nizwa – Jabal Akhdar
Breakfast in the hotel. After that we will visit the old town of Nizwa.
Nizwa was the chief town of the interior and Oman´s capital for many centuries. Oman was divided during many times in two identities: Muscat and the Interior which used to be Oman back then. Nizwa fort is dominated by its vast circular tower and it is one the oldest and largest forts in Oman. It was built in the 17th century to protect its strategic position at the crossroads of the caravan routes. Nizwa was the central point to communicate the interior (Oman) with the coast (Muscat). Next to the fort lies the NizwaMosque with is distinctive blue and gold dome The Nizwasouq has been totally renovated with many crafts shops. In Oman, Non-Muslims are not permitted to enter a mosque, the only exception is the Grand Mosque in Muscat. After our visit, we proceed to FalajDaris one of the largest Falaj in Oman inscribed in the Unesco´s World Heritage. The falaj is a system of channels for water that leads from its source, usually an underground spring in the mountains, to the fields where irrigation is required.
We drive to Birkat Al Mauz or village of clay. There is a full settlement of clay ruins (ancient houses) that are still partially inhabited. The village was once very famous for the banana plantations. One can also see how the traditional irrigation system that was used centuries ago functions untiltoday. The village still uses it to nourish the oasis. Next, we go to the Wadi of Maydeen. This Wadi is located at the foot of the Jabal and has a beautiful natural spring water source. After this, we drive up to JabalAkhdarwhich means Green Mountain in Arabic. This night, we stay in our hotel in Nizwa.
Hotel: AL Diyar hotel
Day 5: Nizwa - WadiBaniKahlid - Wahiba Sands
Drive toWadiBani Khalid. The pools have clear deep cool water, where the shade of the palm trees is inviting for a relaxing siesta! Catch a glimpse of the pretty villages scattered all over WadiBani Khalid as they cling precariously to the slopes of the rugged mountain- side (Please bring along your swim- wear, the clear waters of the wadi are very inviting! Also, please note that light clothing and walking shoes may be more suitable on this trip).
From there we move on to the desert. Stunningly sculpted by the wind, the Wahiba red- gold sands sprawls over 15,000 sq km. These apparently lifeless sands have sustained the Beduin tribes for over 5,000 years. In the middle of the desert stop to visit a Bedouin home. You will experiencedune bashing and the dramatic sights of the sunset while based on a high dune (Camel ride optional). Enjoy a traditional Arabic meal, coffee and dates in an Omani Desert Camp.
Hotel: Sama al Wasil Camp or 1000 night camp
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6: Crossing desert of Wahiba – Qahad - Ras Al Hadd
DWe will cross Wahiba Sands desert for 4 hours and about 160 km to beach Qahad. From there, we continue towards Ras Al Hadd. Check in to the hotel and have a short rest. After a refreshing shower, we drive to the Carapace Centre and assemble in the main lobby of Carapace. After dinner, we will go to watch the giant turtles by night.
Hotel: Turtle Beach Resort
Day 7: Coastal Road and Beach (Sur to WadiShab)
Breakfast in the hotel and check out. 08:30 AM – pick up from the hotel. Proceed on to the Dhow building yard in Sur. Dhows are traditional Omani wooden fisher boats that are even today, built by hand. Continue via Qalhat where Bibi Miriam’s tomb (photo stop from the main highway) is located. Proceed to WadiTiwi - another spectacularly deep and narrow gorge carved out of the mountains, running between towering cliffs right down to the sea. After visiting the wadi – proceed to the white beaches of Finns where picnic lunch will be served. Also see the Bimah Sinkhole, a natural hole in the round created by a collapsing mountain. The hole is filled with blue-green sea water. Finally we pass through the village of Quriyat, guarded by its 18th century fort and return to Muscat. We will arrive to Mutrah before sunset to walk again in the souk and Corniche. We proceed to airport to back home.