Sultanate of Oman with optional tour to Zanzibar.
November 04 to 16, 2017
Set on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is a blend of the new and the old as evidenced in its architecture, its attitudes and customs. It is a land of majestic forts, imposing castles, historical tombs and palace ruins. As you travel through the country you will see Omanis in colorful dress, rustic villages, stark majestic mountain ranges, a vast expanse of desert and serene sandy beaches. Shopping for native crafts in vibrant markets offers the perfect opportunity to interact with the locals. Oman is also steeped in myths and legends as it is believed to be the home of Sinbad the Sailor and the site of the ruins of the palace reputed to be that of the Queen of Sheba.
Per person sharing in double occupancy (Air and land from NYC): $4,995.00
Single Supplement: $995.00
Credit for not using our included airfare $800.00
Zanzibar extension $660.00 p/person in double
Single supplement in Zanzibar: $220.00
Air Muscat/Zanzibar is $380.00 for one way
Led by local guides
Price based on a group size minimum of 2 and maximum of 12 participants
Your tour does not include
- Airfare from hometown & from other cities aside from NYC.
- Fuel surcharges, border departure taxes, airport taxes and security charges (approximately $480.00).
- Oman entry visa (currently $54.00), Obtainable upon arrival in Muscat airport.
- Airport transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled group flights.
- Dayrooms or extra hotel overnights if necessary.
- Any meals other than specified above.
- Trip surcharge to operate below required minimum participants.
- Expenses of a personal nature such as: Meals not included; beverages; telephone/internet service; camera fees; laundry bills, etc.
- Travel protection Insurance.
- Gratuities to your guide, drivers, porters, restaurant and hotel staff.
Your tour includes
- Round trip airfare NYC/Muscat.
- Airport/ hotel arrival and departure transfers.
- Five star and superior four-star accommodations or best available in smaller towns and one night comfortable camping.
- All meals as per itinerary.
- Travel by modern, air-conditioned motor coach and in 4WD vehicles with English-speaking driver.
- English speaking local guide cum driver will be provided for whole tour.
- Muscat/Salalah/Muscat economy class tickets fare.
- All activities described in the tour and entrance fees to all sites mentioned.
II Active – Some hikes, slightly more demanding walks at or to sites, few elevations, comfortable but busy schedule and some long rides.
**** Luxury: Regular style- usually large- hotels, typical western standard with ample venues, and full amenities. (4 or 5 stars)
Optional stop overs and extensions can be arranged for Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Kuwait.
View Tour Itinerary
Saturday, Nov 04
Depart the US
Depart the US to Oman arriving the next day.
Sunday, Nov 05
Arrive in Muscat
Arrive in Muscat, meet and transfer to Tulip Inn Hotel or similar for check in and overnight.
Monday, Nov 06
Depart for a half-day city tour of Muscat with a visit to the Grand Mosque, the most exquisite Mosque in Oman. The Mosque complex is constructed on a raised podium in keeping with the tradition of Omani mosques that were built elevated from street level. It consists of a main prayer hall, ladies prayer hall, covered passageways, a meeting hall, and a library. Drive towards Muttrah Souq, one of the most popular souqs in the Middle East. Take a walk in its labyrinthine alleyways beckoning with a myriad of merchandise, from imported fabrics to exotic Oriental spices, perfumes and richly handcrafted artifacts. After that, drive to Bait Al Zubair Museum which consists of a concise collection reflecting the splendid Omani Heritage. We drive to the magnificent Al Alam Palace, the official residence of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said the ruler of Oman, an architectural marvel for both its design and its location between the twin Portuguese forts Mirani and Jalali (A brief photograph stop from outside only). After Muscat city tour proceed to local restaurant for Lunch. After Lunch at leisure, return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, Nov 07
Muscat to Jebel Shams
Drive to the village of Nakhl. On route you will visit Seeb Fish Souk and walk in the seaside market laden with fish, vegetable and fruit stalls. Afterwards we continue for our next stop which will be at Nakhl Fort that once served the imams of Bani Kharous and the Ya'arubah dynasty. The old village of Nakhl, which nestles below the fort gradually, leads to the famous warm Springs of Nakhl situated at the end of an attractive Oasis. Relax by the side of the shallow waters of the springs surrounded by lush green date plantations and steep mountain peaks and local lunch. Then proceed to Wadi Bani Auf, where the road runs through a narrow canyon that forms the bed of a mountain stream. You will find the water at the foot of Jebel Shams and visit the beautiful mountain village of Bilad Sait. Transfer to Jebel Shams Resort or similar for overnight. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, Nov 08
Jebel Shams to Nizwa
Breakfast at the resort then start your tour to Wadi Nakher While heading from Jebel Shams stop at the terrace farming village of Wadi Ghul. We will visit to Hamra (old mud house village) & Missfa (old stone house village). We will proceed to Bahla Fort . The Fort's internal staircases and walls were built of mud, coated with gypsum and sarooj (a traditional type of mortar). UNESCO has approved Bahla Fort and Wall for inclusion in its World Heritage List. We continue to Jabreen fort the finest of Oman’s castles built in the late 17th century, became a seat of Omani learning. Local Lunch en route. Transfer to Golden Tulip Hotel or similar for check in and overnight. (B,L)
Thursday, Nov 09
Breakfast at hotel then we start our day by visiting Nizwa Souq, famous for Cattle Auction that takes place every Friday. These are brought by their owners from nearby villages. Explore the new souq complex that has been sensitively designed using Omani fort architecture and elegant Islamic arches. At the far end and through the gate - this leads up to Nizwa Fort. The 17th century round tower fort nearby is Oman’s most impressive tower, built on a solid base of rock; designed to withstand the vibrations of 24 cannons. From the top, a superb panoramic view gives visitors a bird’s eye view all around Nizwa and the surrounding plains - a sure delight for all avid photographers! Return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L)
Friday, Nov 10
Nizwa to Wahiba Sands
Have an early breakfast then depart to the Friday market, the weekly once cattle market. Every Friday, there is cattle market at the souq wherein cattle sellers auction their cattles to locals. They move with cattles in the souq and do the bidding for their cattles. This a old market for cattles and atmosphere is electrifying especially before Eid. We carry onto to Mudhaybi. Visit old village Munziff in Ibra and have local lunch. Then we leave for wahiba Sands, along narrow strip of high dunes and sketchy woodland along the unspoiled coastline of eastern Oman. In the north of Wahiba Sands are the most incredible sand dunes, some reaching a colossal 300 feet high and separated by enormous depressions. The Wahiba Sands is also home to the traditional Bedouins. We will visit one of the Bedouin houses. There are over 3000 Bedu of varying tribal origins who live here amongst the woodland on the fringes of the sands. Check in at Desert night Camp or similar and overnight. (B,L,D)
Saturday, Nov 11
Wahiba Sands to Ras Al Hadd
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and depart to Wadi Bani Khalid, considered one of the most beautiful wadis (Valleys) in Oman. The drive to Wadi Bani Khalid is through the Eastern Hajar Mountains, which offers a panoramic view of landscape. Here the road winds down to the wadi alongside a large, shallow pool fringed with vegetation and ends at a village. We continue on a short trek to the deep blue pools of the wadi. Enjoy a swim in this glorious grace of nature. (Local lunch en-route) We continue our drive to Ras Al Junaiyz, a sanctuary for the green turtles. Check into the Raz Al jinz turtle reserve. Early Dinner at the resort and at night you will be escorted to the beach by trained guides to watch the turtles coming into nest on the sands. Return to the resort for overnight. (B,L,D)
Sunday, Nov 12
Ras Al Hadd to Salalah
Proceed this morning to Sur, a seafaring town. Visit a dhow shipyard before taking the highway for Muscat, a Photo stop at Bibi Miriam’s tomb and the Bimah Sinkhole. Explore the beautiful Wadi Arbayeen then proceed to Muscat via Quriyat. Local Lunch en route and then transfer to the airport for your flight to Salalah. In the evening upon arrival meet & transfer to Crowne Plaza Resort or similar for check in and overnight. (B,L)
Monday, Nov 13
Today we begin a half day city tour. Our first stop will be at the Grand Mosque, one of the newest attractions in Salalah. We proceed to visit Hafa Souk then visit the Biblical “Nabi Ayoub” Prophet Job’s Tomb, perched high up in the “Jebels” (mountains). Proceed to Mughsail Beach where “Blow-holes”- (perforations in the limestone rock) through which sea water gushes during high tide, experience the Hairpin Bend Roads which will take you to a wadi. At the nearby bird sanctuary, one may see seasonal birds. Once traded as a commodity more precious than gold, frankincense harvested in Dhofar is rated the best in the world. Have lunch at a local restaurant then return to your resort, rest of the day at leisure and overnight. (B,L)
Tuesday, Nov 14
Visit the fishing village of Taqa, an old town with an Interesting castle surrounded by watchtowers and Taqa stone houses. Proceed onward to Khor Rori creek, the site of the ruined city of Samhuram and capital of ancient Arabia’s frankincense trade. Mirbat, the ancient capital of Dhofar, was an important town as early as the 9th century for its trade in frankincense, horses and slaves. See some of the old houses famous for its woodcarvings. If lucky see boatloads of fish arriving into the harbor. One of Dhofar’s best-known historic sites is Bin Ali’s Tomb. The twin domed structure; tomb of Mohamed bin Ali who died in 1135 AD is a fine example of medieval architecture. Lunch at a local restaurant, return to your resort and rest of the day at leisure and overnight at the resort. (B,L)
Wednesday, Nov 15
Salalah to Muscat
Proceed to the Airport to catch your flight to Muscat. Upon arrival, meet by our representative and transfer to Tulip Inn Hotel or similar, rest of the day at leisure and overnight (B,L)
Thursday, Nov 16
Muscat to US or ZNZ
Breakfast at hotel then proceed to the Airport for your flight back home or to Zanzibar arriving the same day, upon arrival meet and transfer to your hotel for check in and overnight. (B)
Friday, Nov 17
City, Spice and Prison Island Tours
After breakfast, drive to Kizimbani for the spice tour. Visit the spice plantations where you will have the opportunity to pick, smell, and savour fruits and spices which you have probably never seen on the supermarket shelf, Cloves, star fruit, tangerine trees, lemon grass, mangos teen, 'lipstick trees', to name but a few what you can expect to see! This is the cheapest place to buy locally made perfumes and oils. After the tour we can enjoy with a locally prepared lunch on the spice plantation or proceed to Stone Town for lunch and tour. This two or three hours tour begins with a visit to Zanzibar's colorful market, alive with the buzz of locals bartering fresh vegetables and baskets of tropical fruit, amongst the heady aroma of herbs and spices, we continue onto the site of a cathedral built in 1874 then to the Zanzibar Museum, Tippu Tip's House and the former British Club. Your tour ends with a stroll through the narrow streets of Stone Town. After the tour we can relax for a while before catching our boat to Prison Island. The island offers a stunning view of the Town especially during the night; there is very beautiful minor sandy beach where swimming on the crystal waters is marvelous. The coral reefs surrounding the island provide an opportunity of snorkeling. This is also a home of the giant tortoise, which is now under strict conservation. A short-guided tour around the island will provide the real picture. After the tour, return to Stone Town. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Saturday, Nov 18
Full day Safari Blue Tour
After breakfast we drive to Fumba beach for safari blue tour. This is a full day trip on locally constructed sailing dhows, fitted with outboard motors, marine VHF radios, life jackets and other security requirements. The dhow anchors in a safe and shallow area to allow for snorkeling. High quality snorkeling materials are provided, and a large range of sizes is available. Lunch is served on a sand bank or on one of the many uninhabited island in the region. A traditional dish of barbecued fish, rice, lentils and fish curry is served. Chilled fruit juice, mineral water, and bottled soft drinks are available throughout the tour. After lunch, clients can sail on an outrigger canoe carved out of a single mango tree, snorkel and swim or just relax. Return to Fumba is by sail, wind permitting, and return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Sunday, Nov 19
Zanzibar to US
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the US.