To include Salalah in an Oman trip is to see a different side to this varied country. Whether it is during a longer first time visit or an irresistible return journey, Salalah might not have quite the slick hotels of central Oman but the history and landscapes far outweigh the fluffy towels.
Salalah is more humid and lush than the rest of Oman, thanks to the summer monsoon and thus offers a different landscape and feel. A visit to this southern region offers further insight into Oman and gives a deeper understanding of its history and landscapes. Home to frankincense souqs, historical sites, the vast Empty Quarter and even the ‘Lost City of Ubar’ originally discovered by NASA, the south is well worth adding onto a longer itinerary, which includes the classic sites of Oman or perfect for a return visit to this fascinating country.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.
what is included
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PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.
Fly London to Muscat
Muscat is the capital city of Oman and a fascinating clash of old and new. Aesthetically the city is unabashedly contemporary, yet expressions of the city's rich past and traditions are very much evident. The veneer of modernity, supplied by astonishing state-of-the-art architecture, cloaks an ancient cultural heritage and it is this intriguing blend that makes Muscat such an alluring city.
Day at leisure in Muscat
You will be staying at The Chedi Muscat
Full Day City TourVisit the Royal Opera House and the beautiful Grand Mosque; Ladies are required to cover their heads, shoulders, arms and legs for a visit. Drive past the two well-preserved 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, which dominate the old walled town and drive along the attractive Muttrah corniche, which stretches along the seafront. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Muttrak Souk. See the old town which consists of old houses; narrow streets and three beautifully carved original gates. The New Mosque and the Sultan's Palace will also be visited. Finish your tour with a visit to the Bait Al Zubair Musuem. This splendid old house depicts the history of the city through interactive exhibits.
Hud Hud: Muscat to Wahiba Sands
Leaving Muscat after breakfast you are met and driven through Wadi Mayh before joining the coastal road that runs between Muscat and Sur. Before long we turn away from the sea and head up the northern face of the eastern Hajar Mountains. Following a steep gravel track that, in a short time, takes us to the peak of the impressive Selmah Plateau over 2,000m above sea level. Views to the north are of the Arabian Sea and, to the south in the hazy distance, the Wahiba Desert. This track passes ancient villages that were, until a couple of years ago, only accessible on foot or by donkey. This long, west facing ridge is spectacularly lined with numerous beehive tombs built by the Umm Naa people in around 2500BC. Here we will stop for a delicious and freshly prepared picnic lunch. By mid afternoon we leave the mountains behind us and head through Wadi Tayeen. Passing the 18th Century fort at Mudayrib and with the sun beginning to drop, we enter the desert and drive the final stretch on sandy tracks before reaching our camp, set-up within the russet red dunes.
Wahiba Sands are home to the most incredible sand dunes, some reaching a colossal 100 metres high and separated by enormous depressions. These beautiful dunes stretch as far as the eye can see and it is a spectacular sight especially in the evening and the morning, when the warm colours of the desert become much richer and the long shadows accentuate the splendour of these giant forms. The sands are made of grains of rock, blown in from nearby eroded rocks and marine sediments and they are moving inland at a pace of about 10 metres a year.
You will be staying at Desert Nights Camp
Drive from Wahiba Sands to Nizwa via Sinaw and Birkat al Mouz
The journey will take approximately four hours and will include several breaks en route.Stop to visit to Sinaw's lively Bedouin Souq and to explore the small date-cultivating oasis town of Birkat al Mouz. The latter site features an ancient 'falaj' irrigation system, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Nizwa is the main town in the interior province. It was the capital in the 6th and 7th centuries. The town's immense palm oasis stretches for 13km (8 miles) along the course of two wadis. It is famous for its fort and its gold and silver handicrafts. Nizwa Fort was raised over a period of 12 years by Imam Sultan bin Saif in the late 17th century.
You will be staying at Falaj Daris Hotel
Explore NizwaNizwa is Oman’s historic cultural capital and famed for its fort and its gold and silver handicrafts. Visit Nizwa Fort was raised over a period of 12 years by Imam Sultan bin Saif in the late 17th century and wander through the old and new shops of Nizwa’s souq.
Drive from Nizwa to Jebel Akhdar (Road Journey)
Driven over the dunes towards Jebel Akhdar and via Wadi Bani Khalid, which is made up of small villages embedded in the mountains. Continue to Wadi Al Madeen, from where a 36 km stretch of winding road leads to Jebel Al Akhdar (2000 metres above sea level), the green jewel of the Al Hajjar mountain ranges.
The Jebel Akhdar or Djebel Akhdar meaning The Green Mountain extends about 300 km northwest to southeast, between 50-100 km inland from the Gulf of Oman coast. The highest point, Jabel Shams (the mountain of the sun), is around 3,000 metres high. It is the highest point in Oman and the whole of eastern Arabia, making up the central section of the Jebel Hajar range.
You will be staying at Sahab Hotel
Jebel Akhdar WalkingSpend some time walking in the mountains. Al Jebel Al Akhdar is famed for its fruit orchards typically laid out terrace style along the slopes of mountains with natural springs and aflaj. Visit the villages of Saiq, Wadi Bani Habib (the village of the old houses) and Al Ain.
Drive from Jebel Akhdar to Muscat (Road Journey)
Driven back to Muscat via Wadi Bani Awf and Nahkl fort and Springs.
Fly Muscat to Southern Oman and Salalah
Salalah is the capital of Dofar, the southern region of Oman. It is a city set amongst coconut groves and banana plantations, sprawled along sandy beaches that run the length of its plain. The lush vegetation makes Salalah seem almost tropical coupled with the summer monsoon known as the Khareef. Salalah is home to frankincense souqs, historic sites such as Jobs Tomb and is the gateway to the Empty Quarter.
You will be staying at Hilton Salalah
Optional visit to Salalah Museum and Al Balid or visit to the Empty Quarter.
Full day exploring and seeing Frankincense TreesVisit the Biblical 'Nabi Ayoub' Prophet Job’s Tomb, perched high up in the mountains. En route are spectacular views of the plains, mountain landscape and green pastures. Continue to Mughsail Beach to see the impressive 'blow-holes' through which sea water gushes during high tide. Travel up for 15kms to the wadi where the views are breathtaking due to the height. En route back stop to see frankincense trees, which dot the landscape, and were once a commodity more precious than gold.
Fly Southern Oman and Salalah to Muscat
Fly Muscat to London
Phone: +44 (0) 1285 651 010
Phone: +44(0) 1285 651 010
+44 (0) 1285 651 010
+44(0) 1285 651 010
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