In a region set on grandstanding, this mystical land clings determinedly to its past.
The Sultanate of Oman is a country of dramatic landscapes with jagged mountains, deep water fjords, rich green valleys, mighty desert terrains and stunning beaches. Traditional dhows still sail from port to port and in the interior, weaving wadis (river valleys) are studded with date-palm plantations.
In the south eastern corner of the country is Salalah, capital of the Dhofar region and once the heart of the nation's frankincense trade. Facing south over the Arabian Sea, it boasts pristine white beaches to accompany its enviable climate along with beautiful hotels and a stunning natural backdrop of mountains, springs and waterfalls. Don't miss the colourful souks, including the fabulous incense souk, where you can haggle for a bargain or two.
In the northern Musandam Peninsula, which is isolated from the rest of Oman by the east coast of the United Arab Emirates, is spectacular Zighy Bay. Along with the natural beauty of the craggy Hajar Mountains, attractions include superb diving and snorkelling sites.
Away from the beach the capital, Muscat, is a captivating destination. Infused with energy and picturesque charm its streets are packed with craft stalls, shops, museums and ancient forts. Of note are the 16th century Jalali and Mirani forts, the grandiose Al Alam Palace, the attractive Corniche with its promenade, Bait al Zubair Museum and Muttrah’s busy souqs.
Just under three hours from the capital the rugged interior has adventures aplenty, through mighty canyons and the towering dunes of Wahiba Sands which curl and roll to the horizon in every direction. For truly awe-inspiring views, consider spending a few days at a luxury mountain retreat in Jabal Akhdar. The area also has many heritage sites such as Nizwa Fort, the ornate Jabreen Castle and impressive UNESCO listed Bahla Fort.
GMT +4 hours
Muscat is approx 7 hours from the UK. Zighy Bay is 2 hours drive from Dubai. Salalah is about 1¾ hours flight from Muscat.
With virtually guaranteed year-round sunshine, Oman is perfect year round. Summers can be blisteringly hot, with temperatures often in the 40sºC however, this does bring lower prices and therefore it’s great value during our school summer holidays. Winter months see pleasant Mediterranean like temperatures, making Oman a fantastic place to escape the cooler temperatures of the UK.
During Ramadan, it is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public places (including hotels and those offering all inclusive) between sunrise and sunset; and no live entertainment is permitted. Hotels usually provide a private area where non-Muslims can eat during the day. Alcoholic drinks are not served in hotels (including those offering all inclusive) on dry days and other days stipulated by the government. Please ask for more details at time of booking.
A visa may be required. Please ask for details.Find out more
The waters around Oman are filled with extensive marine life including dolphins, which you can hopefully see during this two hour trip. Seen all year around, dolphins make exciting watching as they circle the boat in search of tuna, mackerel and sardines. While sighting dolphins is common there is no guarantee.
During this half day tour visit the Grand Mosque (excluding Fridays) for a brief introduction into Oman’s history and development. Drive along the Corniche to visit the fish market and colourful Muttrah Souq before a photo stop at the official palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, and the magnificent Al Alam Palace, which is flanked by the 16th century Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali. Dress code applies for Grand Mosque.
This full day tour begins with a visit to the Nizwa Round Tower Fort and the Nizwa Souk. Continue to the pretty village of Birkat Al Mauz for a walk through the lush date platntations. Proceed onwards and upwards to Jebel Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajar Mountains and truly unique spot in the Arabian Peninsula.