Northern Oman: Wadis, Mountains & Coasts

Group Tour

9 Days From £3,295

Overview

This 9-day tour introduces us to the highlights of Northern Oman as we travel along coastal roads and through ancient ports to the majestic landscapes of the Hajar Mountains, discovering tranquil oases, historic forts and colourful markets along the way.

We begin the tour in Muscat, a capital which offers a compelling blend of the old and new, before setting off along stunning coastal roads to the ancient port city of Sur. Set in the mouth of the Gulf of Oman, Sur was once a major port ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

8 x Breakfasts
9 x Lunches
9 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

This tour is predominantly in 4WDs but a minibus may be used for our tour of Muscat

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

3 nights x Premium
5 nights x Superior

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will mostly be in hotels, with one night in a fixed camp with simple chalets when we spend the night in the desert and another in a heritage hotel in Nizwa. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Northern Oman: Wadis, Mountains & Coasts
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MUSCAT

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN MUSCAT

The tour starts from Oman’s International airport. We will head straight to the magnificent mosque of Sultan Qaboos, one of the largest in the Arab world, whose grand marble halls are capable of holding some 20,000 people, after which we will begin our guided tour of the city. One of Arabia’s most picturesque cities, Muscat lies within the protective embrace of a ring of horse-shoe mountains that run down into the glittering waters of Muscat Bay. We will drive along the engaging sea-front to the Al Alam Palace and the 16th century Portuguese forts of Jalali and Mirani. We will also have a chance to visit Muscat’s renowned Muttrah souq, one of the best in the region.

Al Faraj or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: MUSCAT - BIMMAH SINK HOLE - WADI SHAB - SUR

DAY 2: MUSCAT - BIMMAH SINK HOLE - WADI SHAB - SUR

We set off south along the coast this morning, first visiting Bimmah Sink Hole, a depression filled with crystal clear turquoise water that some locals believe was formed by a meteor. We then head to Wadi Shab, one of Oman’s most spectacular wadis, which can be reached via a remote pathway, taking us over boulders and through streams, before reaching this stunning natural swimming pool where we can enjoy a dip. After enjoying lunch at the nearby restaurant, we continue on to the port town of Sur. Once a major port trading mainly with East Africa, this interesting town perfectly exemplifies Oman's seafaring traditions. Here we can enjoy a wander through a labyrinth of streets, home to many fine old houses with carved doors and arabesque windows. Sur is most famous for its Dhow building, and so a visit to the shipyard will hopefully give us a glimpse of some of the craftsmen at work.

Sur Plaza or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: SUR - WADI BANI KHALID - WAHIBA SANDS

DAY 3: SUR - WADI BANI KHALID - WAHIBA SANDS

This morning we leave Sur and drive inland towards the deserts of the Wahiba Sands. En route we visit Wadi Bani Khalid, another of Oman's most beautiful wadis, a picture-perfect oasis with palms trees lying next to crystal-clear water. After a chance to explore on foot or have a swim, we then drive into the vast, open landscapes of the Wahiba Sands, over 10,000 square kilometres of shifting sands and towering dunes that are home to isolated settlements of semi-nomadic Bedouin. En route we stop at the home of a Bedouin family where we can enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch in the company of our welcoming hosts. Driving through an ever-changing landscape of colours and contours, we eventually reach our fixed camp in the heart of the desert.

Sama Al Wasil Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: WAHIBA SANDS - IBRA - BIRKAT AL MAUZ - JEBEL AKHDAR

DAY 4: WAHIBA SANDS - IBRA - BIRKAT AL MAUZ - JEBEL AKHDAR

The adventure turns west today, towards the Hajar Mountains and the limestone slopes of Jebel Akhdar (the Green Mountain). Stopping off at the old town of Ibra en route, we have a chance to visit the local women’s market, a colourful display of fabrics, exquisite embroidery, and handicrafts. Continuing on our journey into the mountains, we can soak up the rich natural and cultural diversity of village life in this area, with visits to Al Munisifeh and Birkat Al Mauz. A fascinating insight into local Omani culture, the day is filled with wonderful scenery, captivating villages, ancient labyrinthine water systems and orchards of walnuts, pomegranates and damask roses.

Sama Hotel Jabal Al Akhdar or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: JEBEL AKHDAR - BAHLA & JABRIN FORTS - NIZWA

DAY 5: JEBEL AKHDAR - BAHLA & JABRIN FORTS - NIZWA

This morning we enjoy a short walk through the nearby local villages. Beyond being scenically stunning, the area is rich with produce including Damask roses, pomegranates, walnuts, juniper trees, and more. We can learn about the traditional open-air water system known as ‘Falaj’, which winds its way around the villages, filling the area with the sound of running water. Following a brief photo stop to take in the UNESCO World Heritage setting of Bahla Fort, we move on to Jabrin, possibly the finest of Oman's 17th century fortresses, whose exquisite painted wooden ceilings provide an eloquent testimony to the skills of the fort's original builders. We end the day in the town of Nizwa, the historical and heritage capital of Oman.

Nizwa Heritage Inn or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: NIZWA - AL HAMRA - JEBEL SHAMS

DAY 6: NIZWA - AL HAMRA - JEBEL SHAMS

This morning we experience the hustle and bustle of Nizwa’s Friday cattle market, the largest in Oman and an exciting way to see local life and learn about Omani culture. The souq is also in full swing on a Friday morning, and we will see many local Omanis and Bedouin communities travelling down from the mountains to sell their goats, bulls and the occasional camel. The livestock market is usually busiest between 7–9am, so expect an early start. From here we then visit the famous round tower fort of Nizwa, built in the 17th century to guard the Sumail Gap during the struggle between the Sultan and the Radical Imams. This fort is one of the best examples of defensive architecture in the country and it’s worth climbing to the top of the tower to get a great view of the city and surrounding date plantations. We continue on to Al Hamra and its incredibly atmospheric old town, where there are mud houses dating back 400 years that are still occupied. Here we visit a heritage house where we can enjoy lunch, before driving on to Jebel Shams via the ‘Grand Canyon’ viewpoint.

Sama Heights Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: JEBEL SHAMS - 'GRAND CANYON' WALK - MISFAT AL ABRIYEEN

DAY 7: JEBEL SHAMS - 'GRAND CANYON' WALK - MISFAT AL ABRIYEEN

At over 3,000 metres, Jebel Shams (The Mountain of the Sun) is one of the highest points on the eastern Arabian Peninsula. Often called the 'Grand Canyon' of Oman, these mountains stretch in a 700-kilometre arc that is filled with hidden valleys and fertile oases. This morning we will embark on a spectacular walk along the rim of the canyon, enjoying the views out across Wadi Ghul and its fertile expanse of fig, apricot and pomegranate trees. We then continue to Misfat Al Abriyeen, an old mountain village and one of Oman’s prettiest, resplendent with its crumbling buildings and the atmospheric sounds of the open-air, falaj water systems. Here we can enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and explore the area before enjoying some downtime at our hotel later in the afternoon, a stunning spot high up on the mountain.

The View or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: JEBEL SHAMS - BILAD SAYT - WADI BANI AWF - MUSCAT

DAY 8: JEBEL SHAMS - BILAD SAYT - WADI BANI AWF - MUSCAT

The drive back to Muscat today takes us through Wadi Bani Awf and Bilad Sayt, an idyllic mountain village with a wealth of picturesque terraces. We spend some time exploring this area with a walk around the village and in the canyon, before enjoying some lunch nearby and driving on to Muscat for our final evening.

Al Falaj Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: TOUR ENDS IN MUSCAT

DAY 9: TOUR ENDS IN MUSCAT

The tour ends after breakfast today.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

With local people, culture and eco-systems in mind, responsible travel and sustainable tourism are at the core of Wild Frontiers. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our travellers but also benefits the people and places we visit.

When designing our tours, we actively seek out experiences that have a positive impact on the communities and precious environments we visit - from supporting social enterprises; resting our heads in rural homestays; and eating at locally owned restaurants; to helping fund conservation projects that protect wildlife and their habitats. 

Visit the Responsible Travel area of our website to read more, including the work of the Wild Frontiers Foundation through which we fundraise to aid community empowerment and education projects.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
WY 102 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:05 Muscat Airport (MCT) 07:15
WY 101 Muscat Airport (MCT) 14:10 London Heathrow (LHR) 18:25

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Oman (if staying less than 14 days)

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements. 

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Central & Southern Oman

Central & Southern Oman

After enjoying the highlights of the north, why not take some extra time and head south where there is still so much more to discover, from the mystical dunes of the Empty Quarter to the Frankincense trees of Salalah. Allow at least 5 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

From October through to late March you can generally expect some great weather in Northern Oman. Expect daytime temperatures in the late 20s to early 30s (C), but be prepared for some cool evening temperatures, especially in the desert.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour.

If you fancy a tipple whilst on holiday, it can be quite hard to get hold of alcohol outside of the main international hotels and therefore it may be worth picking up a bottle in Duty Free of your preferred drink to have while in the more remote parts.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip. On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 7254 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.