- Wahiba Sands
Spend the night in the Omani desert in a traditional Bedouin tent.
- Bustling souqs
Seek out authentic souvenirs at one of Oman’s oldest marketplaces.
- Impressive Omani architecture
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, completed in 2001, can hold up to 20,000 worshippers.
- Nahkal Fort
Visit this imposing Omani fort, surrounded by an oasis of palm trees.
- Wadi Shab
Cool off in the turquoise pools of Wadi Shab.
- VIP door to door
- All breakfasts and more
For traditional charms and Bedouin values
Expect a warm welcome on your visit to the Middle East’s best kept secret. Oman is an intriguing mix of rich heritage and modern day living, from bustling souqs to contemporary architecture. Discover unspoiled landscapes of vast sand dunes, sparkling wadis, rugged mountains, and pristine beaches on a tour of Oman’s highlights. You’ll spend an evening with a Bedouin family, visit historic forts and ruins, sleep under the stars in the desert, and seek out nesting green turtles on a journey from the country’s capital, Muscat, through ancient Nizwa and the copper-coloured Wahiba Sands, to Ras Al Jinz on the country’s eastern tip.
6 nights in hotels and 1 in flight
17 meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Porterage at all hotels
- Tourist visa for full British Citizens resident in the UK
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque visit
- Meet a Bedouin family
- Souq visits
- Sunset dune walk
- Explore Nakhal Fort and hot springs
- Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve
- Wadi Bani Khalid pools
Day 1 UK-Muscat, Oman
After taking Saga’s included VIP door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly overnight to Muscat, the capital city of Oman.
Day 2 Muscat
Arrive in Muscat early in the morning and transfer to the locally rated 4-star Al Falaj Hotel. Sitting on the Gulf of Oman, and backed by the rugged Al-Hajar mountain range, Muscat is a beautifully preserved port city that contrasts historic character with contemporary architecture. Oman’s most populous city is formed of several smaller towns grown together, and due to the Sultan’s preferences the skyline of the Muscat is unlike any other capital city, with modern construction following traditional architectural styles. For the adventurous, the capital has a lot to offer, including mountain climbing, trekking, desert safaris and incredible diving and snorkelling locations. D
Day 3 Muscat
After breakfast set off on an included city tour of Muscat. The highlight of the tour will be the Grand Mosque, a modern architectural wonder built for the Sultan Qaboos, and completed in 2001, to mark his 30th year of reign. From here visit the Bait Al Zubair museum, home to an extensive collection of Omani artefacts including stamps, furniture and handicrafts, the Al Alam Palace, and the Muttrah Souq – one of the oldest marketplaces in the Arab world, selling an array of oils, spices, textiles and antiques. You’ll return to your hotel to spend the afternoon at leisure. B, D
Day 4 Muscat-Nizwa
Depart your hotel after breakfast and begin your journey to the historic town of Nizwa.
Pause en-route at the Seeb fish market for the chance to experience true Omani culture, before continuing to an Amouage perfumery where you can learn about the making of one of the world’s most expensive perfumes. Complete your journey with a stop at the Nakhal Fort. Re-built in the 17th-century to control trade into the town of Nizwa, the fort was fully renovated in 1990 and is an impressive example of traditional Omani architecture. After climbing the sand coloured walls of the imposing fort, take in the panoramic views and then head down to the Nakhal hot springs for a relaxing soak.
Arrive in Nizwa, one of Oman’s oldest cities, set beneath some of the country’s highest mountains and surrounded by an oasis of date palms. Transfer to the locally rated 3-star Falaj Daris Hotel for a two-night stay on a full board basis. B, L, D
Please note: Nakhal Fort may be closed during your visit. If so, you will visit the nearby Naman Fort instead.
Day 5 Nizwa
Today enjoy a full day of sightseeing, first visiting Bahla Fort, the only fort in the world to be granted UNESCO-listing, and then explore Jabreen Castle, admiring the impressive Omani woodcarvings and painted ceilings. Next, travel north to the village of Al Hamra, famed for its date plantations, to see the wonderfully preserved mudbrick houses built in the Yemeni style, and the ruined village of Tanuf destroyed during the Jebel Akhdar rebellion in the 1950’s. Lunch today is at a local restaurant in Nizwa. B, L, D
Day 6 Nizwa-Wahiba Sands
After breakfast visit the imposing Nizwa Fort and explore the bustling Nizwa Souq, selling a myriad of goods from fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, to spices, dates and silverware for which the city is famed. Don’t miss the opportunity to pick up some traditional Omani handicraft souvenirs! Depart Nizwa and drive to the Wahiba Sands, pausing at Birkat Al Mouz, two ruined towns surrounded by lush banana plantations. On arrival in the Wahiba Sands desert, you’ll spend the evening with a Bedouin family, learning about their nomadic lifestyle, and enjoy Kahwa – a local Omani coffee, brewed using a traditional desert method, before an evening dune walk to see the sunset. Stay overnight at the locally rated 3-star 1000 Nights Camp in a luxury authentic Bedouin tent, complete with WC and shower and equipped with electricity. B, L, D
Day 7 Wahiba Sands-Ras Al Jinz
Today you’ll set off for the east coast, stopping at Wadi Bani Khalid, a picturesque valley with green palm trees and turquoise pools – the perfect spot for a refreshing swim. Continue on to the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve, a world renowned nesting location for the endangered green turtle, where you’ll stay overnight in the scientific research centre. After an early dinner, take a guided walk to the beach to see where the females return to the beach to lay their eggs. B, L, D
Please note: The peak season for turtle nesting is May to September, and sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Day 8 Ras Al Jinz-Muscat-UK
Depart this morning for Sur, historically an important destination for sailors, and today the sea stills plays an important role in daily life. Stop at the local fish market to watch the fisherman unload the catch of the day, and then explore the Dhow shipyard where authentic wooden ships are still built. Continue to Wadi Shab, a popular valley where locals come to swim in the fresh water pools. Transfer to Muscat this afternoon for your return flight to the UK and included door-to-door travel service home. B, L.
3 nights on a half board basis
After your tour fly from Muscat to Salalah, in southern Oman, for a three-night stay at the locally rated 4-star Hilton Salalah Resort.
Save the Green Turtle!
These amazing creatures – only five centimetres long when they hatch – grow to between 65 and 130 kilograms and can live to be 80. Not only that, they are extremely strong swimmers, migrating sometimes thousands of miles between their feeding grounds – where they eat sea grass – and the site of their birth, where they make nests and lay their own eggs. Females do this every two to four years, mating on shore then laying around 115 eggs in the sand. It’s two months before the hatchlings appear then they have a mad and dangerous dash to the sea before they can be snatched by predators. These gentle creatures are now endangered due to getting trapped in fishing nets, hunting, egg harvesting, pollution and loss of their nesting sites. The Turtle Reserve of Ras Al Jinz exists to preserve this important nesting beach on the Indian Ocean, and you could witness the results during your stay here…