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Day 1: Arrive in Dubai
Upon arrival a transfer will be waiting for you at the airport. Day is free to rest or explore on your own. In the evening, meet your Tour Leader, National Guide and fellow travellers for a welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2: Dubai Sites
Today we set out on a city tour of this fascinating city. Our first stop is the striking sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel. Located on the sands of Jumeirah Beach, on an artificial island, this luxury hotel is the fourth tallest in the world, at 1,053 feet (321 meters). We continue with your guide along the shoreline to Jumeirah, one of Dubai's upmarket residential areas. See the winding lanes that lead to hidden courtyards and the mud-brick homes topped by traditional wind towers, designed to catch cooling offshore breezes.
Day 3: Abu Dhabi Sites
Abu Dhabi is close enough to Dubai to make it a perfect day trip from Dubai. In Abu Dhabil, the first destination is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world. We then continue to the Women’s Handicraft Centre. Admire the skill and dexterity of local ladies making traditional handicrafts. This center was established to provide training and job opportunities for women in the region, as well as preserve and protect the local heritage.
Day 4: Dubai, To Khasab, Fortress
Today we have a free morning in Dubai before departing for our drive to Khasab. After lunch, we visit the Fortress in Khasab.
Day 5: Fjords of Musandam - Dhow cruise
Today we can enjoy a full day Dhow cruise. Enjoy an unforgettable day cruising along the “Fjords of Musandam” on board our traditional Omani Dhow, where you can sit comfortably on cushions and carpets while feasting your eyes on the striking scenery. A Dhow trip to the fjords offers an insight into its fantastic landscape. During the Dhow cruise you can cruise into the fjords of Musandam and discover different villages. The Dhow is anchored at the famous Telegraph Island as well as Seebi Island where you can swim and snorkel in the clear waters. There is also the possibility to see dolphins along the way. Lunch and refreshments will be served on board. Snorkeling equipment and towels are be provided. We return to Khasab for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Fly to Muscat, Mutrah Souk
Today we take a flight that will take us to Oman's captial sity of Muscat. In the evening, we visit the famous old Mutrah Souk (market) on the Corniche, a great place to browse, shop, enjoy the ambience and maybe even practice you bartering skills.
Day 7: Bandar Khayan Fjords by boat, Muscat Sites
Our exploration of the city starts with the visit to the Grand Mosque, The 3rd biggest mosque in the world and a very good example of modern Omani architecture. The Grand Mosque, until recently was home to the largest Persian carpet in the world. We continue our exploration with a boat excursion to Bandar Khayan Fjords before lunch.
Day 8: To Sur via Wadi Shab and Qalhat
Today we travel to Sur by coastal route using 4-wheel drive vehicles. A very scenic journey, the road is paved in portions but also goes though Wadi Dayquat and across the jebel (range of hills). We visit the Quariyat Castle, the Bimmah Sinkhole and Fins Beach enroute to Sur. We stop in Wadi Shab, said to be one of the most beautiful places in Oman, with waterfalls and turquoise pools.
Day 9: Bilad Sur Castle, Dhow yards, Turtle watching
This morning we see the sights of Sur. We stop at the Bilad Sur Castle, built over 200 years ago and Sunysilah Castle which is 300 years old. We then visit the Dhow Yards and if there is any construction going on we will spend some time seeing these wooden boats being built by hand. Next, we proceed to Ras al-Hadd for dinner. This evening, we visit Ras Al-Jinz, the easternmost point in Oman and the natural nesting beach for endangered Green Back turtles. Oman is a vital area for Green Turtles in the Indian Ocean and the Green Back Turtle is heavily protected by the government of the country. In fact, over 275 of the Sultanate's beaches double-up as nesting grounds for five of the seven recognized species of sea turtles, the most common being the Green Back Turtle. After dark, we are led to the beach by a warden to (hopefully) see the females return to their beach to lay eggs. (Please note that the main nesting season is Jun-Aug, at other times of the year, there may not be turtles every night).
Day 10: Oasis, Great Wahiba Sands & Bedouin Tents
After breakfast we drive to Wadi Bani Khalid, a beautiful oasis in the middle of barren mountains. (Wadi means a valley or ravine that is dry except in the rainy season). We have time to visit some of the villages located in the area before proceeding to the Great Wahiba Sands. The Great Wahiba Sands are longitudinal sand dunes that run south from the Eastern Hajars to the Arabian Sea. The dunes are 100-150 metres high in stunning shades of orange to amber.
Day 11: Desert experience, Camel Safari, Bedouin Village
Today we venture into the desert wilderness. We visit a Bedouin house, before driving across the dunes to the beach to enjoy our picnic lunch. This afternoon, we return to the camp to experience a short camel safari (optional but included in price).
Day 12: Camel Farm, Ibra, Jabal Akhdar
For those that wish to rise early, a sunrise walk in the dunes is a wonderful way to start the day. We then begin traveling towards Jabal Akhdar. Enroute, we stop in the town of Ibra and walk through the old section of town. We continue to Al Mudaibi to visit a camel farm. Traveling to Samail, we pass through a lush oasis to the Samail Gap. We arrive at Jabal Akhdar for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Hike to Wadi Habib
Jebel Akhdar translates to "Green Mountains" and is one of the most scenic areas in Oman. This morning we hike (2-3 hours) to Wadi Habib and we see the lovely terraced plantations, old mud homes, fruit plantations and rose gardens, rose water production is a cottage industry in this area. After a picnic lunch, we visit Birkat Al Mauz village before making our way to Nizwa, located in a palm tree oasis, high in the mountains.
Day 14: Nizwa Fort, Souk, Bahla, Jarbin Castle
This morning we take a walking tour of the town and Nizwa Fort, built in the 17th century and climb the tower to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. We also visit the town's souk (market) where you can look for the silver khanjars - a curved Omani dagger that is an important symbol of manhood and wealth.
Day 15: Wadi Ghul - the Grand Canyon of Arabia
Today is an exciting day of natural beauty and Omani traditions and customs. Our first stop this morning is at the abandomed village of Wadi Ghul, in the Jebel Shams. Jebel Shams means "Mountain of the Sun" and is the highest peak in Oman. Right beside the mountain is Wadi Ghul, the Omanis call it the "Grand Canyon of Arabia". We hike from the village to Wadi Nakhr (3 hours), an old, remote villags. The main industry in Wadi Nakhr is carpet weaving and we hope to see a demonstration while we are there. We continue on to Al Hamra, one of the oldest villages in the country and after lunch, we learn about ancient Omani daily life including Qahwa (coffee) making, the making of Omani bread, percolating of rose water, grain grinding, extraction of Alshoa medicine, the making of perfumes and frankincense and hand tailoring of the Omani Kumma (male head cover).
Day 16: Wadi Bani Awf, Mountain crossing
Today we will cross the Jebel Shams Mountain range to the north side into the flatlands of the batinah region. From the Mountain Plateau, we take a breathe-taking adventurous switchback road, offering spectacular view into large canyons, into the Wadi Bani Awf. In the Wadi, we will stop for a picnic break before continuing to Muscat.
Day 17: Fly to Salalah - Souks, Sites & Frankincense
We fly to Salalah, the capital of the southernmost province of Dhofar. We start exploration at the “The Museum of the Frankincense Land”, in Balid Archaeological Park, a UNESCO heritage site. The Frankincense Land Museum is the latest addition to Oman’s heritage and cultural scene. It houses two main halls, namely the History Hall, depicting the geography, history of the ancient Frankincense trail and the historical background of the Sultanate through a number of archaeological findings and the Marine Hall, featuring displays about the development of Oman’s rich marine history. A complete history of the Maritime trade & ship building industry of Oman could be experienced here, with meticulously carved replicas of the ancient boats & ships of the Omani Maritime trade.
Day 18: Salalah - Taqah Castle, Ancient cities, Tomb of the Prophet Job
Our excursion begins in the morning with a visit to the old fishing village of 'Taqah', famous for the manufacture of 'Dried Sardines' & its traditional & old 'Dhofari Houses'. Visit the century old 'Taqah Castle', the former official residence of the 'Wali' (Governor) of the region & obtain a glimpse into the rich history of the region.
Day 19: Fly to Muscat
We fly back to the capital city of Muscat. We have a free afternoon before we meet for our farewell dinner.
Day 20: Depart Muscat
We say a fond farewell to Oman with a transfer to the airport for our departure flights.
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