London - Muscat
Arrive in Muscat in the morning. You will be met and escorted through the visa/immigration process in the Premium Plaza Lounge, before being taken to your world-class hotel nestled in 200 acres of luxuriant gardens. Enjoy gorgeous views over the Gulf of Oman from your private balcony.
You will have ample time to explore the city with its friendly locals and enticing blend of the old and new. The old port area is a must for history enthusiasts, home to the Sultan’s Palace, whilst the Mutrah district is known as a haven for souvenir shoppers. Don’t miss the magnificent Al Jalali, Mirani and Mutrah Forts, or a stroll through the bustling Old Mutrah Souk.
Stay: One night in a deluxe room with sea view at the Al Bustan Palace – bed & breakfast
Al Hajar Mountains
This morning you will be collected by your driver and guide in a 4×4 vehicle, ready to begin your adventure into Oman’s interior and the outstanding Al Hajar Mountains. A two hour drive will bring you to your hotel, spectacularly located on a cliff top with jaw-dropping views over the ‘Green Mountain’ gorge.
The next day you will venture to the picturesque village of Birkat Al Mauz with its lush date plantations, before following a winding road to Jebel Akhdar. The ‘green jewel’ of the Al Hajar Mountains, Jebel Akhdar is known for its terraced fruit orchards and rose bushes that carpet the mountain slopes. The dramatic landscape is scattered with quaint villages whose locals cultivate the land and distil rose water from the native rose petals.
Stay: Two nights in a mountain view room at the Alila Jabal Akhdar Resort – bed & breakfast
This morning you will be taken to explore the ancient capital of Nizwa with its impressive collection of historical buildings and 17th century fort. After exploring the city’s souk, famed for its ornate silver jewellery, you will continue on to Wahiba Sands, stopping en route to see the fine fort at Jabreen with its beautiful ceiling murals.
You reach Wahiba Sands before sunset, an astonishing ocean of red and white sand with dunes that rise up to 200 metres – a dream for the keen photographer. You’ll sleep out in the desert in a luxury, Bedouin-style tent, complete with air conditioning and en-suite bathroom. During your stay you’ll can visit a local Bedouin family, go quad biking, take a camel safari at sunset and try sand boarding on the dunes.
Stay: One night in a luxury tent suite at Desert Nights Camp – half board
Ras Al Jinz
On day six you will drive to the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula to stay at a world-famous turtle reserve. The Ras Al Jinz beach is renowned as one of the most important nesting sites for green turtles, and you will have the amazing opportunity to watch the nesting process of these endangered sea giants.
Stay: One night in a double standard room at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve – bed & breakfast
Your journey now takes you back to Muscat. Along the way you’ll visit the ruins of Bibi Miriam’s Tomb at Qalhat, and see the Bimah Sinkhole – a spectacular limestone crater with blue-green waters at its base.
You now have time to completely unwind at a luxurious five-star resort overlooking the Gulf of Oman. You can try your hand at a variety of activities, from dolphin watching and snorkelling to dive excursions catered to both novices and experts alike. Alternatively, you may prefer to kick back by the pool or soak up some sunshine on the private beach.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room with sea view at Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa – bed & breakfast
Muscat – London
From your hotel you’ll be driven to Muscat Airport for your return flight to London Heathrow.
It was a complicated and very individual trip, and several changes were made by me during the planning. None of this seemed to worry Ayesha and everything went according to plan.- AM, India, 2014