Adventures in the Land of Frankincense and Myrrh

Overview

With its jagged peaks, dazzling white mosques, mystical ruins, and lively souks laden with incense and oil, it’s easy to fall under the spell of Oman. On our captivating new expedition with Trip Leader Annie Hawkins—WT’s consummate desert explorer—you’ll uncover the wonders of this enchanting realm. Our journey brings you from opulent Sultan’s palaces and historic Islamic forts to the towering Hajar mountains, where timeless mudbrick villages sit nestled in emerald palm forests, and ancient irrigation channels spiral magically through the arid landscape. We’ll ply the Arabian Sea coast aboard a traditional dhow, mingle with village traders at a spirited goat auction, watch tiny sea turtles hatch by moonlight, and savor a rich local cuisine of succulent kebabs, saffron-infused rice, and cardamom coffee served with sweet dates. Oman’s dramatic wadis and their cool turquoise pools provide perfect natural oases, and our overnight in spectacular Wahiba Sands carries you back in time (in classic WT style!), for a camel ride amid the dunes, memorable visits to Bedouin camps, and an exhilarating 4WD journey across the boundless desert. All along the way we’ll experience the generous spirit of the Omani people and hear intriguing tales of their tribal ancestry and seafaring heritage. Join us for a true adventure into the heart of this mesmerizing land!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Muscat / Western Hajar Mountains

After exploring old Muscat’s Grand Mosque and Muttrah Souk, we head to the rugged Western Hajar, where traditional cliff-hugging villages sit amid gardens and date palm forests. Here you’ll meet an Omani beekeeper, explore historic forts, marvel at Wadi Nakhr, Oman’s “Grand Canyon,” and enjoy a scenic hike to isolated villages.

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Days 6-8
Wahiba Sands / Desert-to-Sea Crossing

At Wahiba Sands, you’ll live the life of a nomad—in WT style!—with camel rides atop the towering golden dunes, visits to Bedouin tribes, and an unforgettable evening under the stars at a luxurious tented camp, with the hypnotic sounds of Bedouin musicians transporting us back in time. A thrilling 4WD expedition carries us across the desert, ending at the tranquil shores of the Arabian Sea, where you’ll visit a turtle reserve and enjoy a coastal cruise aboard a dhow, the elegant sailing vessels that once carried prized frankincense as far as India and Africa.

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Days 9-12
Salalah, Al Baleed, and the Frankincense Trail

Oman’s south has a strong Yemeni influence, a climate, language, and culture all its own, and a rich history of commerce along the Frankincense Trail, Oman’s ancient trade route. In Salalah, you’ll join an archaeologist for in-depth discoveries of nearby mythical ruins, including the ancient port of Al Baleed—a World Heritage Site—and the trading capital of Samhuram, whose ruins date to 1000 BC. Our seaside adventures end with visits to Al Husn Souk, the blowholes at Mugshail Beach, and Nabi Ayub, storied resting place of the prophet Job. Depart on Day 12 via Muscat.

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Highlights

Highlights

Visit colorful fishing harbors and ancient trading ports, meet a local archaeologist
Meet Bedouin tribes, explore golden dunes by camel and 4WD vehicle
Roam the narrow alleys of Oman’s traditional markets, enjoy a private dhow cruise
Explore the cliff-hugging villages, lushly terraced gardens, and historic forts of the Hajar Mountains

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $7495  
Arrive: Muscat, Oman
Depart: Muscat, Oman
Lodging: 9 nights hotels, 1 night deluxe desert camp, 1 night comfortable eco-lodge
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Cultural adventures with walking tours, light hiking, rugged off-road travel, and optional swimming and camel riding

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