Desert Kingdom of Oman route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7695  
Length: 12 days
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
2p

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

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

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

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

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.

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.

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.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 2+, Easy to Moderate, according to our trip grading system. It combines cultural exploration with walking tours and light hiking, and opportunities for desert camel riding and swimming. Our expedition includes several half-days of rugged road travel in the Western Hajar mountains and an adventurous off-road crossing of the Wahiba desert dunes by 4WD vehicle. We'll overnight in a variety of accommodations, from deluxe seaside hotels and chic bungalows perched high in the mountains, to a simple accommodation with incredible access to the turtle nesting beach, and of course Desert Nights, Oman’s finest tented camp. Each participant should be in excellent health and physical condition. Daily walking or hiking, jogging, or stair-climbing are excellent for preparing for the trip.

Note: Oman is a Muslim country whose  friendly people are anchored firmly in their traditions. As guests of the country, we will be welcomed warmly and asked to respect the local customs, dress modestly, avoid alcohol consumption outside of authorized premises (alcohol will be available in hotels and restaurants), and adhere to Omani codes of etiquette for greeting others, taking photographs, swimming, and visiting mosques. More information will be provided in your confirmation materials.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Oct 19-30, 2015  Annie Hawkins
2016
Jan 18-29, 2016  Mark Gordon
Oct 24-Nov 4, 2016  Annie Hawkins
2017
Jan 23-Feb 3, 2017  Mark Gordon
Oct 30-Nov 10, 2017  Annie Hawkins

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$7695 (12-15 members)
$8095 (9-11 members)
$8495 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $1650
Forced single supplement: $1450
Internal airfare: $240 (subject to change) Salalah/Muscat one way
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations as noted (9 nights in hotels, 1 night in a simple eco-lodge, 1 night in a deluxe desert camp)
  • All meals included
  • Sightseeing and activites as noted in the itinerary
  • Land transportation and airport transfers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, visa, meals not specified at the end of each itinerary day, travel insurance, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, etc.)

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Muscat, Oman
Date: Day 1, 6:00 pm

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Muscat, Oman (airport code: MCT)
Suggested arrival time: by 2:00 pm or earlier
Departure:
Muscat, Oman
Date: Day 12

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Muscat, Oman (airport code: MCT)
Suggested departure time: early afternoon or later

Al Bandar Hotel

Al Bandar Hotel

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Muscat, Oman

Meaning "The Town," the Al Bandar Hotel is inspired by old Muscat architecture, with buildings of varying heights featuring ornate balconies. ...
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The View

The View

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Al Hamra, Oman

The View certainly lives up to its name with full panoramas of the enchanting desertscape. As one of the first eco-lodges in Oman, the guestrooms ...
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Falaj Daris

Falaj Daris

Day 5 (1 night), Nizwa, Oman

Located just a few minutes from Nizwa and flanked by the surrounding mountains, Falaj Daris is a pleasant place to relax after an exhilarating day ...
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Desert Nights Camp

Desert Nights Camp

Day 6 (1 night), Al Wasil, Oman

Nestled between the shifting dunes of the Wahiba Sands, you’ll enjoy the rustic comfort of Desert Nights Camp. Guest tents have vaulted ...
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Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Day 7 (1 night), Sur, Oman

While we explore the village of Al Ashkharah and Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, we’ll stay in the Turtle Reserve’s carapace rooms to be ...
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Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb

Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb

Day 8 (1 night), Muscat, Oman

Conveniently located near the airport and the city center, Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb has clean and comfortable guestrooms and a welcoming and ...
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Crowne Plaza Salalah

Crowne Plaza Salalah

Days 9 to 11 (3 nights), Salalah, Oman

Surrounded by palm trees on the fringes of the Arabian Sea stands the Crowne Plaza Salalah. With its easy access to the beach and four swimming ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Mark Gordon

Departure Dates: January 18-29, 2016, January 23-February 3, 2017

Having lived in Marrakesh, Morocco, since 1982, Mark Gordon has led numerous expeditions and journeys for us throughout West and North Africa, and we’re excited to have him lead our expedition to Oman in 2016. Originally from America, Mark fell in love with Morocco after serving in the ...
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Annie Hawkins

Departure Dates: October 19-30, 2015, October 24-November 4, 2016, October 30-November 10, 2017

Annie Hawkins, born and raised in a small village in Burgundy, is a passionate world traveler and one of our most enchanting Trip Leaders. After studying art history in Provence, Annie moved to California, where she led adventure tours in the American Southwest and realized that leading adventure ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips