Desert Kingdom of Oman

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, visit a sea turtle sanctuary, 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 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, Jan 11-15, 2021
Muscat / Western Hajar Mountains

After exploring Muscat, head to the rugged Western Hajar, where traditional cliff-hugging villages sit amid gardens and date palm forests. Here we meet a traditional beekeeper, explore historic forts, see vast Wadi Nakhr, Oman’s “Grand Canyon,” and hike to isolated villages.

Al Bandar Hotel
Muscat, Oman
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Alila Jabal Akhdar
Oman
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Falaj Daris
Nizwa, Oman
Day 5 (1 night)
Days 6-8, Jan 16-18, 2021
Wahiba Sands / Desert-to-Sea Crossing

At Wahiba Sands, we’ll experience the life of a nomad—in WT style!—with camel rides amid the golden sand dunes, visits to Bedouin tribes, and an unforgettable evening under the stars, with the hypnotic sounds of Bedouin musicians transporting you back in time. A 4WD expedition carries us across the desert to the edge of the Arabian Sea, where we visit a turtle reserve and enjoy a cruise aboard a classic dhow, the vessels that once carried frankincense as far as India and Africa.

Days 9-12, Jan 19-22, 2021
Salalah and the Frankincense Trail

Along Oman’s Frankincense Trail, we’ll join an archaeologist in Salalah for in-depth discoveries of the nearby mythical ruins of Al Baleed, explore Nabi Ayub, storied resting place of the prophet Job, and visit the blowholes at Mugshail Beach, known to spout sea water as high as 100 feet during high tide. Depart on Day 12 via Muscat.

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

Highlights

Highlights

Visit colorful fishing harbors and ancient trading ports, meet a local archaeologist
Explore golden sand 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
Visit the Nizwa Goat Market

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $7995  
Arrive: Muscat, Oman
Depart: Salalah, Oman
Lodging: 9 nights hotels, 1 night deluxe desert camp, 1 night eco-tents
Meals: All meals included as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

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