Learn More About Oman
Of all the countries in the region, Oman probably offers the most diverse scenery, plus it has a rich culture and proud history
Tourism has arrived, but the pace is much more gradual, with the integrity of the destination foremost to any development plans.
On the previous pages we have highlighted the main international hotels in the Muscat area. But travel to Oman is so much more, and the options to to explore the interior are tremendous and totally rewarding. All can be easily personalised to suit your own requirements, but these are just a few of our Oman Touring Options:
In Muscat we particularly suggest a visit to the incredible Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (Non – Muslims are welcomed but avoid Fridays). A building of stunning design, with many areas allocated to gentle reflection. The new Omani Royal Opera House is equally stunning, and to have the opportunity to see a performance would be a unique experience.
The tours below can easily be tailored to suit your personal requirements. Nizwa and Wahiba Sands can both be visited on day trips, but we can also arrange a 3 day (2 nights) private tour combining both. Ask us for suggestions.
Located in the extreme south of the country, a 70 minute flight from Muscat. Even less developed than the north, with villages rather than towns. Salalah has some superb beaches and a more ‘tropical’ climate, particularly in the summer months, bustling souks and offers a totally different, highly traditional experience. For the seasoned traveller it can be considered as a 3 day (2 night) extension. Hotels tend to be pleasant, mid range and adequate, – but the main reason to visit is to explore the destination, not the hotels. In recent years it has become a popular winter beach retreat for Northern European charters whose focus rarely extends the beach!
Note Salalah has a peak “Green Season” June to September, when the regions shrubbery suddenly bursts into life. It is a time for drizzle. A welcome contrast to the heat and humidity found elsewhere.
The former capital and a fascinating hill top market town that seems to have hardly changed over the centuries. You can drive from Muscat, taking about 3 hours each way, but most would prefer to spend at least one night staying in a simple, but totally adequate hotel, giving you adequate time to fully enjoy this lively and totally authentic town.
Probably the most popular option for visitors. Just under 3 hours drive from Muscat, on winding roads through the spectacular mountain scenery and then with the last 8km through the desert dunes. So it is possible as a day trip but, most prefer the experience of staying overnight at one of the desert camps.
We particularly suggest the Desert Night camp with 25 air conditioned ‘tent’ style rooms and showers (See image selection). Although, for a totally authentic experience, there are much more simple and basic rustic camps. The day(s) are all about driving up and down the dunes in 4×4 jeeps with expert driver guides. Wonderfully exciting as you perch on the top of a high dune and then suddenly lurch forward seemingly into open space. It would probably not be suggested for those with bad backs or those in the advance state of pregnancy! If you are showing signs of nerves, just ask your driver to find smaller versions.
Oman Touring Options: Nature & Forts History & Culture
For those with more time, and looking for something totally memorable, we suggest an 8 day (7 night) tour commencing and ending in Muscat. You spend your first night in Muscat at one of our chosen hotels. On the second day you visit hot springs at Rustaq with their alleged healing qualities, where the gates are adorned with verses from the Holy Koran. End the day in Nakhal, the highest fort city in Oman, where you overnight.
On the third day you travel on the Nizwa, and after a few hours of exploration, continue to Jabreen Castle which was build in the 17th century and still displays intricate wood carvings and ceiling paintings. Return to Nizwa but stop enroute at Bahla Fort, the first Omani to be built in Islamic style. Overnight in Nizwa.
On the forth day, you drive high up into the mountains to visit Jabal Sharms, some 3000 metres above sea level. This is the Grand Canyon of Oman, and you have spectacular views of the deep gorges and valleys below. Overnight.
Continue on the fifth day to Jabal Akhdar, – the green mountain in Arabic – a mere 2,800 metres above sea level. Drive to the peak, and then drive to the Wahiba Sands for Desert camp overnight, with maybe some dune driving enroute. Overnight.
On the sixth day, leave the desert, visiting Wadi Bani Khalid (Wadi means valley in Arabic), and here you find generally clear deep blue waters and shady palm trees. So remember to pack your swimwear. After lunch continue to Sur, on the south coast where you will overnight. However in the evening you will drive to Ras Al Jinz for your late night green turtle watching experience.
On the seventh day you leave Sur and drive along the scenic coastal road, visiting little fishing villages en route, arriving back in Muscat early evening. Overnight.
On day eight you either have the option flying home to the UK, or maybe even travelling onto to the Maldives or Sri Lanka with Oman Air.
Please note that whilst the accommodation used on tour is adequate, it does not compare in standard to the main hotels we feature in Muscat.
Luxury Under Canvass experiences
We can now offer luxurious under canvass experiences, either in the desert, up in the mountains or bedside an inland wadi (river) or maybe a combination of all three. Totally private, yet your experienced driver and guide are close at hand to reassure you. Ask us for suggestions.
Prices from £1,680 per person
Based on two persons travelling together, on a totally private basis with driver/guide
Oman Touring Options
Hotels in Oman
All price guides are Per Person Sharing Double Room (Entry level), based on travel between May and/or June when prices are generally at their lowest and include promotional offers.
Supplements will probably apply at other times, particularly mid summer in the Med, and for rooms and/or transfers arranged for single travellers.
For example Caribbean and Indian Ocean prices for winter can be approximately double the May - June level and about 50% more in Asia.
Please refer to Travel Advice on our home page or look at www.fco.gov.uk as the Foreign Office may have issued specific destination information on safety and terrorism.
All of the holidays arranged by Chic Locations are fully bonded for your financial protection, with our ABTA bond securing accommodation/land only holidays, and our ATOL licence (number 6389) protecting air inclusive holidays.