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Oman

Experience more with so much included

  • Experience magnificent scenery and legendary Omani hospitality and culture
  • See the lush oases, vast sand dunes, hidden wadis and stunning mountains
  • Explore renowned forts, fascinating souks and enjoy delicious Omani cuisine
  • Stay three nights in the ancient capital of Nizwa
  • Walk through an oasis of date palms and enjoy a typical lunch in a local mansion
  • Opportunity to upgrade your stay to the luxurious Anantara Resort, high in the Hajar mountains
  • Stay overnight in the desert within the vast dunes of the Wahiba Sands region
  • See wooden dhows being made with age-old techniques
  • Watch for green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs
  • Stay three nights in a hotel overlooking the Arabian Sea in Muscat
  • Explore Muscat’s highlights such as the Grand Mosque, souk and Sultan’s palace
  • Return direct flights from London Heathrow and Manchester
  • Eight nights in three to four-star superior accommodation, with breakfast and two meals
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Selected departures from March to November 2020

9.7 out of 10  
Read 3 Reviews
 
At a Glance
3 to 4-star superior accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Daily breakfast & 2 meals
Programme of daily tours & visits
Expert tour manager
Inclusive of all local taxes
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Oman is a land of rugged high mountains, vast timeless deserts and lush wadis. Its numerous forts are a testament to its strategic importance at the end of the Arabian Peninsula, guarding the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. Larger than the UK, it has an enviable reputation as a stable, safe and welcoming destination. It has avoided the perhaps excessive development of some of the nearby Emirates and has concentrated on promoting quality over quantity. The best time to visit is between October to March when the warm, dry and sunny winter climate is perfect for escaping the UK’s coldest months.

Oman has a rich and fascinating history, as well as close links with Britain. Originally part of the Persian empire, Oman became a Portuguese colony in the 16th century. For the Portuguese, it was a vital stopping-off point en route to their colonies in southern India and they fortified the port of Muscat with two imposing castles, which stand to this day. The Omanis threw out the Portuguese and extended their influence down the coast of east Africa all the way to Zanzibar, which, for a time, was the capital. 

During the 19th century, Oman came within the British sphere of influence but remained an independent state. The close ties with the UK were reinforced in the ’60s and early ’70s, when the RAF and SAS supported the present ruler against an insurgency in the south. In the last few decades, Oman has prospered from its vast gas and oil reserves, building a modern health and education system, as well as an excellent road network – all while having no income tax.

Our tour of the country starts at its inland capital, Nizwa. Protected by its large fort with its striking round tower, Nizwa was for centuries the seat of power of the interior of Oman. Flanked by high barren mountain peaks, this seems an unforgiving place to live, yet nearby there are several hidden oases, which are lush and crowded with date palm plantations. We take a walk though one of these to see the system of water channels that keep everything well-watered and, in between, we'll spot little smallholdings with fruit trees, goats and chickens. The ancient villages that developed around these oases have old grand mansions, which are several storeys high with mud-brick walls several feet thick. Many of these are in a bad state of disrepair, but some have been maintained and we'll visit one of these to see how people lived here not too long ago. 

On our last night in Nizwa, you have the option to upgrade your stay, with one night at the luxury Anantara Resort and Spa set at 2,000 metres on a plateau of the Jabal Ahkdar – meaning Green Mountain – with splendid views overlooking the canyons and surrounding peaks. Only accessible by 4x4 vehicles, the area is known for its cultivation of damask roses on ancient steep terraces. The resort's infinity pool has stunning views and there is a viewing platform named after Princess Diana, who visited the spot in the ’80s. 

We continue eastwards to a huge area of dunes, known as the Wahiba Sands. As there are no roads here, we switch to 4x4 vehicles for the drive into the dunes. We stay the night here and our drivers will take us to the top of the dunes to watch a truly spectacular sunset across a sea of dunes, as far as the eye can see. 

Our next stop is Sur, a small port city from where hundreds of traditional wooden dhows used to ply the waters of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Oman was once famous for its excellent boats and these extraordinary two-masted sailing ships are still used to this day. We'll visit one of the boatyards that still builds them the traditional way – by hand. 

Our final three nights are spent at the excellent and newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Hotel in Muscat, set in an enviable position overlooking the Arabian Sea, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Here we'll visit the remarkable Grand Mosque, which merges modern and ancient architectural styles surrounded by beautiful gardens and cool courtyards. We'll also have time to browse around Oman's oldest souk in the port Muttrah and view the imposing Al Alam palace in old Muscat. 

Our last day is at leisure. Perhaps relax around the hotel's pool or book an optional full-day 4x4 tour to explore the hidden wadis and dirt roads of the Al Hajar mountains – the perfect end to an unforgettable holiday.

Your Itinerary

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person based on two people sharing a twin room. Single occupancy rooms are available at the relevant supplement. The Price includes:

  • Eight nights’ accommodation in three to four-star superior hotels
  • Daily breakfast, one lunch (Day 4), and one dinner (Day 5)
  • Scheduled flights to/from Muscat
  • Guided tours in Nizwa, Sur and Muscat as described
  • All transfers
  • All local taxes
  • Hotel porterage of one item of luggage per person
  • The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

Oman visa not included.

Personalise Your Holiday

Upgrade Your Stay

Anantara Resort
 

Stay at the five-star Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort – from £146 per person

On day four after lunch, you’ll transfer to 4x4 vehicles for the enthralling drive through ancient mountain villages to one of the best hotels in the region. Set at an altitude of 6,550 feet, the Anantara Resort is in a spectacular position on a bluff overlooking the vast canyons and steep-sided valleys of the Hajar Mountains. The hotel features a luxurious spa, several restaurants and an incredible infinity pool at the cliff’s edge. You’ll stay for one night with breakfast in a premier canyon-view room with a private balcony and dramatic mountain views, bathroom with separate bath and shower, and all the amenities you would expect from a superb five-star resort. Single supplements from £109 per person.

Please contact us add this hotel upgrade to your booking.

Useful Information

Fact File

  • Currency: Omani rial
  • Deposit: £200 per person
  • Flight time: Approx. 7 hrs
  • Language: Arabic
  • Time zone: GMT+4
  • Country: Oman

Visa Information

Along with a valid passport, UK citizens must have a visa in order to travel to Oman. For the most up-to-date passport and visa information visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/oman/entry-requirements

Visa cost is OMR 5 per person. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent with your booking confirmation.

We are unable to accept responsibility if you are unable to travel because you have not complied with any passport/entry/immigration requirements.

Please note that visa costs may be subject to change.

Health

There is no specific health advice for this tour, though it is always advisable to contact your GP six to eight weeks prior to travel.

If you are travelling to Oman with prescription drugs, please make sure you take the relevant prescriptions with you.

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Arrival airport First hotel location Transfer time Final hotel location Departure airport Transfer time
Muscat Nizwa 2 hrs Muscat Muscat 30 mins


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