Dreaming of the freedom of your own desert adventure? Experience Oman’s sandstone cities, sun kissed dunes and aqua oases…This is the wilds of Eastern Arabia with a refined twist.
Why do we love Oman? Well, there’s bartering in the bustling souks of Muscat, the ancient forts and tombs of Oman’s own Grand Canyon, and the Bedouin crossing of the Wahabi Sands Desert.
Taking our cue from the Bedouin tribes, we reckon the best way to enjoy the elegance of this arid scenery is to stay in your own secluded luxury tents set up just for you, wherever you like. Top this off with a cooling sojourn on the coast, where you can even help baby green turtles take their first swim…all in just 7 days. We like to think it’s the Ultimate Arabian Experience.
Chaotic souks, crumbling historical districts and majestic Sultan’s palaces with endless sea views: Muscat is a charming jumble of delights and a feast for the senses. The sweet smell of apple-flavoured sheesha fills ancient alleyways, where you can bag a few bargains in markets overflowing with beautiful silk handicrafts (as well as a chunk of sugary halva to pep you up in the heat). What to bring home? We recommend the rugs and butter-soft leather bags. This exotic city has maintained its authentic charm and embraces you with its off-the-beaten-track edge – the perfect place to experience authentic Arabian allure.
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Next, hit the dizzy heights of the Al Hajar Mountain range, the tallest in eastern Arabia, to walk the length of the lofty Sayq plateau. Clocking-in at a staggering 10,000 feet above the desert, this is Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’ rim (which, thankfully, you’ll reach in a 4WD). From these great heights you can peer down upon ancient terraces and an abandoned village that perches beneath the towering cliffs. Don’t forget your camera; your views from up here won’t differ much from those of the vultures and eagles hanging on the wing up above. From here it’s just a short hop to the intriguing, and aptly named, beehive tombs at Bat. These ominous stone igloos are the final resting place of centuries of Sultans (and luckily no bees) and come closely guarded by small flocks of goats diligently herded by mountain tribesmen.
Dune bashing and desert camping
Heading back down to earth, hit the mystical dunes of the Wahiba Sands to meet the Bedouin and their camel herds. Master the wheel with expert help for some exhilarating dune bashing of your own, or swap 4 wheels for 4 long legs and take a camel ride too. Deep in the desert you’ll find your private luxury tented camp waiting: the perfect spot for a stunning dune-top sunset.
The arabian seaside
The colours of sunrise in the desert are unforgettable, so we’d recommend starting your day early, before heading to Oman’s most loved Wadi for a mid morning swim. From the rustic Wadi Bani Khalid you can watch green back turtles in their natural habitat… If you’re lucky you may even see thousands of young turtles hatching in the morning and making the all important first dash for the water. Ahhh.
As we said – we reckon this Muscat, mountain, desert and beach combo is the most incredible way to get under the skin of an awesome country like Oman.