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12 Day Adventure Trip

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A longer trip to Oman allows you to go further, see more and do more. With 12 days, you can fully appreciate the wonders Oman has to offer from boat trips to mountain hikes, immersing yourself in the culture and creating an unforgettable experience.

Day 1

Muscat

Exploring the capital of Oman, Muscat, is the perfect starting point for any adventure in Oman. Begin the day hiking the Riyam Walk, which is a trek that crosses the mountains surrounding Old Muscat. While it normally takes two hours, you can take a detour and find a small abandoned village along the way. The Riyam Walk ends at Muttrah, so why not enjoy a walk along the corniche to visit Muttrah Souq. The afternoon can be spent watching dolphins frolic in the sea, followed by a beautiful Dhow cruise at sunset starting from Marina Bandar Al Rowdah or Al Mouj Muscat.

Muttrah Souq and Fish Market

Highlights of this historic waterfront

Located close to each other along Muttrah’s scenic corniche, Muttrah Souq and Fish Market are the highlights of this historic waterfront. Early each morning, local fishermen sell their fresh catch at the fish market and Muttrah Souq is the perfect place to barter for traditional silver jewellery, Frankincense, fabrics and many more unique souvenirs.

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Camping – Fins

a coastal village

Only a short drive from Bimmah Sinkhole, Fins is a coastal village mainly known for its hidden beaches and coves framed by white sands, turquoise waters and the Al Hajar Mountains as backdrop. Perfect for a memorable camping experience.

It’s legal to wild camp in Oman. And, done responsibly, it’s one of the most rewarding ways to take in the country’s varied terrain.
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Bait Al Baranda

historical displays from across the ages

Bait Al Baranda is located in Muttrah in what used to be the residence of a prominent merchant in the early 20th century. Exhibits include art and historical displays from across the ages.

Converted from a 1930s house, this museum details the history of Oman and the Muscat region. Covering topics from the geology of the country and plate tectonics to Oman’s military and political history, a visit to Bait Al-Baranda (translates to ‘villa with a verandah’) is a great way to get an overview of Omani culture and tradition. Multimedia exhibits include interactive screens and videos as well as a photo history and a variety of art and posters on display. There are models of and artifacts from ancient Oman. Tracing history back to prehistoric Oman, the exhibits tells of the country’s early Islamic period, Portuguese occupation and current dynasty. A presentation of dinosaurs’ bones found 10,000 years ago in the Al-Khoud area is particularly noteworthy.
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Wadi Al Arbeieen

most beautiful wadis in the Sultanate

Wadi Al Arbeieen is one of the most beautiful wadis in the Sultanate, experiencing a constant flow of water from the eastern Hajar mountains and providing a source of irrigation to the surrounding villages and date palm farms.

Wadi Al Arbaeen provides the ultimate soundtrack of nature, that refer to the sounds of running water, birds and the wind flowing through the narrow channels. You can go there to swimming, BBQ, hang out and picnic and the waterfall deep inside the wadi, reaching to there will take 2.5 exhausting hours but it is worth it to experience, It’s not every day you take a shower under a waterfall. This is an incredibly enjoyable wadi, with lots of rock-crawling and water crossing with the car. The weather is very good there, especially in winter, with the sun reaching the bottom of the canyon for a short time of the day, the temperature is noticeably, so you can get outdoors for an adventure to the fantasy.
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Day 2

Daymaniyat Islands

The Daymaniyat Islands are located about one hour offshore from Muscat and are a great place for unforgettable underwater adventures. Comprising of 19 islands, the Damaniyat Islands is a nature reserve with restricted access, with the actual islands off bounds from May until end October. The surrounding waters, however, can be explored throughout the year and offer unforgettable diving and snorkelling opportunities.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

An architectural masterpiece

This architectural masterpiece is Oman's pride and joy. Located in Bawshar, the mosque is home to the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet as well as a one of the largest chandeliers in the world which is decorated with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. The mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday between 8am and 11am and a dress code applies.

Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The main prayer hall is breathtakingly beautiful. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Mwasalat buses stop outside the mosque. The mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, including 750 women in a private musalla (prayer hall), is an active place of worship, particularly for Friday prayers. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair. An abaya (full-length dress) and scarf can be hired from the mosque cafe and gift shop for OR2.5; some form of ID is required as a deposit. Tours are available.
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Amouage Factory

Amouage is a world-renowned luxury fragrance brand

Founded over a quarter of a century ago, Amouage is a world-renowned luxury fragrance brand with origins in the Sultanate. In the Amouage Factory, visitors can get behind the scenes and garner an insight into the creation of some of the world’s most exclusive scents.

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Muscat Gate Museum

One of the most photographed landmarks

One of the most photographed landmarks in the Sultanate, this museum is set over a road that marks the entrance into Old Muscat. Visitors can view general and historic information about Oman and enjoy stunning views of Muttrah corniche from the terrace.

Spanning the road between the old walled city of Muscat and the Corniche nestles the Muscat Gate Museum. The museum transport visitors to a different world, an enriching journey of the emergence and evolution of the Sultanate of Oman, also stands testament to Muscat’s history and artifacts. The gates of the museum formerly marked Muscat city’s boundary for the city was once enclosed within the fortified walls. The gateway was used until 1970 to keep intruders out of the walled vicinity. Though the museum houses limited exhibits, it is more popular for being an excellent vantage point offering breathtaking vistas of the Diwan and the Corniche. Once you are done exploring the historical artifacts, take a drive up to the aerial mast to the neighboring hillock to enjoy a panoramic view of the Muttrah area and the Muscat city before it merges with the horizon of the Al Riyam Park.
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Bimmah Sinkhole

a beautiful attraction

Part of Hawiyat Najm Park, Bimmah Sinkhole is a beautiful attraction along the Muscat – Sur road, perfect for a picnic in the park or even a quick photo-stop.

Geologists have confirmed the 65-foot deep pool is in fact a sinkhole, but locals hold on to the legend that a meteorite hit the spot. When the local municipality developed the area into a park to preserve and protect the hole, the name Haweat Najm (The Falling Star) Park was chosen. A large concrete staircase sticks out among the natural landscape, but offers a less precarious way down to the picturesque pool. Many folks just go to admire its beauty, or dip their feet in the vividly blue-green water for a fish-administered pedicure of sorts. Still some take full advantage of the salty water, diving from the cliffs within the cavern.
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Day 3

Jebel Shams

Oman’s highest mountains awaits with its very own ‘Grand Canyon’ and views that turn any photo into a masterpiece. A 4WD vehicle is required. A good place to start is the Rim Walk, an easy hike along the mountain’s rim, high above Wadi Ghul, to the abandoned village of As Sab. Goats still wander the area, often resting near the ruins of the village and its old terrace fields. After a quick photo stop to take in the Grand Canyon panorama, Misfat Al Abryeen awaits upon your descent. With terrace fields and mudbrick buildings, this mountain village just begs to be explored. The final stop for the day is Al Hoota Cave, where an underground lake with blind fish and amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations make the complex a must-see when in the area.

Thamrit

once a frankincense trade point

The main gateway to Salalah, the town of Thamrit once played an important role in the frankincense trade, bordering the vast Rub Al Khali desert.

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Camping – Fins

a coastal village

Only a short drive from Bimmah Sinkhole, Fins is a coastal village mainly known for its hidden beaches and coves framed by white sands, turquoise waters and the Al Hajar Mountains as backdrop. Perfect for a memorable camping experience.

It’s legal to wild camp in Oman. And, done responsibly, it’s one of the most rewarding ways to take in the country’s varied terrain.
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Al Wusta Wildlife Reserve

Home to the Arabian Oryx

Since the global extinction of the species in the wild in 1972, the Arabian Oryx has been reintroduced within a specially designated area in Oman’s Al Wusta region.

In the middle of a spectacular desert escarpment, this reserve is home to a small herd of reintroduced oryx. It offers a rare chance to see this magnificent desert antelope up close as there is a large herd of over 600 animals in the reserve's breeding centre. The reserve, access to which is by 4WD with prior permit only, is 50km off the Haima–Duqm road (Hwy 37) on a poorly graded track marked 'Habab', 110km from Haima. After 23km along the track.
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Wadi Al Khoud

great for off-roading

Located close to the old village of Al Khoud, Wadi Al Khoud is great for off-roading, with its stony bed and small water pools. It leads to the village of Fanja.

“Wadi Al Khoudh” is located  in Wilayat Al Seeb, and is considered one of the largest wadi basins in the Sultanate. Pools are formed in the wadi following heavy rain. It is well worth a visit, to enjoy the green salience, the beautiful rock formations surrounding and its clear water pools and springs of water of the valley
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Day 4

Al Jebel Al Akhdar

Jebel Al Akhdar offers spectacular views along its many hiking paths. Roses, pomegranates and other crops thrive in the moderate temperatures here. A 4WD vehicle is required. The most popular trek is the village walk, which crosses several mountain villages and their surrounding terrace fields – all the time offering amazing views of the mountain. Many hotels in the area offer a variety of climbing or hiking options, but one of the most unique is the Via Ferrata available through the Alila Jebel Akhdar Resort and Spa.

Village of Lima

famous for its local handicrafts

Surrounded by mountains and accessible by boat, the village of Lima is famous for its local handicrafts - especially the Al Jarz, a small traditional axe. The boat trip itself will take you through stunning marine vistas where you can see unique rock formations.

This is a small village separated from Wilayt Khasab in Musandam Governorate by rugged mountainous peaks. That’s why the best way to reach this village is by boats that will take you through marine vistas that will be engraved in your memory for ever. There visitors will enjoy the fantastic rock formations of the mountain range directly overlooking the sea, and birds hovering over the sapphire waters through the distance that separates Khasab from Lima. The village is known for its local crafts specially the unique AlJarz.
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Khawr Najd

Oman’s most scenic fjords

Picture-perfect Khawr Najd is one of Oman’s most scenic fjords, accessible via a road surrounded by high cliffs and leading to crystal clear waters below.

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Snorkelling

a memorable experience

Thanks to its clear waters teeming with exotic marine life and coral formations, snorkelling in Musandam is always a memorable experience. Lima Rock is especially renowned for the variety of fish, rays and other creatures, as well as the many caves and fissures available to explore.

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Khasab Castle

Home to the best ethnographic museums in Oman

Originally built by the Portuguese in the 17th century around a pre-existing circular tower, this well-preserved fort is home to one of the best ethnographic museums in Oman and the Bait Al Qufl, the ‘house of locks’, in the courtyard which was built by an Omani master craftsman.

Khasab Castle was used by the Omanis as a military base to combat the Portugese and later simultaneously as a residence of the Wali of Khasab and as a city prison. The current castle features a cylindrical central tower in the center and a square-shaped outer wall. The current castle compound features an exhibition about the history of Musandam, a model of a traditional elevated summer house, a model of a date storage (Bait Al Quful), an old documents exhibition, and many rooms displaying jewellery, clothes, weapons, kitchen equipment, wedding decorations, and a Quran learning school.
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Day 5

A’Sharqiyah Sands

Just under a three-hour drive from Al Jebel Al Akhdar, the Sharqiyah Sands are a unique eco system with it a wide range of exciting activities for all. The desert awaits! A 4WD vehicle is required. Bedouins in the area continue to breed camels for races, beauty competitions and the favourite of all desert activities – camel riding. Excursions from short walks to longer treks can be arranged through your travel agent or directly at one of the desert camps in the area. Prior to your visit, you should choose from a wide range of desert activities such as dune driving or quad biking. Visitors are asked to take extra precaution for their own safety and that of their surroundings and it is advised that visitors sit back and relax as a professional driver takes the lead while scaling and descending the dunes. Full safety equipment must be worn while using the quad bikes. After such a busy day, there is nothing like relaxing by seeing the night sky in the desert. Visitors can either book one of the existing desert camps or camp independently.

Ras Al Jinz

A famous nature reserve

Thousands of sea turtles migrate yearly to the shores of Oman to lay their eggs. Ras Al Jinz is a nature reserve famous for the opportunity to witness the endangered green sea turtle in its natural habitat during nesting and hatching season.

Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, a unique natural landscape, unspoiled shorelines, golden deserts, luxuriant green oases and rugged mountains. Ras Al Jinz is world renown for the nesting of the endangered green turtle (Cheloniamydas), probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean. This is the only place where public can watch the nesting process of these amazing sea-giants. A once in a lifetime opportunity.
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Al Mudayrib Village

This traditional village is home to an old centre

Complete with aflaj (waterway) system, watch towers and mud brick buildings. The village is surrounded by date palms and its heritage souq has recently been restored.

Al Mudayrib has managed to keep its atmosphere and character. The historical center is surrounded by small hills with watchtowers which are visible from afar. Al Mudayrib is still inhabited as it always was, although here too new buildings are emerging around the old settlement. In the middle of the hollow the houses cluster around the only falaj. The oldest extant buildings in Al Mudayrib are from the 18th century. The comparatively good condition of the walls is thanks to the solid manner of construction – the stones were bound together with a mixture of clay and plaster. The large buildings equipped with defensive towers were used by the various clans as meeting points. In times of war they served as a defensive refuge for individual members of the tribe or for large families.
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Ibra

A modern city

Once a trading hub at the gates to the Sharqiyah Sands, Ibra today is a modern city complete with university, hospital and hotels. Its many forts and mosques are some of the oldest in Oman, with Al Minzifah and the Wednesday Women’s Market just some of the must-see highlights.

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Sur Maritime Museum

Oman’s rich seafaring heritage

Showcasing Oman’s maritime history and traditional boatbuilding craftsmanship, the Sur Maritime Museum bears testament to the trade that marks Oman’s rich seafaring heritage. The famous, original Fatah Al Khair dhow is displayed here.

Sur City is famous for its maritime heritage, which highlights the leading role that Omanis played in maritime navigation across a long period in history. In order to preserve this heritage, and to ensure that the coming generations know of it, the Maritime Museum in the Wilayat of Sur was established to reflect various types of Omani maritime heritage. Efforts have been made by the citizens of the wilayat and researchers in Omani heritage to preserve this slice of history. The Museum was established in 1987 at the Al Orouba Club. Since its inception, it has been serving a scientific cause for the benefit of those interested in the Omani maritime history. The museum includes several sections. The emblem of the wilaya ‘Al Ghanja Ship’ is located at the entrance of the museum. In the middle of the ship section, there are different types of Omani ships. The visitors can see images of famous makers of ships, locally called Al Wistad, in addition to images of a number of sailors and captains of ships locally called “Nokhidha,” as well as photos of ports visited by those ships.
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Day 6 – 7

A’Sharqiyah Sands

Desert crossing by 4WD vehicle can easily be arranged with a travel agent or local tour operator and should be undertaken by a convoy of properly equipped vehicles. Having an experienced guide is always recommended. A two day, one-night desert crossing is a breath-taking experience. Not only does it provide a unique insight into the Bedouin lifestyle, it also presents the opportunity to enjoy the stunning desert landscape and camp under the stars. The trip usually ends near the ocean, close to Al Ashkhara.

Al Araqi Fort

Beautifully atmospheric

North of Ibri, along the road connecting Ibri and Al Rustaq, are the twin settlements of Al Araqi and Al Aynayn. Their forts provide a beautiful contrast - one newly restored, the other beautifully atmospheric and showing all the signs of its history.

Situated in the town Ibri, Hisn Al Iraqi dates back to many centuries and played an important role in the political history of Oman. Approximate distance from Muscat to Hisn Al Iraqi is 234 Kilometres.
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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

An architectural masterpiece

This architectural masterpiece is Oman's pride and joy. Located in Bawshar, the mosque is home to the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet as well as a one of the largest chandeliers in the world which is decorated with hundreds of Swarovski crystals. The mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday between 8am and 11am and a dress code applies.

Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of reign. The main prayer hall is breathtakingly beautiful. The Persian carpet alone measures 70m by 60m wide, making it the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world; it took 600 women four years to weave. Mwasalat buses stop outside the mosque. The mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, including 750 women in a private musalla (prayer hall), is an active place of worship, particularly for Friday prayers. Visitors are required to dress modestly, covering arms and legs and avoiding tight clothing. Women and girls (aged seven and above) must cover their hair. An abaya (full-length dress) and scarf can be hired from the mosque cafe and gift shop for OR2.5; some form of ID is required as a deposit. Tours are available.
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Wadi Dayqah Dam

An amazing picnic area

Wadi Dayqah Dam is one of the largest on the Arabian Peninsula and a source of irrigation and protection for the surrounding villages, as it reduces the number of flash floods in the area. A picnic area has been built atop the dam with great views for all to enjoy.

Wadi Dayqah Dam is quite a spectacular sight! Set in the rugged limestone Wadi (valley) this huge construction is a real contrast of natural Omani beauty and impressive human engineering. Opened in 2012 the dam was built to collect the periodic rain fall from the high peaks above and control the volume of water flowing through the narrow torrent, ‘dayqah’, to the villages below. This still maintains the ancient “Falaj” irrigation system whilst controlling the surges of water rolling off the hillside. The dam is quite a spectacle for Oman and is by far the highest in the country. The water lake is 8 kilometres (5 miles) long and can hold 100 million cubic meters of rain water.
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Al Khandaq Castle

most picturesque monuments in the region

Considered one of the most picturesque monuments in the region, Husn Al Khandaq is named after the large moat encircling it, something unique in Oman. Built around 200 years ago, its towers are embossed with zigzag designs – so make sure to look up during your visit.

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Day 8 – 10

Masirah Island

Located just a two-hour drive away from Al Ashkhara is the port of Shannah – the gateway to Masirah Island. The island itself is a great place to visit for thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. There are plenty of beaches between Al Ashkhara and Shannah to enjoy shore line fishing and during the summer months, Masirah Island enjoys moderate temperatures and consistent winds. That, together with its shallow waters, makes it perfect for kite surfing. A well-known secret in the community, kite surfers from the around the world flock here every summer. Masirah Island’s beaches are also the nesting ground for many sea turtles, including the gigantic loggerhead turtles. While visitors are welcome to witness this miracle, extra caution is advised not to disturb the animals and use special flash lights only. Jebel Humr is Masirah Island’s highest mountain and although the ascent is not too demanding, caution must be taken as the fossilised coral found along the way break easily. That’s right, all these peaks were once on the bottom of the ocean!

Jalan Bani Bu Hassan

A must-visit when in Ash Sharqiyah

In the past Jalan Bani Bu Ali and Bani Bu Hassan were neighbouring rivals, today both settlements flow into each other amongst the date palm plantations. Jalan Bani Bu Hassan Fort is one of the oldest in the region and a must-visit when in Ash Sharqiyah.

Jalan Bani Bu Hassan, a wilayat in the Sharqiyah South Governorate, is located 300 kilometres away from Muscat. It borders Al Kamil W’al Wafi in the north, Sur in the northeast, Bidiya in the west, Mahout in the southwest and Jaalan Bani Bu Ali in the south. The wilayat comprises 197 villages that are reputed for geographical diversification and several of archaeological, historical, tourist and economic landmarks.
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Sharqiyah Sands

experience the desert first hand

The Sharqiyah Sands allows visitors to experience the desert first hand, with dunes reaching as far as the horizon and the area teeming with wildlife. Dune bashing is one of the many favourite activities for visitors to the Sharqiyah Sands.

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Qalhat – Bibi Maryam Tomb

Explore the ruins

Once the first capital of Oman, Qalhat’s history traces back to the Bronze Age. The Portuguese occupied the city until being expelled in the late 16th century. Since then, the settlement has slowly fallen to ruin, with only the tomb of Bibi Maryam remaining as testament to Qalhat’s former importance.

Qalhat was once a shining jewel along the Omani coastline. The Indian Ocean trade route brought many people through the ancient city, which Italian explorer Marco Polo described as having “fine bazaars and one of the most beautiful mosques.” Today, a single mausoleum is all that bears witness to the city’s former glory. Some say the lonely tomb was built by Baha al-Din Ayaz, king of the Hormuz Empire, for his wife, Bibi Maryam. But others maintain that it was indeed her who built it for him.
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Wadi Bani Khalid

One of the Sultanate’s best-known wadis

One of the Sultanate’s best known wadis, Wadi Bani Khalid is a geographical wonderland of pools, caves and mountains. Unlike other wadis, it enjoys a constant flow of water all year round - perfect for visiting any season.

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Day 11

Tiwi

Reachable via the coastal highway, the blue waters and white pebble beach outside of the village of Tiwi are the perfect camping spot. The roads close to Wadi Tiwi are twisty and narrow – the perfect excuse to park the car and explore the area by bike. Villages along the route are surrounded by date palms and still use the falaj, a traditional method of irrigation. Close to Wadi Tiwi is Wadi Shab, which can only be reached by boat or by wading across during low tide. Natural water pools, a waterfall and hidden cave await those that hike into the wadi.

Al Ashkharah

The spectacular sandy beaches surround Al Ashkharah on both sides and extend for several kilometers, it is embraced by Arabian Sea, and there are many umbrellas on the beach that allow tourists to enjoy seeing the beauty of the beach and its golden sands, it is also a place for flocks of Gull and wader.

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Al Alam Palace, Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts

Located in the heart of Old Muscat

The ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Al Alam Palace was rebuilt as a royal residence in 1972 and is located in the heart of Old Muscat. It is flanked on either side by the impressive twin Jalali and Mirani Forts originally built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Both of these majestic buildings are still in use, and although they are not open to the public, tourists can admire the architecture from the yard and at the gates.

At the heart of Old Muscat is Al Alam Palace (“Flag Palace”), the most important of the six royal residences of the ruling monarch, Sultan Qaboos, which are dotted around Muscat, Salalah and Sohar. Built in 1972, the palace is Oman’s most flamboyant example of contemporary Islamic design, with two long wings centred on a colourful, cube-like central building, its flat, overhanging roof supported by extravagantly flared blue and gold columns. The palace isn’t open to the public, although you can get a good view of the facade from the iron gates at the front. The palace complex is impressively stage-managed, approached via a long pedestrianized boulevard framed by two arcaded colonnades, with copious amounts of highly polished marble covering every available surface. On either side stretches a cluster of impressive government buildings: huge, snow-white edifices sporting crenellated rooftops, traditional wooden balconies and window shutters. Look right as you approach the palace and you’ll also see a fine section of the original city walls snaking up the hillside, punctuated with three large watchtowers en route.
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Qurum Beach

clear waters and swaying palm trees

This impressive stretch of sand is a local favourite with its clear waters and swaying palm trees. An array of water sports is on offer to visitors, including jet skiing, banana boating and parasailing, as well as snorkelling and scuba diving excursions. Along the popular coastal road, there are a wide range of restaurants and coffee shops that look out over the beach.

Escape the heat, hustle and bustle of the city and head to the coast. And where better to go than the popular Qurum Beach? Catch some sun on the beautiful sandy beach or lie in the shade of a palm tree. It’s free to enjoy as you wish. Need to cool off? Then submerge yourself in the clear waters of the Gulf of Oman. And once it’s time to rehydrate you’ll find a great choice of cafes and coffee shops close by. Our Hop-on, Hop-off Muscat Bus Tour takes you almost right onto the sand. Then jump back on board for a ride to the neighbouring Mangrove Lagoon. A thriving city beach Located in the upmarket neighbourhood of Qurum - the beating heart of modern Muscat – the beach here is a busy centre of activity. Ride the waves on a jet ski or see and be seen along the coastal road – a classic, scenic strip popular with strolling locals. Other interesting facts about Qurum Beach, Muscat
  • Qurum Beach stretches for four kilometres (2.5 miles) along the Muscat coastline
  • Watersports like jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking can be booked at the Crowne Plaza end of the beach
  • You can also book snorkelling and scuba diving excursions here
  • There’s no great tidal range and waves are small, so bathing is relatively safe at Qurum Beach
  • There’s a good selection of international refreshment and dining options along the coast road
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Village of Al Roos
It is an old village located on a slope of Al Jebel Al Akhdar and includes a meeting room "Majlis" and a number of mud houses.
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Day 12

As Sifah

About 150km north of Tiwi and closer to Muscat, you will find the beautiful sandy beaches of As Sifah. A perfect place to end a great journey. En-route to As Sifah, you’ll find Wadi Mayh which can easily be crossed by 4WD vehicle, but it is the many unique geological formations that visitors should try and spot. Signs along the road point out special sights. Oman has several world-class golf courses, and Jebel Sifah runs one of them. If you have never tried golfing with a view and feel like stopping off for a while, now is the perfect chance. Once back in Muscat, why not visit the Muttrah Souq. This too can be an adventure, especially when hunting for the perfect souvenir. Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest on the Arabian Peninsula and its narrow alleyways and Frankincense-laden smell invites exploration.

Bidbid Castle

beautifully restored

A quaint 16th century castle located on a turnoff from the Nizwa highway, Bidbid Castle has been beautifully restored and is set within a date palm oasis, with a winding falaj (waterway) running around it.

This is one of the prettiest small castles in the country: a rustic little structure, built with mudbrick walls on a stone base, with windows and rifle-slits cut lopsidedly out of the adobe, half-hearted little rounded battlements above and a large watchtower perched on a small rock outcrop beside. Unusually, the walls have been left unplastered following restoration, so you can see the pebbles and bits of straw mixed in to strengthen the mudbrick, adding to its rather homespun charm. A swiftly flowing falaj, in which villagers are wont to do their washing, runs around one side of the fort.
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Bait Na’aman Castle

perfect for visitors to catch a glimpse at past times

Constructed in the 16th century as private residence for visiting imans, Bait Na’aman Castle is perfect for visitors to catch a glimpse at past times. This is thanks to the many traditional furniture and fittings on display, as well as other features such as the underground falaj system.

Rather more interesting than Barka’s fort is the beautiful old fortified house of Bait Na’aman. The unusually tall and narrow house, with alternating square and round towers, is thought to have been constructed around 1691–92 by imam Bil’arab bin Sultan (or possibly his brother, and successor as imam, Saif bin Sultan), and was used by both imams during their visits to the area. According to one tradition, this is also where Sultan Said bin Sultan murdered his unpopular predecessor Badr bin Saif in 1806 with a single blow from his khanjar. The entire building was beautifully restored in 1991. Unlike most of Oman’s forts, the house has been fitted out with a lavish selection of traditional furnishings and fittings, giving the place an engagingly domestic atmosphere and making it much easier to imagine what life was like for its former inhabitants than in most other Omani heritage buildings. Downstairs you’ll find the original bathroom and stone toilet, both connected to an underground falaj which formerly brought water all the way from Nakhal. There’s also a storage room, in which dates were pressed (the holes in the floor were used to siphon off the juice), as well as a pitch-black ladies’ jail. The main living areas are situated upstairs, with a sequence of rooms attractively furnished with traditional rugs, cushions, crockery and jewellery. These include the men’s and ladies’ majlis, plus a quaint bedroom with four-poster bed and a wooden hatch in the floor through which water could be drawn up from below. Nearby is the private majlis of the imam, equipped with a secret escape passage, and a watchtower with pit-like jails for miscreants. Further stairs lead up to the roof. The main tower is supported by beautiful teak beams, with old pictures of ships scratched onto the walls. The tower originally housed six cannon, backed up by three more cannon in the house’s second tower – an impressive array of firepower for what was essentially a private residence rather than a proper fort. To reach the house, drive around 5km north of the roundabout by the Lulu hypermarket along the main coastal highway then turn right off the highway, following the signs to A’Naaman and (just afterwards) the Barka Health Center, following the road as it twists back towards the coast. The house is about 3km down the road on your left – it’s not signposted, but is instantly recognizable.
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Fanja

A quaint little town

Located only 25km from Muscat, Fanja is a quaint little town surrounded by a date palm oasis and featuring a traditional souq. Several ruins and abandoned traditional houses can be explored on a trek through the town.

Fanja is just about 25 kilometres from Muscat. It is a historical town renowned for its hot springs, forts and watch towers. But other than the natural beauty of the place, one of its top attractions is its traditional souq. The turn on the road that indicates the direction of the souq takes you on a picturesque road with the Sultan Qaboos Mosque of Fanja to the left a hard reference point to miss. Once you get to the area, a sudden splash of colour and the rush of different activities will definitely get your attention. The souq is a row of shops filled with merchandise depending on the interest of the shop owners
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Al Jebel Al Akhdar

Fantastic hiking routes

Terraced farms and cooler weather great adventurers atop the Al Jebel Al Akhdar range. Here, hiking routes are mainly along its beautiful villages, but also through wadis and terrace fields. Local tour operators are happy to assist with guided tours.

This mostly limestone mountain is one of the highest points in Oman and eastern Arabia. Jebel Akhdar forms the central section of Hajar range, and is located around 150 km (93 mi) from Muscat. The range is mostly desert, but at higher altitudes receives around 300 mm (12 in) of precipitation annually — moist enough to allow the growth of shrubs and trees and support agriculture. It is this that gives the mountains their “green” name. The area is about a 45-minute drive from Nizwa and is known for its traditional rose water extraction and agricultural products including pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes and peaches. It is also the site of honey bee breeding for much of Oman. Agricultural production is improved by the use of Falaj irrigation channels and their associated terraces system devised by the local farmers, who have lived on this mountain for hundreds of years. Diana’s Point Located atop the Saiq Plateau, Diana’s point was named after a visit of the late Princess Diana to the viewpoint in 1986. From here, one can see terraced farms, villages, and some of the mountain’s many fruit orchards. Village of Sayq Although it was formerly one of the difficult places that has access problems in Oman, the village of Sayq is one of the agricultural wonders in the Sultanate of Oman, which contains orchards full of fruits, it also provides its visitors an interesting view of the nearby wadis, and is the perfect place for camping or accommodation in one of the fancy hotels. Wadi Bani Habib One of the famous wadis in Al Jebel Al Akhdar, this Wadi can be explored on foot. It is surrounded on all sides with green walnut groves and some local bushes widely scattered. It also the home to the abandoned village of Bani Habib, which welcomes visitors who are trekking and exploration lovers. Village of Al Roos It is an old village located on a slope of Al Jebel Al Akhdar and includes a meeting room "Majlis" and a number of mud houses.
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