Oman Walking Holidays | Langdale Group Adventure Tours

Expect exotic, unspoilt scenery on our visit to the Sultanate of Oman, an extraordinary countryWadi_Shab_canyon_oman that is forward-facing, yet still retains much of its traditional charm. We travel in 4WD vehicles (typically Toyota Land Cruisers with four to a vehicle) from Muscat to a fascinating and unspoilt world of traditional souks, mud villages, desert and mountains, where people live much as they have lived for centuries. The tour introduces you to rural communities, local culture and guided walks through wadis, deserts, fertile valleys and mountains - all in the company of English speaking local guides and expert drivers.

  • Travelling through Oman in 4WD vehicles exploring the desert, mountains, fertile valleys, Arabian Sea coast and rural communities
  • Discovering the culture and history of Oman
  • Guided walking through old Muscat, visiting the magnificent Grand Mosque
  • Exploring old forts and castles
  • Guided walking in remote areas, including desert, wadis and jebels
  • Luxury camping in the desert and mountains
  • Visit a desert Bedouin family in Wahiba Sands
  • Wahiba Sands camel ride
  • Two nights luxury accommodation at the 5-Star Shangri-La in Muscat

From Muscat we drive along the Arabian Sea coastal route, crossing the Hajjar Mountain Range to the mountain market town of Nizwa stopping along the way to visit farming communities with time to explore a spectacular gorge high up in the mountains. We stay in delightful hotels and high quality tented accommodation in the mountains and desert before returning to Muscat via the Jebel Shams Plateau, Wahiba Sands, Wadi Bani Khalid and Wadi Shab.

Oman

The Sultanate of Oman occupies the southeast corner of the Arabian Peninsula, with a coastline of some 1700km that stretches from the Straits of Hormuz in the north to the borders of Yemen in the south. Oman borders Saudi Arabia in the west and the United Arab Emirates to the northeast.

We travel in Spring, typically warm and dry, with temperatures at 30°C avg dropping to around 20°C at night. In mountain regions it can be cooler, particularly at altitudes above 2000 metres. The guided walks range from short to longer treks over fairly rough terrain, overall graded moderate. Many of the trails follow centuries-old routes through the mountains and are still in use by mountain villagers as the only means of access. The holiday is as much a cultural as a walking holiday and one of the features is that you may join in for some or all of the walks; the choice is yours.

Walking Grade: Grade: Moderate

Day 1: Friday 5th April: Travel to Muscat

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Muscat. Check-in at least two hours before departure time, using your passport and e-ticket. Your seat numbers will be shown on your e-ticket.

Aahlan wa Sahlan! Welcome to Oman!

Visas are available to UK passport holders on arrival at the airport. Passports should be valid for at least six months. Proceed to the Travelex counter. Fill in the visa application form and make the visa fee payment. OMR 5 (approx £10.00). The Travelex accepts the visa fee in any major currency. Proceed to the Visa Counter and get the visa stamped, then proceed to the baggage claim.

Met by a representative of Eihab Travels LLC, our agents, at the meeting point outside with a placard showing Langdale.

Transfer by private air-conditioned coach to the Al Falaj Hotel in Muscat where we spend the first two nights. During the drive the driver/guide will provide some interesting facts about Muscat and Oman in general.

Gulf Standard Times is GMT + 4 hours

Check in at the Al Falaj Hotel where we stay for two nights.

As we arrive late, a nightcap in the bar may appeal to some.

Overnight at Al Falaj Hotel.

Accommodation: Al Falaj Hotel

Day 2: Saturday 6th April: Muscat

Meet up with our guide, Abdulrahman, who will accompany us throughout the tour.

Today we have a guided tour of Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Muscat is a beautiful, pristine city, situated between the brown pleated mountains on the shores of the Arabian Sea. The city has developed, but has retained its pride in its heritage and culture.

Historically fishing was only second to farming as an economic activity in pre-oil Oman, and following our city tour we visit its main fish market. It is still a major industry and more than 150 species of fish and crustaceans have been identified in Omani waters.

From her we drive to old Musca, with a photo stop at the magnificent Al Aalam Palace (the official residence of Sultan Qaboos) flanked by the twin Portuguese forts of Mirani & Jalali.

After an optional lunch, we walk the Riyam-Muttrah mountain trail. This two hour (optional) walk takes us along an old mule track, up a fairly steep climb and then down into the wadi. The reward is a great view of the harbour and Muttrah.

Following the walk, we explore the Mut trah Souq, a labyrinthian market place where the exotic aroma of spices, coffee, ancient remedies and perfumes fill the air.

Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Al Falaj Hotel.

Walking: 2 hours, Moderate, some scrambling

Accommodation: Al Falaj Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

Day 3: Sunday 07th April: Muscat-Wadi Bani Awaf-Bilad Sait- Hail Al Shas

Depart for today’s journey in 4WD vehicles. On our way, we visit the Grand Mosque, an architectural marvel and the new landmark of the city. Ladies visiting the Grand Mosque must wear a head scarf and be fully covered. Men should wear long trousers. No shorts, beachwear or sleeveless outfits permitted.

This exhilarating drive takes us along the Batinah coast, before taking the mountain crossing through the Al Hajjar Range towards Nizwa. Terraced farming and beautiful mountain villages await you along with far reaching views over the surrounding area.

The mountains are also where Omani honey is produced. Across the country you’ll find a varied landscape that consists of dried-up river beds, hills, plains and deserts in which plants flourish and provide the nutrients required by bees: palm trees, coconut palms, cereals, limes, vegetables, sugar cane, frankincense and gum trees.

Drive on through the mountain pass with stunning view to the village of Bilad Sait (meaning the hidden village) where we walk through the gorge into the he village with some scrambling involved.

Continue the drive across the mountain range and then descend to Al Hamra and on to The View Camp located next to the mountain village of Hail Al Shas.

Overnight and dinner at The View at Hail Al Shas.

Walking: 1 hour, Easy

Accommodation: The View at Hail Al Shas

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 4: Monday 8th April: Jebel Shams – Jabreen – Al Hamra – Misfat Al Abriyeen

Early morning, drive to Jebel Shams. In Jebel Shams we start the Jebel Shams Rim Walk, known locally as the Balcony Walk, along the Grand Canyon, with views over Jabal Al Khawr, Jabal Misht and Wadi Sahtan. It is widely recognized as one of the best vistas in Oman. Ascend to Hail Al Shas. Most houses in this little village are built from mud bricks and clay and many are over a hundred years old. They are built into the slope of the wadi (valley), nestled closely together. (walk three hours - grade moderate - steep in places. the walk is optional).

Forts and castles are Oman's most striking cultural landmarks and, along with towers and city walls, previously used as defensive bastions or look-out points. There are over 500 forts, castles and towers in Oman.

Start the day with a guided tour of Jabreen Castle. Built as a defensive stronghold, the Jabreen is one of the finest of Omani castles with dungeons, passages, rooms and ceilings adorned with fine carvings, paintings, inscriptions and frescoes.

Visit Al Hamra, at the foot of the mountains, where 400 year old mud houses are still standing and occupied. Then drive to the quaint little mountain village of Misfat Al Abriyeen. Our guide will lead a fascinating walk around his village, explaining its history, agriculture and falaj watering system. The tour takes us through paths mostly shaded by date plantations and crops such as lemon, mangoes and a range of vegetables. Next we drive towards the Western Hajjar Mountains, over 2000 metres high and visible from far off. Next we drive up the mountain of Jebel Shams, (translated literally: “Sun Mountain”) and the highest peak in Oman.

Drive to Nizwa.

Dinner and Overnight at Falaj Daris Hotel, Nizwa.

Accommodation: Falaj Daris Hotel, Nizwa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 5: Tuesday 9th April: Nizwa – Birkat Al Mauz – Jebel Akhdhar (Walk)

We start the day with a visit to the Nizwa Fort & Souq.

Driving up to the Jebel Akhdhar Mountains, we make a stop at the picturesque little village of Birkat Al Mauz at the foot of the mountain - famous for its falaj water system and date and banana plantations.

We take the winding road to Jebel al Akhdar (2000m), the green jewel of the Al Hajjar Mountain Range. Enjoy the cool climate up in the mountains and see Jebel al Akhdar which is famed for fruit orchards laid out in terraces along the mountain slopes and irrigated by the falaj water systems.

There are many short walks and long hikes in Jebal Akhdar, some of which are military routes which were used in the Jebal Akhdar war. Also famous for its fruits, rose and nut plantations, there are many small villages with some of the best farming in Oman. Abandoned villages are scattered randomly along the plateau hidden in wadi's and caves.

Our guide will take us on an interesting guided walk through mountain villages and terraced farms with magnificent views over Wadi Muhaydin. Look out for fossilised coral, and a chance to see a rose water distillery in action. This 4km trail, connecting all the villages on Saiq plateau, starts either from Al Aqar or Saiq village.

Dinner and overnight stay at Falaj Daris Hotel, Nizwa.

Accommodation: Falaj Daris Hotel, Nizwa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 6: Wednesday 10th April: Nizwa – Ibra

Today we set off to the desert. Our guide will be happy to suggest a few more interesting places on the way including a stop at the abandoned mercantile village of Al Mansfah. Much of the charm and character of this old village, which had known its heyday hundreds of years ago, has not washed away.

We stop at the desert town of Ibra where they hold a unique women-only market (only on Wednesdays) for Bedouins from surrounding Sharqiya Sands. Ladies Market in Ibra is a fairly recent innovation, opened in 1990 and is only held on Wednesday mornings. It is the only souq in Oman which lends itself totally to the needs of women. Lotions, cosmetics, powders, textiles, perfumes and henna are amongst some of the items on sale. A dusty square, normally filled with camels and goats is transformed at the middle of each week into a bustling area where brisk business is done by women clad in exotic traditional costumes. There is a community atmosphere in the air where the women chat, work, and sell while their children amuse themselves with the wares. (Please ask for permission before you take photographs!)

Before continuing towards the dunes, we take the winding road up to the picturesque Wadi Bani Khalid. This is one of the greenest and most scenic wadis in Oman. It has great swimming holes and picnic areas. The walk is alongside a series of large swimming holes, following a rough boulder-strewn path for about 20 minutes through the deep part of the wadi to the Muqal Cave.

Running south from the Eastern Hajjar Mountains to the Arabian Sea, the Wahiba Sands, described as a Sand Sea, stretches almost 200 kms in length and about 100 kms in width, forming part of the Empty Quarter – so called for its sea of dunes stretching over the horizon. The dunes rise above 100-150 meters in different shades of colour. It’s a romantic place that should also appeal to travellers with a sense of adventure. A roller-coaster ride over the dunes should be a thrilling experience, especially for those who are first time visitors to the desert.

Just before we reach the camp we stop to enjoy the hospitality of a Bedouin home. Families here are unspoilt by mass-tourism and are pleased to offer us Omani “kahwa” (traditional coffee) and dates.

Our next stop is the desert and luxury camp, Desert Nights Resort.

Drive up the dunes to witness the sunset over the sands.

Dinner with local musicians proving background music for your entertainment.

Overnight at Desert Nights Resort.

Walking: 2 hours, Easy

Accommodation: Desert Nights Resort

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 7: Thursday 11th April: Wahiba Sands – Sur – Wadi Shab (Walk) – Muscat

An early rise is a great opportunity to explore the dunes by foot or to just watch the shifting colours of the dunes.

After breakfast, you can enjoy short camel ride within the Camp (less than 5 minutes) or a camel ride around the camp (30-45 minutes)

The drive from Wahiba Sands to Muscat offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea on one side and rocky cliffs on the other. We leave the coastal road to visit Wadi Shab for a tranquil walk along the wadi, stopping for a picnic lunch.

This is one of Oman’s most scenic wadis, a canyon type valley with flowing water throughout the year. Fresh water cascades from the top of the mountains to meet the sea, creating an environmental diversity unique to this wadi. This is a tidal wadi and, depending on the state of the tide, we may have to cross by boat. The walk is along an increasingly narrowing old rocky winding track, passing banana and mango trees with a series of streams and pools. Picnic lunch.

After the walk we continue the drive towards Muscat.

En-route we stop at the white sandy Fins beach for photos, as well as the Bimah Sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water. From here, we travel back to Muscat and drive to the Shangri-La Al Bandar Hotel, where we stay for two nights.

Dinner and overnight at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa (Al Bandar), Muscat.

Walking: 1 - 2 Hours, Easy

Accommodation: Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 8: Friday 12th April: Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort, Return Flights to UK

Leisurely breakfast in the hotel.

Today there are a number of optional activities, including complimentary transfers to Muttrah or relaxing at the hotel’s private beach or enjoying one of its swimming pools.

Check out of the hotel in the evening followed by dinner at the Kargeen Restaurant in Muscat before we transfer to the airport for the return flight to UK.

NOTE: Arrangements will be made to retain some hotel rooms up until our departure so that you can relax, change and shower before departure for dinner and flight. Depart from the Kargeen Restaurant around 2030hrs.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner,

The View at Hail Al Shasthe-view-Oman
Located at 1,400 meters above sea level near the mountain village of Hail Al Shas, the view is a luxury eco retreat built into the foothills of the Jabal Shams mountains.

The hotel boasts an infinity pool where, as with the rooms, you have dramatic, panoramic views over the Al Hamra Valley. Though the stunning location is undoubtedly the hotel's main attraction, you'll also find exceptional service, traditional cuisine and well-appointed rooms with full facilities throughout.

Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa 5*al-waha-at-shangri-la-barr-al-jissah-resort-and-spa-
After our week spent exploring the mountains, canyons and deserts of Oman, we take the last night of our journey within the relaxing settings of the Shangri-Li Resort & Spa (near Muscat).

The hotel is located between the mountains and the sea, where, if we are fortunate, we will have arrived just in time to catch the beginning of the sea turtle hatching season (between April & August).

 

 

Availability Status: Available To Book

Options Price p.p Notes
Holiday inc. flights £2,950 Based on two sharing a twin/double room, includes economy flight departing from London Heathrow
Single Supplement £750
Holiday exc. international flights £2,500
British Airways flight supplement Contact Us Includes upgrade to premium economy

The Standard Price Includes

  • International return economy class flights UK to Muscat
  • Private air-conditioned coach with driver for airport transfers
  • Bottled mineral water and soft drinks throughout the tour
  • Oman Government service tax
  • 4WD vehicles and driver for the tour
  • Camel ride at Desert Nights Camp
  • Portage at all hotels
  • Accompanying tour leader throughout
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Full programme of sightseeing and guided walking
  • Services of our agent in Muscat – Eihab Travels
  • Hotel accommodation with full facilities
  • All meals as shown in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to places of interest including museums and monuments

Not Included

  • Travel Insurance
  • Oman Visa (approx £40.00)
  • Beverages
  • Gratuities, which are optional
  • Any Government taxes or compulsory charges that may be introduced after the publication of this web page

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

Outbound

Friday 5th April: Travel to Muscat
Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Muscat. Check-in at least two hours before departure time.

London Heathrow Departure:

  • Depart Heathrow: 09:15
  • Arrive Abu Dhabi: 20:05

Flight time: 6hr 50
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY012

Manchester Departure:

  • Depart Manchester: 08:55
  • Arrive Abu Dhabi: 20:05

Flight time: 7hr 10
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY016

Abu Dhabi Departure:

  • Depart Abu Dhabi: 21:30
  • Arrive Muscat: 22:40

Flight time: 7hr 10
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY016

British Airways Departure:

This alternative route is offered to clients who prefer to fly with British Airways in their World Traveller Plus (WTP) category, instead of Economy Class with Etihad Airways.

Manchester Departure:

  • Depart Manchester: 07:25
  • Arrive Heathrow: 08:35

Flight time: 1hr 10
Carrier: British Airways BA1385

London Heathrow Departure:

  • Depart Heathrow: 09:45
  • Arrive Muscat: 22:45

Flight time: 8hr
Carrier: British Airways BA0073

Return

Friday 12th April: Depart Oman
Arrive at Muscat Airport.

Abu Dahbi Destination:

  • Depart Muscat: 23:30
  • Arrive Abu Dhabi: 00:35

Flight time: 1hr 05
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY381

London Heathrow Destination:

  • Depart Abu Dhabi: 03:00
  • Arrive Heathrow: 06:45

Flight time: 7hr 45
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY011

Manchester Destination:

  • Depart Abu Dhabi: 02:15
  • Arrive Manchester: 06:30

Flight time: 7hr 15
Carrier: Etihad Airways EY015

British Airways Departure:

London Heathrow Departure:

  • Depart Muscat: 00:25
  • Arrive Heathrow: 06:35

Flight time: 7hr 10
Carrier: British Airways BA0072

Manchester Departure:

  • Depart Heathrow: 07:50
  • Arrive Manchester: 08:50

Flight time: 1hr
Carrier: British Airways BA1384

Flight times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline. All flight times are local time(GMT +4).

April Weather

Average Temperatures
35 C° high
25 C° low
Average Rainfall
20 mm / month
1 days / month
Average Sunshine
11 hours / day

Useful Information

Currency: Omani Rial (OMR). £1 is roughly equivalent to 0.51 Omani Rial, with the average price for a cup of coffee in MUSCAT being 1.78 (OMR). USD may be accepted in some restaurants and hotels and Visa and MasterCard are acceptable, though few places will accept AmEx. Sterling and US Dollars can be easily exchanged at most banks and money changers - you may find that you get a better rate from the latter.

Language: Arabic is the official language of Oman, along with several other languages that have their roots in the central Semitic family. English is also widely spoken, and visitors to Muscat should have no trouble communicating with the Omani people. Outside of Nizwar, Sur and Muscat, you may find that English isn't as widely used.

Timezone: Gulf Standard Time (+4). Oman doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time.

How Fit Do I Need to Be? While some of the mountainous terrain will require sure-footing, we travel at a pace best-suited for appreciating some of Oman's most striking natural landscapes. Where there are steeper ascents through the mountains, we try and temper this elevation gain with a shorter overall walking distance for that day.

How Safe is Oman? Most travel in Oman is blissfully trouble-free with the nation being listed as the world’s 9th safest tourism destination by the World Economic Forum in 2015.

What to Wear in Oman: Oman has one of the warmest climates on earth, but there are significant differences between the mountainous, coastal and arid, desert areas. Bring additional, lightweight layers as a best policy for moving through regional variants in climate. You will also need a comfortable, broken-in pair of walking boots for hikes through mountainous terrain.

We advise our travellers to observe the local customs and dress modestly while visiting, especially when visiting mosques, where female visitors will be required to wear a head scarf or abaya (you can usually hire one before entering the mosque). With cultural norms and warm temperatures in mind, we advise loose, breathable clothing, with shoulders and legs covered. In private resorts you'll find that these cultural guidelines do not apply.

Power Plugs and Sockets in Oman: UK travellers will be able to use their plugs without an adapter in some places, travellers from Europe and the US will need to bring an adapter. Adapters are also readily available from hotels, shops and supermarkets.

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