Soul of Oman

Soul of Oman

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tourhub | Crooked Compass | Soul of Oman | 834
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7 Days From

$3951

$3774

Soul of Oman

7 Days Starting and ending in Muscat, Oman

Visiting: Muscat, Al Hamra, Jebel Shams, Nizwa, Jebel Akhdar, Wahiba Sands, Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Sur

Tour operator:

Crooked Compass

Tour code:

834

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

2 - 12

Physical rating:

Low

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Swimming

Private Available:

Request A Private Tour

From:
$3951
$3774 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$178

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Get hands on in a cooking class in a local fishing villageExplore lush wadis and abandoned villagesWander through date plantations and mud brick villages, drink fresh mountain water straight from the falaljAdmire the natural beauty of Jebel Sham, Oman’s Grand CanyonOvernight under the stars in Wahiba SandsMingle with the local Bedouin community over teaWitness turtles laying their eggs on the beach at nightSwim in remote wadis and the Bimah SinkholeOman is a melting pot of cultural traditions and hypnotising landscapes. Mix into this hazy heat some truly unforgettable wildlife encounters and swimming spots with a spattering of dramatic coastlines and Oman becomes a must see on any travellers bucket list.

Travel by 4WD through rugged landscapes, visit quaint mountain villages and witness turtles nesting on the stunning white sand beaches. Swim in desert oases, climb colossal sand dunes and take a thrilling ride over them with our experienced drivers. Mingle with the locals in their traditional homes and explore abandoned stone villages before exploring the bustling souqs with ornamental jewellery and intricately hand carved daggers.

Highlights

  • Get hands on in a cooking class in a local fishing village and Explore lush wadis and abandoned villages

  • Wander through date plantations and mud brick villages, drink fresh mountain water straight from the falalj

  • Admire the natural beauty of Jebel Sham, Oman’s Grand Canyon

  • Overnight under the stars in Wahiba Sands

  • Mingle with the local Bedouin community over tea

  • Witness turtles laying their eggs on the beach at night

  • Swim in remote wadis and the Bimah Sinkhole

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Arrival Muscat

Location: Muscat

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Grand Millennium Muscat or similar

Meals Included: Dinner

Welcome to Muscat! Scenically wedged between mountains and ocean, with old forts and excellent museums, an opera house and flower-filled parks, the gentle city of Muscat is a delight to visit. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing at your hotel before enjoying a cooking class at the fishing village of Sidab. Enjoy cooking with the Sidab women whilst interacting with the locals and learning about their culture and traditions. You will be cooking traditional Omani food and have the opportunity to enjoy what you have prepared with the local women.



Enjoy a visit to the Bait Al Zubair museum. This privately owned museum is located in the old town of Muscat and is known for its fine collection of traditional costumes, antique jewellery, weapons and other treasures. Embrace a photo opportunity at Al Alam Palace, the palace of the Sultan, before you visit the Mirani and Jalali forts (outside only). Move on to visit Muttrah Souq, which is one of the oldest markets in Oman, dating back over two hundred years. Its history and antiquities only increase the extent of its beauty, magic and allure. The gold souk here is one of the highlights! Bargain with the locals and see what treasures you can uncover in the labyrinth of twisting and winding alleyways. Dinner this evening is at the Turkish Diwan restaurant.

Day 2 : Muscat To Jebal Shams

Location: Muscat, Al Hamra, Jebel Shams

Accommodation: Resort, Resort

Accommodation Name: Jebal Shams Resort or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Begin your day with a delicious breakfast before departing on your Muscat city tour. Your first stop will be the impressive Grande Mosque which stands exquisitely against the skyline. A beautiful Swarovski chandelier and a huge handmade Persian carpet adorn the main prayer hall. After an architectural competition to select the best design for the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the construction took six years. Please consider the dress code for the visit of the Grand Mosque: Women must fully cover their hair, arms and legs; men must wear long trousers and a shirt. Visits are not possible on Fridays.



A beautiful photo opportunity awaits you at Birkat Al Mouz, one of the most famous villages lying in ruins in Oman. With a large banana plantation and scenic surroundings, the site is also home to the old falaj irrigation system, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which provides mountain water to the villages via a canal like system. It is an enchanting stop that will transport you back in time. Visit the village of Al Hamra, one of the best-preserved old towns in the country and the home of the Bait Al Safa living museum. Stroll in between the old, abandoned buildings and traditional mud houses. Visit the museum and learn about Omani traditions with both men and women demonstrating ancient practices. Stop at the old village of Ghul to see the abandoned Persian ruins. Arrival at Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest point at 3,009m. It is truly an amazing sight at all times of the day. Enjoy the spectacular view of Oman’s “Grand Canyon”.

Day 3 : Jebel Shams To Jebel Akhdar

Location: Jebel Shams, Nizwa, Jebel Akhdar

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: DusitD2 Jebel Akhdar Hotel or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before starting the day with a photo opportunity at Wadi Nakhar, which is one of the most beautiful valleys in Oman. It is a very deep valley and consists of several branches.



The valley is a beautiful destination for mountaineering and hiking. Continue to Misfat Al Abriyeen, a village that boasts amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks. The old houses in Misfat Al Abriyeen are traditional mud houses with palm frond roofs and are unique in that they are built on solid rock foundations. Here you will also see traditional Omani irrigation channels (falaj system), where water is channelled from underground sources to support agriculture and domestic use. Visit Nizwa, the former capital of Oman. Explore the 17th-century Nizwa fort with its vast tower and superb views of the oasis. In the bustling souq nearby, you will find local products such as Omani daggers (khanjar), copper, silver jewellery, livestock, fish, vegetables, and handicrafts for sale.



Discover Jebel Akhdar (the green mountain). It is neither green nor a single mountain, but a large grey-brown massif covering more than 1,800 square km with several peaks, rising to nearly 3,050 metres. The mountain range is dotted with Omani villages and in many areas, villagers have dug terraces in parts of the mountain for growing crops. Wadi Bani Habib is one of several interesting villages located on the massive plateau. Jebel Akhdar is also famous for rose water distillation. Of the thousands of varieties of rose, only a few produce the fragrant oil required to make rosewater, ‘damascina’ being prized variety. The rose season begins mid-March and finishes mid-May.

Day 4 : Jebal Akhdar

Location: Jebel Akhdar

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: DusitD2 Jebel Akhdar Hotel or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast, set off for a trek in Jebel Akhdar. This is Oman’s premier walking/trekking area offering gentle walks between its villages, to tough traverses of its highlands, to thrilling tramping and clambering in its wadis (gorges). The trek is about 7.5 km long and takes approximately 5-6 hours through spectacular landscapes. The remainder of your day is at leisure.

Day 5 : Wahiba Sands

Location: Wahiba Sands

Accommodation: Camp

Accommodation Name: Arabian Oryx Camp or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast, make your decent and visit the Women’s market in Ibra which is held every Wednesday. Visit the enchanting Wadi Bani Khalid. Drive past the village with its endless date plantations until you reach the magnificent wadi. The pools are cool, deep and absolutely stunning. Feel free to plunge in and experience the crystal-clear waters. After lunch, drive to the impressive Wahiba Sands which are vast mass of red and white sand with dunes rising to 200 metres, home to a variety of flora and fauna. Have your own sand bashing fun with our well experienced driver riding the dunes on the way to the camp site.

Day 6 : Ras Al Jinz - Sur

Location: Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Sur

Accommodation: Resort, Resort

Accommodation Name: Resort Ras Al Hadd Holiday or similar

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast this morning is at your camp site. Witness the sunrise over the rolling dunes as the colours morph with the rising of the sun. Set off before stopping in Jalan Bani Bu Ali at the Hammouda mosque, an architectural masterpiece that has kept traditions alive. The mosque, famous for its characteristic 52 domes, is built in beautiful geometric design. It was constructed in an age that lacked modern technology and engineering. This architectural marvel is the only one in the area that has a falaj or waterway. Continue to Jalan Bani Bu Hasan castle, a solid, squat building that has been well restored (open Saturday-Thursday 08:30-16:00, Friday 08:30-11:00). Arrival at Al Ashkara (named after a poisonous desert plant), the key city of this area. Explore the stunning sandy beaches, where you might see different species of birds. The seas and tides here are very rough compared to the shores of Muscat. Visit the Ras AI Jinz Turtle Reserve, world renowned for the nesting of the endangered green turtle, Chelonia mydas. The reserve is one of the most important nesting sites in the Indian Ocean.

Day 7 : Sur To Muscat

Location: Sur, Muscat

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Heading back towards Muscat today, trek and swim at Wadi Shab. Fresh water cascading from the top of the mountains meets the briny sea water on its banks, creating an environmental diversity unique to this wadi and making it stand on a pedestal of its own when compared with the other wadis (valleys) in the Sultanate. Stop at Bimah sinkhole, a deep natural depression filled with turquoise water. The locals say that a meteor fell on this spot resulting in the natural depression and forming a small lake. Stop at the fishing village of Quriyat, dating far back into Omani history as a vital sea port. It is well known for its stocks of kingfish and tuna. Transfer to Muscat Airport here your tour ends on arrival. **Trek and swim at Wadi Shab is only feasible if guests have an evening flight or extension night in Muscat

What's Included

  • Return airport transfers

  • 6 nights accommodation

  • Meals as per the itinerary

  • Transportation in luxury air-conditioned vehicle

  • Services of a professional English-speaking guide for all transfers and excursions.

  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary

  • All taxes and services charges currently applicable by the government

What's Not Included

  • International and domestic flights

  • Visas

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • All services, meals other than those indicated above

  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, Return airport transfers are included.

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Yes, Single Supplement will be chargeable at AUD$ 1,196.00.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes, The local guides on the tour is English speaking

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in itinerary.

  • What is the minimum group size?

    The min group size is 2 people.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    International and domestic flights are not included.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes. Focusing on providing authentic experiences where ever you are in the world, Crooked Compass has access to a vast array of accommodation styles. From boutique properties in larger cities to local guest houses and home stays within small villages. Crooked Compass ensures that local authenticity flows through your accommodation throughout your tour without compromising standard.

  • What sort of transportation is used for your tours?

    Transportation utilised on a Crooked Compass escorted small group tour is a combination of a private air conditioned vehicle and local transport where appropriate. This may include a local bus ride, use of the cities metro system, a domestic flight to another city or overnight train ride.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Crooked Compass strives to be a leader in sustainable tourism. Crooked Compass is firmly committed to the principles of ethical travel. Our comprehensive Sustainable Tourism Practices policy summarises our commitments and actions. Although the very basis of our ground operations lends itself to the ethos of sustainable tourism, this policy re-iterates our commitment to: Use locally owned hotels Use locally owned ground agents Use local guides and drivers Promote community tourism projects from homestays to craft shops Support charities that work within the destinations that we travel to Carbon offset our travels

  • Who runs your tours and are they experts in their fields?

    Crooked Compass works with the worlds best operators who are specialists in their country, region and cities providing you with in depth local knowledge. We use local guides who live and breathe the areas they work in, making sure you experience their region, their way. We believe it is far better to have a local guide who knows a lot about a little than a text book trained Western tour guide who knows a little about a lot. Using local guides also ensures that money stays within local communities and supports the regions we visit.

  • What can I expect from a Crooked Compass tour that I wouldn't get from travelling with an alternative company?

    Crooked Compass provides a sensory way to understand the world – we help you live like a local, eat like a local, do what the locals do and seek the faces behind the places whilst discovering untouched lands and natural beauty. Crooked Compass tours delve deep into the heart and soul of a destination ensuring you get out of your journey all you intended and much, much more. Our intriguing itineraries have been created by travellers for travellers. Steering travellers to follow a different path, Crooked Compass’ itineraries allow you to experience the world’s most fascinating destinations in ways you never dreamed possible. It brings to life those ‘bucket list’ experiences you have yearned to do and separates the travellers from the tourists. Crooked Compass tours are culturally rich, reward travellers with unexpected encounters and uncommon rendezvous, creating truly unique, authentic travel experiences.

  • Who do your tours cater for?

    Crooked Compass escorted small group tours cater for those who are well travelled seeking the what’s next and what’s new. Our travellers are curious minded soft adventurers who want to uncover something more than the mainstream tourist trail. Crooked Compass tours draw travellers with an interest in sustainable tourism and conservation for the areas they visit. A Crooked Compass traveller is someone who is seeking something fresh and unique, who has a yearning for authenticity and discovery, with an appreciation for cultures, tradition and the natural world. We call them Cultural Purists.

  • I am concerned about my impact on travelling through untouched regions. Can I offset?

    Yes. All travellers on Crooked Compass tours have the option to offset their part of their tour’s carbon footprint by donating $4AUD (tax-deductible) at time of booking. 100% of these funds are donated to Greenfleet, an environmental non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting our climate by restoring our forests. By partnering with Greenfleet, we are confident that our carbon offset program provides genuine and lasting environmental benefits. Your offset donation funds plant trees and restore permanent native forests in Australia and New Zealand. As they grow, these forests provide many community and environmental benefits by absorbing carbon emissions, protecting our unique biodiversity, restoring habitat for native wildlife, preventing soil salinity and erosion, improving water quality and much more. If you’d like to find out more and offset the rest of your carbon emissions, visit www.greenfleet.org.au

Reviews of this operator

Jeff Rehn  

A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass

07-Apr-2022

A wonderful trip to Saudi Arabia organised by Crooked Compass. Considering the country is just opening up to tourism everything went very well - flights, trips, transfers, guides and accommodation - thank you CC - highly recommended

Tripadvisor
Pauline Mavis Rusby  

We were kept safe at all times.

09-May-2022

We were kept safe at all times. When unexpected hurdles appeared they were handled without fuss. Our tour was informative, picturesque and comfortable.

Tripadvisor
Tina Watts-Seale  

Family holiday to Vietnam

01-Aug-2022

We booked a family holiday to Vietnam with Crooked Compass and it was perfect. The booking process was easy and Lisa took all of our requests on board so that the trip was exactly what we wanted. All flights, transfers, accommodations, guides and activities were fantastic, with great communication throughout the whole trip. Would highly recommend, we will be booking again soon!

Tripadvisor

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Tuesday - Monday

Oct 15, 2024 - Oct 21, 2024
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Oct 15, 2025 - Oct 21, 2025
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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Crooked Compass requires a minimum deposit of 20% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of crooked compass charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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