Uncover the beauty of this exotic off-the-beaten-track destination, starting your journey among the opulence of Al Bustan Palace, a luxury hotel in Muscat. Take a deep dive into Omani culture right from the off as you wander the huge Sultan Qaboos Mosque, one of the largest in the world, and awaken your senses as you stroll through an Omani souk and browse an incredible array of goods, infused by the distinct aromas of incense and spices. See the decadent Al Alam Palace before being truly immersed in Middle Eastern culture and practices, getting involved in Omani life by trying your hand at traditional crafts and some homely cooking. You’ll also be drawn to the sweet-smelling Amouage factory – one of Muscat’s lesser-celebrated sights – before leaving the city for the mountains, pit-stopping at Jabreen Castle en route.
It won’t be long before Oman’s epic Al Hajar Mountains are in sight. This is a region famed for its rugged beauty, terraced fruit orchards and tiny mountain villages and you’ll spend the next couple of days on this adventure holiday in Oman visiting a local village and hiking through farmland and wadis. Your nights will be spent at Alila Jabal Akhdar, a luxury resort that blends harmoniously with its rocky environment thanks to its use of stone and wood.
Next on this Oman itinerary, you’ll leapfrog to two of its most spectacular sandscapes. First, feel as if you’re Lawrence of Arabia himself with a night in the desert at Thousand Nights Camp, where you can bed down like a Bedouin under a starry sky at night and head out on camel safaris and dune bashing excursions by day. Finish your Omani adventure on its east coast with a night at the Ras Al Jinz Scientific Centre. Here, you’ll have an experience you’re never likely to forget, with the centre providing a safe refuge for nesting green turtles; once darkness falls, you’ll -have an unparalleled glimpse of them making their way up the sand to nest. Enjoy one final night in Muscat on your luxury Oman tour and leave feeling like you’ve lived in Lawrence of Arabia’s sandals for ten days.
First built for Sultan Qaboos in the 1980s to welcome esteemed dignitaries, the Al Bustan Palace hasn’t stopped extending a royal welcome to all its guests ever since. When it comes to first impressions, the resort will knock your socks off with its marble-coated lobby which, at thirty eight metres high, is the tallest atrium in Oman. The royal theme continues with the mahogany, teal and silver-decorated rooms, afternoon tea and the 24-carat gold facials offered in its Six Senses Spa. There’s even a floor exclusively reserved for the Sultan – exactly how a palace should be.
At Alila Jabal Akhdar, you don’t just stay in the mountains but feel like you’re a part of them. This is partly owing to the resort’s stone-and-wood design but also thanks to its epic position overlooking a rugged ravine. It’s hard not to relax in the cool mountain air up here but Alila also has a raft of experiences to unlock the surrounding Al Hajar Mountains, from walks among the dawn-lit mountains with your own Omani guide to learning how rosewater is made.
Embrace your inner Bedouin at Thousand Nights Camp, pitched among the ochre-tinged dunes of Wahiba Sands. Modelled on a nomadic camp, its traditional wool-lined tents and wandering camels make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the Arabia of old, while guided desert treks make you feel like T. E. Lawrence. Become completely immersed in the magical ambience of the Omani desert, where silence, rippling sands and starry night skies are guaranteed on this authentic Bedouin escape.
The tent-like accommodation is both comfy and stylish, but at the Ras Al Jinz Scientific Centre it’s unlikely you’ll spend much time in your room. That’s because it’s not often you get to stay somewhere that’s like a turtle sanctuary. Dedicated to the preservation of green turtles, this eco-tourism project offers guests the incredible opportunity to witness turtles nesting in their natural environment with after-dark excursions, while expert guides add a fascinating commentary to this phenomenon.
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This journey has everything from luxury resort hotels where everyone can relax either in the pool or on the beach, to adventure excursions where you’ll become budding desert explorers with a visit to the shifting sands of Wahiba Sands to rugged mountain ranges.VIEW EXPERIENCE
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