A Journey Through Arabia (4WD)
Jebel Akhdar 3 Days/ 2 Nights
Experience the wonders of Arabia as you traverse the countryside, visiting both the natural and man-made marvels to be seen, on this three day tour of Oman. You get an opportunity to visit some of the most popular places to visit in Oman including exploring the sights of the Jebel Akhdhar range, and numerous beaches, desert, Wadis, forts and castles in Oman.
We start off the tour with an early morning visit visit to the abandoned ruins of the village of Birkat Al Mauz, which translates as ‘Banana Pool’. It was so named after the numerous banana plantations that once thrived here and though it was abandoned more than fifty years ago, the structures are still intact and offer an insight in to the lives of common Omani villagers of the past. Situated at the foothills of Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains), the village is home to the ancient Falaj irrigation system which is labelled as UNESCO World heritage. We can enjoy a pleasant walk through the oasis and the date plantations here before heading to the Jabreen Castle.
The castle one of the most ornately decorated and beautifully furnished in the country and hold the honour of being one of the only castles in Oman that has been refurbished to showcase the fashions of the time it was originally constructed in. A short exploration of the rooms proudly displays the fact that it is one of the few palaces not constructed in times of war. The fine calligraphy etched in to the walls, beautiful artwork decorating the ceilings and decorative arches, windows and balconies go on to show that the castle was made with a focus of the beauty and furnished accordingly. The Jabreen Castle tour is a delight for history enthusiasts and stepping into the castle feels like one has taken a step back in time itself.
From here we head towards Wadi Al Nakhr, better known as the Grand Canyon of Oman. We start from the base of the canyon to drive up to the top. Our first stop along the way is a tiny village with crumbling houses set in the mountainside. Set at an altitude of almost thousand meters above sea level, Misfat al Abriyyin is one of the oldest villages in Al Hamra, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. The best view place to admire the valley is from the viewing platform, which is a short walk from the village entrance. The village is known for the traditionally structured mud houses made with palm frond roofs. However, what is truly unique about them is that these ancient houses were built on solid rock foundations. We can also take a short walk through the date plantations here, before continuing to the beautiful Wakan Village in Wadi Ghul, which is famous for its terrace farming. This mountain village sits on the Western Hajar mountains at an altitude of 2,000 meters overlooking the surrounding mountains above and Wadi Mistal below. As it can only be reached by driving uphill on a narrow dirt track set on a steep slope, we have experienced drivers with a 4WD who can take on this track easily. One can take in the amazing views from the viewing platform in the village and explore the beautiful green terrace farms here, which are irrigated by the ancient Falaj irrigation system which has been placed on the Unesco World heritage list.
We continue upwards till we reach the highest peak of the Jebel Akhdar range, Jebel Shams, whose name roughly translates to ‘Sun Mountain’. It is thus named since it’s the first to experience sunrise everyday due to it’s being the tallest mountain peak in Oman. Here we can peer down into the depths of Wadi Nakhr to fully admire it’s giagantic proportions and massive depth.
Afterwards we depart towards the Nizwa region where we’ll visit the famed Nizwa Fort and Souk. The fort was built in the seventeenth century and is now believed to be one of the best representatives of the architecture of its time. It is famous for its circular main tower, one of the largest of its kind. You can learn of the traps used in the fort and explore the exhibits and artefacts displayed here before we head to the Nizwa souq(marketplace). Here you will discover many interesting finds from intricately carved khanjars(daggers), and traditional handicrafts to silver jewellery and tourist souvenirs; On Fridays you can even witness the weekly cattle auction that takes place here.
Once you are done exploring the Souk we will retire to the Falaj Daris Hotel where we will spend the night.
We’ll start early in the morning we will cover close to 300km as we drive across the countryside taking in the amazing views that this tour of Oman has to offer. Nothing but the sounds of the winds and the vast expanse of desert greets us when we reach our destination, the sands dunes which is part of the Al Sharqiya Sands of Oman, also known as the Wahiba Sands or Ramlat al Wahiba. You will get an opportunity to experience the Omani desert in all its glory as wide swaths of undulating red and white sands swell across the landscape forming dunes that rise up to 200m in ever-changing patterns as the winds sweeps them from here to there.
With the sparse flora and fauna that populated the land here it is hard to believe that any civilization could survive in these harsh conditions, however it was home to the Bani Wahiba tribe after which the Wahiba Sands were named. Nowadays there are only a few Bedouin houses that still stand in this wilderness, and we can visit one of the houses to talk to the people here.
You have an option of lunch at Al Sharqiyah Sands hotel or making your own arrangements, after which we move on towards Wadi Bani Khalid also known as Wadi Hayer or Wadi Hawer. It is a desert paradise in the middle of the sweltering sands with an oasis in the middle of date palm trees surrounded by intimidating rock valleys and a network of pools. As the Wadi Bani Khalid tour explains the wadi is not a single spot but a wide expanse of area covering numerous villages in these rocky hills. The pools in the Wadi have absolutely clear sparkling waters and there is even an waterfall here. Some parts of the Wadi are home to an network of tiny caves, but these should not be explored without a guide. before proceed to drive to the seafaring town of Sur.
Here we will retire for the night at the Sur Plaza Hotel.
Wake up to the sounds of the seas surrounding you and after a leisurely breakfast there set out to explore the city. This seaside town offers a glimpse into what life was like in Gulf fishing villages of old and a tour of Sur is a great way of understanding the history of Oman’s coastal villages.
We will take a tour of the dhow factory here to learn about about how Dhows or local fishing boats are made and the history of this Dhow manufacturing town. Post the Dhow Yard tour we will head to the centre of the town where we turn of the main road to visit the Sineslah fort, a three hundred year old square fort with round watchtowers.
Afterwards we take the highway heading towards Muscat. We wfollow this highway until we have to take a detour off the main road to visit a hilltop overlooking palm trees, where the remains of the ancient town of Qalhat lie. The site is home to Bibi Miriam's tomb which is one of the only sights of the ancient town to survive the ravages of time. We will explore the ruins of this once great city before heading towards the coast admiring the views that the coastal road offer as we head towards Muscat, taking the slow route there visiting the sights along the way. On clear sunny days while driving along the coast one might chance to see sharks in the deep blue water or fleet footed Gazelle sprint across the landscape. Our first stop is at the Fins beach, which is one of the lesser known but most beautiful beaches in Oman. Its white sands, blue waters and plethora of birds is as yet still undiscovered by the mainstream tourists and offers us the pleasure of enjoying this slice of heaven without any crowds to disturb the serene atmosphere here.
After enjoying a leisurely swim here we for a tour of the Bimah Sinkhole. This spectacular Sinkhole, also known as Bait al-Afreet is located at the small Hawiyat Najm Park and consists of a giant limestone crater with clear blue green water at the bottom.
After spending some time at the Bimah Sinkhole, we will take an adventurous route through the spectacular mountains to reach Wadi Arbayeen, situated in the Al Sharqiyah region of Oman. On exploring this Wadi you will be delighted to find that it’s rocky face is surrounded by date trees and liberally populated with numerous lakes, waterfalls and deep pools of water. Visit the mango plantations at Hail Al Ghaf before continuing on our way to Muscat. Our last stop before returning to the capital is the town of Quriyat. On arriving at this seaside fishing town, we spend some time exploring the town after which we will visit the four hundred year old Quriyat fort and the local Fish Souk(marketplace) where we witness the day to day workings of a fish market. You will notice that a variety of fish is available and traded here, both for local consumption and export. We then proceed to drive along the picturesque waterfront passing by an inland stream where you will have an opportunity to spot flamingoes, eagles and other birds.From here we’ll drive through the mountains as the road cuts through the rugged Eastern Hajjar range. It’s pleasurable drive back to Muscat as we travel across smooth roads with views of rocky mountains and narrow valleys as we cross tiny mountain villages to finally reach our destination.
On reaching Muscat check into the hotel of your choice.
Available around the year though some sights might be shut during certain periods
Please carry light walking shoes for this tour as it involves a lot of walking.
It is advised that you wear light cotton clothing as it is best suited to the weather here.
This tour involves a lot of physically strenuous activity and it is advised that you keep this in mind while booking it.
Visa assistance, flight bookings and other incidentals can be arranged on request at a charge.
Please let your tour advisor know at the beginning if you are allergic to anything, so your food options follow the same.
Kindly let your tour advisor know at the time of booking if any special assistance will be required during the tour, so they can guide you on if this is possible or not.
Please note that if you are bringing your pet along, many places follow a no-pet policy and coordinate with your tour advisor at the time of booking for a smooth tour.
Places We Visit- Highlights
Tours of Ruins of Birkat Al Mouz Village
Tour of Jebel Akhdhar- visit the highest peak, Jebel Shams
Tour of Grand Canyon of Oman or Wadi Al Nakhr - Misfat al Abriyyin village, Wakan Village
Tour of Nizwa- Nizwa Fort, Nizwa souq(marketplace), weekly cattle auction
Wahiba Tour- Wahiba sands also known as Ramlat al Wahiba, Bedouin houses, 1000 nights camp
Wadi Bani Khalid also known as Wadi Hayer
Tour of Seaside town of Sur- Dhow Factory Tour, Sineslah fort
Ruins of Qalhat- Bibi Miriam's tomb also known as ‘The Mausoleum of Lady Maryam’
Bimah Sinkhole, also known as Bait al-Afreet is located at the small Hawiyat Najm Park
Tour of seaside fishing town of Quriyat- Quriyat fort, Fish Souk(marketplace)
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis for 01 night at Falaj Daris Hotel
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis for 01 night at the Sur Plaza Hotel
- Transportation in an air-conditioned luxury four wheel drive vehicle for 3 days, along with an English speaking chauffeur
- All entrance fees
- Fuel charges
- Guided tour by experienced multilingual guides.
- Entry Tickets
- Any personal shopping
- Additional areas you may wish to visit
Terms & Conditions
- The itinerary may be modified based on various factors like maintenance of monuments, museums, major events like sports conventions, religious festivals, etc.
- Zahara Tours reserves the right to change itinerary or dates or cancel a tour due to unforeseen reasons and will not take any responsibility for any charges the customer may incur due to change in itinerary.
- All services will be as per those specified and paid for as per Service Vouchers. If you avail any service which is not included in the A Journey Through Arabia (4WD) Holiday Package or get yourself upgraded, then the payment for the same will have to be cleared by you directly. Please note that, tips, gratuities, room service, laundry, excess baggage charge, á la carte meals, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, etc. are not included unless specifically mentioned as included.
- Please note that travel insurance is not included in the tour price and all medical costs and other costs involved must be paid by the client. It is therefore strongly recommended to our clients to purchase comprehensive travel insurance prior to departure to meet any contingencies. We can arrange for the same on request.
- The package price doesn’t include special dinner or mandatory charges levied by the hotels especially during New Year and other special occasions.
- Zahara Tours reserves the right to amend, alter, vary or withdraw any holiday package without any prior notice.
- Preponing or postponing a confirmed tour may result in additional cost.