Day 1, Fri. 26.01.24
Day of arrival
Journey to Muscat on own account.
Entry in Muscat. Up to 14 days free entry without visa with European passport (and also of many more other nationalities - we can check on request). Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond the trip. Transfer to the hotel.
Welcome by the local tour guide.
Grand Hyatt***** club room
Club room offers the possibility to have coffee and cake in the afternoon and small meals in the lounge until 21:00 in the evening, therefore no extra dinner
Day 2, Sat. 27.01.24
Visit of Muttrah district with souq, fortress and corniche as well as private museum with art gallery
Upon early morning arrival in Muscat, transfer to the hotel. Guaranteed early check in, rooms can be occupied immediately.
Short break, freshen up, breakfast at the hotel.
10 am Drive with Coaster bus to Muttrah
Exploration of Muttrah district, walk along the Corniche, Muttrah Souq, the largest and oldest souq in Oman. Then up some steps to Muttrah Fort with a beautiful view over the old town and the bay of Muttrah.
Lunch in a local restaurant (included)
Visit to Bait Al Ghalya (the place and the people museum) - winding private house with furnishings and collection of everyday objects from the 50s, 60s and 70s and attached art gallery for modern Omani art
Return to the hotel and time for a walk on the beach or use of the hotel garden.
Grand Hyatt***** club room
Day 3, Sun. 28.01.24
Talks on religion, society and a taste of Arabic calligraphy, the art of beautiful handwriting.
Day program in Muscat:
Visit to the Sultan Qaboos Great Mosque followed by a meeting at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) with representatives from the Ministry of Religion. Discussion about Ibadism, the predominant interpretation of Islam in Oman.
Drive to Al Khuwair district to the Language Institute for Arabic:
Lunch at the language institute. About 2 hours workshop on Arabic script / calligraphy with Omani calligraphy & Islamic Illumination artist.
Meeting with the Omani Women Association in Sidab near Muscat. Exchange with Omani women about everyday issues and life as a woman in Oman.
Grand Hyatt***** club room
Day 4, Mon. 29.01.24
Local history in Muscat and hike in the canyon of Wadi Shab (easy hike, partly pathless terrain)
Visit of the district "historical Muscat" with stop at the Sultan's Palace and visit of the Bait Al Zubair. The Bait Al Zubair is a private museum, which offers a nice overview of clothing, customs, traditional weapons and also local history, with nice garden and courtyard with cafeteria
Afterwards departure for the round trip: Drive towards Quriyat on the coast and from there south.
Visit to Wadi Shab, nice hike into the wadi. The Wadi Shab is not accessible by car, carries water all year round, bathing possible, please respect the customs of the country (functional shirt and half-length sports leggings). Trekking sandals suitable for water are practical (there and back with bathing approx. 3 hours).
Picnic lunch in the wadi
Sur Al Ayjah Plaza***
Day 5, Tue. 30.01.24
Lagoon city Sur, incense products in Bidiyah and Wahiba /Sharqiya sands
Sightseeing of the picturesque city of Sur, situated on the lagoon. Sur was Oman's most important East African port after Qalhat. Visit to the dhow yard on the lagoon, where even today ships are built according to traditional shipbuilding methods. The famous Fatah Al Khair dhow of a merchant family from Sur is located on the lagoon - next to it is a maritime museum of the same name.
Continuation of the journey inland. Lunch at a local restaurant in the area of Bidiya, on the edge of the Sharqiya/ Wahiba sand desert. Meeting with Omani entrepreneur who produces incense and room freshener fragrances, often based on frankincense.
Then drive into the desert and visit a Bedouin family for coffee.
Overnight at desert camp with barasti huts, the authentic Omani form of Bedouin accommodation
Nomadic Desert Camp (shared bathrooms)
Day 6, Wed. 31.01.24
Women market in Ibra and oasis culture at the foot of Jebal Shams massif with cooking class
Leaving the desert, driving west to Ibra.
Every Wednesday morning there is the women's market in Ibra. This is a market for household products, beauty products (often home-made) and handicrafts like crocheted gold borders by women for women. In one part of the market men are actually not welcome (is signposted) Please do not take pictures in any case without explicit permission of the people present.
Then drive to the palm-filled oasis town of Al Hamra at the foot of Jebal Shams. Lunch at the lively Bait Al Safah local history museum.
Afternoon drive to the nearby mountain oasis of Misfat Al Abreeyn, tour of the oasis, introduction to oasis culture once and today by local women. Then visit to a local family for cooking class - a typical local dish will be prepared together and eaten afterwards.
Overnight stay in one of the guesthouses of the oasis
Misfah Hospitality Inn (private baths)
Day 7, Thu. 01.02.24
Bahla (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Jabreen Palace. Henna session (painting of hands with floral motifs with plant dye) with local women in Nizwa.
Then tour with local tour guide of the fortress palace of Jabreen (dating from the 17th century), with fine stucco and ceiling paintings.
Afterwards drive to Nizwa. Lunch at the local restaurant (Nizwa Al Khair).
Afternoon visit to a ladies boutique with henna session. Painting - who likes - of the hands with temporary tatoo - plant color is used and the painting is visible for about 14 days.
Evening at leisure in the old town of Nizwa - cafes and restaurants within walking distance.
Overnight stay in atmospheric guesthouse in the old town
Antique Inn (private bathrooms and pool)
Day 8, Fri. 02.04.24
Friday market in Nizwa, city culture and outlook for the future
Visit the Friday market in Nizwa with animal auction first thing in the morning (on foot from the accommodation.)
Afterwards exploration of the city of Nizwa, the historical religious center of Oman. Beautiful old town with striking fortress round tower. In the fortress there is an interesting museum with live performances such as dancing and bread baking.
At noon side trip to Manah, there lunch in the local restaurant. In Manah visit of the old mud quarter with two old mosques and as a contrast visit of the ultra-modern Oman Accross Ages Museum.
Evening at leisure in the old city of Nizwa
Antique Inn (private baths and pool)
Day 9, Sat. 03.02.24
Meeting with Omani social media artist in Muscat, ride with Arabic dhow off the coast of Muscat, modern Muscat
Return to Muscat
At noon meeting with local social media artist in Seeb district
Afternoon dhow cruise (traditional Omani boat) off the coast of Muscat, approx. 2 hours on the water incl. soft drinks, coffee and dates
Afterwards transfer to the farewell dinner
Overnight stay in the lively, modern Al Mouj (The Wave) district with many cafes, restaurants and stores, accommodation directly on the pedestrian zone.
Mysk Al Mouj by Shaza****
Day 10, Sun. 04.02.24
Return home or extension
Transfer to the airport
Return home in the early morning or in the afternoon, depending on the flight connection.
Flight not included in the tour price.
Travel price per person in a double room: 2.978,00 EUR
Single room - supplement: 790,00 EUR
-The program is subject to change-Minimum number of participants 6 - Maximum number of participants 12
Services included in the tour price:
Omani female tour guide, English speaking Day 2 to Day 9.
Workshops meetings and encounters with Omani women as described in the program
- Grand Hyatt***** Muscat 3 nights
- Sur Al Ayjah Plaza*** 1 night
- Nomadic Desert Camp 1 night
- Misfat al Abreeyn Guesthouse 1 night
- Antique Inn Guesthouse 2 nights
- Mysk Al Mouj by Shaza**** 1 night
Transfers and roundtrip in modern air-conditioned minibus as described in the program, in off-road vehicles for the desert
Sunset dhow cruise (traditional Arabian wooden ship) from/to Mct on day 9
Entrance fees to all museums, archaeological sites mentioned in the itinerary
- all nights with breakfast
- Travel days 2 - 8 lunch or picnic as described in the itinerary
- Access to club lounge at Hyatt***** with food and beverages Days 1-3
- Dinner at the desert camp Day 5
- Dinner at the cooking class Day 6
- Farewell dinner on day 9
- Travel guide Oman Edition Erde by Georg Popp
- obligatory. Insurance certificates
Not included are:
- Flights: We are happy to offer these on request. Cost for direct non stop in economy class at about EUR 800 p.p.
- Food and drinks if not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips for driver and tour guide or service staff on site approx. EUR 10 / day
- travel cancellation insurance
➤ Your contact persons for travel at Arabia Felix:
Maria Popp, Karin Nowack and Georg Popp
✆ Tel.: +49 (0)89 / 30 77 92 00