Upon arrival at Muscat International Airport, you will be met and escorted to a lounge to relax while our representative retrieves your luggage and handles the immigration procedure for you. Then you will be transferred to your hotel in Muscat for overnight.
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your guide and begin your morning city tour of Muscat. Your first stop is the Royal Opera House, the leading arts and culture organization in Oman.
Then visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Built by the Sultan for the 25th anniversary of his accession, it is the 5th largest mosque in the world. The mosque is an architectural masterpiece and houses some outstanding works of art. (Before entering, women must cover their décolleté and hair and both men and women should wear long sleeves and long trousers or skirt and avoid sheer fabric and transparent clothing, no white pants.)
Drive along the corniche to Muttrah Souk, the oldest and largest market in Oman. You will have time to explore the picturesque, narrow alleys, where the air is filled with the scent of frankincense and sandalwood. Shop for Omani souvenirs such as pottery, paintings, shisha pipes, framed khanjars, leatherwork and incense. Don’t forget to bargain!
Continue to Al Alam Palace, where the sultan receives state guests. The palace is flanked by two 16th-century, Portugese fortresses, Al Jalali and Al Mirani. Then visit Bait Al Zubair museum, which celebrates the culture and heritage of Oman with extensive permanent collections as well as special visiting exhibits.
After breakfast board your 4WD and drive to Nizwa, the cultural and heritage capital of Oman. Visit Oman’s most visited national monument, the 17th-century Nizwa Fort, a beautiful example of the historical military and engineering prowess of the region. The city, famous for its handicrafts and agricultural products, has an expansive souq located near the fortress, one of the busiest in the country. The market bustles with vendors selling everything from meat, fish, fruits and vegetables to spices, dates, gold and copper utensils. Silverware from Nizwa is regarded as the finest in the country. Continue to your hotel for check-in and overnight.
After Breakfast, set out for Wahiba Sands. On the way, we’ll stop at the old city of Ibra. The many watchtowers on the surrounding hills tell of the city’s former strategic importance. Then arrive at Wahiba sands, a virtual sand sea with great dunes up to 200 km in length and 200 meters high. The desert is 100km wide, from the eastern Hajar Mountains to the Arabian Sea. Take a thrilling ride through the dunes, which are constantly changing shape and color. The Wahiba Sands are still home to two Bedouin tribes, the Nazaris and Jenebhas. Visit a Bedouin family for a first-hand experience of their legendary hospitality. Continue to your desert camp for dinner and overnight.
In the afternoon, proceed west towards Mughsail, passing scattered frankincense trees along the way. Mughsail is proud of its idyllic beach and its spectacular Blow Holes. The last destination of the day is the Tomb of Prophet Ayub (Job) in the mountains north of Salalah.
After breakfast, drive to Muscat via coastal road. Visit Wadi Tiwi and Bimmah Sinkhole en route. In Muscat, board your domestic flight to Salalah. Upon arrival at Salalah Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for overnight.
Today’s tour will take you to the East Dhofar Region. The first stop is at the small town of Taqa, where the landmark fort was the Seat of the Wali (mayor) until 1984.
The impressive ruins at Sumhurum give insight into architecture and living conditions of a time more than 2000 years ago. The adjoining port of Khawr Rhori was an important trade center and the main port for the export of frankincense. Just before Mirbat you reach Bin Ali’s Tomb. Ali was revered as a wise and holy man and a lovely twin-domed mosque was built over his tomb. Next to the mosque, you will see an old cemetery. Mirbat, the old capital of Dhofar is known for its old merchant houses, built in traditional ancient Omani architecture. On the way back to Salalah, visit Ayn Razat Gardens, a quiet place at the foot of the lush Qara Mountains.
Visit the Museum of the Frankincense Land. Opened in July 2007 at Al Balid Archaeological Park, a UNESCO heritage site in Salalah, the Frankincense Land Museum is the latest addition to Oman's heritage and cultural scene. It houses two main halls, namely the History Hall, depicting the geography and history of the ancient Frankincense trail and the historical background of the Sultanate through a number of archaeological findings, and The Marine Hall, featuring displays about the development of Oman's rich marine history. A complete history of the maritime trade & ship building industry of Oman can be experienced here, with meticulously carved replicas of the ancient boats & ships of the Omani maritime trade.
Then, drive through lush green plantations of vegetables & fruits and make a brief stop at the fruit stalls lining the streets within the periphery of the old Salalah town (Haffa). We suggest trying the fresh coconut water drink.
Make a photo stop at the impressive Sultan Qaboos Mosque. View the Official Palace of His Majesty the Sultan (Al Husn Palace) & stroll through the old Haffa Souk, famous for the sale of high quality frankincense and many other Dhofari traditional souvenirs. The smell of frankincense fills the attractive souk, with small shops lined with piles of incense boxes, colorful clay incense burners and bags of incense crystals.
Continue to Salalah International Airport for your flight back to Muscat. Upon arrival in Muscat, you will be transferred to a nearby hotel for overnight.
You will be transferred to the Muscat International Airport for your departure flight.