Frankincense Trails

So many highlights on this extensive journey including the coastal city of Salalah.

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DAY 1ARRIVAL

Arrive into Muscat International Airport and transfer to hotel.

Rest of the day at your leisure

Muscat: Overnight at your choice of Muscat Hotel

DAY 2MUSCAT CITY TOUR

Half day city tour of Muscat city where your day will start with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (closed Fridays). Completed in 2001, the Grand Mosque stands proudly over Muscat. It is home to one of the largest Crystal Chandeliers and hand stitched Persian carpets in the world.

Leaving the Grand Mosque, head towards Mutrah and the fascinating fish market. The sights and sounds of the market will have you yearning for more. Accordingly, head to Mutrah Souk, wander around the market with the scent of ancient Frankincense – the perfume of the gods – in the air. Your haggling urges filled, make your way to the Oman Museum, a photo stop at Al Alam Palace flanked by the ancient Forts of Mirani Jalali built by the Portuguese during their reign in Oman.

Muscat: Overnight at your choice of Muscat Hotel

DAY 3COSTAL DRIVE - MUSCAT TO SUR

From Muscat, head south-east along the coastline through Qalhat to Sur – an important seafaring port since antiquity. In the evening, visit the nearby turtle sanctuary at Ras Al Jinz for an unforgettable, torchlight encounter with nesting sea turtles.

Sur: Overnight at Sur Beach Hotel | Sur Plaza Hotel | Al Ayjah Plaza Hotel | Rass Al Jinz Turtle Reserve | Turtle Beach Hotel.

DAY 4SUR TO SHARQIYA SANDS

Depart Sur and head west into Oman’s interior to the famed Sharqiya Sands. On the way, enjoy a refreshing swim in a popular, emerald green waterhole – Wadi Bani Khalid. Continue west and leave the tarmac for the final stretch of the journey on golden sand. Watch as a breath-taking desert sunset washes over you revealing an eternity of sparkling night sky.

Sharqiya Sands: Overnight at Desert Nights Camp | Desert Palm | Arabian Oryx | Safari Camp.

DAY 5SHARQIYA SANDS TO NIZWA

Enjoy a delicious breakfast as the sun warms the dunes around you. Your journey continues to Nizwa – the ancient capital of Oman – via the villages of Ibra, Sinaw, Izki and the oasis town of Birkat Al Mawz. Enjoy the numerous points of interest at each town along the journey including the renowned souk in Ibra – one of the oldest cities in Oman, once a centre of trade, religion, education and art.

Nizwa: Overnight at Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel | Falaj Daris Hotel Nizwa | Al Diyar Hotel

DAY 6EXPLORING NIZWA

Rise early to travel to Nizwa’s famous weekly goat and cattle market where farmers come from far and wide to trade livestock in a time-honoured tradition. This is one of the liveliest markets in all of Oman.

Recover from the rowdy market experience with lunch at a local restaurant, before continuing your journey to the famed pottery village of Bahla, then on to magical Jabrin Castle. Dating back to 1670, the castle is not only famous for its recently restored beautiful structure, detailed lattice-work, famous curved arches and detailed hand-chiselled doors, but also for its local folklore of magic and wizardry. A glimpse of this side is possible within the castle by stepping into the Sun and Moon Chamber overlooking the valley.

Nizwa: Overnight at Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel | Falaj Daris Hotel Nizwa | Al Diyar Hotel.

DAY 7NIZWA TO HAJAR MOUNTAINS

Today you head north into the high Hajar mountains where you will explore the rosewater villages of Jebel Akhdar and enjoy the cool air at altitudes above 2000 metres above sea level. Along the way stop at villages like Al Hamra, Misfah, Wadi Ghul and Wadi Nakhr on the way up to the highest point in the region, Jebel Shams (Mountain of the sun)

Jebel Akhdar: Overnight at Sahab Hotel | Alila Jabal Akhdar | Jabal Akhdar Hotel.

DAY 8JEBEL ADKHAR

Rise early for a walk to the rosewater villages and see how agriculture thrives in this environment. Roses, pomegranates, stone fruit, apples, grapes, walnuts and more are harvested here and transported to markets near and far.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the cool climate in this remarkable high mountain environment.

Jebel Akhdar: Overnight at Sahab Hotel | Alila Jabal Akhdar | Jabal Akhdar Hotel

DAY 9HAJAR MOUNTAINS TOWARDS MUSCAT

Head off-road today for one of Oman’s great mountain drives along the dramatic landscape of the Mountain Route by the iconic village of Bilad Sayt and the rugged Wadi Bani Awf to the popular coastal city of Barka before returning to Muscat to prepare for an early morning flight south to Salalah tomorrow.

Muscat: Overnight at your choice of Muscat Hotel.

DAY 10MUSCAT TO SALALAH

Morning transfer to the airport to meet your flight to Salalah in the Dhofar region in the south of Oman.

Rest of the day at leisure. In the evening visit Al Husn Souk located in the middle of Salalah’s fascinating old town.

Salalah: Overnight at Juweira Hotel | Rotana Hotel | Crowne Plaza | Hilton Salalah | Salalah Marriott

DAY 11TOURING EAST SALALAH

Today you’ll explore the capital of Dhofar, starting with the Museum of the Land of the Frankincense Trail then into East Salalah. Drive past the Royal Farm and the Mamura Palace to arrive at Taqa. The village is known for its sardines and here you will see the Taqa Castle before proceeding to Samhuram with the famed port from where the frankincense trade used to take place. You will also see the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s Palace on top of a small hill overlooking the Khor Rawri.

Continue by the coastal road to the old city of Mirbat famous for its the Arabian Horses. A walk around the town reveals Mirbat Castle overlooking the sea and some old and beautiful old merchant houses with their carved doors and windows.

Salalah: Overnight at Juweira Hotel | Rotana Hotel | Crowne Plaza | Hilton Salalah | Salalah Marriott

DAY 12TOUR WEST SALALAH, RETURN TO MUSCAT

After breakfast meet your guide at the lobby & set for your tour to West Salalah visiting Job’s tomb marking the place where the remains of the Moslem Prophet known as Job in the Old Testament can be found. Continue to Mughsail beach which stretches for several kilometers with high cliffs on either side. This area also has an abundance of bird life such as flamingos, pelicans and stork. The tour ends with a visit to see frankincense trees, which produce the incense for which this region is famous. Enjoy a lunch of Madhabi – meat cooked on stones, served with rice & sauce.

Later drop off at the airport for your flight back to Muscat. Transfer to your hotel and a final night in Oman.

Muscat: Overnight at your choice of Muscat Hotel.

DAY 13DEPART MUSCAT

Check out of your hotel, and commence your onward journey home.

ITINERARY INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers
  • All in-destination transport/touring
  • Local, English-speaking driver/guide
  • Bottled water
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • Breakfasts daily and meals as specified by the tour operator upon enquiry
  • Domestic flights

NOTES

Vehicle Type: 4WD on tour and/or Sedan Car in Muscat
Touring Style: Private tour with your own dedicated Omani Guide/Driver