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8 DAYS FAMILY HOLIDAY IN OMAN
Location: Oman
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Overview

Miles of empty beaches, hidden wadi pools, nesting turtles, endless desert, dramatic mountain ranges and welcoming people are some of the highlights of this amazing family adventure holiday in Oman. From Muscat, the capital city and a trading port since the first century, we take a boat trip out to a secluded beach where we spend the morning kayaking and snorkelling and looking out for dolphins and whales – 22 species have been spotted along the Omani coastline. Heading south and after a night of wild beach camping, we will make the short walk to the idyllic swimming pools in beautiful Wadi Shab, before driving to the turtle reserve at Ras al Jinz. With luck we’ll see the females digging holes and laying their eggs, or see the baby turtles breaking through the sand by the light of the moon. Then, travelling to a Bedouin encampment in the Wahiba Sands, we have time to learn a little about these desert-dwellers, their camels and other livestock. We’ll also have the opportunity to sleep out under desert skies, looking out for shooting stars and roving satellites. After saying our goodbyes, we drive up into the Al Hajar Mountains for another wild camping experience at Oman’s high point, followed by the fantastic ‘Balcony Walk’ above Oman’s Grand Canyon. A night and a morning at the secluded and very beautiful village of Misfah Al Abryeen, where we learn about the traditional irrigated agriculture of the Al Hajar, is a great way to conclude our time in Oman. Far from the glitz of Dubai, Oman is the real Arabia

Suitable for children from 7 years. The perfect destination for a winter sun holiday for the family, Oman is a friendly country where children are particularly welcome. It also provides an exotic and culturally fascinating experience for children and adults alike. This is an active family holiday, with plenty ofopportunity for swimming and walking to places of interest -such as Wadi Shaband the dunes of the Wahiba Sands. There will be the opportunity to try  interesting activities, such as snorkelling, kayaking, camel riding and sandboarding. The most demanding section of the holiday is likely to be the morning’s walk on the ‘Balcony Trail’ above Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’ which is an easy-paced 4-hour walk on a rocky trail, however fit and active youngsters should manage this quite easily. All meals are included in our prices making your holiday easier to budget for.

Highlights

3 nights hotels

1 night guesthouse

3 nights camping

7 days tour and sightseeing including dolphin and turtle spotting and some walking

MEAL PLAN: All meals included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive in Muscat

Rendezvous at the group hotel in Muscat. A single group transfer will be provided from Muscat Airport to the hotel. This transfer is normally mid morning and a representative of our local guide will accompany the group on the 20 minute journey to the hotel. Majan Views package services begin with lunch at the hotel. After a few hours of rest and the chance to relax by the pool, or to walk to the nearby beach, we will be ready to do some exploring. At around 2.30 p.m. we will have a trip briefing and then take a tour by coach of Muscat city. Highlights include visiting the Sultan’s Palace and the Bait Al Zubair Museum, followed by a walk along the corniche to explore the Muttrah Souk. We finish the day back at our hotel for an evening meal.Meals included: Lunch, Dinner (L,D).

Day 2. Dolphin spotting and swimming

After breakfast at the hotel, we have a short transfer to the marina, where we board a boat and go out on a deep-water dolphin-watching cruise. The dolphin and whales have been identified along the Omani coastline, Like the common dolphin, the bottle nose dolphin, spinner dolphins, false killer whales, humpback whales, sperm whales and blue whales to name a few. Towards the end of the morning, we will take the opportunity to go ashore at a secluded beach, where we have the chance to do some swimming, snorkelling and kayaking in stable inflatable boats. The waters are rich in marine life and you are sure to see lots of bright fish and colourful coral.. Back on the boat, we will be able to have lunch as we sail back to the marina. Reunited with our road transport, we will drive south for an hour and a half along Oman’s coastline, stopping in nice spot where we will set up our wild camp for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 3. Wadi Shab and south to Ras al Jinz

We can start the day with a dip in the sea, before breakfast if you like. The water is warm and refreshing. Then, we have a short drive to visit one of the country’s loveliest natural features, Wadi Shab. There are a number of these rocky  valleys that penetrate inland from the coast and Wadi Shab is probably the most well known. Lined with palm trees and including a number of hidden pools ideal for swimming, this is a great place to relax for an hour or two. To reach the best of the swimming holes, including one in a cave, we will need to walk for about an hour. We will have lunch by the pools and then walk back out to meet our transport, to continue our journey southwards to the town of Sur, where we will stop to visit the traditional dhow building yard. After another hour’s drive, we reach our beachside accommodation at Ras al Hadd. We stay at the Turtle Beach Resort, a collection of basic palm-frond covered cabins, with a central dining area built in the shape of a dhow. In the evening, we will drive out to the Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve, where we can hopefully see the females digging their holes and laying eggs – up to 100 – before returning to the sea. It is possible to see baby turtles breaking through the sand to the surface and heading to the sea by the light of the moon. (B,L,D)

Day 4. To the Wahiba Sands

There is a lovely little beach near our cabins, so anyone fancying a quick dip before breakfast can go for it. We then set off for the drive to the Wahiba Sands, stopping off after an hour and a half at Wadi Bani Khalid, where we can cool off in pleasant fresh water pools and enjoy the sun on convenient flat rock slabs. It’s then only 40 minutes to the edge of the desert and the start of an off-road drive across sand to the Bedouin encampment. The Wahiba Sands extend for some 140 kilometres by 80 kilometres and provide a real taste of the Arabian desert. We arrive mid afternoon and have coffee and dates with our Bedouin hosts. There is the opportunity to explore the dunes on camel back and to have fun interacting with the Bedouin family. The children will love playing games with the Omani children and helping with the animals (rabbits, goats, camels). It might also be possible to take a sandboard and try and surf the dunes. The girls might also like to have get some pretty henna tattoos! We make camp nearby and climb a dune in time to see sunset. Tonight we enjoy an evening of traditional Bedouin hospitality, sitting crossed legged around the campfire and eating with our hands. Finally, we retire to spend a night under the vast desert skies, watching for shooting stars, planes
and roving satellites. (B,L,D)

Day 5. Moving on to Nizwa

After breakfast, we can watch and help the Bedouin as they go about their daily business. There is time to explore the dunes some more on foot or by car or on a sandboard. Towards the end of the morning, we say goodbye to the people of the Wahiba Sands and set off on a 3 hour drive that will take us via the former Omani capital of Nizwa and up into the western part of the Al Hajar Mountains. Beyond Nizwa, the road twists and turns with amazing views on all sides, as we climb to the top of Jebel Shams (2000m), Oman’s highest summit. Nearby is a spectacular viewpoint over the magnificent ‘Grand Canyon’ and the village of Nakhr which is more than a kilometre below us. Sunset views can be spectacular. Overnight at our wild camp on Jebel Shams. (B,L,D)

Day 6. Walk the Balcony Trail

After breakfast at camp, we will set off to walk one of Oman’s most amazing trails. From Al Kateen Village, we
follow the ‘Balcony Trail’ along the mountain’s edge to an abandoned village, which clings to the rocks and is
completely hidden from view, both from above and from below. Just beyond the village, we can see the traditional
farm terracing where locals used to produce their food and a short walk further takes us to the small lake that feeds the terracing. We will enjoy a picnic lunch before the walk back along the balcony trail offers more breathtaking views of the canyon. This is about a 4-hour walk, on easy terrain at around 2400 metres. After the walk, we set off in our 4WD vehicles down the mountain to the traditional village in Bahla. After checking in at our traditional Omani Village, we have time to explore the village and to take coffee and dates in the village. (B,L,D)

Day 7. Misfah Village and back to Muscat

After breakfast at our lodging, the morning is devoted to learning a bit more about the traditional way of life of the people of the Al Hajar Mountains. We are taken on a tour of the village on a wellmade pathway that in places follows the meandering irrigation system or ‘falaj’. Water is brought down into the village from a rocky gorge above and follows a channel either dug into the earth or constructed using mortar. This is the basis of the village’s prosperity and the water is carefully managed. Beautiful pockets of greenery are sustained in this way and, shaded by the date palms, these gardens areas are cool and pleasant in the morning. We will learn about the crops that the villagers grow, including some cereals and fruits such as almonds, walnuts, apricots, peaches, figs and pomegranates. We will also see evidence of some of the other aspects of village life such as the making and dyeing of goat-hair carpets. After lunch, we will be reunited with our transport and set off on the drive back to Muscat. Our route takes us via Nizwa once again and we may have chance for a brief look around. Arrive at our Muscat hotel in the late afternoon, we have time to rest a little, before going out for a dinner at a restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 8. Depart from Muscat

After breakfast, there will be a transfer to Muscat Airport by the way we can stop to visit The Grand Mosque if the flight is maid day around ( eg : 11:30 am)