- Travel Info
Located on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the desert state of Oman is probably the Middle East’s most underrated walking destination. With its striking scenery, friendly people and year-round sunshine, Oman delivers a real flavor of authentic Arabia. On our first day’s tour of Muscat, we see the impressive Grand Mosque and bustling Muttrah Souk and also take a short walk overlooking the city. We then head up into the Al Hajar, a rugged range whose deeply incised wadis hide beautiful villages such as Bilad Sait with their palm trees and fields of roses Camping out each night, we have four days to explore the highlights of the area, including the Jebel Shams ‘balcony walk’ which follows a donkey path around the rim of Oman’s Grand Canyon. Then, after a visit to the oasis town of Nizwa and its commanding fort, we head into the dreamlike landscape of Wahiba Sands and overnight in the dunes as many explorers have done before us! The final 2-days of this fabulous holiday explore two spectacular wadis, where we seek out palm groves and pools hidden around each corner. With its combination of enjoyable walks, secret wadis, and Omani hospitality, this holiday provides a brilliant introduction to Oman and a window into a seemingly bygone era.
2 nights hotels, 6 nights camping, 7 days walking
Max altitude – 2994 metres,
MEAL PLAN: All breakfasts 7 lunches and 6 dinners included
Day 1 : Arrive in Muscat
Rendezvous at the group hotel in Muscat. Majan Views package services begin with the group transfer to the hotel. This transfer will be in the evening and a representative of our local agent will accompany the group on a short journey to the hotel. If you are arriving into Muscat during this day or before day 1 of the land-only itinerary, your group will meet at breakfast the following morning (8 am), where you will also meet your leader(s). Meals included: None.
Day 2: Muscat tour and first wild camp
After breakfast, we will take a tour of Muscat starting with the Grand Mosque. We will then visit the fish market, where every morning there is an array of fresh fish for sale including tuna, shrimps, octopus, and other species. Our next stop will be Muttrah Souk, a great place to buy traditional items. We will finish our exploration of the city with a 2-hour walk overlooking the port along a path that linked Muscat with Muttrah before the roads were constructed. The path is waymarked and winds its way between low mountains. After we finish the walk, we head out of the city. The drive will take about an hour and we’ll set up camp at Al Musnaah near wadi AL Abyad. Dinner will be taken at
camp. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (B, L, D)
Day 3 : Up to Jebel Shams
After breakfast set off in our 4-wheel, we drive north towards Nakhal Fort. Built on a large rock to help defend the
farms of the plain, the fort has been completely reconstructed and is well worth a shortstop. We then continue to the Western Hajar Mountains and enter Wadi Bani Awf. Leaving the blacktop road we quickly engage 4- wheel-drive as we journey through this picturesque wadi, lined with date farms pools of water (the number of which depends on the volume of recent rain). This is a steep and fun offroading experience and after one hour we reach a narrow gorge that is the entrance to the pretty village of Bilad Sait. Here we will have lunch and then a short walk through the gorge and around the village where there will be plenty of opportunities for photos. Then we continue our off after breakfast and a short 10-minute drive we enjoy breathtaking views of Oman’s Grand Canyon and Nakhr Village which is more than a kilometer below us. We should be able to spot the route of today’s classic walk along the edge of the canyon. Setting off 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 stop and enjoy a few snacks before the walk back along the balcony trail with more breathtaking views of the canyon. We then set off in our 4WD vehicles
down the mountain to Wadi Ghul and Nakhr Village where we will take lunch. This allows us to view the canyon in reverse – from the bottom up, which is equally as dramatic and stunning, as this journey takes us through more than half a billion years of geological time. After lunch, we will drive up onto the slopes of Jebel Akhdar, and set up camp at around 2000m. Walking time today is approximately 5 hours on easy terrain. (B, L, D)
Day 5 : Jebel Akhdar – Wadi Bani Habib -Roses
Combining two beautiful short walks we trek across Oman’s beautiful “green mountain”, Jebel Akhdar to reach a superb vantage point, as we look down on the abandoned village of Bani Habib, taking lunch under the shade of the walnut trees. This village was the first village the SAS arrived at when they went to assist the Sultan’s forces in the 1950s war between the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi infiltrators. The war was mainly about disputes over petroleum rights and tribal conflict, and the British Army, particularly the SAS, was asked to arbitrate and assist. The Saudis, represented by Talib bin Ali Al Hinai who was from Nizwa, hid away on Jebel Akhdar, taking advantage of
the isolation of the mountain and the difficult terrain. Jebel Akhdar remained a stronghold for over 2 years until eventually in 1959 the SAS were deployed to surprise the rebels and they fled. After lunch, we will walk for a further hour through terracing and farms before returning to our camp. Roses are grown for the production of rose water in this area. Around 4 hours walking with a small section of route-finding on a steep slope. (B,L,D) .This morning we set off from the camp and walk to the edge of the mountain enjoying stunning views down to an abandoned village. Walking through a cleft in the mountain, the trail then joins a village path where ancient steps lead to another village where we take lunch. After ascending again, we meet our 4×4 vehicles for the 1 – 2-hour drive to Nizwa, old capital noted for its 17th-century fort and atmospheric souqs full of silversmiths. We’ll enjoy dinner in a local Arab
restaurant and spend the night in a hotel. Approximately 5 hours of walking. (B,L,D)
Day 6 : Walk in Cleft than to Nizwa
This morning we set off from the camp and walk to the edge of the mountain enjoying stunning views down to an
abandoned village. Walking through a cleft in the mountain, the trail then joins a village path where ancient steps lead to another village where we take lunch. After ascending again, we meet our 4×4 vehicles for the 1 – 2-hour drive to Nizwa, old capital noted for its 17th-century fort and atmospheric souqs full of silversmiths. We’ll enjoy dinner in a local Arab restaurant and spend the night in a hotel. Approximately 5 hours of walking.
Day 7 : Nizwa City Tour
In the morning we’ll explore the historic city of Nizwa, including a visit to it, ‘s commanding fort from where there are great views. After lunch, we will drive out to the dramatic dunes of the Wahiba Sands for our overnight wild camp where we arrive in good time to take a sunset walk and watch the majesty of an Omani desert sunset. Returning to our camp there is the option to sleep out under the desert skies for a spot of stargazing. Dinner with the Biduien family. Driving time to the desert will be approximately 2 and a half hours. (B,L,D)
Day 8 Wahiba Sands -Wadi Bani Khalid
After breakfast starts Walking to appreciate the ever-changing colors of the desert, we break camp and take a short vehicle transfer to the start of today’s walk. Heading into the rocky landscape of Wadi Bani Khalid we embark on a 2-3 hour walk, as we weave our way through this most famous of wadis in the Sharqiyah region. We enjoy the palms and natural pools hidden around each corner of the wadi. Upon reaching one of the many vantage points we have glorious views back across the wadi before reconvening with our jeeps and transferring to our coastal camp for a beach. Approximately 2-3walking (B, L, D).
Day 9 : Return to MUSCAT