THINGS TO DO

EXTRAORDINARY TRIP THROUGH THE SULTANATE’S AUTHENTIC INTERIOR

A world away from its urban coast, Oman’s cool mountains cover approximately 15% of the Sultanate’s landmass.

The Sultanate’s main mountain range is the 10,000 foot Al Hajar, which runs from Musandam in the North to the extreme limit of the Arabian Peninsula, Ras Al Had.

OMAN by UTMB® is a runner’s dream – an ultra trail along mountain top ridges, through villages, palm plantations, deep wadis and narrow gorges. Your journey will lead you off the beaten tourist tracks, allowing you to explore the Sultanate’s hidden gems that are located deep within its rugged, untouched landscapes. The trail’s a treat for the senses; you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and historic plantations alongside the sights and smells offered by lush terraces teeming with pomegranates, figs, almonds, grapes, apples and roses.

Places To Visit Near OMAN by UTMB®

NIZWA

Nizwa is a city brimming with culture and heritage located at the foot of Jebel Al Akhdar, approximately 160km from Muscat, about 1.5 hours’ drive from the capital. The largest city in the Ad Dakhiliyah region is one of the oldest cities in the Sultanate and was once the centre of trade and capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries AD, with those traditions continuing today. Ancient fortifications around the city still stand and the fort with its large circular tower is visible from afar – a great landmark to keep looking out for when exploring the old part of Nizwa.

BIRKAT AL MOUZ

Serving as the dramatic backdrop to the Oman by UTMB® starting area, Birkat Al Mouz literally means ‘a pool of bananas’ and is one of the most famous ruined villages in the Sultanate. Located at the entrance of Wadi al-Muaydin on the southern rim of Jebel Al Akhdar, it is home to a restored fort called Bait al Redidah. With the two sets of ruins, a large banana plantation and the scenic surroundings, the area is also home to the old falaj irrigation system, a UNESCO World heritage site. Birkat Al Mouz is an enchanting stop that will transport you back in time and allow you to explore the ruins of the tribes that lived in the mountains for centuries now surrounded by more modern banana plantations. The village also provides excellent access to Jebel Al Akhdar for hiking and exploring one of the most scenic regions of the country.

AL HAMRA

Nestled at the foot of the Al Hajar Mountains, Al Hamra is a 400-year-old town in the Ad Dakhiliyah region of northeastern Oman. Al Hamra has numerous mudbrick buildings making up its old centre. Best explored on foot, the settlement includes Bait Al Safah – a museum where locals show visitors first-hand the daily household routine of a traditional Omani house. Some of the oldest preserved houses in Oman are found in Al Hamra. Many of the houses have two, three and even four storeys, with ceilings made of palm beams and fronds topped by mud and straw. Visitors to the nearby souq can watch a halwa maker at work making the traditional sweet dish in the only halwa shop still operating in the old souq. Located a short drive up the mountain from Ibri are the beehive tombs of Al Ayn and Bat, both of which form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are the world’s most complete collection of settlements and necropoleis from the 3rd millennium BC, and well worth the two-hour drive from Al Hamra.

JEBEL AL AKHDAR

Jebel Al Akhdar, the Green Mountain, offers spectacular views along its many hiking paths. A walk through the hillside leads through orchards growing pomegranates; peaches, walnuts and other crops thrive in the cooler temperatures here. The area is renowned for damask roses that cover the mountain slopes in large swaths of pink during spring. These roses are distilled to make Omani rose water — a staple in every Omani household for centuries, used for fragrance, culinary and medicinal purposes. The mountain features the highest point in Oman and the whole of eastern Arabia, approximately 150km from Muscat. Jebel Al Akhdar is an incredibly popular hiking, climbing and camping destination, and one of the most popular places in the Sultanate. Guided tours are available and the summit has several well-appointed resorts. It is possible to trek around the area, encountering small mountain villages and their surrounding terrace fields – with amazing views of the mountain at every turn. One of the most popular climbing routes is the Via Ferrata which is equipped with fixed wire cables, metal rungs and ladders to help visitors ascend steep rock faces in relative safety while reducing the amount of climbing equipment required.

Recommended Excursion Packages

MYSTICAL MUSCAT
(Duration: 4 Hours – 100 KM – am Tour)

A city tour around Muscat offers visitors a unique opportunity to witness a modern commercial centre, which exists in harmony with traditional Arabic culture. With its natural harbour, Muscat, which means “Anchorage”, lies in a natural volcanic bowl. Tours of the Grand Mosque (daily except Friday) and Bait Al Zubair Museum (daily except Friday) offer a brief introduction that traces Oman’s history and development. Driving along the waterfront Corniche, the tour then visits the Fish Market and the colourful Muttrah Souq before proceeding to a photo stop at the magnificent Al Alam Palace, the official palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, which is flanked by the 16th century Portuguese forts Mirani & Jalali. (Ladies must be fully covered and carry a head scarf and men must wear in trousers.)

Cost OMR 50 per saloon car (Maximum 3 Persons)
MUSCAT BY NIGHT (INCLUDING DINNER)
(Duration: 4 Hours – 80 km – pm Tour)

Pick up will be from your hotel at 1800 Hrs and the tour will proceed to Muttrah. Driving along the waterfront cornice, the first stop will be the bustling Muttrah Souq, which transports visitors back least a century to discover the true essence of Arabia. After having enjoyed some time at the Souq, a short walk along the cornice will offer many photo opportunities. With its full illumination, the “Frankincense burner” is a delight to watch at night. The next photo stop is at the magnificent Al Alam Palace, official palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, flanked by the 16th century Portuguese forts Mirani & Jalali. After that the tour pauses at the Kargeen restaurant for a delicious Middle Eastern dinner, where the Lemon Mint is the highlight of the menu! (No alcohol is served). After dinner, the tour returns to the visitor’s hotel at around 21:30 Hrs.

Cost: OMR 97 Per Saloon Car (Maximum 3 Persons)
FASCINATING FORTS
(Duration: 08 Hours – 500km)

Nizwa, capital of the interior, is the birthplace of Islam in the Sultanate of Oman. Boasting the famous Round Tower Fort, built in the 17th century, Nizwa is also home to a Souq, which is renowned for its Friday cattle auction, intricately hand-carved “Khanjars” (daggers) and ornamental silver jewellery. En route to Jabrin, the tour visits the Bahla Fort, which has been declared as a World Heritage site. Jabrin, the finest of Oman’s castles, was built in the late 17th century and features stunning interior features, including ceiling paintings and beautifully executed woodcarvings. En route to Muscat is the pretty village of Birkat Al Mauz, which is situated in the foothills of Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountains) and the opportunity to enjoy a walk through the area’s oasis and dense date plantations.

Cost OMR 100 per saloon car (Maximum 3 Persons)
A WADI WALK
(Duration 8 hours – 425 km by saloon car)

An ideal choice for those wanting to experience Oman’s scenic beauty, the Wadi Walk tour starts with a coastal drive along the quaint fishing village of Quriyat, offering great sea views. The tour’s next stop is the Bimah sinkhole, a limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom, followed by a photo stop at Wadi Tiwi. The tour then proceeds to the pretty Wadi Shab. For those inclined, it is possible to walk right up to the source of the Wadi through lush green plantations of lemons, bananas and dates. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended for the fairly easy walk on a rocky path and for exploring all the area’s pools and waterfalls, before enjoying a picnic lunch in the serene surroundings.

Cost: OMR 110 per saloon car (Up to 3 Persons) (Not recommended in summer)
JEBEL AKHDAR TRAIL
(Duration: 08 Hours – 475 km by 4WD)

Departing from Muscat, the tour heads for Nizwa’s Round Tower Fort and Souk. The pretty village of Birkat Al Mauz, offers a walk through the area’s lush green date plantations. The tour proceeds to Wadi Al Madeen, where there is a check post. From here, a 36 km stretch of winding road leads to Jebel Akhdar, which, at 2000 metres above sea level, is the green jewel of the Al Hajjar mountain ranges, a unique spot in the Arabian Peninsula. Jebel Akhdar is famed for its refreshing cooler climate and fruit orchards, which are typically laid out in terraces on the mountain slopes, endowed with natural springs and aflaj. Its villages overlook a spectacular landscape of dramatic peaks, gorges and wadis. The roses of Jebel Akhdar fill the air with fragrance when in full bloom (March / April), and rose water is distilled in the homes of the villagers. (It is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing and walking shoes during the tour).

Cost OMR 130 per 4WD (Picnic lunch incl.) (Maximum 4 Persons)
WAHIBA WILDERNESS
(Duration: 09 Hours 550 km by 4WD)

Oman’s Wahiba Sands are a vast mass of undulating red and white dunes that rise to 200 metres. They are also host to a variety of flora and fauna, offering ever-changing patterns of the sand dunes that are a photographer’s delight. The tour will visit a Bedouin house in this incredible wilderness. In stark contrast, the trip also visits Wadi Bani Khalid, which is home to clear, deep blue water and comprises small pretty villages embedded in the mountains. (It is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing and walking shoes to fully enjoy the tour).

Cost OMR 130 per 4WD (Picnic lunch incl.) (Maximum 4 Persons)
1001 NIGHTS PACKAGE: 1 Night & 2 Days
Day 1:

At 08:00 the tour departs in 4WD vehicles, via the scenic and rugged coastal route, to Wahiba Sands. This tour offers breathtaking glimpses of the blue waters of the Gulf of Oman which are offset by pristine white beaches. Driving past the fishing village of Quriyat, there is a good chance of spotting flamingos and eagles at an inland stream. The tour will visit the picturesque Wadi Arabayeenu, which features deep pools of water set among the date palms, before proceeding to the Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater with blue green water at the bottom. While driving along the coast on clear sunny days, one might chance to see sharks in the deep blue waters or fleet footed gazelles sprinting across the rugged landscape. Arriving in Sur, the tour visits a traditional dhow factory and then continues along mountainous terrain offering breathtaking glimpses of the ocean. The tour progresses to Wahiba Sands, where a drive over the area’s vast mass of undulating red and white dunes offers the experience of a lifetime.

A night in tents at Ras Al Jinz Scientific & Visitor Centre.
Day 2:

08:00 Breakfast at the camp. Wahiba Sands is also home to the traditional Bedouin tribe, known for their hospitality and knowledge of the Sands. The tour will visit one of their houses situated in this incredible wilderness. In stark contrast, the trip also visits Wadi Bani Khalid, which is home to clear, deep blue water and comprises small pretty villages embedded in the mountains. (It is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing and walking shoes to fully enjoy the tour). A Set Menu Lunch will then be served at Al Sharqiyah Sands Hotel before the return to Muscat. Drop off to an individual’s hotel in Muscat is not included and must be booked independently.

Validity

Package Price in OMR

15th Nov – 15th Dec 1 SGL Room 1 TWN Room 1 TRPL Room 2 TWN Rooms
1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons
Twin Sharing Per Person Price 365 416 495 604

Package Price Includes:

  • Two days 4WD with English speaking chauffeur
  • Set menu lunch at Sur Beach Hotel (Day 1)
  • Dinner (Day 1) and Breakfast at Wahiba Sands (Day 2)
  • Twin sharing accommodation at Ras Al Jinz Scientific & Visitor Centre.
  • Set menu lunch at Al Sharqiyah sands hotel (Day 2)
  • Children 8 – 12 years are adults
TURTLES BY NIGHT PACKAGE: 1 Night & 2 Days
Day 1:

At 0800 the tour departs by 4WD, via the scenic and rugged coastal route, to Ras Al Junaiz . Sights of pristine white beaches are enjoyed, alongside breathtaking glimpses of the Gulf of Oman.

Driving past the fishing village of Quriyat, there is a good chance of spotting flamingos and eagles at an inland stream. The tour proceeds to the picturesque Wadi Arabayeenu, which features deep pools of water set among the date palms, then on to the Bimah sinkhole, a spectacular limestone crater featuring blue green water at the bottom. While driving along the coast on clear sunny days, one might chance to see sharks in the deep blue waters or fleet footed gazelles sprinting across the rugged landscape.

Arriving at Sur, the tour will take in a visit to the fish jetty and traditional dhow factory. After a set menu lunch at Sur Beach Hotel, the tour continues to Ras Al Junaiz, a sanctuary for green turtles in Oman, and group members check into the hotel.

Following dinner, there is a short night drive to the Ras Al Jinz Scientific Centre, where trained guides provide an escort to the beach to watch the turtles coming into nest on the sands.

Overnight stay at Ras Al Jinz Scientific and Visitor centre or Similar.
Day 2:

Day 2 starts at 08:00 with a visit to Wadi Bani Khalid, home to clear, deep blue water and comprising small pretty villages embedded in the mountains. (It is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing and walking shoes to fully enjoy the tour).

The tour continues, arriving at Oman’s Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white dunes that rise to 200 metres. They are also host to a variety of flora and fauna, offering ever-changing patterns of the sand dunes that are a photographer’s delight. The tour will visit a Bedouin family in their traditional and simple habitat in this incredible wilderness.

A set menu lunch will be served at Al Sharqiyah Sands Hotel, before the return to Muscat at approximately 17:30.

Please note: the drop off to an individual’s hotel in Muscat must be booked independently.

Validity

Package Price in OMR

15th Nov – 15th Dec 1 SGL Room 1 TWN Room 1 TRPL Room 2 TWN Rooms
1 Person 2 Persons 3 Persons 4 Persons
Twin Sharing Per Person Price 404 492 606 752

Package Price Includes:

  • Two days 4WD with English speaking chauffeur
  • Set menu lunch at Sur Beach Hotel (Day 1)
  • Dinner (Day 1) and Breakfast at Wahiba Sands (Day 2)
  • Twin sharing accommodation at Ras Al Jinz Scientific & Visitor Centre.
  • Set menu lunch at Al Sharqiyah sands hotel (Day 2)
  • Children 8 – 12 years are adults