This vibrant itinerary combines some of the highlights of northern Oman, including the capital city of Muscat, the vast desert of Wahiba Sands and the dramatic forts and hidden villages around Nizwa in the stunning Hajar Mountains.
Oman is an excellent destination for families, with superb child-friendly hotels and plenty of activities to suit all ages. A combination of the beach, mountains and desert makes for an easy-going but exciting trip, which can easily be tailored for you.
Oman is a country with dramatic landscapes, magnificent forts, vast empty deserts, rugged mountain ranges and stunning coastlines. Imagine India specialist Louise has travelled extensively throughout the country and is very passionate about this little known Middle East destination. We have asked her to whittle down her ideas to come up with the top five reasons why Oman should be your next holiday destination…
This luxurious itinerary takes in Oman’s most breathtaking sites, including the dramatic Hajar mountains and powdery white beaches of Salalah. Spend a night under the stars in an exclusive private camp, and be awe-inspired by Muscat’s Grand Mosque.
Shangri-La Al Husn Hotel Resort & Spa
Best for: Honeymoon, Luxury, Beach
One of the finest properties on the Arabian Peninsula, the adult-only Shangri-La Al Husn has a private beach, peaceful infinity pool, standout spa, world-class cuisine and impeccable service, making it perfect for a luxurious romantic retreat.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Shangri-La Al Husn was originally part of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, and while it is now a separate property, guests continue to have access to the resort’s extensive range of facilities. Al Husn means ‘castle’ in Arabic and the property has been inspired by the palatial homes of the Omani royals, blending Moorish and Omani architectural design. The interiors are full of elegant opulence and pay homage to the country’s rich cultural heritage. The central courtyard, reminiscent of Granada’s Alhambra, is dotted with palms and water features and is a wonderful spot for complimentary sunset cocktails. Set in a commanding cliff top position, the resort overlooks the Gulf of Oman and guests have access to a secluded and private 100-metre stretch of white sandy beach. The vibe is relaxed and tranquil, the service attentive and the standards of luxury evident throughout the resort are amazing. Al Husn is a 45-minute drive from Muscat International Airport and 15-minutes from the old town and port.
Featuring original artwork by local Omani artists, the décor of the rooms has been inspired by traditional Arabian design but with modern amenities. Guests can expect oversized beds, premium linens, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, complimentary minibar, flat-screen TV and balconies with table and chairs, with the option for a sea view. While guests can access all the bars and restaurants of the Shangri-La’s extensive complex, there are two which are exclusive to the hotel: the cruise-liner themed a la carte restaurant, Shahrazad and Sultanah, serving Moroccan cuisine. Guests also have exclusive use of the Mahhara Beach Bar on the private stretch of beach and the Al Muheet, the informal poolside eatery.
Extra Divers is the onsite dive school catering for both experienced and novice divers and offers PADI-approved dive courses. There is also a 24-hour gym, Hareer Spa by L’Occitane and the Al Husn provides complimentary shuttles to and from Muscat and the Muttrah Souk. Guests can also access all the facilities of the Shangri-La Al Jissah Resort which include a lazy river, main private beach, tennis courts and several swimming pools. We think the Al Husn will appeal to couples and honeymooners looking for a touch of indulgent luxury in a beautiful part of Oman.
When to go
The most popular time to visit northern Oman is from November to March, when daytime temperatures are around 25-30 degrees Celsius, with warm seas and blue skies. Whilst there may be the odd rainy day, these are pretty infrequent, although occasionally there can be tropical storms which can last a few days. From May to September, humidity and temperatures soar, with July and August often experiencing temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8916
Things to do
Nizwa Friday Market
The Nizwa Friday Market offers a fascinating insight into Omani culture, as farmers from the mountains and desert gather to buy and sell camels, sheep, goats and cattle. There is a live auction close to the entrance to the souk.
Bait Al Baranda Museum
Built in the 1930s, this former American Mission was converted into a Museum in 2006, focusing on the history of Muscat reaching right back to the 1st century AD.
Dolphin Watching from Muscat
Many species of dolphin can be found in the waters off Muscat, including bottlenose and spinners. The pods often number hundreds of dolphins, and the chance of sightings is very high. The views back onto the coast are also stunning.
Jabal Shams & the Carpet Weavers of Wadi Ghul
Jabal Shams is Oman's highest peak, rising just over 2,000 metres above sea level. The area is often referred to as Oman's Grand Canyon, and the views from Jabal Shams down into Wadi Ghul below are breathtaking.
Muscat Cooking Class
This hands-on cooking class is an entertaining experience both for first-time cooks, and for those who know their way around the kitchen. Visit a local market to pick up ingredients, and then learn how to transform them into delicious dishes.
Get your adrenalin pumping by climbing to the top of Jabal Shams using the Via Ferratta; a metal cable and rungs in the rock face. Whilst not for the faint hearted, this is an exciting experience for adventure enthusiasts!
Wadi Arbayeen Day Excursion
Venture south of Muscat to explore Oman’s stunning coastline and enjoy a BBQ lunch in one of the country's most picturesque wadis. Wadi Arbayeen is lined with lush date palms, and features deep pools of water, surrounding by soaring mountains.
Half Day Muscat City Tour
Muscat is a fantastic mixture of history, tradition and modern influences. Explore the capital with your private guide, taking in the highlights of this modern Arabian city.
Coffee with the Curator at the Bait Adam
Visit the fascinating Bait Adam Museum in Muscat where you can enjoy a traditional Omani coffee with the curator, and learn more about the country's history as well as the museum's impressive collection.
Like the round tower fort in Nizwa, Jabrin Castle was built during the 17th century. Explore this historic castle, which offers panoramic views across the countryside and beautifully intricate design and decorations.
Private Dolphin Watching & Snorkelling Trip
Enjoy a private boat trip into the Gulf of Oman, searching for dolphins and whales before heading to Bandar al Khiran to snorkel amongst the coral reefs, which are home to a variety of fish species and even turtles.
Dinner with an Omani Family
Enjoy an evening meal with a local Omani family in their home, where you can learn about their day-to-day life, culture and beliefs. This is a fantastic way to gain a better understanding of this fascinating country and its people.
Visit the Royal Opera House
Take a tour of Muscat's impressive Royal Opera House. The serene, white-washed exterior contrasts beautifully with an opulent interior, decorated with intricately carved wooden panels, ethereal archways and lavish design.
Visit Bahla Fort, one of the oldest and most dramatic forts in Oman, as well as designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort also has extensive battlements which run along the valley, and the nearby town is famous for its pottery.
Daytrip to the Damaniyat Islands (Private Charter)
Enjoy a private boat trip out to the incredible Damaniyat Islands, and spend the day swimming, snorkelling and paddle boarding amongst the beautiful scenery. The area is home to a myriad of marine life and coral reefs.