Day 1: Wahiba Sands
Your scenic tour begins through the mountains passing through Sumail Gap and across the desert plains through the townships of Bidbid, Al Qabil and Ibra - gateway to the Sharqiya Region. Many watchtowers on the surrounding hills pay silent tribute to its past strategic importance. Remains of grand fortified houses and forts abound. Not far away is Al Mudayrib, where the surrounding hills are dotted with watchtowers.
The journey continues to the Wahiba Sands, a romantic desert with rolling sand dunes, varying from deep red to a rich honey colour, stretching as far as the eye can see. This is the traditional home of the Bedouin, hardy spirited people who know how to survive in these harsh desert conditions. Following a traditional lunch at the camp, you are invited to meet with a Bedouin family, providing an intimate insight into their traditional lifestyle. Experience an exciting dune drive and witness the amazing desert sunset from the top of a dune. Dinner is typically Omani. Relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the desert - clear skies, glittering stars and moving sands. Overnight accommodation it our Desert Camp.
Day 2: Wadi Bani Khalid & Turtle Beach Resort
Following a sumptuous breakfast your journey continues to Wadi Bani Khalidnestled deep in the mountains and one of the largest and most picturesque wadis in Oman. Water cascades down the gorge forming cool blue-green pools, fed by underground streams flowing from within the surrounding limestone hills. Perennial flowing streams of spring water are carried along the falaj clinging precariously to the rugged terrain to support local villages. Enjoy a gentle walk along the riverbed and cool down in the crystal clear waters of the rock pools.
Continue to the coastal village of Asylan and along the scenic rocky coastline to Ras Al Jinz near Ras Al Hadd. Ras Al Jinz is a marvellous bay with golden sands, honey-coloured cliffs and beaches famous for their turtle nesting sites. These are some of the world's few remaining undisturbed concentrations of green turtles and one of the largest nesting populations in the Indian Ocean. Overnight accommodation is a clean and comfortable barista hut on the shoreline at Turtle Beach Resort. Following a typical Omani dinner, you will be guided to the turtle nesting grounds to watch turtles hatching or laying eggs.
Day 3: Wadi Shab & Scenic Coastal Drive
Early birds have a second opportunity to visit the turtle beach at sunrise. Following a hearty breakfast, we travel to Sur, an ancient port and seafaring town which once played a major part in the trade between Oman, East Africa and India. It started its trading activities with the African coast as early as the 6th century. A walk through its labyrinth of streets reveals many fine old houses with carved doors and arabesque windows. The fishing dhows in the harbour make a splendid sight. Separated from Sur by the bay is the village of Al Ayja, well fortified by watchtowers and forts. On the sheltered lagoon is the traditional Dhow Building Yard - today, craftsmen still build dhows following traditional designs without the aid of drawings.
The journey continues along the coast to Qalhat, one of the oldest towns and seaports of Oman. Built by the Persians, it was a major and prosperous city during the 13th century and the main port of trade with the Interior, famous for its exports to and imports of spices from India. Stop at the enigmatic Bibi Mariam Tomb standing high on the cliff top. Along the coast and through the coastal village of Tiwi to Wadi Shab, which means, "gorge between the cliffs". The wadi is entered via a small ferry and it has cool pools of water all year round. Further into the enchanting wadi is a deep pool ideal for swimming. The ravine is lush with trees, grasses and date palms. A single beach dotted with fishing boats at the mouth of the wadi completes the picturesque view. Picnic lunch will be served en-route.
Along the coastline passing Fins and Bimah with many tiny coves tucked beneath the cliffs and stretches of white sandy beaches lapped by an incredible turquoise sea. Near Dibab is a huge sinkhole known as Bait Al Afreet - "house of the demon" - with its clear green water. Concrete steps lead down the sides making swimming possible. Inland for a while and then head for Quriyat, which lies on the east coast at the end of a sandy plain overlooked by the Eastern Hajar Mountains. Like other ports it suffered under Portuguese supremacy during the 16th century. An island with a watchtower just offshore can be reached on foot during low tide. Along the beach is an inlet lined with dense mangrove forest - home to marine and bird life. Return to Muscat.