I’m extremely excited to return to a favourite destination over the period Friday 12th to Tuesday 16th September, 2014. This trip is being organised by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism, and will include several talented writers, and photographers.
Oman has the tagline “Beauty has and address”, and I think this is appropriate, it is a wonderful, diverse, and authentic destination. With cities like Muscat, and small towns such as Nizwa, mountains ranges Jabal Shams, and desert dunes Wahibi Sands there always seems to a warm welcome.
The itinerary looks exciting, and those attending can be followed on Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #inOman.
DAY 1: Saturday 13th September – Arrival in Muscat, and met by Khalid Al Rawahi – Old Muscat Tourism.
After collecting Visas, we’ll transfer to the five-star Grand Hyatt. We’ll start with an itinerary briefing over breakfast in the hotel. The rest of the day will be spent relaxing, or exploring at leisure, finding our own lunch in the souks.
Complimentary Big Bus Tour tickets will be available to help explore the city, including Muttrah Souk, the tour takes approximately two hours. Even better, the nearest stop is at Shati Al-Qurm beach.
Dinner – Mocca Cafe Main Restaurant and overnight at the Grand Hyatt.
DAY 2: Sunday 14th September – Muscat full day city tour
After Breakfast we will meet our guide, visiting some of the major attractions of Muscat.
The Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM) is Oman’s premier venue for musical arts, and culture, and is located in Shati Al-Qurm district of Muscat, Oman. Built on the royal orders of Sultan Qaboos of Oman, the Royal Opera House reflects contemporary Omani architecture, and has the capacity to accommodate maximum of 1,100 people. The complex consists of a concert theatre, auditorium, formal landscaped gardens, cultural market with retail, luxury restaurants, and an art centre for musical, theatrical and operatic productions.
The “Opera Galleria”, Royal Opera House Muscat’s new flagship shopping destination, is host to wonderful shops, international brands, and an array of international cafés and dining options. It is open daily from 10am-10pm.
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which features five minarets representing the five pillars of Islam, with the main minaret which is more than 90 meters high. Built at Sultan Qaboos’ personal expense, the Grand Mosque houses a library, and centre for the teaching of religious studies. Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque every day, except Friday, from 8:30 until 11:00 am. Visitors are required to dress modestly and in a way befitting places of worship. Women are also required to cover their hair.
Oman Sail is rekindling Oman’s maritime heritage. We will be taking a sunset cruise with skippers Abdullah Al Busaidi and Fahad Al Mashari.
In 2008, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said gave his blessing for Oman Sail to be formed. The initial objective was to create a sailing race around the world from Muscat to Muscat, to build a sailing school to teach young Omanis the sport, and reinstate the maritime eminence the country once enjoyed. Having fulfilled those early objectives, the scale and ambition of Oman Sail continues to grow by the year.
Innovative training programmes for thousands of young Omanis are inspiring a new generation to discover, and enjoy sailing. For many, as a recreation which combines physical exercise with mental stimulation and teamwork, and for some, as a competitive sport at the very highest levels internationally.
The first graduates of our training have already achieved many victories, through the elite inshore, and offshore racing teams.
Dinner at local restaurant the Royal Turkish Restaurant.
Overnight in Grand Hyatt
DAY 3: 15th September – Nizwa – Birkt Al Moz & Jabal Shams
A leisurely breakfast will be followed by an early transfer to Nizwa. Here we will have the opportunity to visit Nizwa Fort, and Souq with free time to explore.
Nizwa, tourist site par excellence, and the first capital of the Sultanate of Oman in the sixth and seventh centuries. Nizwa has managed to retain its charm through the centuries with its strong guard tower that protected the city against invaders. This is the land of Imam Ibn Al Julanda first democratically appointed imam in the seventh century. The fort built in the seventeenth century by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’ruba.
Enjoy an Arabian Lunch break at Birkt Al Moz in one of the Beautiful Farms.
Route up to Jabal Shams
After visits to the souk, and fort in Nizwa, we’ll head to Jabal Shams “Mountain of sun”, located in north-eastern Oman north of Al Hamra town. It is the highest mountain of the country at 3009 metres.
Overnight at The View in Jabal Shams
The View is located at 1,400 meters above sea level, driving through 8km of winding road from Al Hamra to Hail Al Shas. It is an ideal port of call for visitors wanting to start adventurous trekking expeditions, and excursions towards the peaks of the range. The View provides stylish accommodations, and an opportunity to enjoy a relaxed time by the campfire.
Day 4: 16th September – Return Back to Muscat and transfer to Muscat International Airport.
All images are © Copyright of Mallory on Travel 2014