Oman tour, a week in Oman
Description of Oman tour, a week in Oman
This comprehensive eight-day road trip zips around north-east Oman, starting in the capital city of Muscat. Gape at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, get lost in Mutrah Souq and cruise the coastline from an ancient trader’s perspective on a dhow.
Outside the city walls, you’ll venture into a landscape cut from sandswept wadis and mountains. The Jebel Shams viewpoint balances above Wadi Ghul (‘the Grand Canyon of Oman’), plus you’ll bounce through the Wahiba Sands on a 4x4 drive.
There are chances to dig deeper into Omani culture, too. Take tea with the Omani Women’s Association, break bread with a Bedouin family, and see how turtles are treated like royalty at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve.
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PlanetAccommodation and Meals:
On this trip, we will stay most nights in hotels and 1 night in a traditional Bedouin style tent at a desert camp in Wahiba Sands. Most of the employees in the accommodations are locals and they try to source local produce wherever possible. This ensures that our visit directly benefits the locals. When food is not provided, our local guide will encourage and recommend clients to visit local restaurants and cafes to try local cuisine which is heavily influenced by Arab, Persian, Indian, Asian, Eastern Mediterranean and African cuisine hence dishes are full of rich mixtures of spices, herbs and marinades.
On the trip, we also visit the Ras Al jinz turtle reserve, one of the most popular nesting grounds for turtles in the world. Clients will experience an excursion guided by an ecologist to witness the fascinating scene of sea turtles nesting in a completely natural environment. This is done in an intimate fashion without the fear of interrupting the creatures themselves. The centre aims to educate both locals and tourists on the human induced threats that these magnificent reptiles face and how we can help to conserve them.
Water is a really important issue with trips such as this and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle for this purpose.
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleA Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can help reduce their impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from our visit.
Local craft and Culture:
We start off the tour in Muscat where we have the opportunity to visit the Sidab Women Association which aims to empower Omani women by training them with skills needed to sew self-designed bags. The bags are woven from natural materials that are not harmful to the environment and wildlife. Their calico carry-bags are among the bestselling items that are not only a good alternative to plastic bags but also promote the traditional art of Oman. In addition to visiting the centre, clients will be able to try traditional Omani cuisine and learn more about the local culture and traditions of the Sultanate. They can also consider purchasing some unique handcrafted items as gifts that will provide the women with a substantial monthly income. There are also other opportunities to purchase local craft, especially at Mutrah Souq and Nizwa market; famous for intricately hand-carved “Khanjars” (daggers) and ornamental silver jewellery.
There are plenty of opportunities to discover the rich culture and history of Oman. We visit the highlight of the Omani Capital – the Grand Mosque, which showcases the modern craftsmanship of one of the most beautiful and extravagant modern mosque in the world that also holds the world’s largest handmade Persian rug and biggest crystal chandelier. On one of the mornings, we get to visit a Bedouin family to learn more about their customs and traditional way of life, fostering cultural exchange with the locals while enjoying Kahwa, a local Omani coffee.