Oman tour, a week in Oman

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23 Feb 2019
£ 1849
including UK flights
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23 Mar 2019
£ 1849
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19 Oct 2019
£ 1939
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16 Nov 2019
£ 1869
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14 Dec 2019
£ 1979
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18 Jan 2020
£ 1989
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22 Feb 2020
£ 1989
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21 Mar 2020
£ 1989
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17 Oct 2020
£ 2069
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Oman tour, a week in Oman

Accommodation 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.

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.

Activity:
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:
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.

A 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.

Group Size:
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.

UK Office:
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.

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