Oman walking holiday

“A ten day, fully guided walking holiday, through the mountains, ridges and wadis of Oman, with time in Muscat. Camping for much of the way, and bags transported. ”

Highlights

Muscat | Grand Canyon Balcony Trail | Al Khitaym | Western Hajar Mountains | Jebal Akhdar | Jarira | NIzwa | Wadi walking

Description of Oman walking holiday

Hiking through the Western Hajar Mountains on a Oman walking holiday is a journey through magnificent landscapes that have been untouched by time. Mixing coast with canyons, mountains with Muscat, the itinerary includes four full days of walking and two half days on top of that. When the weather is hot, sometimes half a day is all we can manage anyway, although this holiday doesnít take place during the hottest months of course.

Starting in Muscat, and enjoying a guided tour of this fascinating and beautiful city on the Gulf of Oman, we explore an eclectic mix of the capitalís fine sites, from old souks to the Sultanís Palace or the unmissable jewel bedecked Grand Mosque. Leaving glamorous wealth behind, we head into some of the countryís natural riches. And we donít mean oil. We mean the towering mountains, valleys, ridges and of course wadis that are just begging out for walkers to wallow in. And yet, they are still mostly devoid of tourists.

Highlights on this walking holiday include Omanís Grand Canyon Balcony Trail, with superb views down through the canyon below. Or following the ridge above Ghul- Nkhar valley taking in the surprisingly green terraces that stretch out in the distance, but then descending into the wadi to explore deserted ancient villages, not uncommon in Oman. We also hike through some of these en route to Nizwa, the former capital city with an impressive ancient fort, souk and famous goat auction. All overlooked by Jebal Akhdar, aka Green Mountain, where we spend one night camping at an elevation of 2000m and then hiking across the next day.

Jebal Akhdar is also famously the territory of the SAS who ran an expedition up this mountain in the 1950ís . There wonít be quite the same pressure on this walking holiday although this is listed as a moderate hiking holiday, and there are a few challenging moments, hiking between 5-14km depending on the day, but then also wild camping for the majority of nights. Not for everybody, but then for others, this is a walking heaven. And indeed, waking up to heaven too.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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24 Feb 2018
£ 2069
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06 Oct 2018
£ 2099
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03 Nov 2018
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23 Feb 2019
£ 2199
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23 Mar 2019
£ 2199
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19 Oct 2019
£ 2199
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16 Nov 2019
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Oman walking holiday

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend two nights in locally owned hotels and six nights camping in the wild. As staff members are mostly local people, our support helps to provide alternative employment opportunities and to boost local economy. Most of our trip is spent camping, which means a huge reduction in our carbon footprint. All of the firewood we use for cooking is waste firewood, found in the desert, rather than wood which has been growing in the desert. Meals will be made using locally sourced produce as much as possible- this might be grilled chicken or fish with rice and fresh salads. Although most meals are provided, clients are also encouraged to explore local restaurants, cafes and markets for a genuine taste of Oman.

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour does encourage clients to have a positive effect by engaging with locals, using cafes and restaurants, and investing in traditional gifts and local produce. By visiting a number of places of interest and offering additional optional excursions, we support those who run these trips and the upkeep of historically important sites.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with walking trips 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. Lack of recycling is already a growing problem in Oman, so we suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. Water is collected and carried in large 20gallon containers and dispensed into the clientís bottles. Although Oman is an arid country, clean, drinkable water is not hard to find so we can easily fill up as often as needed.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Local Craft and Culture:
On this trip we spend four full days and three half days trekking through small villages in order to gain greater insight into the culture. Many Omani communities live an agricultural, rural or semi-nomadic lifestyle which is very different from our clients. Our itinerary also includes many cultural and historical places of interest, like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Nakhal Fort and Nizwa- which is famous for its fort and small museum. All money spent at these places goes towards their maintenance and protection. There are some opportunities to purchase handmade crafts and souvenirs and local produce. The market in Nizwa and the Old Muttrah souk, for example, are great places to pick up handicrafts, jewellery and locally produced oils whilst also getting a taste for Omani life.

A Fair Deal:
Where it is possible staff members are sourced locally; our local operators try to use as many locals from the area in which the trip will be focusing on as they can. This gives the feeling of a real connection with the areas visited and allows people to have a much closer look into how lives are led in Oman. Local guides, leaders and other members of staff are paid fairly and given constant training and support to facilitate their career progression. As with the accommodation staff, this has a knock on effect on employment levels and economy in the area.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, 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.

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