Oman holiday, Forts and Deserts of Oman
Description of Oman holiday, Forts and Deserts of Oman
A still little-explored Arabian wonder, Oman is a land of rugged coastlines and vast deserts where rich tradition and stories like that of Sinbad the Sailor are allied with thoughtful and tolerant modernity. This trip will delve the country's natural and cultural wonders, mixing shifting desert dunes and towering mountains with colonial forts and ancient tribal communities.
Begin in the picturesque capital Muscat, slipped between a ring of horseshoe mountains and a glittering bay. Tour the old walled city plus palaces and museums, before heading south in search of more Arabian adventures.
Driving down the coast you reach the former grand trading port of Sur, still home to Oman’s traditional dhow shipyards. You'll also visit the nearby nesting grounds of the rare green turtle. Heading inland, travel to a desert camp amid the vast expanse of Wahiba Sands – a world of towering dunes home to foxes, gazelles, intriguing birds plus semi-nomadic Bedouin tribes.
Moving on via the old market town of Ibra you reach the towering peaks of the Hajar Mountains - the highest range on the eastern Arabian Peninsula, whose captivating canyons and high desert plateau you'll explore.
The historic oasis city of Nizwa provides your next focus, with its imposing 17th century fort and bustling souk complemented by the breath taking fort at Jabrin, famed for its exquisite painted wooden ceilings. You'll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Bahla Fort and the dramatic landscapes of Jebel Shams where you'll be invited to walk to the crater's rim and admire the magnificent views over Wadi Ghul before finally heading back to Muscat.
1 Reviews of Oman holiday, Forts and Deserts of Oman
Reviewed on 25 Feb 2013 by Kirsten Christensen
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The desert, mountains and hospitality in Oman.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Distances are long in Muscat so make sure you book a hotel with a convenient location. We made a tailor-made contract with the operator. However, the tour was subcontracted to a local travel agent - not ideal when problems arise! Often there was a miss-match between given itinerary and actual plan, not that we missed anything but somehow annoying. Book your holiday directly and you are in control!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
We enjoyed being in Oman. However, we still find that the tour was overpriced!
PlanetWe are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through such a region can have a negative impact on the the environment if not handled responsibly. On all our Oman trips we therefore go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive… after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring
We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the fragile eco-structure of the coast and the desert is not damaged or spoilt in any way. Our guides are trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to all trips in all regions, and as tour operators is something we are careful to promote.
PeopleIn Oman we use local ground handlers who in turn book locally run hotels, providing employment for a number of members of staff and support families. The ground handlers also use local drivers and camp staff, and ensure that all supplies are purchased locally for the journey. This means that all the operational costs go directly into the local economy, and benefit the local community.
In each area we employ and develop close relationships with drivers, staff and guides. We feel the interaction between our friends and our clients offers both parties a valuable understanding between cultures. This is of particular importance in areas where there are limited employment opportunities - by working with local people and communities we are able to extend tourism in Oman away from the more commercial centres and into the more remote desert regions.
We also support several NGOs around the world such as the Hope Foundation, A-Cet and Adopt-A-Minefield, which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit. In 2009 we also launched our own charitable foundation which allows us to channel profits from the trips and fundraising events, directly into community projects in the countries we visit. Details of current projects and scholarships supported by the foundation are available on request.