Oman cultural tour

“This eight day tailor made tour focuses on cultural exchanges – whether that be through staying in local guesthouses, meeting Bedouin tribes or visiting the country’s ancient sites.”

Highlights

Muscat | Sur | Wahiba Sands | Sinaw Market | Nizwa | Misfah | Al Hamra

Description of Oman cultural tour

This 8-day cultural tour will give you and your family an exciting encounter with the local people. You'll experience the lives of the mountain village people while staying in a local guesthouse, meet the Bedouin tribes of the desert and the fishing people of Sur and witness traditional Omani activities.

Experience the hustle and bustle of Oman’s local souqs at Nizwa goat market and Sinaw market. Soak up the history visiting ancient forts and castles of Nizwa, Jabrin & Bahla, all with your own private driver/guide and vehicle.

We can tailor make this tour to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. You can add additional nights in places you’d like to explore more, and we can recommend different hotels and experiences for you based on your preference. We can also substitute the fixed desert camp for wild camping for a more rustic adventure

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrive in Muscat where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the next 2 nights.
Day 2:Day free to explore Muscat. We recommend a visit to the Grand Mosque and the Bait Al Zubair (Natural History) museum for your first taste of Oman's rich history. There's the old town and walled city to explore or Corniche to walk around the vibrant souq and fish market. (B)
Day 3:Touring the Interior: depart Muscat in a 4WD vehicle on the start of a fascinating round trip adventure of Oman’s interior. The first leg taking you in a south-eastern direction along the coastal road to Sur to see the ancient Dhow ship yards. Stop at beautiful wadis and sinkholes to swim along the way. (B)
Day 4:Early risers may catch the wonderful sight of the fishermen with their catch, ask your driver to take you there then return to hotel for breakfast. Then check out and drive to Wahiba Sands, via the beautiful oasis of Wadi bani Khaled. You will have an traditional Bedouin lunch in the desert, and after some exciting sand dune driving, arrive at your Desert Camp for the evening where dinner will be served under the stars. (B,D)
Day 5:Early start to enjoy the desert sunrise then head on to the busy Sinaw Market where Bedouin communities head to buy staples and sell their livestock and handicrafts. Afterwards visit Nizwa, the historical capital of Oman with ancient history where many battles were fought. See Bahla Fort and Jabrin Castle before heading into the Jabel Akhdar mountains to see the magnificent Al Hoota Cave with 4 underground lakes. Return to Nizwa for the evening. (B)
Day 6:This morning you will be taken to Nizwa Souk to see the famous cattle auction where people come to buy or sell goats, sheep and cows. Afterwards see one of the most impressive forts in Oman; Nizwa Fort with its massive Circular Cannon Tower. Depart Nizwa for Misfah; an incredible village of ancient houses and narrow streets perched in a valley where you will be staying in a local family run guesthouse for the night with dinner included. (B,D)
Day 7:Head off today into the village of Al Hamra, famous for its date plantations and oldest preserved houses in Oman. Drive through the spectacular Hajar mountain range of date palms and a patchwork of terraced fields before arriving back in Muscat for your last night in Oman. (B)
Day 8:You will be collected from your hotel today for your private transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
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Responsible tourism

Oman cultural tour

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

This cultural tour takes you to many ancient forts and castles in Oman including Bahla fort which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The 12th century fort was dilapidated and decaying rapidly after each rainy season so was put on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1988. Since then conservation using only earthen-based materials has been carried out in order to preserve the integrity of the architecture. Today Bahla Fort is protected by the Omani Law for National Heritage Protection and are controlled by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Muscat. The focus is on the long-term care, conservation and use of the site's historic building structures.

The Wahiba desert camp, 1000 Nights Camp, is locally owned and employs local people to help run it. It is furnished and decorated using regional furniture and materials and provides locally sourced food and traditional entertainment to help support the local community.

There is no electricity at the camp with no light pollution or sound pollution as the camp uses natural resources to blend in with the environment. All waste from the campsites is taken away and recycled. There is no evidence left of any travellers staying in the desert.

Community

We try to access off the beaten track locations where tourism helps the local communities there by supporting local trade and livelihoods, and during the tour you will stay at with an Omani family at their guesthouse in the rural village of Misfah. Not only will this let you experience traditional Omani life it also positively supports the local community and brings economy to the village.

This trip also visits several local communities in the Wahiba Sands Desert allowing clients to purchase handicrafts made by the locals. Any money from the sale of the handicrafts helps the local Bedouins to support their families. Local Bedouin guides are hired to explain their way of life to clients on parts of this tour. This enables them to earn a regular living from the visiting tourists.

The aim of this being to offer you a genuine contact and experience of the destination to feel the essence of the culture and history, so you come back with enjoyable memories and appreciation that you and will treasure. It also benefits the local people to get a better cross cultural understanding between the local culture and visitor so that tourism can impact in a positive way.

Your guide for the tour is a local Omani National and will be with you for the duration of your time out on your 4WD adventure, able to share with you their local knowledge of their history, culture, customs and lifestyle. Often the guides have strong links with the local Bedouin people, with whom they interact on a regular basis or have associations with the local tribes.

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