New holidays

Walking in Northern Oman

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Duration: 10 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 3

Oman enchants with its richness of landscapes and culture-rich cities. From hidden valleys and oases, dizzyingly deep canyons, and cloud-piercing mountains to desert dunes, there’s so much to discover. Venture across northern Oman by 4x4, stopping to discover standout sights and experiences. Take a walk around the rim of a canyon in Jebel Shams, explore centuries of history and culture in Muscat, Nizwa, and Sur, and watch the sunset and sunrise from the top of the dunes in Wahiba Sands.

What you’ll love

  • Exploring the souqs in Muscat
  • Soaking up the views on a dhow cruise along the Muscat coast
  • Walking through Wadi Shab and swimming in natural pools
  • Visiting the boatyards in Sur, famous for traditional dhow building
  • Stargazing and dune bashing in Wahiba Sands
  • Spectacular views walking the rim of Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’

What’s included

  • HF Holidays Tour Manager
  • English-speaking local driver-guide and additional drivers
  • 10 nights en-suite accommodation, including 1 night in a fixed tent
  • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 8 dinners
  • Transport - bus in Muscat and 4x4s outside Muscat (max. 4 guests per vehicle)
  • Entry fees to cultural sites mentioned
  • Two-hour dhow cruise along the Muscat coast
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Muscat.


Once you arrive into Muscat we’ll transfer to the hotel where you can have breakfast and check in.

In the afternoon we’ll make our way to the pier for a two-hour cruise along the coastline, after which we can take in the sights and shops of Muttrah Souq in the evening.

Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair, Muscat - Oman

With two outdoor rooftop pools to enjoy, the Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair focuses on comfort. Clean, modern, and air-conditioned rooms all have private bathrooms, TV, and free Wi-Fi, while mountain vistas surround the hotel.


Distance: 1.5 miles (2.5km) 

Ascent/Descent: 660 feet (200m)

We’ll start the day with a city tour of Muscat, visiting the Grand Mosque (note there’s a dress code to enter) and stopping for a photo at the Sultan’s Palace. We’ll make our way to the old city of Muscat and the Bait Al Zubair museum.

In the afternoon we’ll drive out to Al Riyam Park in Muttrah where we can set off on a walk up into the hills. The first part is steep (you’ll need to have a moderately good fitness level), but we’ll eventually reach the wadi (valley) where we can stop for a rest. You’ll have time to visit Muttrah Fort, too.

Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair, Muscat - Oman

With two outdoor rooftop pools to enjoy, the Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair focuses on comfort. Clean, modern, and air-conditioned rooms all have private bathrooms, TV, and free Wi-Fi, while mountain vistas surround the hotel.


Distance: 2 miles (3km) 

Ascent: negligible

We’ll set off on a coastal drive via Quriyat, stopping at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Najam Park to take in its turquoise blue waters. Once we reach Wadi Shab (meaning ‘ravine between cliffs’), we’ll set off on a three-hour walk to take in the spectacular deep and narrow gorge that cuts through the mountains. We’ll see emerald pools, date and banana plantations, and gurgling falaj (springs).

After lunch at a local restaurant, we’ll drive through the Wadi Tiwi canyon before heading to Sur where we’ll spend the night.

Sur Plaza Hotel, Sur - Oman

This 3-star hotel in Sur prides itself on welcoming Omani hospitality. There’s an outdoor pool, plus rooms are all air-conditioned and come with an en-suite bathroom and free Wi-Fi.


Famous for building traditional dhow boats, Sur provides a fascinating insight into Oman’s history. As we explore the ancient city and its boatyards, you might be able to glimpse dhows being built by hand. Then we’ll set off towards Wadi Bani Khalid, a natural green pool where we’ll enjoy a 30-minute walk and a swim.

Next, we’ll venture to Wahiba Sands, an area of vast dunes. We’ll visit one of the Bedouin houses dotted along the tracks where we’ll have a home-cooked lunch followed by coffee and dates.

We’ll go on an exhilarating drive over the sand dunes and make our way to a desert camp where we’ll watch the sun set and settle in for the night.


Wake up to sunrise in the desert, which you can watch from the top of the dunes. Afterwards, we’ll head to Jebel Akhdar, known as the ‘green mountain’, stopping en-route at Birkat Al-Mawz – a village surrounded by plantations and the perfect setting for our picnic lunch. After a short walk here, we’ll make our way to Wadi Al Madeen where a scenic, winding road leads us to Jebel Akhdar (2,000m above sea level), famed for its fruit orchards and roses, which are in bloom during March and April. Then we’ll check in to our hotel.

Sama Hotel, Jebel Akhdar - Oman

There’s an outdoor pool at the Sama Hotel – ideal for after a long day’s sightseeing and walking. Rooms at this 3-star hotel are clean and comfortable, with air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, and private en-suite bathrooms.


Distance: 2.5 miles (4km) 

Ascent: 330 feet (100m)

Set off on an easy walk through villages and gardens, admiring the different crops that come with each season. We’ll have lunch at a local restaurant before driving to Nizwa – the once-upon-a-time capital of Oman. We’ll visit the fort and souq and check out the views from the top of the citadel. Enjoy dinner and a night in a heritage hotel in Nizwa.

Heritage Inn, Nizwa - Oman

Located just a five-minute walk into the centre of Nizwa, the 2-star Heritage Inn is an ideal base for staying in the city. What was once a traditional family home has been lovingly converted into a characterful retreat. Expect long low sofas, covered in plush cushions, and simple yet tastefully decorated rooms furnished in typical Omani style. All rooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms, and Wi-Fi.


After breakfast, our destination will be Jebel Shams, visiting Jabrin castle and the 17th century fort on the way. We’ll also have a photo stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bahla Fort and visit Bait Al Safah, an open house museum that displays juniper oil production, Omani breadmaking, and coffee bean grinding. We’ll have lunch here before heading into the mountains and the highpoint, Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun), Oman’s highest mountain and often called the ‘Grand Canyon’ of Oman, filled with hidden valleys and oases.

The View, Jebel Shams - Oman

This luxury eco resort makes the most of the landscape it sits in. You need a 4x4 to reach it, but the journey rewards with wow-worthy views over the valley from 1,400m above sea level. The swimming pool and outdoor terrace provide the ultimate space to take it all in from. Rooms also come with views, plus sit-out area or balcony, fridge, tea/coffee maker, TV, and air conditioning.


Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Ascent: 330 feet (100m)

We’ll soak up the spectacular mountain landscapes of Jebel Shams, walking along the inner rim of a steep canyon to an abandoned village, Ghul. After taking in the views, we return the same way and have time this afternoon to enjoy the facilities at our unique hotel.

The View, Jebel Shams - Oman

This luxury eco resort makes the most of the landscape it sits in. You need a 4x4 to reach it, but the journey rewards with wow-worthy views over the valley from 1,400m above sea level. The swimming pool and outdoor terrace provide the ultimate space to take it all in from. Rooms also come with views, plus sit-out area or balcony, fridge, tea/coffee maker, TV, and air conditioning.


Distance: 2.5 miles (4 km)

Ascent/Descent: negligible

We’ll drive to Misfat Al Abriyeen for a two-hour walk to the oasis and old village where there’s a chance to see date cultivation using the falaj system of irrigation. Afterwards we’ll continue driving to Wakan through the dramatic Hajar Mountains along one of the most scenic off-road routes in the country. Then we’ll check in to Sama Wakan Heritage Homes, restored traditional homes, for the night.

Sama Wakan Heritage Home, Wakan Village - Oman

Sitting 2,000m above sea level, Sama Wakan Heritage Home is not just a place to stay but also an experience. You’ll stay in one of nine restored traditional homes that have the addition of new washrooms and air conditioning. A 4x4 is needed to reach the village where mountain views come as standard.


This morning we'll enjoy a short walk that explores Wakan village before we drive out to Nakhl. Close to Nakhl Fort at the end of a palm tree-lined road lies the Ain Al Thowarah hot springs, still used by locals today. Next, we’ll enjoy a snapshot of 19th century life at Bait Al Ghasham museum and have lunch here. We then return to Muscat and enjoy a final dinner together this evening at a local restaurant.

Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair, Muscat - Oman

With two outdoor rooftop pools to enjoy, the Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair focuses on comfort. Clean, modern, and air-conditioned rooms all have private bathrooms, TV, and free Wi-Fi, while mountain vistas surround the hotel.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before your transfer to the airport.

 


Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair, Muscat - Oman

With two outdoor rooftop pools to enjoy, the Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair focuses on comfort. Clean, modern, and air-conditioned rooms all have private bathrooms, TV, and free Wi-Fi, while mountain vistas surround the hotel.

Sur Plaza Hotel, Sur - Oman

This 3-star hotel in Sur prides itself on welcoming Omani hospitality. There’s an outdoor pool, plus rooms are all air-conditioned and come with an en-suite bathroom and free Wi-Fi.

Sama Hotel, Jebel Akhdar - Oman

There’s an outdoor pool at the Sama Hotel – ideal for after a long day’s sightseeing and walking. Rooms at this 3-star hotel are clean and comfortable, with air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi, and private en-suite bathrooms.

Heritage Inn, Nizwa - Oman

Located just a five-minute walk into the centre of Nizwa, the 2-star Heritage Inn is an ideal base for staying in the city. What was once a traditional family home has been lovingly converted into a characterful retreat. Expect long low sofas, covered in plush cushions, and simple yet tastefully decorated rooms furnished in typical Omani style. All rooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms, and Wi-Fi.

The View, Jebel Shams - Oman

This luxury eco resort makes the most of the landscape it sits in. You need a 4x4 to reach it, but the journey rewards with wow-worthy views over the valley from 1,400m above sea level. The swimming pool and outdoor terrace provide the ultimate space to take it all in from. Rooms also come with views, plus sit-out area or balcony, fridge, tea/coffee maker, TV, and air conditioning.

Sama Wakan Heritage Home, Wakan Village - Oman

Sitting 2,000m above sea level, Sama Wakan Heritage Home is not just a place to stay but also an experience. You’ll stay in one of nine restored traditional homes that have the addition of new washrooms and air conditioning. A 4x4 is needed to reach the village where mountain views come as standard.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

Duration:
10 nights
Type:
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:
3

Call to Enquire

New holidays

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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