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Byroads Travel

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Discover the history and sheer beauty of this desert nation

8 DAYS - Starts Muscat 21 October 2019

The Sultanate of Oman lies nestled into the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The country has a rich history dating back over 100,000 year and in its more recent history has seen occupation by various foreign powers including the Persians, the Portuguese, the Ottomans and the British. Today the country is taking steady steps at modernising its economy whilst, at the same time remaining fiercely proud of its heritage. It’s still one of the best places in the Gulf to experience tradional Arabia.

Outside the larger more developed cities you will find mud brick villages surrounded by enormous date plantations. Traditional souks are busy with shoppers bargaining for jewellery, frankincense and other commodities. The country is rugged and beautiful with its towering mountains, rugged canyons and wadis, and its seemingly endless dunes. Crumbling forts stand guard over ancient towns and watch over long coastal stretches where, as in centuries past colourful fishing boats bob around in the blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

Highlights

  • This trip through the Sultanate starts in the sprawling modern capital of Muscat and will include the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the Bait al Zubair Museum and the historic quarter of Old Muscat. Visit a local family for lunch and take a wander throgh the local souq.
  • The spectacular Western Hajar mountains and historic Nizwa. Explore the mudbrick town of Al Hamra, view the giant Bahla Fort and the nearby intimate Jabreen Castle, which offers a fascinating insight into life in old Oman.
  • Walk in picture perfect Misfat Al Abrayeen. Admire some of Oman’s finest mudbrick architecture in the village of Ibra.
  • Then south to the magnificent Wahiba Sands. Out amongst the dunes, dine with a Bedouin family and enjoy the beautiful desert sunset from a comfortable campsite.
  • Head to the Arabian Sea coast to visit the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve and witness the age-old craft of traditional Dhow boat building.
  • Return to Muscat, stopping off at the spectacularly deep and narrow carved Wadi Tiwi and the must‐see Bimmah sinkhole.

Your host

Steve Mortimer heads up Byroads Travel and will be your host on this tour. Steve has nearly 30 years in the travel industry and has travelled to well over 100 countries. He has worked with a number of well‐ known Australian adventure travel companies including 13 years as a Product Manager and Operations Director for Peregrine Adventures. Most recently he has been involved in researching and developing holidays in several different regions of the world, including Latin America and the Middle East where he has lived.

Steve likes nothing better than getting out and about with like‐minded travellers, sharing his knowledge and introducing participants to some of the world’s most interesting places, peoples and cultures. He has been a regular visitor to Mexico over many years and the colour and diversity of the Yucatan peninsula in particular keeps him coming back for more.

With your itinerary you can be confident you'll visit all the 'must see' attractions – and much more, however there are some days when you'll have time to wander and make some of your own discoveries. Throughout the tour local guides are employed to provide a wealth of background information and share their extensive local knowledge.

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