Self drive tour of Oman

This 8 day self-drive Oman holiday begins with a Muscat stopover. See the impressive Forts, Royal Palace and Corniche of Muscat before heading south to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve. Visit spectacular beaches, swim in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman and spend time in the wilderness of the Wahiba Sands. This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what's possible. You may add more days to each stopover to enjoy Oman at your own pace.

Best time to self-drive: during the winter months from October to March when the weather is warm and cool.  Avoid the hot summer months between June and August.

Prices are seasonal, include hotels, breakfast, self-drive 4 x 4 Nissan X Trail, and transfers. Starts from:

GBP 687 per person sharing a twin room, Standard Class Hotels

GBP 765 per person sharing a twin room, Superior Class Hotels

Airfares are extra..

 

Self drive tour of Oman at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival into Muscat.
  • Day 2: Muscat touring.
  • Day 3: Self drive from Muscat via Quriyat and Wadi Shab to Ras Al Hadd..
  • Day 4: Self drive from Ras Al Hadd Via Wadi Bani Khalid to Wahiba Sands.
  • Day 5: Self drive from Wahiba Sands to Nizwa.
  • Day 6: Nizwa touring
  • Day 7: Self drive from Nizwa to Jebel Shams
  • Day 8: Self drive from Jebel Shams via Al Hamra and Wadi Bani Awf to Rustaq / Muscat
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Day 1: Arrival in Muscat.

On arrival, you will be met at the airport for a transfer to your chosen hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Muscat.

Distance and journey time: 28 km, 30 mins

 

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Day 2: Muscat touring.

Muscat Sightseeing of Muttrah, Muscat, Al Bustan & Ruwi and souks.

Drive through the beautiful embassy quarter of Muscat en-route to the Natural History Museum. Visit the Omani Museum then on to Muttrah, a delightful quarter of Muscat, complete with traditional souk and fish market. From Muttrah, drive through Muscat Old Town. Stroll around the palace of HM Sultan Qaboos and the forts Jalali and Mirani and Muttrah Corniche.

Overnight in Muscat.

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Day 3: Self drive from Muscat via Quriyat and Wadi Shab to Ras Al Hadd..

Your car will be delivered to your hotel today at 0900 hrs.

Embark your 4wd vehicle to drive to Sur. This tour along the coastline to Sur offers breath-taking glimpses of the blue waters of the Gulf of Oman. Arrive at Quriyat, a very large fishing village between the lagoon and the sea. The port of Quriyat is still guarded by a watchtower.
Continue along the coastal road overlooking superb white beaches hundreds of metres long. Arrive at Fins beach (White Beach) and stop for a short swim. Continue to 'Wadi Shab'. Shab in Arabic literally means 'Ravine between Cliffs “shallow green pools and abundant shade give Wadi Shab a perfect setting for a picnic. 

Continue driving to Ras Al Hadd. Overnight at Carapace Ras Al Jinz. Later in the evening see turtles coming ashore to lay eggs.

Distance and journey time:

Muscat to Fins Beach: 154 km, 1.30 hrs

Fins Beach to Ras Al Hadd: 95 km, 1.20 hrs 

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Day 4: Self drive from Ras Al Hadd Via Wadi Bani Khalid to Wahiba Sands.

Drive through small villages and towns before arriving at Wadi Bani Khalid. This journey through the mountain offers a panoramic view of the beautiful landscape below. You will pass many pretty villages embedded in the mountains. Here the road winds down to the wadi alongside a large, shallow pool fringed with vegetation & ends at a village. Park your vehicle at this point & continue on a short trek to the deep blue pools of the wadi. After lunch, continue driving to the great desert of Oman Known as the "Wahiba Sands". The Wahiba Sands, a vast mass of undulating red and white sea of sand and dunes is host to a variety of flora and fauna. The ever-changing patterns of the dunes are a photographer’s delight. The Wahiba Sands is also home to the traditional Bedouin tribe who are known for their hospitality and their knowledge of the sands.

Overnight at the Wahiba Sands.

Distance and journey times:

Ras Al Hadd to Wadi Bani Khalid: 165 km, 2 hrs

Wadi Bani Khalid to the Wahiba Sands: 48 km, 1 hr

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Day 5: Self drive from Wahiba Sands to Nizwa.

Take Route 28 from Ibra. Stop to visit Sinaw,  up the mountains to Izki and head upwards to Nizwa.

Overnight in Nizwa.

Distance and journey times:

The Wahiba Sands to Sinaw: 110 km, 1.20 hrs

Sinaw to Nizwa: 106 km, 1.30 hrs

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Day 6: Nizwa touring

Full day exploration of Nizwa.

Overnight in Nizwa.

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Day 7: Self drive from Nizwa to Jebel Shams

Early morning visit to the souks before departing west along the mountains via Tanuf, Bahla Fort and Jabrin Castle - the finest of Oman's castle built in the late 17th Century, which became a seat of Omani learning. This castle has extremely well-planned layouts with room for the Wali - the ladies room, the kitchen, the MAJLIS. Most of the ceilings are decorated with beautiful paintings with Islamic motifs. The view from the top of the castle is really mesmerising. Drive to Jebel Shams or the majestic Green Mountains of Jebel Akhdar.

Overnight.

Distance and journey times:

Nizwa to Bahla Fort: 40 km, 31 mins

Bahla Fort to Jebel Shams: 59 km, 1.15 hrs

or Bahla Fort to Jebel Akhdar: 107 km, 1.40 hrs 

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Day 8: Self drive from Jebel Shams via Al Hamra and Wadi Bani Awf to Muscat.

Follow the signs for Al Hamra. Take the turn signposted Bilad Sayt (Balad Seet). This stretch is all sealed. Arrive at Sharfat al Alamayn viewpoint. From here there is a long descent into Hatt. Good for walks around the village. After Hatt, go to Bilad Sayt for a short walk. Continue on track into Wadi Bani Awf. Follow the signs to Rustaq and Muscat. 

Jebel Shams to Al Hamra: 41 km, 1 hr

Al Hamra to Rustaq: 131 km, 3 to 4 hrs

Rustaq to Muscat: 133 km, 1.30 hrs

Highlights

Bahla: Fort and pottery

Bahla Fort is located at Wilayt Bahla, in the A’Dakhiliyah Governorate, one of 4 historic fortresses situated at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar Highlands.

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Jebel Al Akhdar: Green Mountain

Take a thrilling, 4 wheel drive, two hour ascent along mountain passes from Muscat to the 3000m plateau of Jebel Al Akhdar, or Green Mountain.

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Jebel Shams: Spectacular mountain scenery

Located north west of Nizwa, in the Al Hajar Mountains, at over 3000m Jebel Shams is Oman’s highest peak.

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Muscat: Dolphin watching and Sultan's Palace

Muscat, Oman’s capital, is a dizzying conflation of the sultanate’s rich cultural heritage, as old as civilisation, and its bright, modern contemporary architecture.

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Nizwa Historic Fort and Goat auction at the souq on Friday.

Set at the foot of Al Jebel Al Akhdar, or Green Mountain, Nizwa is a city draped in orchards, bisected by clear mountain rivers and shaded by date palms

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Ras Al Hadd: Turtle Reserve

Each year 20,000 Green Sea Turtles make the perilous journey from the Red Sea, and East African Coast, to lay their eggs on the beaches extending from Ras al Hadd to Masirah Island in the Al Sharqiyah South Governorate.

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Sur: Corniche and Dhowyards

Located south of Muscat on the Oman Sea, Sur is an ideal base from which to take a day trip to the wadis of Tiwi and Shab, or the unforgettable turtle reserves at Ras al-Jinz

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Wahiba Sands: watch sunset on the desert and sleep under the stars

The deep red rolling sand dunes of The Wahiba Sands stretches as far as the eye can see and rises up to 200 metres.

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Accommodation

Jabal Akhdar, Deluxe Class
Jabal Akhdar Alila Resort

Located 7000ft above sea level, overlooking a dramatic gorge, the property is set among the pristine, rugged scenery of the Al Hajar Mountain range.

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Jebel Shams, Standard Class
Jebel Shams Resort

Located close to Oman’s Grand Canyon, the resort is set stunningly at the peak of the sultanate’s highest mountain. Jebel Shams

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Muscat, Deluxe Class
The Chedi Muscat

Located stunningly between the towering Al Hajar Mountains, and the sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman, the property is set like a jewel within a garden oasis of 21 acres.

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Muscat, Deluxe Class
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Oman

Accessed through a tunnel beneath the mountain that forms its dramatic backdrop, the property is formed of 3 stylish, luxurious and exclusive hotels overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman.

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Muscat, Deluxe Class
Crowne Plaza Muscat

Located in fashionable and prestigious Qurum Heights, with views from its stunning clifftop setting across the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman, the property is an easy, delightful stroll to the chic, café lined promenade of Qurum Beach

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Nizwa, Superior Class
Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel

Located 20 minutes’ drive from Nizwa, the property is designed in traditional Omani style against the rugged backdrop of the Hajar Mountain range.

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Nizwa, Superior Class
Falaj Daris Hotel

Located 4km from the ancient town, this property is the best located to explore Nizwa’s charms.
Set against a backdrop of rugged grey mountains, it is designed in a traditional Bedouin style entirely in keeping with its surroundings.

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Ras Al Jinz, Speciality Lodging
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve

Located in a fishing village on the remote eastern shores of the Arabian Peninsula, the turtle reserve was established in 1996 by Royal Decree to protect the hatching grounds of the endangered Giant Green Turtle, and provide an educational facility based within a resort dedicated to promote responsible eco-tourism.

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Wahiba Sands, Speciality lodging
Desert Nights Camp

Located among rolling, red-gold dunes, and glittering desert wadis, the camp is a luxurious oasis of calm and serenity, a magical 2 hour transfer by jeep from Muscat. You will arrive to cold towels, and a warm desert welcome with Omani dates and khawa, traditional Arabic coffee.

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Wahiba Sands, Speciality Lodging
1000 nights

Located among the pristine, virgin dunes of Wahiba Sands, the luxury camp is set beneath the green shade of Cineraria trees, and is the last word in secluded natural majesty.

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