Sun, souks and sand-boarding
With its guaranteed winter sun, direct UK flights and winning combination of beach and activity, Oman offers family holidays with a difference.
Retaining a strong sense of culture and tradition, Oman has a varied landscape providing the backdrop for exotic Arabian adventure. And with guaranteed winter sun and direct UK flights this is a family holiday winner.
- Immerse yourself in Muscat’s Grand Mosque, Sultan’s Palace and bustling souk
- Go hiking in the rugged Al Hajar Mountains, marvelling at the rocky landscapes
- Sleep under the stars in an authentic desert camp
- Visit a local Bedouin village and learn about their unique way-of-life
- Relax at a five-star beach hotel for a relaxing finale
Oman Air offer direct flights to Muscat which takes just over seven hours.
WHEN TO GO
Balmy temperatures make Oman ideal for the October & February half-terms, Christmas and Easter school holidays.
Our chosen hotels will suit children of any age, but this itinerary suits children aged 8 and above due to some intrepid activities.
Touching down in Oman’s cultured capital Muscat, you’ll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel to recuperate from your journey. Even just the transfer from the airport will show what a culturally diverse place Oman’s capital is, located on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Our number one choice for a Muscat stay is longstanding luxury hotel The Chedi. Serene and minimalist, it is the perfect antidote to Muscat’s heat and bustle. With villas that can take up to two children, a separate adults and kids pool, excellent service and a restaurant that serves a wide range of Arabic and European dishes, it’s easy to settle into The Chedi.
For your first taste of authentic Arabia, have an early morning visit to the imposing Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which dominates the skyline. You’ll also see the blue-gold Sultan’s Palace and wander the ancient Mutrah souk, where your children will gaze in wonder at glimmering copper ornaments, Bedouin jewellery and lanterns. In the evening, join local families and fellow Omani’s for a walk along the waterfront Muttrah corniche, lined with 19th century merchants’ houses.
The sky’s literally the limit today, as we take you on an adventurous 4×4 drive high into the rugged Al Hajar Mountains. Within a mere two hours you’ll swap the busy city for a land of rocky canyons, date plantations and historic forts. Your two nights will be spent at the Alila Jabal Akhda, a clifftop hotel that is surrounded by the barren beauty of the rocky Al Hajar.
You’ll stay in expansive comfort – we’d recommend the two-bedroom Jabal Villa which masterfully blends inside and out making use of the private pool and panoramic view of the mountains to really place you in your surroundings. As well as gazing at the view, get out and explore the ravines and gorges of this fascinating land. Hike to abandoned villages, secret wadis (riverbeds) and flowing waterfalls, or tackle the labyrinth of mountain roads by bike. History buffs will enjoy visits to Nizwa and Bahla’s impressive ancient forts. Evenings are for sunset yoga followed by dinner at Juniper restaurant, serving delectable local ingredients conjured into refined dishes. If you and the family can keep your eyes open, remember to look up into the inky blackness of the night sky to see an impressive show of stars.
Your next stop is the vast desert wilderness of Wahiba Sands, and an unforgettable night amid a Bedouin-style camp. Youngsters will be blown away by the sheer scale of this sea of sand, where some dunes rise up to 200 metres. The most luxurious desert experience for families is offered by Magic Sands Camp, where its 10 traditional tents can be arranged in a private group, so you and your family can experience the beautiful solitude of a night in the desert. You won’t sacrifice comfort either, the tents have ensuite bathrooms, cosy cotton duvets and electric lights. There’s an open-sided tent, hung with lanterns and decorated with Berber rugs for mealtimes.
A host of desert adventures are on offer. Active older children will adore ascending to sandy heights on exhilarating 4×4 ‘dune bashing’ excursions or trying out high-octane sandboarding. Introduce the kids to local culture by meeting a native Bedouin family, then saddle up for a guided camel safari during the fiery red sunset. Later you’ll be served a campfire feast of Arabic mezzes and barbecued lamb beneath a blanket of twinkling stars.
Bid farewell to the Bedouins today as we whisk you away from the desert towards the southern coastal region of Oman. Staying at Anantara Al Baleed Salalah, this is an opportunity to enjoy Oman’s beautiful coastline as well as stay in a luxurious beachside hotel, meaning it’s easy for the whole family to relax at this smart and sophisticated retreat. For the perfect spot, let us book you a Beach Pool Villa which is steps from the sandy, palm-fringed beach but also has the privacy of its own pool.
Although your surroundings call for relaxation, make time to explore – voyage the seas on a boat trip to see sea turtles or frolicking dolphins or take a peaceful dhow cruise at sunset. Discover Omani heritage in Salalah’s Museum of the Land of Frankincense or take a camel ride through banana, papaya and coconut plantations. In the evening, come together as a family under the stars for a movie screening on the beach. Soon you’ll begin your return journey home, filled with rich Arabian memories you and your family will treasure for some time.
For a holiday rich in memories, Oman in many ways, makes the perfect choice. Easily doable in a week or more, the diversity of landscape from deserts and mountains to oceans and wadis means a constantly changing vista, keeping all the members of the family happy.
Personal Travel Designer01488 689700 Sarah.Woodthorpe@baileyrobinson.com Read Sarah’s profile
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