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Oman for Families
Only in Oman
- Head out into the Arabian Desert on camel-back
- Sand board down huge desert dunes
- Watch baby turtles make a break for the sea at Ras al Jinz
- Mountain-bike across the dramatic Al Hajar range
✓ February, Easter and October School Holidays
✓ Adventure & Activity, Wildlife
✓ 5 years+ 8 Years+ and Teens
Say the word 'Arabia'...and you're immediately transported to a bygone world of incense-swirled souks, rugged mountains, hot-blue skies and dunes rolling off as far as the eye can see. Well, in Oman, that Aladdin-like vision still exists.
Oman combines Arabian exoticism with modern creature comforts. Take Muscat, the beguiling capital: here, you can get lost in fragrant souks and stroll the old Corniche, lined with Portuguese forts – but you can also retreat to glorious hotels well set up for today's travelling families. For instance, the Shangri-La Al Waha is Oman's first dedicated family hotel, with all sorts of activities for kids, not to mention the hugely popular floatable Lazy River.
For the ultimate Arabian experience, though, you need to head to the desert, for a stay at the Desert Nights Camp. By day, you can career down a rippled dune on a sandboard, shriek with excitement as you bash about in a 4WD or bump along atop a stroppy –but adorable – camel. By night, eat a banquet under the stars and bed down in an Arabian-style tent.
For a different perspective on Oman's dramatic interior, head for the hills. The Al Hajar Mountains are a revelation –high, rugged peaks, dotted with traditional villages and riven with deep gorges and mysterious caves. From a lofty lookout such as the Alila Jabal Akhdar – a five-star retreat with an infinity pool overlooking the valley – you can mount expeditions in the vein of TE Lawrence: cycle ancient trails, hike into canyons, drive the winding hairpin roads and visit historic Nizwa on cattle market day – you never know, you might manage to haggle yourself a fine cow!
Despite the seemingly endless desert, there's plenty of water around too. Oman has a lengthy coastline, which receives some special visitors. The beach at Ras al Jinz is one of the world's most important nesting sites for endangered green turtles – 20,000 females return annually to the beach to lay eggs. Stay in a rustic tent by the sand and head out with conservation experts to watch these incredible creatures nest and hatch.
Other marine visitors include dolphins and whales, best seen from aboard a traditional dhow, the graceful sailboats that were once the main form of transport in the Arabian Gulf. You can haul anchor to cruise along the rugged shores and turquoise bays, jump in to snorkel with a rainbow of fishes, and swim in gloriously warm waters. End the day with a beach BBQ, and watch the sunset over this Arabian paradise.
Did you know...
- Camels have three eyelids and two rows of eyelashes to prevent sand entering their eyes
- Green turtles can weigh up to 120kg and lay 90 - 110 eggs at a time
- Oman's coastline is 1,700km longThe Gulf of Oman is home to 2,000 different varieties of fish
- Omani men wear long robes known as dishdashas and carry curved daggers known as khanja
- Muscat's Grand Mosque is home to the world's second-largest hand-woven carpet, which contains 1,700,000,000 knots!
The Boring Bit
- Airline routes – London Heathrow direct to Muscat
- Flying time – 7+ hours (GMT +4 hours)
- Visas – Are required and are issued on arrival
- No specific health considerations – Please consult your GP
Family itineraries in Oman
Family Omani Arabia
Nights: 9 | from £3,590
A fabulous 9 night family getaway with a difference exploring Oman's rich culture and wildlife where you'll search for dolphins, go dune bashing and visit turtles
Our preferred family accommodation in Oman
Sample Itineraries which could be adapted for families
Highlights of Oman
Nights: 5 | from £1,495
Visit mystical Muscat and learn about its history, explore the rustic villages of the Jebel Shams Mountain range and adventure into the red dunes of the Wahiba wilderness with this itinerary.
Nights: 7 | from £2,175
Oman’s interior undulates with velvety dunes, serrated peaks and terraced orchards, with the sparkling coast to the east and a fertile region in the south that benefit from seasonal rains. Eight days offers an impressive introduction.
Alternative family friendly accommodation in Oman
Six Senses Zighy Bay
Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort - Al Bandar
Alila Jabal Akhdar
Adventures in Oman
Officially known as the Sultanate of Oman, first time visitors can expect a heady mix of rich history, delicious cuisine,...