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Images of dramatic sunsets over the desert, bustling souks, historic towns and virginal beaches come to fruition in this warm and enchanting country. Oman’s beautiful coastline is fast becoming a favourite, yet has largely resisted high rise hotels in favour of more traditional and characterful buildings. Oman also has one of the oldest civilisations in the Arabian Peninsula – it has long been a centre for trade, with an array of historic sights and towns. The country is almost entirely dominated by a large desert plain and has a quintessential landscape of rolling sand dunes punctuated by mountains, canyons, ravines and crystal clear lakes, dotted with historic old forts and towns. A good place to start your trip is the capital, Muscat. The city has fine museums and is renowned for its corniche and souks, as well as its beaches. Away from Muscat, watch turtles come ashore to lay their eggs on the beaches of Ras al Hadd and Ras al-Jinz, walk through forest-clad gorges in the foothills of Jebel Akhdar (the Green Mountains) and meander through ancient clifftop villages. Follow in the footsteps of Thesiger and capture the stillness of the desert with a stay amid the rolling red sand dunes of Wahiba Sands. Enjoy an authentic Oman experience by staying in a traditional Bedouin tent made from black goat hair, or at one of the camps dotted across the desert, meeting the Bedouin people and searching for desert oryx. Though Oman has seen a steep rise in popularity, for the time being at least it is perfectly possible to have a spot of desert, or even a whole beach, to yourself.
Oman with A&K
We always go the extra mile to reveal a country's true soul. In Oman we go several miles. At the legendary Wahiba Sands, whose starkly hypnotic dunes form the edge of the Empty Quarter, A&K transport you deeper into the desert than any other c& staying in traditional tents of black goat's hair and dining on rugs beneath a million-tog duvet of stars.
Returning guests have provided memorable accounts of sharing the Bedouin's daily life and stalking the elusive desert oryx. And just as they did, you'll walk in the hot, sandy footsteps of Wilfred Thesiger - a literary trail that deserves our very best service.
Indeed, to do Oman justice you need A&K's superbly connected, highly experienced team with the finest 4WD vehicle fleet and top-notch local and specialist guides. The country is like nowhere else on the Arabian Peninsula with one of its oldest civilisations inhabiting a landscape of mountains, lush hills and desert behind a stunning coastline without a skyscraper in sight - the antithesis of Dubai.
Take an Abercrombie & Kent luxury holiday to Oman in 2015 and the Wahiba Sands' 100m-high dunes are just the start. There's Muscat with its superb corniche, thriving souk, and awe-inspiring mosque. A spectacular mountain drive takes you to the historic dhow-building centre of Sur - we can arrange exclusive access to study the work of the traditional boat builders - where the greenback turtle reserve lets you witness hatchlings take their first steps towards the sea.
Head inland to Nizwa, with its 17th century fort, photogenic mountain backdrop and palm oasis stretching for five miles, and you've reached the gateway to the Al Hajar Mountains. The uniquely verdant spot on the Arabian Peninsular has terraces of fruit orchards - the succulent pomegranates are to die for - and villages perched above dramatic gorges, peaks and wadis.
If you like the spectacular, you must visit the isolated Musandan Peninsula, jutting out into the Arabian Gulf. Its houses sit beneath vertiginous 2,000m rocks walls, serrated by fjords that offer super diving and dhow trips on the emerald water. It's becoming an adrenaline playground with canyoning, mountain biking and microlighting. You can even arrive in its luxury resort by paraglider; just one more surprise in an amazingly diverse country.
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
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Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Prices from £1,135pp saving up to £300pp for 7 nights
Book a 7 night stay at Al Bandar, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort before 30th September and receive 2 free nights. Prices from £1,135pp based on two sharing a Deluxe Pool View Room on a B&B basis at Al Bandar, including international flights and airport transfers. Valid for travel 1st October - 30th November 2015, excluding 24th - 31st October 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £1,375pp saving up to £500pp for 7 nights
Book a 7 night stay at Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel before 31st August and receive discounted rates. Prices from £1,375pp based on two sharing a Deluxe Mountain View Room on a B&B basis, including international flights and airport transfers. Valid for travel 1st October - 25th December 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £1,375pp saving up to £400pp for 7 nights
Book a 7 night stay at Al Husn, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort before 30th September and receive 2 free nights. Prices from £1,375pp based on two sharing a Deluxe Pool View Room on a B&B basis at Al Husn, including international flights and airport transfers. Valid for travel 1st October - 30th November 2015, excluding 24th - 31st October 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £1,030pp saving up to £300pp for 7 nights
Book a 7 night stay at Al Waha, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa before 30th September 2015 and receive 2 free nights. Prices from £1,030pp based on two sharing a Superior Room on a B&B basis, including international flights and airport transfers. Valid for travel 1st October - 30th November 2015, excluding 24th - 31st October 2015. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
Prices from £1,795pp saving up to £600pp for 7 nights
Book a 7 night stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay and receive 1 free night, complimentary return airport transfers and 10% discount on rates. Prices start from £1,795pp based on two sharing a Pool Villa on a B&B basis, including international flights and airport transfers. Valid for travel 1st September - 31st October 2015. For discounted rates, bookings must be made 60 days prior to travel. Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply.
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To find out more about our Europe team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 703 or enquire online
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Our recent awards
First experience with A&K. Intended to ask various travel companies for quotes but Vicky (Hamlin) was so good with her suggestions that we did not seek alternative quotations the suggested itinerary was excellent and helped us decide on a balanced and interesting holiday.
- GD, Windermere
Best time to be there
Oman's climate differs from one area to another. It is hot and humid in the coastal areas in the summer between May and August, while it is hot and dry in the interior with the exception of the higher mountains, which enjoy a moderate climate round the year. The climate is best from September through to April.
Muscat (British Airways - daily: Oman Air - daily)
7 hrs 50 minutes direct
GMT +4 hours
Required - obtainable in advance or on arrival
No mandatory vaccinations