Crossing Oman from North to South
Itinerary: 13 Days
An easy but adventurous tour to cross Oman from north to south : from the scenic Wadis to the beautiful nights in the dunes, from Eastern Hajar's rugged mountains to the ones of Dhofar blessed with monsoon rains!
We kick off our 13 day tour in the little village of Tiwi where we go hiking up to the breathtaking Wadi Shab. To cool off from the trek, we will take a dive in its refreshing waters and swim from pool to pool, discovering this visionary hidden treasures this place holds.
Come sunset, we will set up camp in one of the beautiful, sandy beaches in Fins and enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves under the starry, night sky.
The next day we head to the snug village of Saymah, home to Wadi Tiwi. Walking along an old path initially made for donkey karts, we will make our way to the Wadi and take in its splendid views. The dense palm trees and vegetation appear as a green river from our location. We then continue along the village and reach the Falaj Chanel, which is situated at the bottom of the Wadi. Walking along the river, we will arrive to a pool engulfed by cliffs and more palm trees.
After a swim and a well deserved break, we head back to Saymah. We make our way to the quite, yet big city of Sur located on the seashore and extending along a wonderful lagune. Since this city is known for its maritime construction, we will have the opportunity to visit the factory that manufactures traditional Arabic dhows.
From Sur, we travel to Bidah Village, which situates the Wadi Bani Khalid. The lower end of the Wadi posses a canyon which is a spectacular visual sight. Hiking between the boulders of the canyon, we arrive at the stunning 10m waterfall at the end of it and take a dive in the pools! We then make our way to Bidiyah and our campsite in the Wahiba sands.
As we will start our walk across the dunes in the late afternoon, the heat will be at minimum and the setting sun will be shedding a golden cast over the horizon which will gradually shift colors as it lowers.
Our camp will be in a quite, remote area with no electricity which complements the authenticity of the campsite, however, you are welcome to enjoy sheesha and relax at the lounges there. The night will be spent in an Arabic Tent with private rooms which feel just like a normal hotel room as it includes bed, carpets, tables and private bathrooms.
We then move camp from the Wahiba Sands and walk along a track that leads to Qihayd, a village nestled in the seashore at the foot of the dunes. The track is easy to follow, however, sometimes it is covered by the sand due to the wind. We then walk through the Khaluf’s Desert and set up camp next to a small plateau.
One side of the plateau you can see the beautiful pale sands and the other side you can witness the sun setting on the rock hills. Our camp will be set up in the ‘acacia forest’., surrounded by combination os sand dunes and rock hills.
From the desert of Khaluf, we travel to mainland Khaluf and witness its white sands. This day will be all about relaxing on the beach and swimming in the Indian Ocean.
The white sand dunes are a breathtaking sight next to the waves of the sea. We then set up our camp in the dunes of the white desert, just 50m from the sea. We will be situated in the perfect spot between the pale white sands, and the beautiful blue ocean.
We start our journey along the coast to reach the wild cape of Ras Madrakah and the walk down the the stunning limestone cliffs. Then, we make our way to the beach and have a swim.
After that, we walk toward a small plateau where we set our camp on a sandy white beach surrounded by black rocks and the Indian Ocean.
Day Seven & Eight
We begin our walk on the beach and witness the surface of the land change, from the white limestone, it turns into ophiolites, which are the rocks of the ocean crust and only visible in limited quantity in Oman. They are heavily eroded and appear to have been polished in black.
The white of the limestones and the dark hues of the ophiolites bring a lovely contrast to the landscape. From Madrakah, we then take a short walk to Shwaumiyah, on the cliffs overlooking the wide bay. We set up camp on the wonderful beaches overthere. And the next day, we move our camp to the beach between Hasi and Mirbat
We arrive in Mibat, and take a look at the historical tombs of Muhamed Bin Ali Al Alawi, descendent of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammed. Soon after, we’ll go for a round at the cozy coastal town of Mirbat. We then go for a trip to the top of Jebel Samhan and have a wonderful view over the town of Mirbat and the Indian Ocean, and hopefully see some Arabian Leopards while we’re at it!
We’ll then go for a short hike in Wadi Darbat, one of the most famous Wadis in Oman with scenic greenery and a beautiful river. Some of the other sights we see is Wadi Darbat’s estuary surrounded by seabirds, the ruins of Sumhuram - an iconic port of Oman. Next stop - the beautiful marina town of Salalah.
After a night at a beautiful beach villa at Salalah, we’ll visit the fishermen’s visit of Khaluf where low tides are welcomed by flock of seabirds. A delicious food tour at the Salalah Food Souq is also in place! From fruit stalls to medicinal herbs, this food tour is both yummy and educational.
Furthermore, we also pay a visit to Souq Al Hasn - known for its silver, gold, frankincense and perfumes. Al Baleed Archaeological site also awaits us, with ruins and debris from 4000 years BC and remnants dating all the way from 10th Century AD.
From Thumrayt - we stop to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Ubar, which is located between Hadramaut and the trees of Oman in Shishr. This city was partly destroyed when a subterranean cavity collapsed to form a sinkhole. We will visit the main tower and traces of fortifications which remain visible as well as a small museum dedicated to the history of these ruins.
From Shisr (Ubar), we take a short walk across the high dunes of Rub Al Khali, which translates to Ëmpty Quarter” in English. It is a huge and arid desert of Saudi Arabia which crosses the border of Oman. We will stop to take in the view of the gorgeous sunset from on top on the dune. We then set up camp at the foot of the dunes of Rub Al Khali.
In the morning, we start walking away from our camp and begin the hike. The climb to the high dunes can be a little exhausting, but the the way is quick and fun. At noon, we make our way back to our campsite and have lunch, taking a well deserved break in the shade. After our rest, in the late afternoon we climb another huge dune to get to its summit and enjoy the view of a wonderful sunset. We set our camp at the foot of the huge dunes of the Rub Al Khali
Our journey then leads to Thumrayt, a small town in southern Oman. in ancient times, this town was an important point on the Arabian Peninsula for the caravan Routes. From there we move on to Fizayah, which is abundant with white sandy beaches and beautiful scenery, via Salalah. We set our camps on the sands on Fizayah.