On arrival into Muscat travel by private vehicle to the high plateau of Jebel Akhdar, a relaxing and at times spectacular 2.5 hour drive from Muscat International Airport. Jebel Akhdar sits more than 2000m above sea level and the highlands here have a Mediterranean-style climate that is perfect for growing sweet-scented roses for rosewater, as well as apples, stone fruit, pomegranates, almonds and grapes. Check in to your hotel, enjoy lunch and a relaxing afternoon on the property.
Overnight in Jebal Akhdar.
Enjoy an early morning escorted walk through local villages to view their gorgeous orchards and rock rose plantings. First introduced by Persian settlers, roses are now widely cultivated, filling the air with fragrance when they burst into bloom in April and May. The petals are plucked by hand in the cool of the morning, then boiled to produce a vapour which condenses into the finest rosewater.
Return to your hotel for lunch and perhaps some quality time in the day spa or by the pool. Use the time to unwind and let the day become evening. Enjoy dinner under the stars.
Overnight in Jebel Akhdar.
After a couple of nights in the cooler mountain environment of Jebel Akhdar, it’s time to return to sea level and the wonders of Muscat. Head off-road today for one of Oman’s great mountain drives through the rugged landscape of the Mountain route through the iconic village of Bilad Sayt, the rugged Wadi Bani Awf to the popular coastal city of Barka before returning to Muscat.
Overnight in Muscat.
Start your day with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (closed on Fridays), which is an architectural marvel and is perhaps the new landmark of the city. Completed in 2001, the Grand Mosque stands proudly as a contemporary place of worship, serving as a spiritual landmark for modern Oman, projecting the values and aspirations of the Omani people. It is home to one of the largest crystal chandeliers in the world – weighing 8 tonnes and suspended from the 50 metre high central dome – as well as a hand stitched Persian carpet that took 600 weavers four years to make, measuring 70 by 60 metres and weighs over 21 tonnes.
Leaving the Grand Mosque, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the seafront suburb of Mutrah for the afternoon. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the rowdy fish markets before moving straight onto Mutrah Souk to explore the market amid the perfumed smoke of Frankincense – the perfume of the gods – in the air. Your haggling urges filled, make your way to the Oman Museum, a photo-stop at Al Alam Palace flanked by the ancient Forts of Mirani Jalali built by the Portuguese during their reign in Oman.
Overnight in Muscat.
Enjoy a day at leisure in Muscat. Make the most of the splendid facilities of your hotel, or return to Mutrah for more retail therapy.