Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike and Canyon in Oman

Explore mountains, mirages, canyons and coast through the Jewel of Arabia

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Trip Ref #10416

Adventures / Adventure Tapas

Hike and Canyon in Oman

Explore mountains, mirages, canyons and coast through the Jewel of Arabia

DURATION

8 nights

LOCATION

Oman

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days

SEASON

Oct-Apr

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Muscat International Airport, Oman

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Glamping · Wild camping · Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

No hiking or canyoning experience needed, just a reasonable level of fitness and the ability to handle 3-5 hours of activity a day

Slide through the deep canyons, caves and waterfalls of Snake Gorge, and summit Jebel Shams (3009m), the highest mountain in Oman.

Bounce through the dunes of Wahiba Sands in a desert jeep, and sleep in a remote Bedouin camp under the stars.

Discover ancient villages, desert forts and medieval souks and explore the twin oases of Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab.

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Hannah, October 2022

    I cannot recommend this trip highly enough - stunning scenery, a brilliant group, great value for money, and fab guides. It would be very difficult to pick a single highlight in a trip that included cities, mountains, canyons, desert and traditional mud towns, but the canyoning in particular exceeded my expectations and was far more fun (and challenging!) than anything I've done in the UK. Jaifar is a brilliant guide with endless energy who made sure everyone was always having fun, even when we (I!) were wobbling over the more difficult bits of bouldering or needing hauling up/onto rocks. Special mention also to Khalil for acting as a human ladder on more than one occasion! Wahiba Sands was also a huge highlight for me, as was Nizwa, and the swimming at Wadi Hawir - some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen, made even better (in the case of Wadi Hawir) by the fact that for much of the day we didn't see anyone else. The accommodation and food throughout was even better than expected, and confirmed that this trip is incredibly good value. A big thank you is also due to Nabeel, not just for his knowledge and support at the beginning and end of the trip, but also for continuing to help out those of us who stayed on a few extra days after the tour ended - he went above and beyond. My extra advice: definitely pack leggings (I didn't, but they would have been helpful for canyoning!) and for women, be aware you'll need to cover shoulders and knees in most places. Most importantly, if you're thinking of signing up, do it - Oman should be at the top of everyone's travel list, and you will be in capable hands throughout if you book with MBA.

    Giles, October 2022

    Fantastic trip - great range of activities (especially the canyoning, which words can't do justice to), sights and guides. Felt like we really got to know Oman and its and very welcoming people whilst also enjoying lots of adrenaline rushes. There was the odd niggle, and I'd change the itinerary a bit, but nothing that took the shine off a great overall experience!

    Tom, October 2022

    I really enjoyed this trip. The scenery was epic and the guides were very warm and friendly. They were incredibly accommodating, great fun to be around and helped everyone maximise their enjoyment of the canyoning. I was gently cajoled into various jumps, abseils and caves that were outside my comfort zone but utterly thrilling in the moment and very memorable. We also had a fabulous group - that's 2 from 2 on my MBA trips 👌. My next trip is booked! The 2nd of 3 canyoning days deserves a special mention - it was particularly exquisite. So much fun that the time flew by... And everyone's blown away by the photos. The Insta fodder is limitless. There were one or two wrinkles: a struggle to find a hotel, briefings that could be more detailed and I'd suggest packed lunches to avoid the very late lunches we had on a couple of occasions. And the last day didn't quite hit the heights of the others so perhaps worth juggling things round there. It's a fairly new trip so those tweaks are to be expected. Certainly don't let it put you off. A few things to bear in mind if you're considering booking this trip: 1) All the food and soft drinks is included so the trip is better value than it might seem. 2) You will need to bring snacks as per the kit list. They're crucial given the late lunches. 3) Full length arms on a rash vest will be a big help. 4) The timings and schedule are fluid - that's the way the guides roll. On the plus side you can influence the schedule. 5) I don't eat meat and I was fine. I had quite a bit of fish which is available everywhere. Most places have falafel and good salads so proper vegetarians would be fine too. 6) Water shoes with good grip and a decent sole (i.e. not wafer thin) will maximise your enjoyment of the canyoning. 7) There's not really an opportunity to pay for washing so bring travel wash or plenty of DRI fit gear. 8) Oman is a Pepsi country. Supermarkets do sell Coke Zero though! 9) Chips are used as a garnish. So a rice and chip butty is a possibility should you be that way inclined. 10) The Omani attitude to bread and rice is that more is always better. I loosened my belt a couple of notches and lent into that part of the culture!

    Vera, March 2022

    This trip to Oman was such an amazing experience!! I have always been curious and interested in the Middle East and Oman did not disappoint me... The host and guides lined up such an amazing itenerary to get us to know Oman and it is very difficult to point the highlight of this trip... every moment was special, since the canyons adventures to the night under the starts in the desert, to the moments of sitting around coffee and dates and the view from the top of Jebel Shams... Add to this the friendliness, generosity, and hospitality of Omani people, the delicious food where rice cant be missed, the smell of frankincense and the beautiful natural sites and you have plenty reasons not to miss this trip!!!

    Eleanor Pike, February 2022

    Oman is an incredible country of stunning scenery, a fascinating history and welcoming, generous people. This trip combines mountains, canyoning and desert with culture and history. The summit of Jebel Shams was a highlight (8 hours hiking, not technically difficult or steep, done in trail shoes), as were the magical wadis. An extremely varied, full, interesting trip and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.

    Nicole, March 2022

    The most fantastic adventure and intro to a country and culture with the loveliest, most welcoming hosts. They looked after us fantastically, packing our trip with fun. The wadi pools are just heaven. Can’t wait to come back and explore more. 💙💙💙💙

    Sarah, February 2022

    This trip was absolutely brilliant. Nabeel and the team were fantastic at making us feel welcome, safe and happy - we couldn't have asked for more. All the trips to cultural sites were incredibly informing and the team went out of their way to answer questions to help us understand Omani culture and tradition. The adventures up mountains, canyons and sand dunes were beautiful and exciting and the guides made sure we stayed safe while having fun. Oman is a beautiful country, with the most amazing hospitality. I would thoroughly recommend to all planning their next cultural and adventure trips.

    Catherine, February 2022

    A true trip of a lifetime. Oman is a treasure trove of experiences and adventures and we packed in so much during our trip - hiking, canyoning, mountains, desert, traditional villages and a real connection to the history and culture of this breathtaking country. Nabeel and the team were exceptional. On hand from booking onwards to support with any questions or requests. Nabeel’s passion for adventure and Oman was married with a guest centric approach and amazing attention to detail that made this an unbeatable trip. I can’t imagine a better team to explore this beautiful country with and can’t wait to return.

    Included

    Guides

    Local, professional, English-speaking guides

    Accommodation

    3 nights in a hotel, 2 in a guesthouse, 2 in a Bedouin camp and 1 wild camping

    Meals

    Munch on tasty food throughout

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Equipment

    All your camping and canyoning gear

    Permits

    All your permits and entry fees

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    Tips for your guides

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Muscat International Airport

    Anytime on Day 1

    Ends

    Muscat International Airport

    Anytime on Day 9

    Transfers

    Your adventure begins at Muscat International Airport (MCT), where your guide will meet you on arrival on Day 1 and drop you off on departure on Day 9. If you arrive early or extend your stay, your host can arrange a private transfer for you. See Optional Extras for pricing.

    Travel options

    There are frequent flights to Muscat (MCT) from major airports across the UK, Europe and US.

    Day 1

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Glamping · Twin tent

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Wild camping · Twin tent

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4 – Day 5

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Glamping · Twin tent

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 7

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 8

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 9

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Sitting on a historic crossroads between east and west, Oman has always been a melting pot of cultures and you will find a variety of Omani cuisines and Middle-Eastern restaurants. In terms of traditional Omani Food - be sure to try Shiwa, a dish of slow-cooked lamb served with rice that's traditionally eaten with your hands, a traditional Omani coffee or 'Kahwa' and the plump local dates.

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Muscat

    During your time in Muscat, you'll stay at either the boutique hotel Carnelian, or Hotel Ramada Encore by Wyndham. You'll stay in twin-share rooms by default (king-sized beds available for couples on request) that offer air conditioning along with an onsite restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and a sun terrace. There is no shortage of things to do in the area, explore the Natural History Museum and check out Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

    Bedouin Mountain Camp

    You'll spend one night at the Sama Heights Jebel Shams Bedouin Camp, located at the foot of Jebel Shams. It consists of several communal areas for dining and sitting outside. The camp features local stone houses, equipped with raised beds and private bathrooms.

    Wild Camping

    You will spend one night wild camping in the Omani mountains - without a doubt the best way to soak up the wild nature. You'll have a choice of sleeping options: a tent under the stars, a Bedouin tent (sleeping up to 4 people), or if 'glamping' is more your style - a cosy caravan. Sleeping mats and sleeping bags are provided.

    Misfat Al-Abriyeen

    You'll spend one night in the village of Misfat Al Abriyeen at the Al Misfah Hospitality Inn. The inn is a restored ancient house overlooking green palm groves. The accommodation is comfortable with a traditional atmosphere and hospitality.

    Nizwa

    You'll spend one night in the Niza Antique Inn, surrounded by an ancient neighbourhood right in the heart of old Nizwa. You'll stay in twin-share rooms by default (king-sized beds available for couples on request) and the inn features air-conditioned accommodation, a restaurant, outdoor pool, and a rooftop terrace.

    Bedouin Desert Camp

    You'll spend one night at the Bedouin desert camp amidst the sand dunes, which consists of several communal dining areas and an outside lounge. The en suite tents are large canvas square style tents with a raised bed, mattress and furniture in each.

    Sur

    You'll spend one night at the Sur Plaza Hotel, in the picturesque town of Sur. You'll stay in twin-share rooms by default (king-sized beds available for couples on request) the hotel features comfortably furnished and spacious rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor pool.

    Upgrades

    For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

    Day 1

    Welcome to Muscat

    Fly into the city of Muscat, where your host will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel to kick back after your flight. In the early afternoon, you’ll meet your crew at the hotel before heading out to discover the city's standout sights, from the National Museum to the historic old town, and Al Alam Palace. Watch the sunset from the beach and head for dinner to sample some middle-eastern food.

    Day 2

    Off to Hatt Mountains

    Hiking

    2-3hrs · 6-8km

    Driving

    3-4hrs

    Start the day with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (please dress conservatively) and a Kahwa (traditional Omani coffee) before loading up the 4x4 and heading towards the Hatt Mountains, stopping to stretch your legs in the ancient village of Imti. It's then back in the 4x4 to continue your journey to your camp at the foot of Jebel Shams, the perfect place to pause and admire the striking desert mountain scenery and get your first taste of camping, Bedouin style. You'll walk to one of the high points for sunset before returning to camp for an Omani barbecue dinner around the campfire under a blanket of stars.

    Day 3

    Snake Gorge Canyon

    Canyoning

    3hrs

    Driving

    4hrs

    Fuel up on brekkie, then head down an adventurous off-road track to Oman’s largest natural water park, Snake Gorge. Get pumped for jumps, slides and scrambles as you make your way through the gorge, traversing caves and swimming across cool pools as the rocky walls rise 100m above you. Refuel with lunch under the palm trees at a nearby farm and once dry it's time to hop back in the 4x4 and head up the Jebel Shams range to your next wild camp spot, a 2200m high spot with stunning panoramic views. Tuck into a civilised dinner in the comfort of tonight's camp.

    Day 4

    Summit Jebel Shams (3,009m)

    Hiking

    7-8hrs · 16km · 809m up · 809m down

    Today is a biggy to reach the summit of the highest mountain in Oman, Jebel Shams. Hike above Oman's Grand Canyon, pass by abandoned villages and keep an eye out for swooping spotted eagles and the goats who guard this area. The mountains here are craggy and parched but the views are eye-popping. From the summit, you'll be rewarded with sweeping views of Wadi Al Sahtan and the rest of Oman. You’ll then descend back down to the mountain village of Misfat Al Abriyeen, where a hot meal and a comfy bed will be waiting for you.

    Day 5

    Misfat Al Abriyeen

    Hiking

    2-3hrs

    Driving

    1hr

    Start the day by exploring Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman’s mud village on foot, stopping off at the Omani Honey Exhibition. As you walk from Misfat to the village of Al Hamra, you'll pass agricultural terraces, gardens, plantations, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on the rocks. Nestled in the higher ranges of the Jebel Sham mountains, both villages were built more than 400 years ago by nomadic tribes travelling through the region. After a bit of lunch, you’ll then drive to tonight’s destination, the oasis town of Nizwa, home to the famous fort and its nearby souk.

    Day 6

    Nizwa to Wahiba Sands

    Driving

    2-3hrs

    Start the day with a visit to the old neighbourhood of Al-Aqr, and then walk to the oldest part of Nizwa's souk, dedicated to craftsmanship and famous for the traditional Omani dagger known as a Khanjar, a symbol of bravery. Pass by Nizwa Fort with its cylindrical tower and learn about Oman’s long history and proud culture. After lunch, you'll jump back into the 4x4 and head to a remote Bedouin camp deep in the Wahiba Sands desert to relax and marvel at the stars and enjoy some traditional Arab cuisine.

    Day 7

    From Wahiba Sands to Wadi Hawir

    Canyoning

    4-5hrs

    Driving

    3-4hrs

    Today you'll have the option of a sunrise hike up a nearby sand dune and catch the deep reds of the desert landscape. Spend the morning playing in the dunes, try your luck sand boarding or relax at camp. Then it's time to pack up the 4x4 and bounce around the dunes towards Wadi Wadi Hawir, another prime canyon to navigate our way along, with stunning pools, slides and waterfalls overlooked by steep cliff faces and swaying palm trees. At sunset, you'll head to the coastal town of Sur, with its striking traditional dwellings. Enjoy a cooked meal and a good night’s sleep after the days activities.

    Day 8

    Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab

    Swimming

    2-3hrs

    Driving

    2-3hrs

    Grab an Omani coffee and watch the sunrise before hitting the road to the beautiful wadis of Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab. Be ready for plenty of swimming, scrambling and waterfall showers - today you'll be doing a combination of swimming, walking and canyoning through the wadis. Later head back to Muscat stopping at the mysterious and water-filled Bimmah Sinkhole, famous for its turquoise colour. Take a dip if you like, then return to the capital for a relaxing night and some free time exploring the city at your own pace.

    Day 9

    Transfer to Airport

    Relax over a last breakfast and say your final goodbyes with your team, then return to the airport where your Omani adventure will come to an end.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's included?

    • All camping equipment
    • Canyoning gear

    What do I need to bring?

    BAGS
    Soft duffel bag or rucksack
    Daypack (25+ litres)for personal belongings while hiking Drybags for the canyoning

    CLOTHES
    Lightweight down jacket
    Fleece or warm mid-layer
    Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
    T-shirts
    Underwear & socks
    Swimwear
    Sunglasses
    Sunhat/cap
    Something to sleep in
    Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in) for walking sections in the canyons, plus ideally a pair of light 'wet shoes' with decent grip
    Flip flops or sandals (for around camp)
    **When visiting a mosque, it's important to show respect by dressing appropriately, even in the heat. Women should cover their arms and legs and wear a headscarf; trousers or a long skirt are recommended. Men are required to wear trousers and long-sleeved shirts.

    OTHER
    Waterproof cover for you phone/camera Universal travel plug adapter
    Power bank or solar charger
    Passports (and visas)
    Travel Insurance documents
    Earplugs
    Suncream
    Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
    Quick-dry towel
    Alcohol hand-gel
    Headtorch or torch
    Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)
    Biodegradable wet-wipes
    Energy bars and snacks

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single/Double/Twin Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single/Double/Twin Room

    Per Night

    Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room and Tent Upgrade

    Per Person

    Airport Transfer One Way

    Payable Before Departure

    Airport Transfer One Way

    Per Person

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 356kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    You should have a good overall level of fitness, although no previous experience in any of the activities is required. You'll generally be active for 3-5 hours each day, with plenty of breaks to rest and recharge. What’s more important is being comfortable with heights. There will be a few exposed sections so those with vertigo may not be too comfortable. Your guide will never be far away to help you get through it though.

    You'll be led by an experienced and safety-focused guide. Expect to be in and out of water a lot, negotiating obstacles, and jumping off rocks into deep blue pools. Some of the water jumps are up to 3 meters high.

    For Omanis, wadis are their life-force - deep canyons that criss-cross the mountains and deserts, with turquoise waters that flow over waterfalls and into crystal clear pools that demand you dive in and cool off. They're also a haven for wildlife and flowers and a trip to one for a hike, swim, climb, off-road drive or a picnic is always a highlight of any visit to Oman. On this trip, you'll visit some of your host's favourite wadi's that few tourists ever see.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however, we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

    Guide: $5 per person per day Driver: $3 per person per day

    Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    As you might expect, the weather in Oman is hot, sunny and dry all year round, with daytime temperatures that rarely drop below 20°C. Summer can be very hot, with temperatures topping 35°C and little rainfall. Nights can be a little cooler, especially in the Jebel Shams mountains, with temperatures dropping to 5-10 degrees during the night and as cold as 0 degrees in January/February (bring a windproof jacket and a hoodie to stay warm). The really hot months between May and September should be avoided.

    As you will be travelling with a vehicle, your luggage will need to travel with you so we advise keeping it reasonably small and light.

    We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

    Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

    Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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