Round trip Oman: Land program & Diving
Embark on an adventurous 15-day journey that takes you through Oman’s diverse landscape, from bustling Muscat to southern Mirbat. This tour of Oman will show you the contrasts of this wondrous country, from majestic mountains to vast deserts and inviting coastlines. Explore the sultanate with a private 4×4 and an expert English-speaking guide by your side. A gem of 309,500 km2, Oman reveals more than 1,700 km of coastline along the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean, with the Hajjar Mountains cutting through the country.
Dive into the Heart of the Arabian Sea
After a week of exploring and discovering highlights of Oman, board the Oman Explorer for a diving vacation at the Hallaniyat Islands. This remote paradise in the Arabian Sea is rich in marine life and a dream for any diving enthusiast. During your diving vacation in Oman, you will be amazed by the vibrant coral reefs, huge schools of fish, graceful rays and turtles, and maybe even catch a glimpse of whales, orcas, or a whale shark. Wrecks on the sea floor, such as the unfortunate WW1 warship City of Winchester, also add a touch of history to this diving experience.
Best travel time: From October to April, the sea is generally calmest and the weather cooler, with water temperatures ranging from 22°C to 25°C. This time of year is also the best season to see whale sharks and turtles.
We advise against traveling to Oman during Ramadan due to various restrictions. Therefore, avoid Mar 10 to Apr 8, 2024 and Feb 28 to Mar 29, 2025.
Please note that the minimum certification level required to dive is Open Water and we strongly recommend at least the Specialty Deep Diver to have. We also recommend having at least 50 dives logged.
Wetsuit advice for OmanSince the water temperature can vary between 26 degrees at the surface and 22 degrees below the thermocline, we recommend at least a 5mm wetsuit and an extra hood for diving.
What will you experience on this trip?
View itinerary here
Day 1 - Flight to Muscat
Today your adventure diving trip to Oman starts with an approximately 9-10 hour flight to Muscat, including a stopover. Given the time difference and flight duration, you will arrive in Muscat on day 2.
Day 2 - Arrival in Muscat
Today you land in Muscat. At Muscat airport, catch a cab to your hotel (Novotel Muscat Airport) where you can check in and catch your breath. Depending on your arrival time, you may already have a chance to explore a bit of Muscat. Admire the ornate Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the heart of Omani culture. Wander the colorful souks of the old city, where you can find everything from traditional clothing to spices and jewelry. Try the local cuisine and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the harbor before returning to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Day 3 - Bahla Fort, Jabrin Castle and Birkat Al Mauz
Today you will be picked up early at your hotel and start your journey with a visit to the UNESCO heritage Bahla Fort, Oman’s largest castle. In the middle of its mud city walls stands Hisn Tamah. UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Visit the imposing fortress with its 15 gates and 132 watchtowers.
After your photo stop at the fort, you can visit the ancient pottery in Bahla. There you can see how the typical ceramics are produced in the old traditional way, known for its good quality throughout Oman and beyond. It is said that the local potters were born with magic fingers. The clay used comes from the Wadi Floor and is flexible enough for the men to easily work with it on bicycles and carve beautiful pottery.
For the next stop, we recommend Jabrin Castle, which was built in the 17th century and is considered the most beautiful in Oman. It gives you the impression that all the artists and architects of the time came together there to give this building its glory.
You continue your trek to Birkat Al Mauz, an abandoned mud village at the foot of Jebel Akhdar. Enjoy your walk around the date plantations and the water irrigation system (aflaj) in the center of the settlement. The Aflaj system in this region is one of the 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oman.
Day 4 - Nizwa Souq and Fort, Ibra & Wahiba Sands
After breakfast, visit the colorful market of Nizwa, the historical and religious core of Oman. Here you will find the 1668 fortress, the most visited monument in the country. The impressive tower offers views of the city and surrounding mountains.
You continue to Ibra to explore the ancient village of Al Manzifah. The remains of the old mud wall and the architecture of bygone times show the historical richness of this place.
A small detour takes you to Wadi Bani Khalid, where you drive through a surreal landscape with vast sandy plains. Along the way, you will see camels, goats and donkeys searching for food in the sand.
After about 40 minutes you will reach the Shell gas station in Bidiyah. After refueling briefly, leave for Wahiba. During this ride, you can enjoy breathtaking dunes that constantly change shape and color. Bedouins still live in the Wahiba Desert, known for their hospitality. Upon arrival at camp, climb to a dune to enjoy a breathtaking sunset in silence.
Day 5 - Wadi Bani Khalid, Sur & Dhow factory
The evergreen Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the most famous wadis in the entire Sharqiyah region. The river never dries out completely. Throughout the year there is a continuous flow of water. Large palm-fringed ponds with turquoise and sapphire-colored water invite swimming. Please note the dress code for swimming in public.
Next, it’s time to head to Sur. Sur, a city once known far beyond the Gulf shores of Africa, India and Asia as a major hub for trade across all oceans.
On a tour of Sur, you must visit the dhow factory. To this day, the typical Omani wooden ships are built in the traditional way without nails or glue. The Fatah Al Khair can be visited at the open-air museum in Sur. It was built on site around 1910 and has a proud length of 20 meters.
Day 6 - Ras Al Ruwais, Al Ashkharah, Bar Al Hikman, Al Khaluf, Al Duqm
Today you will drive south along the coastal roads towards your first camping spot via the village of Al Ashkharah. Al Ashkharah in Wilayat Jalan Bani Ali, located in the Ash Sharqiyah region, is one of the most visited tourist attractions by Omanis in the summer, when the monsoon hitting the Dhofar governorate mixes a gentle breeze. The virgin coast and fine golden sand are visited by numerous bird colonies. Al Ashkharah gets its name from the abundance of “Acacias trispinose” (al ashkhar) growing there. From Sur to Al Ashkharah takes about 1 ¾ hours.
The road leads you through a fascinating desert landscape formed by the obvious Wahiba Desert. Sand dunes alternate with oases and rock surfaces. The areas around Ras Ar Ruways offer great places for an overnight flight. The combination of coastal sand dunes is unique in Oman. Keep in mind that the sand in this area is extremely soft.
You drive along the coast until you reach Duqm. On this trip south, you will admire the desert characterized image. Enjoy the variety of traveling dunes, oases and stone areas. You pass Khaluf to Marata (where you can find a small road to a crawfish farm). The fishing village of Al Khaluf is known for its sugar-white dunes and beautiful beaches. Take your time and enjoy a picnic on one of the unique beaches before continuing to Duqm.
Day 7 - Ras Madrakah, Ash Shuwaimyah, Village of Hasik and Sadah, Mirbat
Today you continue your journey along the coast and your first stop is Ras Madrakah, a beautiful bay with a white sandy beach surrounded by black mountains made of volcanic rock. Stony plateaus are interspersed with sections of fantastic beaches. You continue driving along the coast and stop at some fishing villages, not only to stock up on provisions, but also to enjoy the hustle and bustle of village life.
At the “Pink Lagoon” a lagoon with pink colored water you can admire flamingos and other seabirds while strolling in search of food. You continue your way along beautiful sandy beaches interspersed with the “moonscapes” of gravelly bottoms. You reach Wadi Shuwaymiyah, a gorge with bizarrely shaped rock structures and snow-white sandy beaches. The unique spot is perfect for setting up camp for the night.
Drive from Shuwaymiyah to the nearby Wadi of Shuwaymiyah. The wadi is definitely a secret tip. Because of its location, the Wadi is hardly mentioned in tourist guidebooks, although it is one of the most beautiful Wadis in Oman. Your detour will be rewarded with dramatic views of the impressive gorge. Under the very bright sun, steep walls, overhanging cliffs and bizarre rocks appear. The gray-brown hues are interrupted here and there by the dark green dots of low shrubs and small palms.
After this impressive spectacle of nature, return to Shuwaymiyah and head toward Sadah along Coastal Highway 42. Drive through the country along Road 49 from the small fishing village of Hasik to Sadah and Mirbat. Enjoy breathtaking views of the historic eastern part of the Dhofar region until you reach Mirbat port where you will board the boat and begin your diving adventure.
Day 8 to 13 - Diving around the Hallaniyats islands
Over the next few days you will make three to four dives a day, except on day 13, when you will make two.
In winter, it is common to dive in Oman near the Hallaniyat Islands. Probably the most diverse diving area in the Sultanate! The Hallaniyat Islands lie in the open ocean, some 40 to 70 km south of Dhofar, and only one of the islands is inhabited. Beautiful bays between rugged cliffs make the crossings between the islands an experience even above water!
Marine life ranges from majestic humpback whales and graceful manta rays to playful schools of dolphins. The rich coral reefs and unusual topography make each dive unique and exciting.
A particular highlight are the shipwrecks you can explore. The most famous is “The City of Winchester,” a British warship from World War I. There is also an ancient Chinese junk, known for the huge schools of fish it attracts.
Although still relatively unknown to tourism, the islands offer incredibly interesting diving. The pristine Hallaniyat Islands are the perfect winter destination for divers seeking diversity and adventure.
Day 14 - From Salalah to home
Today your day starts early. Before 9 a.m. check out of the liveaboard. Depending on your flight schedule, you will either be taken directly to the airport or have the chance to explore the city of Salalah. Salalah is the city where you get on the plane. A transfer between Mirbat and Salalah takes about 1 hour. If you still have time, we definitely recommend seeing the city and enjoying Omani hospitality one more time.
The accommodation and facilities
Accommodations during the tour
During the round trip you will stay overnight at various accommodations. Upon arrival in Muscat, you will first spend a night at the Novotel Muscat Airport hotel. A comfortable hotel.
The first stop on the tour is Falaj Daris Nizwa, where you will stay from day 3 to 4. It is a unique place that showcases traditional Arab life and culture, enriched with impressive history and charming architecture.
You will then head to Sama Al Wasil Camp on the fourth and fifth days, a place where the serenity of the desert and the starry night sky will enchant you. Day 5 on 6 spend at the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, where you can witness the wonders of marine life, including the fascinating process of turtles laying their eggs on the beach.
Your stay concludes with an overnight stay at the luxurious Crowne Plaza Duqm from day 6 to 7, where you can enjoy first-class amenities and stunning views of the Arabian Sea.
The travel package includes dinner on the first day and breakfast on the last day, as well as breakfast and dinner on all intermediate days. Each culinary adventure is specially designed to give you a taste of the diverse and rich Arabic cuisine.
The popular liveaboard Oman Explorer, managed by Extra Divers Worldwide, has been sailing to Oman’s most beautiful diving areas since 2011. The spacious ship, completely renovated in summer 2015, accommodates 22 divers in 11 comfortable cabins. The international team consists of 10 crew members and 1-2 dive guides. Three to four dives per day are included, excluding the day of embarkation and disembarkation.
Accommodation on board is on a full board basis, including coffee, tea, juice and water, with afternoon snacks. Beer and wine are available for a fee. Diving is facilitated with 12L aluminum tanks (DIN/INT), with the option for 15L steel tanks for an additional charge and upon prior notice. Nitrox is available for a fee.
There are a total of 10 double cabins on the upper and lower decks, as well as a spacious master cabin. All cabins are equipped with fan, closet, air conditioning, bathroom with shower and toilet. Towels (for the cabin and sun deck) and a hair dryer are also provided. The cabins have two single beds (each 1m x 2m). From the cabins on the upper deck you have a beautiful view of the sea! The large master cabin (about 20 m²) is located on the main deck, and has a king-size double bed and, in addition to the equipment of the standard cabins, a refrigerator and a TV.
What is included
This travel package is €3200 per person based on two people in one cabin/room. The trip can be extended as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.
Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.
Want to know more about the possibilities? Get in touch with us!
Included in this trip, from €3200,- p.p.
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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation
The cabins have air conditioning
Our price is based on two people occupying a cabin. It is possible to reserve the cabin for yourself at an additional cost.
Yes, but these must be requested in advance. Price is about 15 OMR per week, which is approx. €37,-
The cost is 22 OMR for a week, which is about €55 per person.
This is by request.