Oman & Zanzibar

Oman, steeped in history and tradition, is one of the most fascinating and beautiful countries of the Arabian Peninsula. From as early as 5000 BCE the region played a major role in the development of the ancient civilizations of western Asia, while its own numerous civilizations have left a rich and varied archaeological legacy.



Tour Description


  • Explore a little-visited pocket of the Arab world, from Oman’s otherworldly landscapes to the romantic spice island of Zanzibar
  • Visit the intriguing waterside capital of Muscat, with its well-preserved and imposing fortresses and Grand Mosque

  • Discover the lost ancient city of Ubar, the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’ whose riches were founded on the frankincense trade
  • Spend a relaxed afternoon at a spice plantation on Zanzibar, and see first hand where the island’s famous cloves are produced

Meals: All breakfasts, 12 lunches & 8 dinners.


October 13 & 14:
We arrive in Muscat on Saturday 14.
Hotel: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Muscat.

October 15: BAUSHAR
We travel along the Mutrah Corniche to view the residence of the sultan, Al Alam Palace. We visit the Bait al-Barandah, now a museum presenting the history of Muscat, and the charming Bait al Zubair, a private museum housing traditional Omani items.
Hotel: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Muscat.

October 16: AL-AYN
We leave Muscat, stopping first at the pre-Islamic fort at Nakhl. Continuing through date palm oases, we view the fort of Rustaq, built over a spring and thought to have been founded by the Persians in the pre-Islamic period. We continue to Al-Ayn to visit Bat’s beehive tombs and communal graves.
Hotel: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwa.

October 17: AL-AYN
We begin at Has’t bin Sult, a 20-foot rock covered with engravings of men, women and children. We continue to Al Hamra’s old town, and to Misfah, one of the most picturesque villages in Oman. We view Bahla’s huge fort, a World Heritage Site surrounded by miles of mud-brick walls.
Hotel: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwa.

October 18: NIZWA
We begin at Nizwa souk and round tower fort. We travel north via Sumail Pass to visit the falaj and mosque of  Samali, and to nearby Akdar, known for its traditional pit weaving. We continue to Samad, an oasis town famed for its watchtowers.
Hotel: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwa.

October 19: SUR
This exciting day takes us to the ancient dune system of the golden Wahiba Sands, via Al Mudayrib, where we stop to admire the city gate and beautiful carved doors. We continue to Sur, a historic port which once controlled much trade with East Africa and India.
Hotel: Sur Plaza Hotel.

October 20: MUSCAT
We visit the excavations at Ras al-Jinz and Ras al-Had. We return to Muscat, stopping at the ruins of the Bibi Maryam mausoleum, built by the same woman who built Qalhat’s famous lost mosque. This beautiful enigmatic tomb is all that remains of this once great Arabian city.
Hotel: Hormuz Grand Hotel, Muscat.

October 21: SALALAH
A spectacular flight over the Wahiba Sands brings us to Salalah in the southern province of Dhofar. After visiting the Salalah Museum, we visit the ancient city of Dhofar (Al-Baleed). We visit Old Salalah and its natural wonders.
Hotel: Hilton Salalah Resort.

October 22: SALALAH
We drive into the Jebel Qara escarpment to Job’s Tomb. We continue through the “empty quarter” to Hanun, site of an ancient frankincense storehouse and a small temple dedicated to the moon god Sin. The site is an important transit point en route to Cana and Shabwah.
Hotel: Hilton Salalah Resort.

October 23: SALALAH
We begin at the pre-Islamic port of Sumhuram, beautifully situated on the banks of the Khor Rawri. We will visit the picturesque town of Mirbat and explore Wadi Darbat, known to house prehistoric paintings in some of its caves.
Hotel: Hilton Salalah Resort.

October 24 & 25: MUSCAT & ZANZIBAR
We fly to beautiful Muscat on Tuesday 24 and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore. On Wednesday 25, we fly across the sea to the lush, romantic spice island of Zanzibar. We enjoy an introduction to Zanzibar over dinner.
Hotels: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Muscat; Zanzibar Serena Inn.

October 26: ZANZIBAR
We take a walking tour of Stone Town and examine its unique architecture. The marvelous Zanzibari carved wooden doors, no two alike, are a symbol of the once wealthy householders who lived within. After a break, we regroup for a lecture by a representative of the Preservation Society.
Hotel: Zanzibar Serena Inn.

October 27: ZANZIBAR
We tour the palace at Dunga and the oldest mosque in East Africa at Kizimkazi.before our visit to Unguja Ukuu, the oldest settlement on Zanzibar and the traditional seat of royalty. Tonight, we enjoy dinner accompanied by Taarab music.
Hotel: Zanzibar Serena Inn.

October 28: ZANZIBAR
We begin with a visit to the ruins of Maruhubi Palace. We then travel north through the countryside, we visit Mtoni Palace and Persian Baths. At Fukuchani we explore the remains of a Portuguese settlement. We visit a spice plantation to see where Zanzibar’s cloves are produced, and conclude our incredible adventure with a sunset sail on a traditional dhow.
Hotel: Zanzibar Serena Inn.

October 29:
Transfer to Zanzibar airport for flights.



Additional Information


Prof Trevor Marchand received his PhD from The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he is currently Professor in the Department of Anthropology. He specializes in indigenous architectures.

Calendar Year


PDF Download

Oman & Zanzibar – 2016 (106kb)

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2017 Accommodation

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Muscatgrand-hyatt-muscat-1

The hotel is a sight to see in itself, it is built in a traditional Arabian architectural style with white sandy beaches stretching out in front of it…And if you set your standards high at first glance, the interior doesn’t disappoint either! Guests can choose from a variety of hotel bars to spend the evenings, alternatively make the most of the hotel’s whirlpool bath after a long day exploring.



Golden Tulip Hotel, Nizwagolden-tulip-1

Step into the Golden Tulip Hotel and be welcomed with traditional delicious delicacies – help yourself to a few Omani dates and glass of Kahwa (Omani tea). The subtle touches & the authentic hospitality in this hotel brings the Omani culture to life. Rooms take advantage of the stunning surrounds with views out over the garden, pool, and mountains.



Sur Plaza HotelSUr-plaza-1

The picturesque town of Sur makes the perfect backdrop for the Plaza hotel. The old fishing village boasts ‘Turtle Beach’, where between May & October turtles come to lay their eggs and Sunaysilah Fort, both within easy walking distance for an evening’s stroll. The rooms are clean and comfortable and the breakfast will re-fuel you ready for the day’s exploring.



Hormuz Grand Hotel, Muscat Hormuz-grand-1

Where the east meets west this hotel is rich in culture and lavishly decorated in a contemporary take on Arabian style. You’re guaranteed a room with a spectacular view of the Muscat Mountains or down into the valleys. The minimal design in the bedroom gives a tranquil atmosphere. The hotel’s design gives guests a truly luxurious stay.



Hilton Salalah ResortHilton1

The beach front hotel gives guests a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean… and the exotic atmosphere doesn’t stop there as you grab a drink from the ‘Whispers Bar’, and relax watching the hotel’s live music & dance performances. The comfortable suites and welcoming staff make this a pleasant stay.



Zanzibar Serena InnZanzabar-1

This is a hidden gem surrounded by Sultan’s Palaces, and on the western facing side of the island, it’s framed by spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean. This is where Arabic & Swahili styles come together, with cool white walls and mangrove poles, the rooms are furnished with traditionally carved furniture and brass lamps.

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