Outstanding Oman – Abi’s Arabian Adventure

Abi,  Head of leisure travel for Destina was fortunate to experience a trip to Oman with the Inspiring Travel Company. Here she provides us with a rundown of her Arabian adventure, as well as a few reasons why Oman should be your next holiday destination…

After a comfortable 7-hour 30-minute overnight flight from Heathrow, we arrived into Muscat airport and were efficiently met by our ground handlers who whisked us to a private lounge area to organise our visa on arrival (approx. US$50) and complete immigration.

With airport formalities all complete, we transferred to our first stop for 2 nights, the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, a beach property located just a 15-minute drive from the capital of Muscat. The resort consists of 3 hotels, Al Waha, a children’s paradise with great facilities for families, Al Bandar, a lovely mid-luxury property in the middle of the complex and finally the palatial adult only Al Husn. We stayed our first night at Al Bandar and our second night at Al Husn.

Whilst staying at the Shangri-La we embarked an early morning boat ride from the resort’s own marina, this 3-hour experience took us to just a few kilometres from Muscat’s rugged coast in search for Dolphins. We were lucky enough to see many wild dolphins at close proximity to our boat which is a thrilling way to start the day. An afternoon visit to Muscat meant we tried out our bartering skills in the souk – A fantastic place to bag a bargain such as pashminas, incense, spices and other ornate gifts.


Our next 2 nights were spent high up in the Jamal Akhdar mountains, it’s a journey of approx. 2 hours from Muscat. This is an ideal opportunity to make a couple of fascinating stops en route. First to the stunning Grand Mosque, a beautiful example of modern Islamic architecture, the main prayer hall is especially beautiful, housing the largest chandelier in the world and weighing a phenomenal 8.5 tonnes.Next stop was Nizwa, the original capital of Oman. This historical city is famous for its impressive round castle fort, traditional souk and theatrical livestock market held every Friday.

We continued our journey along winding roads and amazing landscapes, spotting wild Donkeys and goats to Jabal Akhdar, the green jewel of the Al Hajjar Mountain range, sitting 2000 metres above sea level.

Our next 2 nights were spent at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort. This resort is the highest 5* hotel in the Middle East and positioned on the curving edge of a great canyon with breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys below. The resort offers a particularly stunning vantage point known as Diana’s point, built in memory of the late Princess who visited the point in 1986 – a perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail whilst watching the sun set into the mountains.

This resort is ideal for explorers, the mountainous terrain and rural villages are ideal for hikers, bikers and adrenalin junkies. I was less adventurous and opted instead to make the most of the onsite facilities, soaking up the sun around the infinity pool. There is complimentary access to the onsite spa complete with sauna, steam room and hammam – a range of beauty treatments can also be purchased with daily early morning yoga also available.


On day five we checked out of out of the Anantara and made our way back down through the mountains to Muscat for our last night at the super cool Chedi Hotel, a vision of architectural symmetry which has a zen-like calming effect from the moment you arrive. The hotel is perfect for business and leisure travellers alike with 6 exquisite dining options, 3 swimming pools, one of which is the longest pool in the Middle East, a Balinese spa and 700-square-metre health club.

We dined in the aptly named “The Restaurant” for our last supper, this is a beautiful dining room complete with crystal chandeliers and live piano music. There are 4 open show kitchens offering Western, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian fare, complemented by an award-winning wine list.

It was early to bed for a very early morning wakeup call at 4.30am the next morning for our short transfer to the airport and 8am departure back to Heathrow.

I have left Oman with lots of fantastic memories and a genuine respect and fondness for a country so diverse in scenery, I felt extremely safe and met some of the most welcoming people I have encountered in a very long time.


If you would like your own Arabian adventure or want to know a little bit more about Oman as a holiday destination then please do get in touch.


T: 01562 883 795

E: Enquiry@destinatravel.co.uk