London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
We wrapped up our fabulous adventure holidays Oman with kids and can’t stop raving about these magic lands with rugged coastlines and vast deserts where tradition and progress go hand in hand. Our 10 days in Oman were fantastic and so enriching : we took in the stunning turquoise shades of the Arabian sea, breathless landscapes of the Hajar Mountains and the shifting sands of Wahiba, swam in lush wadis, trekked in dramatic canyons, explored an awesome turtle reserve and then headed back to Muscat blue shores – fabulously diverse luxury holidays Oman.
It was a journey of incredible contrasts, following in the footsteps of the pioneering explorers of old and taking in rich natural highlights that Oman offers. Self driving has been easy, infrastructure in great shape, petrol and 4X4 affordable and Omani super friendly.
We started these wonderful adventure holidays Oman with Shangri La nearby Muscat, with its glorious natural setting with bare mountains in the background – that one truly gets to appreciate best on a boat, paddle boarding or kayaking. The highlight of those 3 days was the sailing where one can soak in the bare mountains versus the turquoise shades of the Arabian sea, spotting dolphins and snorkeling with lots of colourful fish and huge green turtles at Bandar Al Khayran.
The kids were smitten by Shangri-La array of pools and activities, lazy river that one hops in, floats or swims with a gentle current. The beach between the hotels is large, beautiful and with soft sand – perfect for strolls along the coast as well as swimming with colourful fish.
The waters are blue and calm, perfect for Oman with kids holidays or simply exploring the nearby coves kayaking. We stayed at Al Bandar in a large beautiful room with views over green gardens and Arabian Sea, in between Al Waha (the dedicated family resort with endless kids facilities) and Al Husn (the dedicated separate adult only hotel). For a dedicated post to Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah head here.
The fourth day we left for Arabian Oryx Camp in the Bedu deserts. We chose the midday to allow for a relaxed journey through the beautiful red shifting Wahiba sands. Once we arrived at Al Wasil (the last little town on the road), we deflated the tyres of our 4X4 and drove off road through the red sanded dunes staring at the surreal Dali-esque landscapes.
We spent at Oryx Camp 2 nights to make the most out of the desert and nearby wadis – dune climbing at sunset and sunrise, camel riding, indulging into camp fires at night, Bedu dinners and music, as well as stargazing. There’s also dune bashing, sand boarding and quad riding for the adventurous souls !
We were hosted the first night and given the wonderful treatment and warm hospitality we extended for the second. We had a very spacious 2 beds Arabian villa, big enough to fit 2 families and with a beautiful travertine porch and outside sitting space to allow extensive stargazing and indulging into coffee at sunrise.
A dedicated post in here, this has been the perfect base for exploring the area around, including the lush Wadi Bani Khalid.
The 6th day we headed for the mountains for some serious climbing in dramatic canyons and luxury pampering at Alila Jabal Akhdar. In less than an hour drive deep into mountains, temperatures go from 36 degrees to a pleasantly refreshing 18 degrees celsius. Nearby there is the heart of the old Omani Imamate, including the unesco patrimony Nizwa and fortresses.
Alila has been as usual an amazing stay with refined cuisine, perfect sleek integration in the rocky landscapes, warm service – a wonderful unique memorable experience. Via Ferrata climb dazzled my head and senses with its vertiginous slopes, rocks and caves and thereafter there was some well deserved pampering in Alila infinity pool soaking in the sunsets. For something more visual but filed with an old phone (did not want to risk the Go pro into that gorgeous gorge), here’s a Youtube link. Nizwa fortresses will have to wait our next trip as we stuck to the nature on these adventure holidays Oman and Alila pampering for those 2 days! For a full dedicated article to Alila Jabal Akhdar, the culinary treats and hospitality, head here.
On our 8th day we headed to Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve from Alila and broke the 4.5 hours roadtrip in Sur.
Eco glamping is the way to go in here and make sure you book a family tent well in advance as it’s jut 3 of them.
Ras Al Jinz is a once in a lifetime experience seeing turtles laying eggs at moonlight and babies recently hatched heading back to the sea at night or at sunrise.
We left Ras Al Jinz 11am next day feeling enriched and blessed. The drive to Kempinski Hotel Muscat is less than 3 hours by the coast and we broke it with the scenic Wadi Shab. Some stunning landscapes but more difficult than Wadi Bani Khalid with 2 young kids – so just explored for an hour or so.
Our last leg of these very active adventure holidays Oman was Kempinski Hotel Muscat – the city’s latest 5 star addition, where grand sleek design with Arabic influences meets European sophistication, cuisine and wines are great and service is impeccable. We took it easy for the last 2 days with dips in the sea and pool as well as catching up with friends.
Kempinski Hotel Muscat is conveniently close to the airport (less than 10min drive), so the last morning we wrapped it up with another beautiful sunrise over a delicious breakfast.
10 days in Oman have been fabulous and left us seriously craving for more! On our list for the next times also: Daymaniyat islands – for fabulous diving, Salalah – the very southern tip for green mountains, streams, waterfalls and more vibrant blue waters and at the other side, closer to Dubai, Zighy Bay. Oman we had a blast and we will be back!
Disclosure: Many thanks to Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, Alila Jabal Akhdar, Kempinski Muscat and Arabian Oryx Camp for the media rates and complimentary treats, luxury holidays Oman don’t get better than this! Overexcited kids and opinions in here entirely ours.
A good friend of ours lives in Oman and I am desperate to visit, it looks so beautiful. I want to go even more now! 😀
Hope you get to go soon, it’s a stunning country! X
That looks like a stunning break. There is something quite beautiful about dessert destinations. Would so love to visit Oman.
Thank you Kate! Wishing you’ll get to visit soon, it’s a stunning country! And the desert as you say is facinating, a dedicated post is currently under preparation, our stay with Oryx Camp was so lovely and memorable!
Oman looks absolutely beautiful in your pictures. What a fantastic family adventure! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
Thank you Clare! It hasn’t been easy occasionally extracting kids out of the amazing kids club or packing for the 5th time in the 10 days for all boys but it’s been an absolute blast and worth every effort. Pleasure to link in as usual!
Ah this has brought back so many happy memories from our trip to Oman last year- we visited so many of the same places (although it would have been blissful to stay in some of the hotels you did!). Such a fabulous country to visit with kids #farawayfiles
Indeed Cathy, a fabulous country, we are already planning going back 😉 Truly fell in love and all those hotels went beyond and above looking after us! And your last year articles helped our itinerary!
That’s so lovely to hear! And I would love to go back too.
looks like an amazing trip! I want to visit Oman x
Susanna, warmly recommending it! And keep us posted! 😉 X
I only heard of a Oman as a holiday destination a few months ago. It looks fabulous! #CulturedKids
It was so magical and exhilarating, warmly recommending it! X
I’ve never considered Oman as a holiday destination with kids before but seeing your post has made me add it to the list. It looks amazing (although I’m pretty sure you would never get me on the side of that mountain) 🙂 #CulturedKids
Haha Tara, the mountains and canyons are indeed dramatic and overwhelming! But its a great place to go with the kids and re-charge with so much beauty and kindness!
Wow – this sounds utterly magical. The eco glamping would be my favourite, although I’d be excited about doing any of these things. Such a beautiful country. #CulturedKids
Utterly magical indeed, the dedicated eco glamping posts with Arabyan Oryx Camp and Ras Al Jinz currently in prep! X
That looks utterly idyllic, exhilarating and inspiring. We were meant to fly over to the UAE in October but our flight was simply cancelled. But your post has made me wish to visit even more. So many contrasts, but I would not be up for Via Ferrata ! #culturedkids
So sorry to hear about your cancelled flight! Ba also made our Oman trip 1 day shorter but thankfully didn’t cancel it! We liked Uae couple of years ago but Oman is at a different level, perhaps a sign to book slightly differently? And also didn’t think Id be up for Via Ferrata and now actually looking for more 😉 x
stunning photos, and so many different things to do #CulturedKids
Thank you and indeed, so much variety!
Wow! Oman has so much going for it. I love the idea of watching turtles hatch at sunrise. And the places you stayed look very special. #culturedkids
Thank you! Yes Ras al Jinz is very special and such a memorable experience, both moonlight and sunrise!
We were in Abu Dhabi over summer and my girls loved the desert. Oman could well be on our list of places #CulturedKids
We liked Abu Dhabi but reckon Oman is even more gorgeous and unspoilt, hope you get to go soon! Bet your girls will love Arabian Oryx Camp and the coastline! X
Wow! Your pictures are fabulous. I knew the Middle East did have its’ beauty, but I am stunned at this images. Looks like a lot of fun! #culturedkids
Thank you, was fab and fun!
I’m heading to Oman later this month for a self-drive adventue. Which car hire firm did you use for your 4×4?
Dollar, ok-ish overall. So excited for you Ollie!
I hear such great things about Oman. Can’t believe you did that scary Via Ferrata trip!
Oman looks so beautiful, I have never been to Middle East. The photos are stunning. Sounds like you had a fab time . Once again, loved the photos
Absolutely incredible, what an experience. Not sure about the climbing thought, well impressed with that part! Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
Oman looks stunning, that staircase looks exhilarating #CulturedKids
Oman really hasn’t been on my radar as a family destination, but you’ve changed my mind. Sounds like an exhilarating, and exhausting, trip! #CULTUREDKIDS
I’ve loved seeing these extraordinary photos on Instagram. What an amazing holiday! Still shuddering at that vertical cliff face!
Haha thank you Trish! Wrapping up the Via Ferratta article as we speak ! And hopefully a little clip also coming shortly!
wow and wow again, your trip looks absolutely stunning (thought I had a already posted a comment!) Sign me up apart from the scary stuff. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
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What a stunning break, and your photos and adventures look incredible. I love the sound of the eco glamping and watching the turtles laying eggs in the moonlight. Oman was not on my radar until now – it looks wonderful! Thanks for linking up to Monday Escapes 🙂
I’m hoping to get to the Omani mountains next year! #mondayescapes
Great to hear Leona, Alila is the right place and I bet you’ll love it! I just finished wrapping up the dedicated post including the exhilarating madness of Via Ferrata, youtube little video as well. X
This looks like an amazing trip. I used to live in Oman (pre-kids) and visited all the places you mentioned. The hotels and activities have got bigger and better. Would love to do the Via Ferrata at Jebel Akhadar. You’ve really made me want to go back #CultiredKids
Ah wow. What an amazing country to live in. Just wrapped up a dedicated post as well to Alila and Via Ferrata who messed up with my head – still thinking about it! 😉
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This looks like such an incredible family holiday – what an adventure! Such beautiful landscapes – love your photos. The perfect antidote to current English winter. Saving for future ref #fearlessfamtrav
Wow! That looks like an incredible trip. The Alila Jabal Akhdar in particular. You’re very brave doing that climb along the cliff – not sure if I’d manage it!
Oman came to my attention last year through Instagram, and you have certainly excited me more through this great post. That Via Ferrata!!! Wow. #fearlesstravelfam
Wow this looks like an incredible holiday! #fearlessfamtrav
We only dipped our toe in to Oman a very very long time ago, but would love to explore more. We did actually look at doing a stopover there earlier this year, but the visa prices totally put us off and figured we would save it till a longer visit. Looks like you had an amazing 10 days!
Thanks for linking up to #fearlessfamtrav
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