Why Oman is the perfect destination for a family holiday
At Corinthian Travel, we have always maintained that Oman is a superb destination for a family holiday. Comfortable hotels, including luxury options, a good infrastructure, and a range of activities incorporating wildlife, adventure and beach, all contribute to a successful vacation.
The flying time of around 7½ hours from London doesn’t push the limits of flying with children too much and although Oman is bathed in sunshine all year round, October through to March are the best months to visit Oman, making it a great choice for a half-term or early Easter break.
The joy of travel through a child’s eyes…
But don’t just take our word for it: recently 9-year-old Divya travelled to the Sultanate with her parents for a family holiday. Divya and her family followed our Oman Family Holiday itinerary, starting their adventure in Muscat before travelling to Wadi Tiwi, Ras Al Jinz, Sur, Wahiba Sands, Jebel Akdar and Nizwa.
Here we share extracts from Divya’s holiday diary, which describes in her own words, why Oman is a magical destination for a family holiday that combines luxury, adventure and education…
Arriving in Muscat
When we landed in Oman, our guide was waiting for us at the airport. We drove to the Chedi Muscat hotel which was so prodigious and we all loved it. The food was amazing and the bathtub was superb. I would love to have a bathtub like that in my house. On the first morning of our trip, I was not at all tired because the bed was comfy so I slept well. On top of that, I was so excited to be starting our family holiday in Oman.
After breakfast, we went dolphin watching and it was so much fun. We spotted loads of dolphins and the boat ride was fun with plenty of splashes. We also saw some flying fish!
The movie I took of the dolphins…
One evening we went to see the Sultans Palace which our guide told us was inspired by the Taj Mahal in India. After that, we visited a souk, which I learnt is the local word for a market. They sell lots of things and the smell in the souk was lovely – Mum told me that it was called frankincense. I thought frankincense was only from the story of Christmas.
Our tour guide Ahmed took us to visit the Sultan Qaboos mosque. We learned a lot about how Muslims pray, for example, ladies pray in one room and men pray in another room.
Wadis, Water and Turtles
Leaving the city behind, we visited a beautiful sinkhole. The water was so clear and lovely that we couldn’t resist going in. We even got a free pedicure from the fish! It felt so good and it cooled us down from the burning heat beating down onto us.
We went for a quick walk around Wadi Tiwi which was lovely and I discovered that wadi means ‘dry river bed’. We drove to Ras al Jinx where we would be sleeping in a tent for the night. We settled into our comfy tent and later that day it was time for turtle watching. Visiting the beach at night time was a really different experience.
At the Arabian Sea, we saw turtles coming in and out of the water, making nests on the beach, and even laying eggs. I really enjoyed the time in the dark with the turtles and took so many videos.
An adventure-filled day at the Wahiba Sands – Dune Bashing and Quad Bikes
The day started with a visit to a shipbuilding yard. Omani dhows are Oman’s traditional boat and we got to see how they are made. I couldn’t believe that these were handmade by dhow boat craftsmen who sit out in the sun on the burning sand, chopping wood, and building boats with only the company of wandering dogs.
After that, we visited Wadi Shab which was much cooler and the colour of the water was a lovely aquamarine. Back in the car, we drove into the sand dunes and went DUNE BASHING! It wasn’t just amazing – it was super brilliant! Next, Ahmed drove us to our hotel, which like the previous night, was a camp and we were sleeping in tents. YEAH!
After we’d settled in, we got to go and ride quad bikes. It was soooo cool and because I was too small to drive, I went with the instructor on his bike whilst he was teaching my parents to drive their quad bikes. The instructor took me on an amazing ride and when we got onto the flat surface I got to drive and I drove faster than Mum and Dad!
No sooner had we got back to our tent, it was time to go and explore more of the sand dunes and watch the sunset from up high. The sand was lovely and warm so I took my sandals off and walked to the top of the first sand dune, on the lookout for the perfect sand dune to take pictures and enjoy the sunset. While I waited for the sun to fall, I had so much fun sliding down the sand dunes. The sunset was magical and the whole family loved it. Back at the tent, we washed off the sand and got dressed nicely for dinner. The barbecue dinner was delicious but the best thing was being able to sit under the stars as we ate. Finally, after a very long day, we were all ready for bed.
Camels and Castles and luxury at Jebel Akdar
The fun started early today and before breakfast, Mum and I went on a camel ride. I really, really enjoyed the experience, especially the part where the camel sits down and gets up. My camel decided to have a scratch while I was still sat on him which made me giggle.
Ahmed arrived to pick us up from the hotel and took us to Jabreen castle. The palace was stupendous and every room was huge and beautiful. We even saw some traps that were used to trick thieves! Wow!
After we’d finished our tour of the castle, we went to see Al Humra. It was very peaceful and we had a little walk around. There were also lots of beautiful old houses and we even saw a pretty peacock behind a tree.
Next, we headed to Jebel Akdar, in the mountains. Driving into the hills, the temperature was much cooler but soon we arrived at our hotel, Anantara. Our room was beautiful – the view from the room was stunning, overlooking the mountains, and I had my own sofa bed to sleep on. The hotel’s infinity pool had a pretty view of the mountains and the villages, and the jacuzzi was warm and bubbly.
Whilst staying at the Anantara, we went up to Diana’s point and enjoyed the view of the mountains. Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed at this hotel and dined at this point which is how it got its name. I wondered what this place was called before Princess Diana and Prince Charles dined there?
We enjoyed breakfast by a waterfall before embarking on ‘the four village walk’. I had to lead the trail, and if I had taken the wrong turn we would all be lost! But it was also lots of fun as we met the village people and it was like an adventure but without tigers and lions. I remember seeing a few rose water plants and vineyards. We also saw and learnt about a falaj, a type of water channel that runs through villages, like an irrigation system. It was very funny when mummy fell over when she tripped over a dried falaj whilst staring at a vineyard! Hahahaha…
We managed to complete the trail and I was very pleased that I led everyone out on the correct path. Before leaving we ate dates and freshly grown apricots at our walking guide’s house.
Our next hotel was called Alila and we were welcomed with fresh pomegranate juice and Omani dates.
We had a relaxing afternoon swimming in the huge infinity pool and the jacuzzi. We enjoyed afternoon tea and cakes and went cycling following the butterfly path. We returned to our room and watched the sunset from the big sofa on our balcony.
After a scrumptious dinner, we went stargazing. I got to see the moon, Saturn and Jupiter and I even saw a shooting star. The guide showed us the Big Dipper the Little Dipper and the Big Bear through her telescope. Everything was so clear, it felt like I was standing right next to the planets!
Nizwa: Cultural Heritage
Time to explore Nizwa! At the fort, I learnt the Sultans full name. His name is Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur bin Faisal bin Turki Al Said. Wow, that’s a long name! Climbing to the top of the fortress it was extremely hot, but the views totally made up for it.
We had time to visit Nizwa souk to buy some Omani halwa and dates before driving to Al Hoota caves. We had to take a train to the caves and while we were waiting we visited the museum. It was superb and we found out about different rocks and saw how the earth became what it is now and how the continents were formed.
Once we’d taken the train, we set off exploring the caves, it was so cool as we also saw bats and blind fish in the little lake inside the cave. Inside the cave, there were lots of ups and downs and when we were on a flat surface the ceiling of the cave was very low. When we had finished our excursion the train took us back out of the caves.
We then had a long journey back to Muscat. I forgot to say the most favourite thing that I enjoyed every day, not just once but many times during our journey, was the yummy cooling ice creams. I slept for some time and by then we were in Muscat. Before I knew it, we were checking into the Shangri-la Hotel for our final night in Oman. As we were all super hot we all went down to the pool. I went on the slides and the lazy river and it was sooo much fun!
Then we got ready for dinner, which was delicious. With full tummies, we returned to our room and I went to bed dreaming of my adventures in Oman.
I’d just like to say thank you to Corinthian Travel because without this amazing opportunity I would have never experienced this holiday to Oman with my family. Thank you for also bringing us together.
And thank you, Divya, for sharing your experience with us.
With its warm winter climate, magnificent scenery, fine beaches, and a wide range of opportunities for soft adventure, a family holiday in Oman is almost guaranteed to appeal to all age groups. With prices starting from £1595 per person for an 8-day / 7-night private chauffeur-driven journey, contact us to find out more about our Oman Family Holiday.
Alternatively, browse our collection of suggested itineraries here.