A drive through Muscat reveals a wealth of sights and sounds. Begin with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque—a uniquely splendid example of Islamic architecture. Then, you’ll continue along the famous Batinah Plain. This is the main agricultural area of Oman—the country’s breadbasket. You’ll stop at the Oasis of Nakhl, with time to visit the impressive fort there. You’ll also visit the natural mineral springs of Ain Thowarah. Returning to Muscat city, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant en route. Leave the coach in Muscat’s Old Town—the only way to explore this amazing heritage area is on foot. Stroll around the 16th-century Portuguese-built forts of Jalali and Mirani, and see the Qasr Al Alam Palace of HM Sultan Qaboos. Drive to the Muttrah—a delightful quarter of Muscat—and walk along the corniche to admire the beautiful merchant houses. Sharpen your haggling skills while shopping at the busy souk (market), well known for its silver, craft shops, perfumes and souvenirs. From here, you’ll return to port.
The Grand Mosque is closed on Fridays. Modest, loose-fitting attire is required; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered and shoes must be removed to enter mosque(s). Ladies’ heads, legs and arms must be entirely covered—bring a headscarf and wear appropriate clothing. Men must wear long trousers (shorts are not allowed). Minimum age is 11 years. Tour does not operate on Fridays or holidays. Beverages can be purchased during lunch at your own expense.