Trip idea / Oman


Family fun on Arabian adventures

Sun, souks and sand-boarding

With its guaranteed winter sun, direct UK flights and winning combination of beach and activity, Oman offers family holidays with a difference.

Retaining a strong sense of culture and tradition, and much less developed than high-rise near-neighbour Dubai, the Middle Eastern country’s varied landscapes provide the backdrop for an exotic Arabian adventure.

The lowdown

  • Getting there:

    BA and Oman Air offer direct flights to Muscat which take just over 7 hours.

  • When to go:

    Balmy temperatures make Oman ideal for the October & February half-terms, Christmas and Easter school holidays.

  • Child age:

    The Shangri-La will suit any age for a beach break, but for touring itineraries ages 8 and above are recommended.

Whatever your priorities, we can plan you the perfect Oman holiday but here is just a taster of what you can do.

  • See Muscat’s Grand Mosque
  • Go hiking in the rugged Al Hajar Mountains
  • Sleep under the stars in an authentic desert camp
  • Visit a local Bedouin village
  • Relax on the beach


    Touching down in Oman’s cultured capital Muscat, you’ll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

    The rest of the day is free for rest and relaxation. If you can’t wait to get started, we can arrange a local guide to take you around Muscat’s spotless streets for a first taste of authentic Arabia.

    You’ll see the blue-gold Sultan’s Palace and ornate Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, then head into ancient Mutrah souk to barter for bargains.

    Mountain High

    The sky’s literally the limit today, as we take you on an adventurous 4×4 drive high into the rugged Al Hajar Mountains.

    Within a mere two hours you’ll swap the busy city for a land of rocky canyons, date plantations and historic forts – aka Jabal Akhdar. Your two nights will be spent at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, which scores highly for both dramatic views and family fun.

    Become explorers as you head out hiking with the resort’s ‘Mountain Gurus’, who provide insider access and insight into the local terrain. Hike to abandoned villages, secret wadis (riverbeds) and flowing waterfalls, or tackle the labyrinth of mountain roads by bike. Abseiling’s possible for the adrenaline-inclined, as are history-focused visits to Nizwa and Bahla’s impressive ancient forts.

    Prefer resort-based recreation? Fine-tune your backhand with a game of high-altitude tennis or your backstroke inside the cliff-edge infinity pool. The kids’ and teens’ clubs offer interactive fun, leaving parents free to enjoy soothing spa treatments or hot yoga in the hammam.

Just Deserts

Your next stop is the vast desert wilderness of Wahiba Sands, and an unforgettable night amid a Bedouin-style camp. Youngsters will be blown away by the sheer scale of this sea of sand, where some dunes rise up to 200 metres.

The most comfortable desert experience for families is offered by Desert Nights Camp, where you’ll be greeted on arrival with Arabic coffee and fresh Omani dates. Its 30 tents are sumptuously decorated in traditional style, with colourful cushions and hanging lanterns adding to the ambience. All are en-suite and air-conditioned, meaning there’s no need to sacrifice creature comforts.

A host of desert adventures are on offer. Active older children will adore ascending to sandy heights on exhilarating 4×4 ‘dune bashing’ excursions, or indulging in some high-octane sandboarding. Introduce the kids to local culture by meeting a native Bedouin family, then saddling up for a guided camel safari during the fiery red sunset.

Later you’ll be served a campfire feast of Arabic mezzes and barbecued lamb beneath a blanket of twinkling stars.

    Sand to Sea

    Bid farewell to the Bedouins today as we whisk you back towards Muscat for some well-earned beach time. Set on its own private strip of sand between mountains and the Gulf of Oman is the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa. And here you’ll spend five nights enjoying a seemingly endless range of facilities.

    Youngsters should love floating down a lazy river which connects the resort’s series of shallow pools, before getting drenched in Splashpad, the aquatic play area. While they play at a supervised indoor Adventure Zone or take part in organised beach volleyball, you’re free to relax by the pool or in the spa with total peace of mind.

    Take to the waters on guided kayaking or snorkelling trips, while the dive centre offers introductory courses for kids aged eight and above. There are also daily trips out into the Gulf in search of dolphins; keep your eyes peeled for turtles laying their eggs on the beach, too. The resort’s own Turtle Care Project runs educational activities and ‘turtle talks’ for children.

    You’ll dine on cuisine from around the world at a wide choice of restaurants designed to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters.

    Today it’s time to wave goodbye to magical Oman, newly armed with rich memories.

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