A DIVE INTO ARAB CULTURE AND IN MUSCAT'S BREATHTAKING SEABED
Discovery & taste, Relax, Culture & local gems , Less than 1 hour walking, Certified guide, 50
In a nutshell Although it is an extremely modern city, Muscat still preserves the most traditional aspects of Arab culture. The colourful stalls of the Muttrah Suk and the ancient palaces create a “one thousand and one nights” atmosphere, while the imposing Al Alam Palace opens its doors to an unknown world. Close encounters with dolphins and other marine species at the Bander Khayran reservoir and a lovely beach lunch end this thrilling day.
Good to know
- Muttrah district and characteristic Suk
- Al Alam Palace and the ancient prisons of the Mirani and Al Jalali Forts
- Boat ride to spot dolphins
- Stop on Bander Khayran beach, a favourite with diving and snorkelling enthusiasts
- BBQ on the beach
- We set off from the Mina Sultan Qaboos port along the amazing seafront of the Muttrah district surrounding the entire gulf and boasting period palaces and mosques with tall minarets. We remain surprised by the lack of skyscrapers, which makes us feel as if we are in a fishing village rather than in a capital.
- We stop at the Muttrah Suk, one of the oldest in the Arab world where we can still admire the amazing 18th-century merchant houses. We venture into the busy alleyways teeming with stalls selling spices, fabric, jewellery and other local products for one hour of shopping in the shade of the palm trees and of the tall clay walls delimiting the market.
- We then head to Al Alam Palace, the official residence of Sultan Qaboos. Although it is only possible to visit the exterior, this perfect example of contemporary Arab architecture truly deserves a stop. The Mirani and Jalali Forts can also be visited from the outside only: both were used as prisons and the latter is now home to a museum dedicated to the country’s cultural heritage.
- A few motorboats await us at the Bander Al Rowdha Marina to provide us with a unique experience of dolphin sighting. Although it is not guaranteed that we will actually see these marvellous mammals, we trust in the experience of the local fishermen who take us to the places where they are most likely to be spotted. After this incredible experience, we head to Bander Khayran beach, a reservoir with a spectacular seabed where we can enjoy a spot of snorkelling and might even exceptionally encounter some turtles, for example. We savour a delicious BBQ lunch cooked especially for us.
- We then return to the Bander Al Rowdha Marina where we get back onto our coach and to the Mina Sultan Qaboos port.
Good to know
- There will not be a guide on the excursion. A local escort will provide information in English.
- Space is limited, so please reserve early.