Discover Oman
from $3980
Duration: 8 Days
Adventure from portside Muscat and Muttrah into the heart of Oman's richly coloured past. Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that make this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses. The treasures aren't all man-made: trip to the blazing remote landscapes of Wahiba Sands for a desert getaway with the Bedouins, and soak up breathtaking canyon views at Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf before returning to the seaside capital.
  • Experience some traditional Omani hospitality with a one-night camping getaway under the stars in Wahiba Sands
  • Discover Oman's most phenomenal fortresses and mosques, including the beautifully preserved Jabrin Fort
  • Explore the busy fishing harbour of Muttrah and mine the bustling souq for hidden treasures – anything from unique silverware to frankincense
  • For a capital city, Muscat sure packs a lot of charm. Explore the tranquil waterfront and visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Muscat - Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Muscat - Sidab Womens Corporation with Lunch
  • Ras Al Jinz - Turtle Reserve
  • Hawiyat Najim Park - Bimmah Sinkhole
  • Wadi Tiwi - Visit
  • Wadi Bani Khalid - Visit
  • Wahiba Sands – Desert Dune Sunset
  • Jabrin - Fort visit
  • Ibra - Old Village Walk
  • Misfat Al Abyreen - Village Walk
  • Al Hamra - Village Walk
  • Nizwa - Souq visit
  • Jebel Shams - Grand Canyon visit
  • Day 1 Location: Muscat
    Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. You will be treated “to warm Omani Welcome” with coffee and dates after which your Leader will provide you with a short orientation to point out the facilities and services around your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to make you own discoveries, or try one of the recommended restaurants for a local dinner
    Day 2 Location: Muscat
    After breakfast at the hotel, visit the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Then drive down to the busy fishing harbour at Muttrah, with its quaint wooden dhows and fishing boats, stop at the bazaar (souq) where you can mingle with the locals and browse the silver and spice shops. Also see the two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Jalali and Mirani, which guard the entrance to the city. A very special lunch today; The  Sidab Women's Group is one of the unique models in empowering women through establishing a project that benefits the participants. It is an environment-friendly project that is based on the manufacturing of environmentally friendly bags that replace plastic bags.  We learn about the centre and enjoy some home cooked Omani Food before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon 
    Day 3 Location: Ras al Jinz
    Your adventure starts this morning. As we will be returning to the starting point hotel you may want to consider storing some of your luggage at the hotel in Muscat and packing lighter for your five day 4x4 Tour. Drive through the spectacular rugged landscapes to Hawiyat Najim Park the location of the Bimmah Sinkhole a picture-perfect sink hole formed due to limestone erosion. The turquoise waters make an excellent stop to paddle the feet. We spend 30 minutes here before continuing to Wadi Shab. Due to accessibility issues, we will only be stopping at Wadi Shab for a photo stop and to enjoy a refreshing break, we will then continue to Wadi Tiwi Wadi Tiwi is known as the wadi of nine villages, emerald pools and thick date plantations; we drive to the viewpoint to enjoy incredible vistas of the wadi before taking an easy walk past pools and palms and through the village. We continue Ras al Jinz for the evening. Check into our hotel located on the beach and enjoy some free time before an early dinner. This evening we make the short journey to Ras All Jinz Turtle Reserve. The easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula, is an important turtle-nesting site for the endangered green turtle. Over 20,000 females return annually to the beach where they hatched in order to lay eggs. Our excursion this evening is conducted in conjunction with the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and Research Centre by their experienced guides the area is under government protection and the only way to see the turtles is to join this tour. Upon arrival at the centre we will be advised if the activity will commence or not, this is a reserve and the turtles are not captive so it is up to mother nature if there will be turtles for viewing or not. Most nights there are at least one or two turtles with many more present between July and September. We don’t like to disappoint but there is a small possibility that the tour will not commence in which case your tour Leader will inform our office and an alternative activity will be arranged during your tour.  
    Day 4 Location: Wahiba Sands
    Pack you swimmers and towel this morning. After breakfast, we make a stop in Sur, and important city in Oman's maritime past before driving to the palm-lined Wadi Bani Khalid. Follow a well-worn path into the heart of this rocky oasis and discover a big pool that offers both visual and physical refreshment, particularly in the hotter months, enjoy some free time here and perhaps some lunch in the local restaurant. For those who want adventure of the more active type you can make the short 20 minute hike to Muqil cave, the path can be slippery and your Tour Leader will let you know conditions at the time; we do not recommend entering into the cave but the walk itself is very scenic and offers some more deserted pools. After departing the Wadi we make a brief stop to deflate our tyres a little as we make our way to Wahiba Sands, we check into our camp and make the exhilarating drive over the dunes to watch a desert style sunset. In the evening, enjoy some traditional music over dinner, around an open fire, under the stars. Notes: Activities are arranged at the discretion of camp management, and some may not be available during low occupancies and off-season periods.
    Day 5 Location: Nizwa
    Head north to Ibra, which was one of the oldest cities in Oman, and once the centre of trade, religion, education and art. Wednesday is Women’s Market in Ibra, we take a stroll through the market which is predominantly operated by women, stalls offer fabrics, dresses, dressmaking materials, henna, honey and much more. Continue to old Ibra and take a walk through the old crumbling mud brick houses for a taste of historical life. Then its over to Jabrin Castle, which is considered one of the finest and most picturesque Castles in the whole country. Often referred to as Jabrin Fort, it is indeed a castle as it was designed as a residence, with beautiful carved wooden doors and ornate lattice work. Continue to Nizwa with a stop at Bahla viewpoint.
    Day 6 Location: Jebel Shams
    Check out the Nizwa Fort and Souk this morning. Nizwa Fort was built over a span of 12 years in the 17th century by Sultan bin Saif al Yaruba, the first imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty, the fort boasts a 40m tall tower with stellar views of the date palm plantations.   Spend some free time in the souk before travelling to Misfat Al Abyreen a unique mountainous village located 1,000 m above sea level on the mountain foothills. The village has amazing agricultural terraces, beautiful alleys, and old houses built on top of solid rocks. Enjoy a short trek into the village where you can see the famous falaj network (the old Omani water distribution system. We continue to Al Hamra one of the oldest villages in Oman at the foot of the Hajar Mountains we take a walk around the mud brick houses before continuing our journey onwards and upward to Jebel Shams, stopping on the way for amazing views of the Hajar Mountains and Oman's highest point. Even on the hottest days, it's nice and cool up here. On arrival, check into your hotel.
    Day 7 Location: Muscat
    After breakfast, check out Jebel Shams, the ‘Grand Canyon of Oman’, with a short soft trek along what is referred to as the balcony walk which circumferences the “Grand Canyon of Oman” then it’s back in the vehicles as we make our accent to Wadi Bani Awf, the end point of the canyon and what is called the ‘snake gorge’ in the middle of the steep mountain cliffs. This is a stunning part of Oman, with fantastic views of the surrounding scenery. The 36 km scenic drive is over gravel road with twists and turns and offers off road adventure but at a relaxed and soft pace. Please note this drive through “snake gorge” is subject to weather conditions and if wet it may not be possible in which case an alternative route will be taken. Drive to the town of Nakhl, and see its fully restored fort on a rocky outcrop, before arriving in Muscat for the night. Today we spend a lot of time travelling off road and due to road conditions and weather timing may change at short notice, this means that lunch may be a little later. We recommend grabbing some snacks for the journey.
    Day 8 Location: Muscat
    Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12 noon and you will be free to leave at any time. If you have arranged a private airport transfer you will be advised of the pick-up time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Muscat.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    22JAN2022
    Return Date:
    29JAN2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    12FEB2022
    Return Date:
    19FEB2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05MAR2022
    Return Date:
    12MAR2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    26MAR2022
    Return Date:
    02APR2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    16APR2022
    Return Date:
    23APR2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14MAY2022
    Return Date:
    21MAY2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    03SEP2022
    Return Date:
    10SEP2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    17SEP2022
    Return Date:
    24SEP2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01OCT2022
    Return Date:
    08OCT2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15OCT2022
    Return Date:
    22OCT2022
    3980NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Discover Oman

    Trip code

    ELSO

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Adventure from portside Muscat and Muttrah into the heart of Oman's richly coloured past. Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that make this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses. The treasures aren't all man-made: trip to the blazing remote landscapes of Wahiba Sands for a desert getaway with the Bedouins, and soak up breathtaking canyon views at Jebel Shams and Wadi Bani Awf before returning to the seaside capital.

    Style

    Original

    Transport

    Mini Bus,4x4

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    This trip can be enjoyed by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

    Joining point

    Mutrah Hotel Muscat

    Mutrah Street Jibro

    Muscat

    Muscat

    1131

    OMAN

    Phone: 968 24798401

    Joining point description

    Mutrah Hotel is located 30km from Muscat International Airport and is the first built hotel in the Sultanate of Oman. Just a short 3km from the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Muttrah Souq, and Bait Al Baranda Museum. (30 min walk) Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and a health club. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. All rooms feature in room free WiFi, LCD TVs. air-conditioning, complimentary bottled water and hairdryers are also available.

    Joining point instructions

    Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your booking agent for details. Please ensure that Intrepid has been advised of your correct arrival flight details by either yourself or your travel agent at least 15 days before you travel. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by a representative of Intrepid and transferred to your hotel. Mutrah Hotel is located 30 km from Muscat International Airport. Taxis are readily available and will cost approximately USD $30. In the case of an on ground issue or problem, our local Oman based office can be reached on: +968 99866532

    Finish point

    Mutrah Hotel Muscat

    Mutrah Street Jibro

    Muscat

    Muscat

    1131

    OMAN

    Phone: 968 24798401

    Finish point description

    Mutrah Hotel is located 30km from Muscat International Airport and is the first built hotel in the Sultanate of Oman. Just a short 3km from the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, Muttrah Souq, and Bait Al Baranda Museum. (30 min walk) Hotel facilities include a restaurant, bar, coffee shop and a health club. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. All rooms feature in room free WiFi, LCD TVs. air-conditioning, complimentary bottled water and hairdryers are also available.

    Finish point instructions

    Muscat International Airport is located 30kms from Mutrah Hotel. A taxis will set you back approximately USD$30. Private airport transfers are also available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your booking agent for details. Please ensure that Intrepid has been advised of your correct departure flight details by either yourself or your travel agent at least 15 days before you travel. In the case of an on ground issue or problem, our local Oman based office can be reached on: +968 99866532

    Important information

    1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

    Visas

    PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. As of March 21, 2018, Oman commenced e-visas. That means the only way to get a tourist visa to Oman will be online, and not at a consulate or on arrival in Oman. This applies to all Nationalities. Visas should be applied within 30 Days of Travel date. Once the visa is issued the visa holder has to enter the country within 30 days. (10 day and 30 day tourist class visas are available based on the duration of the planned stay) Applications for unsponsored single entry tourist visa have to be submitted individually through https://evisa.rop.gov.om/.

    Why we love it

    Experience some traditional Omani hospitality with a one-night camping getaway under the stars in Wahiba Sands

    Discover Oman's most phenomenal fortresses and mosques, including the beautifully preserved Jabrin Fort

    Explore the busy fishing harbour of Muttrah and mine the bustling souq for hidden treasures – anything from unique silverware to frankincense

    For a capital city, Muscat sure packs a lot of charm. Explore the tranquil waterfront and visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

    Is this trip right for you

    When visiting a mosque, it's important to show respect by dressing appropriately, even in the heat. Ladies should cover their arms and wear a head scarf; trousers or a long skirt are recommended. Gentlemen are required to wear trousers and long sleeve shirts.  Tourism is new to Oman and whilst we say it is “developing” you will be surprised at the standard of accommodation facilities and local restaurants; this trip is appealing to those that want to experience the Middle East and Arabia in relative comfort New 4x4 vehicles are used on most parts of the trip as we travel around Oman. You will travel in convoy style and due to the configuration of the vehicles there may be times when you are not travelling with your leader. It is possible your driver will not speak English.

    Health

    GENERAL HEALTH All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 DRINKING WATER As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

    Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

    Money matters

    CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East.  (With the exception of IRAN - please refer to trip specific notes if travelling in Iran.  Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.  Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. TIPPING Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life and is more than just a reward for services rendered. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners, locals have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew. TIPPING GUIDE To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. Restaurants: round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loose change is generally fine; Up-market restaurants, when checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however USD2 to USD3 per person per day is generally appropriate. Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline USD4 to USD5 per person, per day can be used. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. CURRENCY – Oman The local currency is the Omani rial. The Rial can be divided into a 1000 Baisa. There are plenty of ATMs in Oman, while major credit and debit cards are also widely accepted throughout the country. EMERGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. GENERAL PACKING LIST • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance,    air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document. • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets. • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild          pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids. • Daypack • Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both. • Power adaptors • Insect repellent • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses • Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!) • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an              enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a    1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or      discarded in waterways and natural environments. • Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates • Wind and waterproof rain jacket • Toiletries/travel wipes/ hand sanitizer  • Travel Towel • Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly          recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes.  • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries • Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites   Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals   Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear LUGGAGE LIMIT On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg. CLOTHING & CLIMATE Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential. VALUABLES Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc. RESTRICTED ITEMS Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line. We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.  

    Climate and seasonal

    RAMADAN 2021 In 2021, the important month of Ramadan or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 12 April through until 11 May, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival or Bayram in Turkey will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected. Ramadan month can differ from country to country and region to region, it can be a wonderful inclusion in your vacation. If you have concerns about travelling at this time, please check with Intrepid or your booking agent before your departure.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel When visiting a mosque it is imperative that ladies cover their arms and wear a head scarf. It is best that they wear trousers or a long skirt. Gentlemen are required to wear trousers and long sleeve shirts.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Transport notes

    Please note that due to vehicle size of the 4x4, the group may be split over multiple vehicles and separated from the trip leader. 

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights),Desert Camp (1 night)

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