The countries surrounding Arabia are diverse. Vast expanses of desert and majestic mountains contrast with soaring skyscrapers and upmarket shopping malls. The gulf is not only a playground for the rich and famous but also a haven for thrill seekers with its adrenaline-fuelled activities, including canyoning, mountain biking and 4x4 adventures. Escorted tours around the Persian Gulf include Dubai, Oman and Iran.
Featured Arabia ToursFilter Tours:
- 8 Nights - Muscat and Back
- Fly Tour from £1945pp
Save up to £150 on selected departures. T&Cs apply.
Visit the key cultural and scenic sights of Oman including magnificent forts and palaces, the rolling dunes of Sharqiya Sands, Oman’s highest mountains and picturesque coastal fishing villages. Discover the warmth of the Omani people and travel between the contrasting landscapes of the desert, sea and mountains.
- 8 Nights - Muscat and Back
- Fly Tour from £2445pp
Discover the cultural and scenic highlights of Oman on this 9-day journey for solo travellers. Experience varied terrains as you travel through Oman’s mountainous interior, stay overnight in the desert and view the rugged coastline by both land and sea.
- 10 Nights - Tehran and Back
- Fly Tour from £2545pp
Save up to £300 on selected departures. T&Cs apply.
The fantastically rich and varied history of Iran has left behind an unparalleled cultural heritage. This tour reveals the best of that legacy, including the supreme Islamic architecture of Isfahan and Shiraz, the ancient Achaemenian capital of Pasargadae and the splendid bas-reliefs of the Palace of Persepolis.
- 7 Nights - Muscat, Oman and Back
- Tour Only from £2865pp
No single supplements for the first four solo places per departure date
Explore Oman’s every aspect from the coastal capital Muscat, to the mountains of Jebel Akhdar, through to the desert area of Sharqiya Sands. Herein lies culture, nature, and relaxation
- 10 Days - Muscat to Oman
- Fly Tour from £2159pp
Oman is a land of rugged high mountains, vast timeless deserts and lush wadis. Its numerous forts are a testament to its strategic importance at the end of the Arabian Peninsula, guarding the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.
Arabia is the perfect combination of culture, architecture and nature, making it an exciting touring destination. Shopping is a popular pastime and the opportunity to experience both traditional and modern. Muttrah Souk offers an authentic shopping experience and is one of the main attractions in Oman’s fascinating capital, Muscat. It is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways lined with colourful shops selling frankincense, jewellery and other exotic items.
The noise, aromas, hustle and bustle all add to the charm of this traditional Arab market. It is a stark contrast to the grand shopping malls of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, housing thousands of shops, many of which are world-renowned fashion brands.
The cities of the Persian Gulf are home to spectacular architectural treasures. Nizwa Fort in the heart of Oman is an incredible example of old Omani architecture and provides a glimpse of life back in ancient times. This iconic cylindrical fort is just a short drive from Muscat, which is home to the contemporary, marble Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is arguably one of the most extravagant mosques in the world and a blend of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Omani styles.
Fashionable Dubai is renowned for the Burj Khalifa, the world tallest building standing at an incredible 828 metres. This feat of engineering drew inspiration from the Hymenocallis flower and offers amazing panoramic views. Iran’s architecture is no less impressive. The city of Isfahan is overlooked by the beautiful dome and soaring minarets of the 17th-century Imam Mosque, while Shiraz is the gateway to Persepolis, once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire and today a World Heritage Site.
The man-made shopping malls, mosques and forts sit alongside breathtaking natural wonders. The vast desert dunes of Wahiba Sands in Oman are home to the Bedouin people as well as an array of flora and fauna. The dunes in the south are dotted with salt flats, popular with large populations of migrating birds.
Wahiba Sands attract thrill seekers who enjoy 4x4 jeep adventures and quad biking, as well as those who seek a more leisurely pace on camel rides. Jebel Akhdar, part of the Al Hajar mountain range, is a designated nature reserve, dotted with stunning mountains, flourishing orchards and dramatic gorges.
Highlights of Arabia
The lively city of Muscat is the capital of Oman. The old port area is home to the sultan’s incredible main palace and is a delight to stroll around. The city has three impressive forts, all built in the 1580s. Mutrah Fort sits on a hill overlooking Mutrah harbour, while Al Jalali and Mirani forts are both situated in the harbour, guarding the entrance to Muscat. The city’s Muttrah Souk is a popular attraction, where visitors can enjoy an authentic shopping experience and buy frankincense, jewellery and other exotic items. Another top attraction is the contemporary Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, a gift to the country from Sultan Qaboos to commemorate his 30th year of reign.
The dunes of Sharqiya Sands, known locally as Wahiba Sands, run south from the Eastern Hajjar Mountains to the Arabian Sea. The area is home to Bedouin tribes and the dunes to the south are interspersed with salt flats, a haven for migrating birds. The dunes are perfect for adventurous activities including 4x4 jeep safaris, quad biking and camel trekking.
The city of Nizwa is just south of Muscat and a centre for handicrafts, with the traditional khanjar daggers being produced here along with many other goods. The 17th-century fort once used as both a palace and a prison, is a prime example of Omani architecture. It has been restored to its original grandeur and offers an insight into everyday life hundreds of years ago. In the shadow of the fort is the bustling Nizwa souq where jewellery, muskets and khunjars are sold.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is located on an island, joined to the mainland by the Maqta and Musaffah Bridges. The city’s world-famous museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, houses exhibits from around the world, while the opulent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a stunning example of Islamic architecture. Yas Island is the setting for the renowned Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and home to Ferrari World, a themed amusement park with the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Dubai was once a small fishing settlement. Today it is one of the most luxurious and dynamic cities in the Middle East, set against a backdrop of desert and mountains. The incredible Burj Khalifa dominates the skyline and is the world’s tallest building. This feat of engineering took inspiration from the Hymenocallis flower. The city is also renowned for its shopping and home to several malls, including the Ibn Battuta Mall, inspired by Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta, and the Mall of the Emirates.
Capital of the Fars province of Iran, Shiraz, is the gateway to Persepolis, once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire and today a World Heritage Site. It has several interesting sites, including the tombs of celebrated poets, Saadi and Hafez. The marble tomb of Hafez sits in its own garden, and the Mausoleum of Saadi houses the mosaic tomb of Saadi. The Iranian bazaar in the heart of the city offers an authentic shopping experience enhanced by the presence of nomads from nearby tribes.
Isfahan has always been an important centre of commerce and was once the capital of old Persia. It is known for its magnificent arts and crafts, including the world-famous Persian rugs. The Zayanderud river runs through the heart of the city, while the minarets of the 17th-century Imam Mosque soar above it. The grand palace of Ali Qapu is a popular attraction, situated on the western side of Naqsh e Jahan Square.
Salalah is the capital of Dhofar province and is often referred to as the ‘Garden City’ due to its beautiful parks and banana and papaya groves. As well as miles of unspoilt beaches stretching along the coastline, there is also a host of ancient forts and archaeological sites, including Khor Rori and Al Balid. In addition, the city’s lively souks are popular with those seeking a traditional experience and wishing to purchase local products, everything from frankincense to gold jewellery.