11 days

From £5,825

Activity Level:


Explore Bronze Age tombs at the UNESCO-listed site of Bat

Oman has been a crossroads of commerce for millennia, with ideas flowing from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf, and across the Indian Ocean. 3rd Millennium BCE Akkadian traders came here from Mesopotamia for copper, Petra’s Nabateans for incense. Greek and Roman merchants rode the monsoon winds that blew them to India and back, and Arab seafarers used it as a base for trade to East Africa. Later, it would be Omani sailors piloting the Portuguese and Dutch explorers expanding the then known world.

Always there was the to and fro of caravans across the sands of the Empty Quarter connecting Arabia with the Mediterranean, through trading hubs such as Iram of the Pillars, the legendary lost city of Ubar, swallowed by the sands of the Empty Quarter around AD 300.

The story of Oman is still that of interaction between coastal settlements based around lush wadis and the fertile fringe, and the societies of the proto- and true desert beyond the shielding hills and mountains. Its archaeology has only recently begun to be understood, but is now known to include a rich prehistory of Bronze Age tombs and Iron Age fortresses as well as Classical period trading settlements, and the mosques and emporia of the Islamic Age. Finally, the coastal forts and souqs of the Sultanate were built to control an empire which stretched across the Gulf and along the African coast south to Zanzibar.

Travelling from the mountains of Muscat to beaches of Salalah, we will visit Bronze Age conical tombs at Bat (World Heritage Site), Rock Art in Nakher, copper smelting sites at Samad and the vital irrigation systems of the Iron Age. We explore the hub of Classical Arabia Felix, the great incense city of Sumhuram with a special drive out into the Empty Quarter to take us to the site of the lost city of Ubar, both entrepots of the Frankincense trade. Wander the ruins of the great Islamic port city of Al Balid.

Passing through spectacular landscapes we travel from the rugged peaks and canyons of the northern mountains to the southern and eastern coast (where we can learn of nesting Green Turtles), through desert, and groves of Frankincense trees at Salalah, with her green wadis, waterfalls and date-palm groves.

Tour highlights:

  • Discover the once lost city of Ubar in the Empty Quarter
  • Follow in the footsteps of the ancient caravans on this unique tour as we explore a range of rock art, classical era and also Islamic sites
  • Explore the striking Bronze Age conical tombs at Bat, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site
  • Travel through contrasting landscapes, from the dunes of the Empty Quarter and craggy mountains to the sparkling sea

Book Now

Today's Price

Deposit: £1,000 Single supplement: £995

Includes flights

Meet your Experts

Nick Jackson

Andante Guide Lecturer

Graduating in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, Nick later took up a research post at the University of Cambridge.

View full bio

The Grand Mosque Gate, Oman
Tour dates & prices

Included in your cost:

  • Expert Guide Lecturer
  • Professional Tour Manager
  • Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach or 4WD vehicle as required by the itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
  • Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
  • All taxes & gratuities
  • Field notes
Tour Departure Tour ID Departure date Return Date Guided by Price Deposit Single supplement Availability
3 February 2023 AOMA230203 3 February 2023 (Friday) 13 February 2023 (Monday) Nick Jackson £5,825
(inc. flights)
£1,000 £995 Book your trip
Tour Enquiries

I agree to my data being processed in accordance with the Andante Travels Privacy Policy