Day 1-2: Muscat
Check in to your hotel and meet your Tour Leader and the rest of your group in the hotel lobby at 5pm for your Welcome Meeting. Perched on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman's history, culture and people reflect its position at the confluence of Arabic, Asian and African trading routes.
In the capital, we find ancient watch towers still standing vigilant over the bustling port and admire the impressive Grand Mosque as well as the Palace of Sultan Qaboos. In the bazaar, the distinctive aroma of frankincense conjures up images of slave markets and exotic spice trading from long ago.
Days 3: Wahiba Sands
Following the coast, past inviting wadi oases which offer a welcome break from the inhospitable terrain, we veer inland for Wahiba Sands, the seemingly impenetrable mountain range of sand dunes that take up much of the country's interior. A stay at our Bedouin camp amongst the dunes offers a different perspective on the life of the people of this nation.
Day 4: Nizwa
Returning west we venture into the mountainous villages around Nizwa and Jebal Akhdar to explore bazaars and remote mountain villages where life gs on much as it has for centuries.
Days 5-6: Dubai
Skirting the Jebal Shams mountain range we then make our way north and on to Dubai - stopping en route to take in the spectacular views into Wadi Ghul, known as the Grand Canyon of Arabia. This once pearl fishing port is today a glittering mirage of futuristic towers of silver and glass, gargantuan shopping centres and flamboyant fountains surrounded by endless desert and flanked by a twinkling coastline.
Dubai is the city with everything and the extraordinary. From the traditions of Old Dubai with the dazzling Gold Souk to the soaring skyscraper-studded buildings that slice through the city, and the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa that dominates the Dubai skyline - This afternoon we will take in the city's highlights.
Day 7: Across the Persian Gulf
Leaving Dubai for we board the ferry to the historic port of Bandar Lengeh arriving late afternoon, where our Persian adventure starts.
Days 8-9: Shiraz
We leave Bandar Lenge early in the morning and enjoy the striking mountain scenery on the way to the "City of Pts" Shiraz. We embark on a city tour of Shiraz taking in its highlights including the famous pts Saddi and Hafez Mausoleums. During our free time we wander the streets of Shiraz taking in the atmosphere that inspired 13th century Persian pt Saadi to create his famous works "The Orchard" and "The Rose Garden".
Days 10-11: To Yazd via Persepolis
This morning we continue our journey through striking mountain scenery, devoting a whole day to discover one of the ancient world's most impressive sights the ruins of Persepolis. Constructed by Darius the Great and destroyed by Alexander the Great, the ruins tell the story of the unquestioned glory and power of the Achaemenid Empire.
Late afternoon we arrive into Yazd, one of the world's oldest cities. Once important for the Zoroastrian faith, the old town retains much of its character amongst its maze-like streets, and is known across Iran for its fine woven silks and confectionery. We spend the next two nights in one of Yazd's enchanting and beautifully ornate hotels.
Days 12-14: To beautiful Isfahan
The capital of a number of Persian Empires and an important stop on the Silk Road, the finest city of Persia Isfahan is the highlight of any visit to Iran. The glittering roofs of Isfahan's mosques, the intricate design of its bridges and warm welcome of its residents awaits. We enjoy our fully guided city tours and take time to discover city's hidden treasures during our free time.
Day 15: To Tehran
This morning we continue by road to Tehran Iran's capital city and home to 10 million residents.
Day 24: To Georgia's Wine Capital - Sighnaghi
Today, we make our way to the fortified town of Sighnaghi (18th century), now the country's wine centre. The town has been restored to its original glory and offers visitors panoramic views of the surrounding Caucasus Mountains, as well as some tasty drops.
"A guest is heaven sent" is a traditional saying in Georgia, and we will have the opportunity to experience the renowned Georgian hospitality during our lunch with a local farmer who will also share the secrets of making Georgian wine.
Day 23: Georgia's capital Tbilisi
Set off to explore Tbilisi one of the most elegant cities in the former USSR. With its charming old city, intricate wooden balconies and an innate culture of hospitality. Georgia's capital wins widespread acclaim and admiration from all who visit. Wrapped between the Mtkvari River on one side and Narikala Fortress on the other, the old city of Tbilisi is full of ancient monuments, wonderful narrow streets and restaurants offering some of the best and most unique cuisines of the region.
Day 22: Aragats region and train to Tbilisi
Today, we embark on our tour of the city, taking in its highlights including the stunning Cascade as well as the art and handicraft market Vernissage. We finish with a warming reception at the Yerevan Brandy Factory where we will learn many facts and fables about Armenian cognac before boarding our afternoon train to Tbilisi arriving just after midnight.
Days 20-21: Yerevan via the Ararat valley
Continuing our journey we discover a stout stone caravanserai which once sheltered silk traders and their livestock as they traversed the high mountain passes. Winding through the Ararat valley on our way to Yerevan, the magnificent Biblical Mt. Ararat appears in all of its might and beauty. Legend has it that Noah's Ark still rests on the summit. We visit the Garni and Gerhard complexes and the village of Noratus, famous for its carved stones, known as khachkars. Take an evening stroll on Yerevan's Northern Avenue and dine at one of the many local restaurants sampling some dolma Armenia's most famous dish of stuffed vine leaves.
The following morning we visit Echmiadzin, also known as the "Armenian Vatican", which reminds us that this is the first country in the world to embrace Christianity as its official religion. Upon our return to the city we pause at the solemn Genocide Museum and learn of the country's fascinating past at the State History Museum.
Day 16: Tehran and onwards to Tabriz
Today we visit Tehran's treasures in the city's many museums before re-joining the train en route to Tabriz.
Day 18: North across the Norduz River to Armenia
We leave Tabriz early in the morning and travel to the Iran/Armenia border. After completing customs and immigration formalities we wave goodbye to the friendly land of Persia and say "Barev" (Hello) to Armenia.
We travel through the Zangezour Mountains enjoying breathtaking views and have a brief visit to the town of Meghri. Upon our arrival at Goris, we are welcomed with a hearty dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 17: Tabriz and Kandovan Village
With its remarkable moon-like scenery, the site of Kandovan village near Tabriz is known as the Iranian Cappadocia. We have the opportunity to gain an insight into the region's struggle for independence and its role in Iranian history during our city tour and our visit to the Anthropological museum.
Day 25: To Gudauri via Gori and Uplistikhe
In the morning, we drive to visit the town of Gori the heart of the Kartli region and the birthplace of Stalin, the revered or feared former head of the Soviet Union depending on your outlook. We visit Uplistsikhe an ancient rock-hewn town and one of the earliest inhabited places in Georgia that became an important centre along the Silk Road.
Day 19: Through the Caucasus to Yeghegnadzor
We continue our journey traversing the Caucasus we take the longest cable car in the world across a gorge to visit the ancient monastery of Tatev, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we make our way towards the Vayots Dzor region we visit Noravank monastery, perched on the cliffs in a river canyon. We will stay overnight in the village of Hermon, near Yegheghnadzor. With plenty of fascinating sights, including an ancient observatory at Karahundge.
Days 26-27: Return to Tbilisi
En route for our return to Tbilisi we make our way to Georgia's ancient capital, Mtskheta where we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Jvari Church and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral dating from the 5th century AD. We then follow the Georgian Military Highway to Kazbegi village which shares its name with one of the highest mountains of the Caucasus. On reaching Kazbegi we enjoy an easy hike through breathtaking surrounds to Trinity Church which is nestled on a nearby hilltop, where, weather permitting we will witness excellent views of snow-capped Mt Kazbegi (5033 metres).
Later we make our way back to Tbilisi where we finish our adventure in one the city's finest restaurants for dinner and a traditional folk show to bring together the unique cuisines, amazing culture and fascinating history on our final night.