The ancient port of Sur was the centre of the dhow building industry and on the Spice Route between Africa and India. You can visit the boatyards, beautiful harbour and lagoon area.  There is an interesting Maritime Museum (visits by appointment only) with displays showing Sur’s shipbuilding tradition with several models of dhows, but you can also just call in and wander round the boatyards themselves.  Fortunately new dhows are still being built here.  Sur harbour is home to a large fleet of fishing dhows.  We recommend our guests to stay at the Sur Plaza Hotel, a simple but clean and comfortable hotel on the approaches to the town.  As a special treat we can arrange for our guests to pre-order freshly caught seafood at the hotel!

A few miles east of Sur is Ras al Jinz, whose spectacular beaches provide nesting grounds to an estimated 20,000 turtles every year. The Ministry of Tourism has built a visitor centre at Ras al Jinz which includes a simple hotel and some eco-tents.  Guests have priority tours starting around 9.00 in the evening and you can see the huge female turtles burrowing into the sand and laying their eggs.  You also have the opportunity to see the turtles leaving the beach in the early morning.

The coastal road back to Muscat from Sur is very picturesque. You can stop at the ruins of Bait Maryam (“house of Mary”), Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab, where the Tiwi Sunrise, a new hotel on the beach has been receiving good reviews from our travellers. Along the coast are some beautiful white sand beaches between Fins and Bimah – great places for picnics, the Bait al Alfreet (“house of the Demon”) – a spectacular sinkhole – and the pretty fishing port of Quriyat before reaching Muscat and the Capital Area.

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