Muscat: Sur is a coastal town in Al Sharqiyah region, and is situated on the coast of the Gulf of Oman and neighbours the Arabian Sea. Travellers have loved Sur for a long time for its deep-rooted marine heritage and Sur has been a sanctuary for ships and fleets from all over the world.
The city’s multiple folklores, seafaring tales, and myths have played a major role in shaping its culture and heritage. Apart from its enchanting marine history, Sur is also home to tourist attractions such as wadis, springs, farmlands, mountains, turtle reserves, castles, forts, Aflaj, and marvellous beaches. That is not all – Sur’s people are known for their love of shipbuilding as well as other traditional industries such as weaving, metal-working (goldsmiths), and making the Omani Halwa. If you are planning on visiting Sur, here are 6 activities that you can indulge in:
Explore the ancient city of Qalhat:
Qalhat Port is Oman’s oldest port and has seen the anchorage of ships from all over the ancient world. The city of Qalhat has witnessed major historical events including having some of the world’s most famous historic travellers such as Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo visit. When in Qalhat - a visit to the ‘Bibi Maryam tomb’ is a must, as it is a beautiful piece of ancient architecture.
Turtle-watch at Ras Al Jinz Reserve
Thousands of sea turtles migrate annually from their shores to lay their eggs on Ras Al Jinz beach. Ras Al Jinz is the world renowned for being home to the endangered green turtle, Chelonia mydas, and is probably the most important nesting concentration on the Indian Ocean. Visitors can enjoy a complete turtle-watching programme organised by the Scientific Center at Ras Al Jinz. The centre conducts guided excursions every night to view the turtles and witness the nesting process.
Swim at Wadi Shab
Wadi Shab is a very popular outdoor attraction for both locals and expats, and people come here for nature, to swim in the fresh water pools or just to have a barbecue. Any trip to Wadi Shab is a fun-filled adventure, as some parts of the wadi can only be accessed by boat, and others can only be reached by trekking through the mountain.
Visit the Marine Museum
The Marine Museum is located in the Oruba Cultural, Sports, and Social Club that was established in 1987. The museum houses a number of different Omani ships, marine tools, maps and pictures of the most famous shipbuilders, sailors, sea-farers and captains in ancient times. The museum is the perfect destination for those interested in Oman’s rich maritime history.
Stroll down Mibam village
The village of Mibam, lies amongst Tiwi’s scenic beauty, and can only be reached by a four-wheel vehicle. Mibam is a quiet and serene village that makes one feel at home almost immediately and has a soothing vibe. One can see the old castle overlooking the village while walking between the village’s rich farmlands, Aflaj and waterfalls. The people of Mibam are extremely friendly and happy to help visitors and residents alike.
Visit Al Sunaysilah Fort
The fort of Al Sunaysilah Fort overlooks Sur and was built to protect the city, by serving as an observatory along the coastline. It was built more than 300 years ago and has watch-towers that have been built in a clever manner to ensure protection during the era of the Portuguese occupation. The Omani government, as well as the Ministry of Tourism, is working hard to maintain the fort to ensure that it continues to be a major tourist attraction in the area.