Sur Journals

Sur & the Eastern Tip of Arabia

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A January 2009 trip to Sur by Overlander

Corniche Gazebo Photo, Sur, Oman More Photos
Quote: Oman's long coast on the Arabian Sea harbors many odd and intriguing places among which Sur and Ras Al-Hadd are of considerable interest to visitors venturing away from Muscat. Largely unknown to Western tourists, the area is a good place to go without having to exert oneself very much.

Sur, the Dhow City

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Story/Tip

Muscat-Sur Highway Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
Sur, located roughly 100 miles southeast down the coast of the Gulf of Oman from Muscat, is an ancient port, which has seen traders and pirates, sailors and soldiers, pass through from Persia, India, East Africa, Portugal, Britain, and even the US. In the 6th century it was already the principal port on the Arab Peninsula that traded routinely with Zanzibar and Mombasa along the coast of East Africa. And except for a few decades in the 16th century, when the Portuguese controlled the coast of Oman, it saw no other foreign ruler. Later on, well into the 19th and the early years of the 20th centuries, it was a slave trading center. Today, Sur is gradually gaining some economic energy, ma...Read More
Old Fort and New Mosque Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
When the decision was made to build the coastal highway from Muscat to Sur, they didn’t stop there. They also built another new road between Sur to Ras Al-Hadd, which is located on the easternmost tip of the Arab Peninsula and continued it on to Al-Ashkara via Ras Al-Jinz. This served a dual purpose: it improved communications for the local population enormously, but it also meant that the region could be opened to foreign tourists. The reason? This is one of few stretches of coastline in the world where the giant Green Sea Turtle nests. Although July is the peak egg laying season, when upwards of a hundred of the creatures come ashore each night, it’s better to be there between Septe...Read More

Ras Al-Jinz & the Turtle Beach

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Story/Tip

Ras Al-Jinz Scientific & Visitors' Centre Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
Ras Al-JinzThis headland – "ras" means "head" in Arabic – really has only one claim to fame: It’s the site of a beach where thousands of sea turtles of various species swim ashore to lay their eggs. Every night between June and February anywhere from just a handful to several hundred of them lumber up the beach, settle on a spot, and begin to dig their nests in the sand where they lay several dozen eggs each. This is, in fact, one of the world’s principal sea turtle nesting spots, which the Omani government is at pains to protect.Getting there was once a bit of an adventure, but nowadays this is no longer a problem. The new road down the coast from Ras Al-Hadd is as good as...Read More

An Evening with Turtles

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Story/Tip

Waiting for Turtle Viewing Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
Observing nesting Green Sea Turtles really is one of Oman’s premiere tourist activities. Finally, last night, I had the opportunity to experience it for myself. It works like this:You show up at the Ras Al-Jinz Scientific and Visitors’ Center sometime around 8:00 or 8:30 in the evening. If you’re on your own, go straight to the desk at the entrance where, for a reasonably modest R.O. 3.000 (ca. US$8), you get a ticket just like in a movie theater. Gone are the days when you had to have a permit from the Ministry of the Environment – fortunately! Your ticket shows which group you have been assigned to (They seem to divide people up into lots of around 30 people.). You go into the wait...Read More

Sur Beach Hotel

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Hotel | "A Quirky Beach Hotel"

Sur Beach Hotel Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
The Sur Beach Hotel is a pleasant enough place to stay. Located directly on the beach on the western side of town, it offers clean, comfortable rooms with the usual mod-cons: satellite TV, AC, coffee/tea facilities, a nice, spacious bath, and a great little balcony directly overlooking the beach. The bed was comfortable, and the black-out curtains seemed capable of keeping even the most blistering rays of the Gulf sun out. The restaurant, which is on a kind of mezzanine level above the lobby was adequate, though the western items on the menu were pretty dull, which is often the case of non-chain hotels in Oman. The cooks, who are almost always Indian, can never quite get it right, an ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 11, 2010

Sur Beach Hotel

Sur, Oman
+968 2543 1616

Al Naseem Camp

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Hotel | "Comfortable Camping in the Omani Desert"

Al Naseem Camp Photo, Sur, Oman
Quote:
My wife and I have just returned from a long weekend that included a night at the Al-Naseem Camp. We chose it primarily because it’s only a five-minute drive from the turtle beaches of Ras Al-Jinz. To be frank, we really weren’t expecting anything much from it. As it turned out, the stay was very enjoyable, indeed. Since check-in isn’t until 3:00 pm, we didn’t arrive until 4:30 or so. The owner/manager was on hand to greet us and to tell us what the procedures were. He explained where our hut was and that dinner would be served between 6:00 and 7:45, breakfast between 6:00 a.m. and whenever the last guest arrived. He also told us that the dining area, a sort of patio under a palm-fr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2010

Al Naseem Camp
Tutle Beach
Sur, Oman
968 2449 3232