There are some great things to do in Sur, Oman. Be sure to stop by on your Oman Road Trip!
The seaside town, is quiet and offers historical, cultural and nature attractions.
Discover in this article all the best places to visit in Sur and the area (great location for many tourism experiences).
This article contains affiliate links (Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Why visit + best things to do in Sur, Oman
The town of Sur is often overlooked as people head to the turtle reserve just South of town and skip it.
But I think it deserves a stop.
It has a completely different atmosphere than Muscat.
It is peaceful and more of a step back in time.
I really felt like Sinbad was going to appear on one of the boats!
Top 3 places to visit in Sur
- The Lighthouse
- Fatah Al Khair, the traditional Omani Ship & the dhow yard
- The Corniche and beach
Top 3 excursions from Sur
- Turtle Reserve
- Wadi Shab
- Wahiba Sands Desert
More places to visit in Sur with pictures after the planning tips.
PLANNING TIPS & Map - Town of Sur Oman
Location of Sur in Oman - Map
- Located along the coast South East of Muscat
- Easy drive from Muscat to Sur = 200km via the coastal highway (2 hours)
- Nizwa to Sur = 300km (3h30)
- Below is a map to help you get oriented:
All the locations to see within and around Sur are included, with GPS coordinates, in my eBook:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
How to get to Sur, Oman
Your best option is to rent a car.
It is a really easy drive from Muscat to Sur
The 200km are on the coastal highway all the way
Need to rent a car in Oman?
Visiting the town
- I recommend Sur if you need a break and relax by the sea. The city has a peaceful vibe. It is very relaxing compared to Muscat.
- The old center and the water front are really nice to enjoy on foot but to cover all the forts it might be easier to take the car.
- Driving in Sur is quite easy in general. You just have a few narrow streets in the old center.
- It is really well located to explore wadis, desert and beaches. A good combination!
Where to stay in Sur, Oman
- You first option is to stay in the town itself. There is a good choice of hotels and guesthouses - Check out the accommodations in Sur
- Otherwise you can stay closer to beaches South of the town of Sur - For example there is the Ras Al Jinz Turtle reserve right by where the turtle come (check out photos and availability) or the Ras Al Jinz Turtle beach resort only 20min away from the turtle reserve (check out photos and availability).
Where to stay in Oman?
- Muscat - capital city - see best rated accommodations
- Nizwa - to explore the forts and hinterlands - see best rated accommodations
- Sur - for the turtles, beaches, wadis... - see best rated accommodations
- Wahiba Sands - for the experience of sleeping in the desert - see best rated accommodations
- Salalah - the explore the Southern lands - see best rated accommodations
- Khasab - to explore the Musandam Peninsula - see best rated accommodations
Best place to visit in Sur: the lighthouse & the old town
Let's start with my favorite place to visit in Sur: you cannot miss the lighthouse!
Located in the historical area of Ayjah, it is a great place to start with its full view of the city of Sur.
The recent tower is a 18 m 3-story tower with a domed roof (59 ft).
The tower is closed to visitor but you can circle around and just enjoy the views.
And you can come at different hours, because depending on the tide the views will be different.
I love the picture below. This is the town where I felt the most in the universe of Sinbad: the sea, the buildings, the watch towers, the boats, the dry landscape...
From the lighthouse, you can see the seas, the houses, the mosques and the mountain rising behind!!!
Visit the old town
Around the lighthouse, in the area of Al Ayjah, you can discover the old town.
I recommend you explore it on foot to have time to admire the details in the carved wooden doors of the old merchant houses.
Some stunning details which I hope they can preserve.
Ayjah Watchtowers of Sur
Another good place to stop is at the foot of the watchtowers. You can walk on the beach and fishing area or go around on the bridge side and get watch the boats through rocks.
The 3 watchtowers located at the entrance of the lagoon once protected the dhows as they entered the harbor.
The forts in Sur
The town of Sur has 3 main castles:
Al Ayjah Fort
- The castle is located in the historical area or Al Ayjah
- Sometimes Open during the day (except Friday and Saturday).
- Below is a picture of Al Ayjah Fort:
- The castle is located in the center of Sur with the entrance off main street
- 300 years old, it is a square castle with round watchtowers
- Not much to see inside
- Normally opened from roughly 8am to 6pm (Closed Friday and Saturday)
Bilad Sur Castle
- The castle is located a few kilometers inland
- 200 years old, it is a square castle with watchtowers at different levels and with different shapes
- Not much to see inside but apparently climbing the remparts and all is nice.
- Open during the day (except Friday and Saturday). Bathrooms inside
Dhow Yard in the town of Sur
One of the top things to do in Sur is to visit the Dhow yard. Located, on the west side of the bridge, you can enter if the door is open.
It is normally allowed to walk around. But, if in doubt, ask in the shop.
And you can finish with the shop and the smaller size dhows (traditional boats).
Fatah Al Khair - The traditional Omani Ship
If you continue the road of the dhow yards you will reach an open area with a large boat.
The Fatah Al Khair is a traditional boat that is now out of the water and open to the public to visit the inside.
Closed on Fridays.
Even if the visit is not possible, you can enjoy the boat from the outside.
The corniche & beach
All along the seaside, there is a corniche allowing where you can enjoy a relaxing walk.
This is a great place to meet locals who come and seat to watch the water or chat.
Here, you can also relax on the beach.
Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve
Most people stay in Sur because it is close to the Ras Al Jinz Turtle reserve. You can go for an evening tour (no photography allowed) or a morning tour (photography allowed) to spot big holes and turtles inside. High season is between July and October but you can see them all year round.
For more information and many photos, check out my article about the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve.
Day trips from Sur Oman
Day Trip to Wadi Shab
The famous Wadi Shab is only 45 minute from Sur.
For those looking for some adventure cross with the boat and start the hike and swim that will take you to a hidden cave.
For more information, many photos and a video, check out my article about Wadi Shab.
Day Trip to Wadi Bani Khalid
If you want a more accessible Wadi, then you should head to Wadi Bani Khalid which is only 30 minutes away.
Here you can swim, enjoy the buffet restaurant or hike and admire the big white boulders.
For more information, many photos and a video, check out my article about Wadi Bani Khalid.
Day Trip to Wahiba Sands
Sur Oman is also very well located to reach the desert of Wahiba Sands.
Discover the longitudinal sand dunes and have fun on a 4WD or camel riding.
For more information, many photos and a video, check out my article about Wahiba Sands.
Want to see more of Oman?
- Best Things to do in Oman - read article
- Best of photos from Oman - Landscapes - read article
- Where to stay in Oman - read article
- Best days trips from Muscat - read article
- Planning a road trip in Oman - read article
- Renting a car and Driving in Oman - read article
- Best Things to do in Muscat - read article
- The Bimmah Sinkhole - read article
Planning a trip to Oman?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
And keep track of your own trip!
Want to see more of Oman's beauty?
Inspired? Share it on your favorite platform!