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Trace Oman’s coastline south of Muscat and you’ll reach the port city of Sur. Historically one of the country’s most important trading ports, it’s now home to Oman’s only surviving traditional dhow-building yard.
Step through the gate and you’re instantly swallowed by a palette of burnt golds and browns – the teak and cedar used to craft these traditional boats. Factor in the woody scent that fills the air with fragrance, and an endless soundtrack of hammering that rings out over the lagoon, and it’s a living, breathing embodiment of Sur’s maritime past.
In fact, every inch of Sur is anchored to the sea it looks out over. Stand on the seafront Corniche for a sweeping view of the dhows gliding in to the port, guided by the three watchtowers of Ayjah – a whitewashed village on the other side of the lagoon that’s speared by a three-storey lighthouse.
Turn your back on the sea for a minute, though, and Sur offers up a rich tapestry of paint-peeling merchant houses, crumbling castles and a bustling central souk. Beyond its borders, the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and the ever-shifting landscapes of Al Sharqiyah – the East – lie waiting to be explored.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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