Time to tick off my 172nd country – Oman! After exploring the beautiful city of Muscat, we headed to Sur where we stayed for 3 days and 2 nights. And in this city, our home was Sur Plaza Hotel.
Just 220 kilometers from the capital city, Muscat, Sur is known for its shipyards which were vital when it comes to the city’s maritime past. Due to its location, Sur also became a very important city for sailors and traders, especially those from East Africa and India. This is also why seeing large wooden boats in this city is not surprising at all!
Just right after our wonderful day touring Muscat and the desert, we drove straight to Sur to spend our 3 days and 2 nights while also exploring the nearby attractions. The moment we arrived at the Sur Plaza Hotel, Mr. Mahesh and his team already gave us a warm welcome! We felt so at home that they even gave us gifts and surprises! More about Sur and Sur Plaza Hotel below!
Things To Do in Sur, Oman
1. Wadi Shab
If you like hiking, this is a must-do! Wadi Shab is a very impressive landscape! You will hike slightly uphill through the wadi over rocks and stones until you stand in front of the clear, cool lake. It is advisable to wear comfortable shoes as the stones can be very sharp. If you have seen the arid landscape of Oman before, it is almost like a fairy tale.
2. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
An amazing place but with a lot of tourists. In the evening, you can watch the laying of eggs, and in the morning, the digging and hatching of the baby turtles. Unfortunately, there isn’t much worth seeing in the area nearby.
3. Sur Maritime Museum
A visit to this small open-air museum is worth doing. It offers rewarding photo opportunities, particularly the large dhow. After that, you can pay a visit to the nearby shipyard that we highly recommend so you can watch the craftsmen building or restoring dhows.
4. Visit the Castles
One of the best things to do in Sur is to visit its famous ancient monuments – the castles! This is where you will learn more about this ancient Omani City and how history shaped it into what it is now.
- Bilad Sur Castle – This fully renovated fort is located on the outskirts of Sur, in which several interior rooms have been prepared and can be visited. It is only around 200 years old and was intended as a defense against invading tribes from the mountain region/desert.
- Ras al Hadd Castle – Just outside bustling Sur, the well-renovated complex in the usual Ottoman fort style is well worth a visit. While there isn’t much to see in the few accessible interior spaces, the guides there make up for it with their warm demeanor and local stories.
- Al Sinaisilah Castle – Al Sinaisilah Castle in central Sur is a well-restored and maintained fortification. The few available rooms are signposted and partly lovingly decorated. There are also sufficient parking spaces, a toilet, and picnic areas on the site.
Where to Stay in Sur, Oman
We visited so many places in Muscat before we drove to Sur. Sur Plaza Hotel, hosted by Mr. Mahesh and his team, welcomed us with lots of gifts and surprises. We were spoiled! Haha!
At Sur Plaza Hotel, our room was upgraded to Executive King Room which is really cool! It is equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The modern decor also feels very relaxing in the eyes. The bed? Oh wow, I felt like I don’t want to get out of bed anymore, but I won’t lose the chance to explore Oman, so it was a tough decision! Haha! For those who are on a tight budget, Sur Plaza Hotel also has a standard room.
Restaurants at Sur Plaza Hotel
This is one of the main reasons why it’s difficult to leave Sur Plaza Hotel, the restaurants! There are 2 main restaurants at the hotel – Oyster Restaurant and Al Najoom by the Pool Side.
This restaurant overlooks the pool with an amazing view of the mountain and is located in the lobby area of the hotel. With the dishes they offer, it almost feels like we were having a food tour around the world! Yes, they don’t only offer oysters, that’s what I thought too haha!. They have traditional Omani/Arabic, Continental, Chinese/Oriental, and Asian dishes in buffet and a la carte style. These delicious cuisines are already enough to make me happy!
Breakfast – 6:00 am to 10:00 am
Lunch – 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Dinner – 7.00 pm to 11.00 pm
Al Najoom by the Pool Side
Al Najoom by the Pool Side means “Stars by the Pool Side”. By the name itself, it is located by the pool. What’s great about here is you can enjoy the one-of-a-kind Omani hospitality and the wonderful views of Sur because of its open-air seating.
Another reason why you should spend your days at Sur Plaza Hotel is the excursions they offer. Guests can enjoy a Dhow Cruise at the natural coastal landscape of Ras Al Hadd. You’ll get to experience an hour-long cruise exploring the captivating places in Sur, Oman.
Oops! That’s not enough, while cruising, you can also have lunch or dinner on board. If you fancy fishing, then you can try that too! The Dhow is fully furnished so I’m pretty sure you’ll have a memorable experience here (you can also celebrate your birthday on a cruise, yay!)
We only had a limited time in Oman so it was really not enough, but I was so surprised by how fun it is to explore this charming country! I’m just so glad that Sur Plaza Hotel was a part of my journey to visit all the countries in the world.