Visitors to this seaport town can still watch traditional dhows being built by hand. (Small model dhows make good souvenirs.) There are also a couple of interesting forts, Al-Ayjah and Sunaysilah. The best way to get there is on a dhow from Masqat (contact the tourist board in Masqat for information). The next best way is by four-wheel-drive vehicle along the coastal road, which winds along mountains, river valleys and spectacular, empty beaches. Recommended stops along the way include Tiwi (pretty fishing village) and Wadi Shab (a year-round stream). South of Sur are Ras al-Hadd and Ras al-Junayz, two nesting areas for endangered sea turtles. The best time to see them is October-December. Spelunkers, amateur or pro, would do well to check out the massive Majlis al-Jinn cave complex—the second-largest in the world—to the northwest of Sur. The 500-ft/155-m descent leads to a sprawling labyrinth of tunnels, pools, stalactites and stalagmites. 100 mi/160 km southeast of Masqat.

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