Muscat to Sur Coastal Road
Leaving Muscat, the first visit will be to Quriyat, a fishing village between the lagoon and the sea. The port of Quriyat is still guarded by a watchtower. Continue on the new coastal road, sometimes touching the sea, following a creek or overlooking superb white beaches hundreds of feet long. The next stop will be Wadi Arbayeen. En route, pass by the Bimah sinkhole, a huge limestone crater filled with blue-green water. Additional photo stops will be made at Fins beach, Tiwi beach, Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi. A short distance outside Sur is the ancient ruined city of Qalhaat, a place visited by Marco Polo on his travels. It was a major city in medieval times and compared favourably to the African trading centres, such as Malindi and Zanzibar, as a thriving, trading city. Its history is slightly vague; some say that the town was ruined by several earthquakes and others say that it simply fell into ruin after decades of decadence. The road is usually taken as you move onto Wahiba Sands.