This easternmost region of the Arabian Peninsula holds some of Oman’s main attractions, including beautiful beaches, spectacular wadis, turtle-nesting sites and the strawberry-blond Sharqiya sand dunes. Sharqiya has a distinct culture built on an entrepreneurial, seafaring past. Indeed, Sur, the main town in the region (and home to Oman's modern gas industry), was once a major collection point for the export of Arabian horses.
The route along the coast road to Sur ideally forms the first day of a two- or three-day circular tour, returning to Muscat via Sharqiya Sands and Ibra. Alternatively, it makes the first leg of an epic camping trip along the coast to Masirah: the coastal road cuts across the Sharqiya Sands in a remarkable feat of modern engineering and ambles on through fishing communities, the growing port of Duqm and across vast tracts of wild Dhofari (southern Oman) desert all the way to Salalah.