Top 10 things to do in Sharm El Sheikh
Month after month Sharm El Sheikh has ranked in our top five destinations when it comes to online sales. Here, we reveal the top 10 things to do when you’re on holiday in Egypt’s most popular resort…
|1. Scuba Diving
Exchange your flip flops for flippers and take a tour of Egypt’s coral reefs. The Red Sea is one of the best places in the world to scuba dive. Its ocean floor is scattered with shipwrecks and its waters play host to an alphabet’s worth of marine life. Plenty of places offer PADI courses for beginners, which last anything from one to five days.
|2. Ras Mohammed National Park
Set on the southern tip of Sinai, this nature reserve spreads out for 480 square kilometres. It’s made up of untouched deserts, white-sand beaches and exotically-named dive and snorkelling sites, like Anemone City, Jackfish Alley and Shark Reef. In fact, the park is home to more than 1,000 species of fish, 150 different crustaceans, and families of sea turtles.
|3. Mount Sinai & St Catherine’s Monastery
Mount Sinai is said to be the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments. There are 4,000 steps up to the summit here, and the journey takes three hours. But when you get to the top you’ll be rewarded by panoramic views of the desert. If you’d prefer not to make the climb, you can explore St Catherine’s monastery at the bottom – it’s the oldest in Christendom.
|4. Bedouin Adventure
Experience traditional Bedouin hospitality in the middle of the Sinai Desert. Your evening begins with an Egyptian feast in a candlelit tent. After dinner, you can try shisha or just sit back on a plump cushion and listen to the pipes bubble as other people indulge. Instead of a nightcap, you get some authentic Bedouin tea, made from the desert herb, habak.
|5. Desert Safari
Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia and head out to explore the shifting sands of the Egyptian desert. You can tackle the terrain on a quad bike, balance over the dunes in a 4×4 or go down the traditional route and join a camel train. For a really memorable experience, time your trip for dusk or dawn, when you’ll get front-row seats to sunrise or sunset.
Known as the world’s greatest open-air museum, Luxor is built on the site of the ancient city of Thebes. It’s close to the Valley of the Kings, which was the burial ground for Egyptian kings like Tutankhamun. Plus, Luxor is home to the Temple of Karnak, which is the largest religious site in the world.
|7. Valley of the Kings
On the list of sights to see before you die, you’ll find the Valley of the Kings up there with the Grand Canyon and the Taj Mahal. Dating back four millennia, this place was the burial ground of Egyptian pharaohs like Tutankhamun and Ramses I. You can still explore some of the underground tombs here – many of them still contain sarcophaguses.
Sharm El Sheikh is a watersports Mecca. You name it, this place has it. Scuba diving is the biggest business, but you can also try your hand at waterskiing, kite surfing and windsurfing. You don’t have to miss out on Egypt’s underwater world if you’re not a confident swimmer, either – glass-bottomed boat trips leave from Sharm El Sheikh all the time.
|9. Valley of the Camels
Discover what Egypt looks like when it’s let off the leash. The Valley of the Camels, AKA Wadi Gimal National Park, spreads out for 6,000 square metres and is made up of wide open desertscapes, mangroves and acacia trees. Bedouins still live off the land here, so you’ll get the chance to meet them and maybe even try their home-made camel cheese.
You’ve probably seen it in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but Petra isn’t about movies – it’s about history. Unknown to the world for over 1,000 years it’s Jordan’s biggest national treasure. The 2,000-year old rose-tinted city lies in a deep canyon and consists of 800 temples and monuments carved out of solid rock. You can do it in a daytrip from Sharm El Sheikh.
Just so you know…
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt’s most popular holiday resort, is an hour’s flight or a seven-hour drive from the country’s capital, where demonstrations are currently taking place.
Our Holiday Advisors all live in Sharm El Sheikh, so their ability to get to work isn’t being affected, and neither are food or supplies. The excursion to the Egyptian capital was taken off the agenda temporarily but it’s back on there now.
“We’re reviewing it on a day-to-day basis,” said Sue Mahgoub, manager at Holiday Village Red Sea Resort. “But even when guests couldn’t go to the capital, they could still go everywhere else. They could visit Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings, and the Sinai Desert, for example.”