Holidays to the Red Sea & Sinai line up golden sandy beaches, great diving, and Ibiza-style nightlife.
Egyptian beach break
This place comes top of the class in the holiday stakes thanks to its beachfront hotels and Aladdin-style desert scenery. Diving is where it really wins brownie points, though. Beneath the waves you’ll find forests of coral, black-as-night canyons and a thousand-plus species of tropical fish.
Sharm El Sheikh
Pole position in the popularity stakes goes to Sharm El Sheikh. Set on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, it’s bordered by 60 kilometres of beaches, and ticks off stylish shops and up-all-night clubs. Resorts here wind along the coastline, from Ras Um El Seid in the south, all the way to Dahab in the north.
Just across the Gulf of Suez is Hurghada. As well as golden beaches, it’s got great hotels and a clutch of international restaurants – plus traditional touches like mosques and bazaars. It’s split into 2 resorts – Hurghada City’s the lively one, while Safaga’s got a more laid-back feel.
To really put the brakes on, head south to unhurried Marsa Alam. A relative newcomer on the holiday scene, it’s the place to go for soft sands, watersports and a healthy dose of peace and quiet.
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Back in the day, Hurghada City was just a small Egyptian fishing village – now this mega resort is known as the capital of the Red Sea Riviera. And it’s certainly living up to its new title. It’s kept its credentials as one of the top dive spots in the area – but these days the place has also stocked up with a vibrant mix of shops, bars and clubs.
Resort wise, Marsa Alam Town is still finding its feet. Set on the east coast of Egypt by the Red Sea, it’s a fast-growing place but it’s still not quite up to speed with the likes of Sharm el Sheikh. Which is pretty good news, actually. Because what you get here is a bit of an out-of-the-way location with some first-rate hotels. And while the resort is still getting into its stride, the beach is already good to go.
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