Most people think of Egypt and imagine it as a boiling desert land with nothing but the Pyramids and other historical monuments to offer visitors. Head to the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, though, and you will find Sharm El Sheikh, a former port city that has become a tourist hotspot for travelers from Europe and beyond. It is the proximity of the city to Europe that has made it so popular, but when you take a look at what’s on tap for those who visit, it’s no surprise that this beautiful locale has pulled so many away from the tourist trap that is the Great Pyramid.
What to Know Before You Go
Sharm El Sheikh boasts a number of incredible beaches along the coastline of the Red Sea, and with temperatures excellent all year round, it means that you can take advantage of the sun and sand whenever you choose to book your vacation. Those temperatures even stay warm into the night, but you may want to pack a sweater anyways, especially if you want to take advantage of some of the visitor experiences that we will discuss a little later.
Before you travel, you should pay a visit to your doctor, especially if you have a tendency to develop some stomach issues when traveling abroad. Your physician should be able to give you something to take with you, but if you’re not able to do that before you go, look for a local drug called Antinal, which will quickly fix up any digestive issues you might experience. It might also be a good idea to load up on insect repellant, as bites and stings from the local bugs can be an issue.
Playing on the Water in Naama Bay
It may be hard to believe, but it is water that is the major attraction in Sharm El Sheikh, with Naama Bay being the spot where the majority of the fun activities go down. If you’re looking for a place to play in the water, this is where you need to go. All kinds of water sports activities are available, but the highlight for many is the snorkeling excursions. The waters around Naama Bay are alive with coral reefs and amazing underwater sights, which is why it might be worth your while to take a snorkeling lesson or two before you start your vacation.
If you’d sooner stay above water, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the scenery. The marina is home to all kinds of different yachts and watercraft, which include glass-bottomed boats that will take you out to see the marine life from a vantage point where you can stay dry at all times. With so much going on at the beach and around the bay, you may want to consider getting into a hotel that is convenient to the hub of Sharm El Sheikh activity.
Taking a Break from the Beach
It’s fair to say that the majority of the daytime activity that takes place in Sharm El Sheikh is in the water or on the beach, but sometimes it’s nice to get away from all of that for a few hours. If you’re looking to take a break from the heat, one of the best places to do so is at the Naama Shopping Center, which is the perfect combination of a mall and a street side market. There are plenty of stores to give your credit card a workout, as well as vendors on the shopping floor who sell all kinds of local wares.
Of course, if you’re looking for a more authentic way to shop, you can also find that in the outdoor markets dotted throughout the city. You will find all of the souvenirs that you need, and you can even haggle a price that is more suited to your shopping budget. It’s a great way to kill a few hours, and an even better way to get to know the locals and their culture a little better.
Taking in the Nightlife
As mentioned earlier, Sharm El Sheikh has a temperate climate year-round which includes exceptionally warm temperatures in the evening hours. That means that the party doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down at the beach.
One of the best ways to kick off your evening is with a delicious meal at one of the numerous restaurants in the area. You can settle for a cold beer in a tavern on the waterfront, or go totally upscale with a steak dinner or a delightful fresh seafood platter, with items that were fresh from the nets that morning. The vast array of restaurants on tap means that there will be something to suit every culinary palate.
Once the meal is over, you may want to burn off some of the calories that you have just taken in. The good news is that Sharm El Sheikh is home to some of the best nightlife you have ever seen. Top DJ’s spin the hottest tunes in the coolest clubs, which is sure to appeal to the young and the young at heart. There are also plenty of vibrant bars to choose from, with live entertainment going on until the early hours of the morning.
If it’s a quieter time you’re looking for, then pick up your sweater and head out into the desert. You are taken out by a guide and treated to a delicious Bedouin meal around the campfire. The guide will then tell you tales of the desert, and will also point out the constellations overhead, all of which shine brighter and seem closer than you would ever have imagined.
A trip to Egypt does not have to mean a journey to see the Pyramids. A visit to Sharm El Sheikh will deliver a vacation that is all about fun, sun, sea, and sand. You will get to see Egypt in an entirely different light, yet still, be exposed to the wonderful people who make the area their home.
Have you been to Sharm El Sheikh? What were your favorite memories?