Sharm El Sheikh is one of Egypt’s most popular Red Sea spots, drawing tourists year after year to its reefs, restaurants and beaches. Find out why this former fishing village is now always in demand.
You can’t ignore the diving culture in Sharm – it’s what the resort is famous for, thanks to fantastic dive sites which attract worldwide attention. Some of the best places are the Ras Um Sid reef, with a steep drop off that leads to a wealth of reef fish, and Jackson Reef, which has a 1980s shipwreck, the Lara, that will appeal to divers of all abilities. If you’re not into diving, or you are on a tight budget, simply buy a snorkel down at the beach and you’ll be amazed at how much you can see close to the shore.
This is the main beach area, where you’ll find many of the biggest hotels, shops and bars. The beach is lined with umbrellas and sun loungers and it’s a prime spot for sunbathing, but just remember that the rays will be strong all year round and sun cream is essential to avoid getting burned. Those of you who can’t sit still for long will be kept busy by Na’ama Bay’s packed list of water sports on offer to tourists, including windsurfing and water skiing.
Exploring the Old Town
This is more towards the western side of the town, where you can visit the lively Old Market and learn to haggle like a true Egyptian for jewellery, textiles, gifts and food. Haggling is part of the culture here, so if you want to buy a souvenir or something special for yourself then you should be prepared to negotiate the price. Always offer the seller about 10-20% of their original price, to show you are serious about bartering, and then you will make sure you don’t overspend.
Into the Desert
You can easily escape the bustling town and head inland on a camel ride. If you’d prefer to do something more cultural then how about a Bedouin village experience? Tour guides will take you to their desert villages where you can enjoy traditional tea. For something a little more fast-paced, a quad bike adventure will certainly get your pulse racing. Choose from the sunrise or sunset option and take some amazing photos at the stop-off points along the way. Whatever desert activity you choose, always take sunglasses and a scarf, to combat the dust!
If you’re not too exhausted from exploring the area, why not take the opportunity to get to know Sharm after dark? There are several major clubs based here, including Pacha and Spaced, as well as plenty of bars where you can enjoy a cool drink and a dance. Lastly, the casinos in the resort are perfect for visitors who are feeling lucky and fancy trying to double their holiday spending money.
There is so much to see and do in Sharm El Sheikh that you really will be spoilt for choice. This resort has everything you could want, from the stunning location next to the reefs, to the wide range of activities on offer.