Sharm el Sheikh is one of the most cosmopolitan resorts Egypt has on offer and with its idyllic beaches and beautiful weather, is the perfect holiday destination at any time of the year. Located between the stunning Sinai mountain range and the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea there’s plenty to see and do, so here are my top 5 things to do during your holiday in Sharm el Sheikh.
Sharm el Sheikh has a world-renowned reputation amongst scuba-divers and snorkelers. The crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea offer excellent visibility and a wide-range of exotic sea-life can be explored. The Ras Mohamed National Park is a particular favourite with experienced divers, as it is home to literally thousands of fish species and varieties of coral. The Straits of Tiran also offer divers a rich and rewarding diving experience with plenty of indigenous wildlife to explore.
Diving is a passion all over Sharm el Sheikh, and there are a number of diving schools which cater for divers of all abilities. Beginners are taken to specific sites which provide ideal conditions in which to learn the basics; many of these sites are close to shore. Divers are given their own guide, and they usually team up with other beginners. There are also plenty of opportunities for advanced divers to test their skills. Many diving centres host trips by boat to some of the area's best locations; Shark's Bay is a particular favourite. Egyptian regulations stipulate that all solo divers must present valid diving certification before being allowed to book advanced trips.
The shopping opportunities in Sharm el Sheikh are unlike anything that will be found in any of the major European holiday resorts. The Old Market is reminiscent of several marketplaces in various top Hollywood movies. A wide range of market stalls offer a number of locally-produced goods for sale. Visitors can explore a multitude of items for sale such as rugs, clothing and genuine Egyptian jewellery. Those who are confident in haggling with stall-owners should expect to grab some amazing bargains while having an enormous amount of fun.
Cultural and Religious Excursions
Sharm el Sheikh is located in the heart of a deeply significant religious region of the world. Mount Sinai is mentioned countless times in the Quran, the Torah and the Bible. There are regular trips to the mountain which can be booked in advance. The mountain was the location of Moses' acceptance of the Ten Commandments, and it holds enormous significance for many people. Many visitors choose to combine a trip to Mount Sinai with an adventurous trip into the African desert. A traditional Bedouin settlement provides tourists with a true flavour of traditional Egyptian life. The famous St Katherine's Monastery is also a popular destination with visitors as it is located close the main descent of Mount Sinai.
Further reading: The Crook And Flail: The Prime Symbols Of The Egyptian Kingship
Sharm el Sheikh has a vast array of lively bars and clubs that make the resort a viable alternative to the famous holiday resorts of Spain. Visitors should be aware, however, that the legal age for consumption of alcohol in Egypt is twenty-one. For those looking for some outdoor fun many of the beaches feature parties, barbecues and spectacular fire-breathing shows. The resort's beaches are fun places to be during most evenings, as they also host belly-dancing shows, live music and a number of party games. There are also some very exclusive casinos in the many private holiday resorts of Sharm el Sheikh.
Parasailing is an activity which involves gliding through the air with a parachute while being pulled by a boat. There are many different services in the resort that offer tuition and all of the equipment required to get started. People can enjoy a unique view of the beautiful Egyptian coastline; Naama Bay is a very popular location for parasailing. Visitors who wish to try this breathtaking activity should check for services which allow several people to ride together. There is nothing more romantic than flying through the skies with a partner.
A cheap holiday to Sharm el Sheikh does not have to be a substandard affair. There are some fantastic resorts, hotels and holiday homes which can all be booked online for very reasonable prices. Further savings can be achieved by booking excursions and activities at the same time as the main holiday package.