This is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Its package holiday makers and divers are making Sharm el-Sheikh very popular among tourists (especially for those from Europe).
Sharm el-Sheikh is sometimes called the “City of Peace”, referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there.
Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Arab world. Besides resting and relaxing on the beaches, here you can do so much more – you can dive or take an unforgettable trip to the desert.
How to get there
Sharm el-Sheikh Airport is the largest in the Sinai and welcomes charter tourists daily in the winter high season. The only airline for local flights is EgyptAir. You can reach Sharm el- Sheikh by boat too. International Fast Ferries run fast boats to Hurghada on the mainland Red Sea Coast. The ride takes about 1.5 hours If you decide to get there by road, get there by the eastern coast from Eilat (Israel) via Nuweiba and Dahab, or via the western coast from Cairo. There are daily buses for both routes.
What to see
Ras Mohamed National Park has two islands, Tiran and Sanafir. Tiran Island is located about 6 km offshore from the Sinai Peninsula. Underwater caves were formed as the result of earthquakes and are located right in this park.About 0.9 hectare of mangrove forest covers a 1.15 km shallow channel at the southernmost end of Ras Mohammad peninsula. Near the mangrove and approximately 150 m inland, there are open cracks in the land, caused by earthquakes. One of the cracks is approximately 40 m long. Within the cracks, there are pools of water, some with a depth of over 14 meters. Here you can see more than 220 species of corals (125 of them are soft coral). The coral reefs are located 50 to 100 cm below the sea surface, and they have a width of 30 to 50 m in most places.
What to do
Diving is a must in Sharm el-Sheikh. When you dive into the warm water of the Red Sea and leave the remote desert behind, you will enter a world full of life and colors, not to mention the amazing underwater life that will show in front of your eyes.
The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world. They can be reached by boat from Sharm within two hours. Ras Mohammed is the name of the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula.
Desert Safari is another wonderful way to explore the Egyptian desert. Discover incredible landscapes by jeep, camel or simply trekking with friendly and hospitable Bedouin guides. The Sinai desert is breathtakingly gorgeous. The famous Mt Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery are a must visit as well as the numerous canyons. It is strongly recommended to go to the desert with a responsible operator employing Bedouin and respecting the environment.
Horseback riding is best for the tourists who love to have active and adventurous holiday. Stables can be found at Sofitel Hotel. You will be provided with helmets and several pairs of riding boots available. You will get about two hours ride (about 40 minutes in the desert).
Camel trekking is the best to be in the Sinai desert. After this you can look up at the desert stars at midnight after having a homemade meal cooked by the Sinais themselves.
Most hotels in Sharm, particularly in the Na’ama Bay area cater for package tourists. There are mostly 3-6 star and are all-inclusive hotels, so there aren’t a lot of budget options. Other accommodations are quite far from Naama Bay, and tourists are practically forces to stay to their all-included ration, or need to pay for taxi for every dinner in Naama (although taxi is inexpensive from most of hotels).
Best season to visit
Sharm El-Sheikh has an arid climate, generally warm and dry, although summer months can be humid. The water temperature is always warm, although winter can have cold periods. Tourists are visiting Sharm all year-round. The town lies on the Red Sea and has the highest temperatures from May to September (32-45 Celsius degrees). Winters are mild and warm with lowest temperature of 18 Celsius degrees.