Aswan, in southern Egypt, stands on a particularly beautiful stretch of the east bank of the Nile. Once a military station, it still houses a garrison of the Egyptian army due to its strategic location.

Decorated with palm-fringed islands it has more of an African ambiance with its numerous Nubian inhabitants. With their own language and customs, it provides a different cultural experience.

Although Aswan is every bit as touristy as Luxor, the town and its inhabitants are far more laid back and pleasant. A picturesque city, its attraction lies not so much in its historical sites, but in the peacefulness of a felucca cruise at sunset, a visit to the colourful market (Sharia el-Souq), or dinner at one of the floating restaurants on the Nile. It is a perfect base to visit to the magnificent Sun Temple of Ramses II, Abu Simbel.

See & Do

Aswan has a wealth of ancient temples, museums and historical sites. Here are some of the stunning sights that can be seen in and around the town:

  • Philae Temple – dedicated to Isis

  • Kalabsha Temple – of the Nubian God Menolis

  • Aswan Museum – on the Aswan dam

  • Sculptures Museum of Art – at Shalal

  • Nubian Museum

  • Elephantine Island

  • Unfinished Obelisk

  • Nobles’ Tombs of Mekho, Sapti, Khons and Harkhok

  • Coptic Anba Samaan Monastery

  • Miracle of the sun festival at Abu Simbel (held twice a year)

  • Camel trekking

  • A trip down the Nile on a felucca

  • Aswan Botanical Gardens



There is plenty of shopping to be done in the many markets in Aswan, from shoes and clothes to jewellery and leather. Haggling is the best way to get the cheapest price.  

In a mock Pharaonic temple is the oldest bazaar in town, the Hanafi Bazaar. Here you will find a fantastic array of genuine Nubian swords, baskets, amulets, silk kaftans and beads from all over Africa.

Sharia as-Souq appears very much like the tourist bazaars all over Egypt, but a closer look down side alleys reveals more exotic elements, hinting at the markets south in Sudan and Africa. Here you will find traders selling Nubian good luck talismans, colourful Nubian baskets, Sudanese swords, African masques, and enormous stuffed crocodiles and desert creatures. It is very much a living market, where Nubians from Elephantine Island and around Aswan shop for food and live produce, including fruit, vegetables, chickens and pigeons.

Food & Drink

Egyptian food combines elements of Lebanese, Turkish, Syrian, Greek and French cuisines, modified to suit local conditions and tastes.

There are many restaurants along the Nile, such as the elegant Aswan Panorama offering real taste of Nubian cuisine in a sophisticated setting at a reasonable price. The Aswan Moon is a spacious floating restaurant reached by Corniche offering a wide variety of local food.

As well as these more formal restaurants, you can also eat on a more ‘local’ level at cafés, diners and street stalls, which sell one or two simple dishes. Here are a few of the local dishes you could try:

·         Aish shamsi/aish baladi – types of pitta bread

·         Taamiya – deep fried green beads mixed with spices

·         Fuul – fava beans

·         Makarona – macaroni baked into a cake with minced lamb and tomato sauce

·         Kushari – noodles, rice, macaroni, lentils and onions in a spicy tomato sauce

·         Fiteer – a cross between a pancake and pizza

·         Shawarma – marinated lamb in pitta with salad

Wherever you eat, you are normally expected to tip roughly in proportion to the size of the bill.

Being a predominantly Muslim country, alcohol has a low profile. The main beverages are tea (shai), coffee (ahwa) and Karkaday a fusion of hibiscus flowers.

Although tap water in the larger towns and cities is safe, it is heavily chlorinated so it is best to stick with bottled water.


The Elephantine Bar located in the Oberoi Hotel on Elephantine Island offers a relaxed, yet traditional style of entertainment 24 hours a day.

For excellent panoramic views of the Nile and Aswan, the Tower Bar, also located in the Oberoi Hotel on the 12th floor is superb.

Nubian shows are performed for tourists at the Mövenpick Resort and New Cataract Hotel. Between October and February/March, Aswan's folkloric dance troupe sporadically performs Nubian tahtib (stick dancing) and songs depicting village life at the Palace of Culture.


Aswan is awash with ancient sights and wonders as well as the natural beauty of the Nile. During your stay why not take time to visit some of the many ancient wonders, such as:

  • Abu Simbel – the temple of Ramses II

  • Aswan dam

  • Philae Temple

  • Unfinished Obelisk

  • A felucca ride around Elephantine Island

Health & Safety

Change of diet and climate accounts for most visitors' health problems – usually minor stomach upsets. There are no compulsory inoculations for Egypt, though you should always be up to date with polio and tetanus

Aswan is a fairly safe place to visit.  However it is always wise to take certain precautions when planning a trip through the southern region of Egypt:

·         Avoid walking alone at night (especially women). 

·         Street crime, burglaries, and petty theft are not major concerns in Aswan; they occasionally happen so avoid carrying around large amounts of money.

·         Lock all car doors and roll up windows when leaving valuables behind in a car.

·         Pickpockets have been known in crowded tourist areas, so be careful.



Situated on the Nile, Egyptians call Cairo the ‘Mother of all Cities’.

Most travellers choose Cairo for its ancient attractions, rather than to experience the muddled hurly burly of the 21st century city.

Cairo has a huge amount to offer any holiday-maker. To take in some of the Egyptian capital's magnitude, visit the Antiquities Museum which houses King Tutankhamen’s earthly goods. There are the pyramids of Giza, the Islamic treasures of bejewelled mosques and sacred places of learning. There is the massive Citadel and the Sphinx.

But Cairo has much more to offer. For many people the best of the city goes beyond these iconic and stunning ancient monuments and antiquities. Perhaps even more memorable is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s culture, enjoying a coffee with traders in Khan Al-Khalili bazaar and the call to prayer at sunset.

See & Do

Cairo has a wealth of things to see and do. Listed below are just a few of the many wonderful sights you can visit during your trip:


  • Khan al-Khalili bazaar

  • Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

  • Pyramids of Giza

  • Old Cairo (Coptic Cairo)

  • Coptic Church of St George

  • Hanging Church

  • Asfour Crystal factory

  • Saladin Citadel

  • Ramses II statue

  • The Great Sphinx

  • Camel rides

  • Nile cruise



Shopping can be great fun in Cairo. You can find anything from souvenirs, leather, gold, belly-dancing costumes, carpet and spices to perfumes. Painted papyrus scrolls, often embellished with hieroglyphics, are popular but beware of the thousands of vendors who will sidle up to visitors offering a furtive glimpse of a ‘genuine antique'.

Almost anything can be found in the city’s main market, the Khan al-Khalili in Islamic Cairo in front of the Mosque Ibn Touloun. It is a vast place where the locals do their own shopping. Silks, jewellery, spices and hand-made gellibayas (long robes) make good purchases, as do perfumes from the Perfume Bazaar area. While the Street of the Coppersmiths (An-Nahassin), is the place to go to find a good choice of brass and copperware.

Gold and silver are widely available and not expensive, provided you bargain the price down a little. In addition to the Khan al-Khalili, the jewellery shops on Sharia Abdel Khalek Sarwat and Sharia al-Muizz li-Din Allah (in the Souq as-Sagha or Goldsmith’s Bazaar) are good bets.

Haggling is a must, especially in the bazaars, so don’t be afraid to try. Remember that prices are inflated for visitors. If the final price is between half and two-thirds of the original asking price, then both parties should be happy.

Food & Drink

Many of the better restaurants in Cairo, frequented by locals as well as visitors, are found in the international hotels. Food in Egypt is cheap, so you will rarely have to pay more than US$35 for a three-course meal (without wine). Imported drinks are considerably more expensive than the local version. Tax and tips are added to the prices listed on the restaurant and can bump the bill up by 20-25%.

You will be able to find a number of different cuisines – from traditional Egyptian to Italian, Thai and Indian. Below are just some of the restaurants in Cairo that you might like to try:

  • The Fat Black Pussycat – International

  • Andrea – (Giza) traditional Egyptian grill

  • Aqua – modern restaurant offering sushi, seafood, vegetarian & steaks

  • Khan El-Khalili Restaurant – traditional Egyptian in the heart of the market

  • La Aubergine – vegetarian

  • Revolving Restaurant – on the 40th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel

  • Arabesque – traditional Egyptian-Middle Eastern food


Locally there are the baladi bars, known as ‘cafeterias’ to hide the fact that they sell alcohol. They can be a bit rough and tend to be male dominated. But if you want to give them a go, the Sharia Alfy area in the Midan Orabi offers excellent night life.

Alternatively the big hotels offer some fantastic bars and clubs:

·         Harry’s Bar – Cairo Marriott (Karaoke and Ladies’ nights)

·         Windows on the World Bar – 36th Floor Ramses Hilton

·         Pyramid Bar & Terrace – roof top of the Nile Hilton

·         Sultan Bar – Mena House with stunning views of the Pyramids

·         Jackie’s Joint – Nile Hilton (disco)

·         The Palace – next to the Sheraton el Gezirah (live music)

Night clubs are places to sit down and watch a show while eating or drinking (normally belly dancing). If you are looking for something a bit different then there is always the Cairo Jazz Club or Africana if you are looking for somewhere a bit noisier.


Although there are plenty of things to see and do in Cairo, you may want to spread your wings and see what else Egypt has to offer. As well as the Pyramids and Sphinx you may want to take an excursion to visit:

  • Birqash Camel Market

  • Alexandria

  • Memphis and Saqqara

  • Western Desert Oasis

Health & Safety

The biggest source of irritation in Cairo is the bogus guide who uses remarkable ingenuity to steer you into ‘no-hassle, government emporiums’. The best advice is to plan where to go and how to get there before leaving the hotel.

Women travelling alone can be vulnerable to unwanted attention in Cairo. Most hassle, however, tends to be verbal and can be avoided to some extent by dressing conservatively.

Throughout Egypt you have to be careful when someone offers you help as they always want money from you - this includes the tourist police and guards at the pyramids. If you want someone to take your picture simply ask another friendly tourist instead of one of the locals.

Depending on the time you travel, it is also worth remembering that Egyptians are forbidden from drinking in public places during Ramadan and therefore alcohol is seldom served outside hotels during this month and you may have to show a passport to prove that you're not an Egyptian.

The weather is always hot in Egypt so you should come prepared to beat the heat with a high factor sun block and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water.  Plus remember that the waters of the Nile are contaminated and should not be consumed or bathed in. 



Hurgada, known locally as Ghardaga, has grown from a small fishing village to an internationally renowned resort town on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, famous for its underwater life and diving and snorkelling opportunities.

Once an isolated and modest fishing village, it's now a thriving tourist resort devoted entirely to diving and snorkelling enthusiasts with more than 40km (25 miles) of hotels along the beach.

Hurgada can satisfy the needs of every visitor, and provide accommodation to match, from the simplest guest house to the finest five-star hotel. It is also the gateway to Egypt's southern dive sites, including Safaga, Quseir and Marsa Alam.

In reality, Hurgada has three main centres and numerous self-contained tourist villages now merging into one resort. To the north lies the old town, Ad-Dahar, which has more than half of the total local population, and the cheapest hotels and restaurants. A couple of kilometres south is the Port of Sigala with New Hurgada a few kilometres further south.

Stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters perfect for windsurfing have made Hurgada a busy resort town. Within easy reach of the stunning Giftun Islands and the Eastern Arabian Desert, Hurgada has seen enormous amounts of development in the past decade.

See & Do

Although diving is the main activity, Hurgada presents itself as an all-round beach resort. There is a public beach in Sigala but if you prefer, you can enjoy the peace at one of the private beaches - in Ed-Dahar, the Shedwan Golden Beach, Three Corners, Geisum Village and Sand Beach.

Needless to say, being a beach resort, a variety of water-sports are available:


  • Windsurfing (especially at Magawish & Hurghada beach)

  • Deep-sea fishing

  • Snorkelling

  • Sailing

  • Kite-surfing

  • Glass-bottom boat trips

  • Pedal boats

  • Canoeing

  • Submarine ride






If you prefer your activities on-land, you can visit the Giftun Island Marine Park, play golf, go horse riding, or enjoy a desert excursion, camel riding, hiking or 4x4/quad safaris.


The traditional El-Dahar area displays a range of shopping items like jewellery, papyrus crafts and leather items. The visitors can explore the shops and boutique-lined streets in Sekalla, Dahar and Tareek El Kora.

One of the old town highlights is a visit to the souk. Here you can browse in canvas-covered alleys past countless clothing shops, fragrant spice stalls and craft stands. When shopping in the souk, remember that it is a tradition to haggle with the shopkeeper about the price, along with accepting a cup of the mint tea that all shops offer to their customers.

If you are looking for some designer-wear, try the Gecko New Sportswear in Jasmin village. Here you can shop for hugely popular beachwear, stylish shirts and flip-flops.

Food & Drink

As with most resorts, the hotels offer a vast array of international and local food.

The best place to experience the local flavours is in the downtown area of El Dahar, where there are many small restaurants and street vendors selling authentic Egyptian Fare.

Hurgada has a variety of restaurants serving food from around the world, from Indian or French to Thai, Mexican and Japanese. You can also frequent street stalls and inexpensive restaurants, and fast food chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds if you prefer. Most local places don't serve alcohol.  


The main town area, Ad-Dahar, a few kilometres away from the resort hotels strip, has preserved all the traditions of a small fishing village, and apart from some restaurants, there's not much to offer as far as nightlife is concerned.

But the resort area of Hurgada boasts a lively nightlife with numerous clubs, discos, pubs and trendy lounges, and a variety of entertainment that include beach barbeques, karaoke evenings, foam parties and divers' parties. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • The Black Out Disco – foam parties attract a young crowd

  • Chill Beach Café – favourite amongst the locals with live bands

  • Calypso Disco – pub, disco and roof terrace with international dance shows

  • Alf Leila Wa Leila – famous for belly dancing and Arabic folklore


Apart from many popular diving and snorkelling spots, like Giftun Island, there are not many places of interest within easy reach of Hurgada.

However, local tour operators within the town offer day trips to places including:

  • Luxor

  • Karnak Temple

  • Coptic Christian Monasteries of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul

  • Mon Claudianus and Porphyritis

  • 4x4 desert excursions

Health & Safety

Egypt is a very safe place to travel, but as with travelling in any foreign country, be alert, stay in groups if possible, and don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you.

In crowded areas, protect your belongings from possible pickpockets, especially in the most touristy spots.  These measures are more common sense than anything else.

Always ensure you are prepared for the hot Egyptian weather. Bring plenty of high factor sun block and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water. 



Luxor, once Thebes, the capital of Ancient Egypt, is known as the "greatest open air museum in the world."  

It is a major tourist destination, particularly for those interested in ancient Egypt, and the area boasts an exceptionally rich legacy of temples, tombs and monuments.

In sharp contrast, the town is crowded with souvenir shops, hotels and restaurants, while the Nile River carries feluccas and luxury hotel ships.

Whereas the impressive structures of the Temples of Luxor (including those of Tutanhamen and Ramses the Great) and of Karnak are within the town itself, the biggest attractions lie on the west bank across the Nile. Here lie the majestic complexes of the Tombs of the Nobles, the Valley of the Kings, and Valley of the Queens - ultimate resting places of ancient royalty.

See & Do

When you think of Luxor, you immediately picture its most famous sites. There is a huge amount of history to be seen including:


·         The Valley of the Kings

·         The Valley of the Queens

·         Ramesseum

·         Colossus of Memnon

·         Temple of Hatshepsut

·         Temple of Luxor

·         Karnak Temples

·         Luxor Museum

·         Theban Necropolis

·         Mummification Museum


There are also plenty of other tourist activities available such as horse, camel and donkey rides, and Nile River Felucca trips (by both day and sunset).

If you are looking for some peace and isolation, why not visit Banana Island. Reached by a quiet felucca ride up the Nile, you can spend an afternoon amongst lush, green groves of banana trees to get away from the hot and heavy East Bank streets.


Luxor is a fantastic place in which to buy silver jewellery.

The market, or souk, on Sharia el-Birka, as well as the tourist bazaar on Sharia el-Karnak, offer scarves, scarabs, spices, carpets and other local souvenirs and curios. On Sharia el-Karnak, behind Luxor Temple, there is a Fair Trade centre where stunning crafts are sold by local women. There are also many souvenir shops located close to the Luxor Temple in the more tourist areas.

There are many papyrus and alabaster workshops on the West Bank. You can buy clay cooking pots like the ones used for the Egyptian version of tagin (meat, fish or vegetable stew) outside the police station near Luxor Temple.

As with most Egyptian shopping areas bargaining is essential. You should also be aware of scams that lure tourists into houses where they are bullied into buying unwanted goods. Female tourists also beware; if you are out without a male companion you can expect a great deal of hassle, however harmless.

Food & Drink

Luxor is not renowned for its culinary excellence. However the local cuisine of kebab, kofta and kuskari can be delicious. Tut Ank Amoun on the West Bank is a great place for traditional Egyptian food.

If you are feeling a little home-sick head for Khalid el-Walid Street, "Little Britain" will provide you with a handful of restaurants, bars and Irish pubs.

Most of Luxor's restaurants can be found in the centre of town. The Oriental, situated close to Luxor Temple is recommended as well as Amoun Restaurant on Sharia el-Karnak and the El-Hussein. The Sheraton Hotel, situated on the banks of the Nile serves excellent pizzas.

For something a bit different Restaurant 1886 situated on the Nile gives you a formal dining experience of French cuisine.

Probably the best place in town and one of the oldest in Luxor, Al Sahaby. It offers excellent kuskari and falafel sandwiches, fresh lemonade and their own delicious brand of rice pudding. If you like a good view with your food, the rooftop of Ali Baba overlooks Luxor Temple and the Nile.


As being as half of Egypt is Islamic, there are not many bars around Luxor. One of the most popular but expensive bars, Metropolitan Café, is found opposite the Luxor Temple on the Corniche walkway. There is only one English pub in town, the King's Head which is open 24 hours a day and offers darts, billiards and TVs for live soccer broadcasts.  

Luxor’s leading night time event is probably the Sound and Light Show at the Karnak Temple. An engaging history of ancient Thebes is told against the backdrop of the stunning, incandescent palace.  

If you are looking for the local’s hot spots then Abu Hameed is one of the most popular. For something quieter, Al Sahaby Lane is like a pedestrian mall for sheesha smokers and coffee drinkers. It's a comfortable, relatively hassle-free environment for tourists.  

For something a bit more lively, you should experience once of Luxor’s dance clubs. Both the Regina Discotheque at Tutotel and the Red Lion are popular among locals and tourists alike, and are inside the hotels.  


Luxor is brimming with tourist activities.

Steeped in history, you can lose yourself in the mysteries of Ancient Egypt by visiting some of Luxor's surrounding temples including Luxor Temple, Karnak (including the sound and light extravaganza), Ramesseum, Medinet Habu, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the exquisite Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens.    

Besides the awe-inspiring sights and temples, horse, camel and donkey rides are available as well as trips down the Nile River by Felucca.

Health & Safety

Egypt is a very safe place to travel, but as with travelling in any foreign country, be alert, stay in groups if possible, and don’t carry large amounts of cash around with you.

Egypt is an Islamic country so you should take care to wear conservative clothes and avoid wearing any revealing outfits especially when visiting religious places. Also Women should avoid strangers who whistle or try to befriend them; it is advisable not to respond.

Always ensure you are prepared for the hot Egyptian weather. Bring plenty of high factor sun block and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water.  

Marsa Alam


Marsa Alam is one of the fastest growing holiday resorts in Egypt. Located in south-east Egypt near the Red Sea, it is a popular area with wind surfers, divers and sun worshippers.

Previously a small fishing village, Marsa Alam is fast becoming one of Egypt’s most popular sea side destinations. The construction of an International Airport in 2001 has established it as an upcoming and exclusive holiday resort for those fortunate enough to have discovered its remote tranquillity. Lying between sea and desert, the hotel complexes offer a level of comfort and leisure facilities on a par with the majestic surroundings.

With a host of tourism projects planned for the near future, Marsa Alam is set to rival the popularity of established Egyptian resorts such as Hurgada and Sharm El Sheikh.

The appeal of Marsa Alam lies in its tropical appearance, boasting rich blue sea coasts fringed with coral reef barriers, stunning beaches and palm trees. As a result it has become a favourite of divers eager to explore the resorts numerous unspoilt diving sites where spinner dolphins and sea turtles swim freely.

Marsa Alam’s relatively remote location, approximately four hours away from the popular Hurgada resort, makes it the ideal destination for a peaceful, relaxing vacation. However although Marsa Alam remains relatively undiscovered for now, a major boom in the resort’s tourism market is inevitably on the horizon which is set to transform the area in to a vibrant, world renowned holiday destination.

See & Do

For diving enthusiasts, Marsa Alam is a treasure waiting to be discovered. Its spectacular dive sites still remain relatively uncrowded, allowing holiday makers to discover the area's ship wrecks, coral walls and underwater gardens in peace. The top diving spots include:


  • Elphinstone – see sea turtles, anthias, and at times hammerhead, grey reef and white-tip sharks

  • Dolphin House (Shaab Samadai) – a horseshoe shaped reef frequented by a pod of spinner dolphins.

  • Fury Shoal – a network of hard coral formations with endless colourful sea life and a lagoon housing the wrecks of a tugboat and a sailing ship


If you get bored of sunbathing by the pool you could also try:

  • Deep sea fishing

  • Kite surfing

  • Desert safari (camel, horse or quad bike)

  • Wadi el Gimal (Valley of the Camels ) National Park

  • Visit Port Ghalib marina

  • Visit the historic city of El Quseir

  • Visit the emerald mines

  • The ruins of Myos Hormos port

  • Wadi Hammamat



Being a fairly new resort and relatively uncommercialised, Marsa Alam does not have many shops. The few that can be found are in the larger resorts like Cataract, Kahramana Shams Alam, and Breaka.

A good place to shop is in the historic city of El Quseir with its Ottoman fort and many small shops and bazaars.  It's just a short drive away (about 15 minutes). Go shopping in the souk were you can often find cheaper prices for papyrus, alabaster, perfumes, shishas, silver and other goods than you can in the hotel shops.   

One thing to remember is to make sure you carry cash as travellers cheques are not accepted at most of the places in Marsa Alam.  You will also only find ATMs at resorts.

Food & Drink

Marsa Alam has a wide range of restaurants and hotels serving delicious local delicacies as well as different types of cuisine. Here are just a few:

  • Akassia Swiss Resort - the Green House restaurant, Panorama Restaurant, the Beach Barbeque. The resort also provides snacks, pizza, and French fries.

  • Brayka Bay Reef Resort – the Miramare restaurant

  • Abu Nawaz Hotel and Three Corners Fayrouz – these two restaurants are popular and famous for the cuisine they serve. Abu Nawaz Hotel also has numerous restaurants and bars.


Marsa Alam provides a blend of top-class hotels that offer an excellent nightlife experience. It has a strong local character and proffers local eateries and drinks at cheap and economical rates. A couple of places worth trying out are:

·         Ciao Marsa – a Mexican Disco famous for its diversity in playing all kinds music particularly Latin.

·         Planet Bedouin – an authentic tent on the beach presenting Oriental drinks every day and an Oriental show.


When you have had enough sun, sea and relaxation, excursions to the Eastern Desert are available. You can either take a camel trek or a jeep/quad bike safari around the region whilst sampling the local flavour by stopping off at a traditional Bedouin oasis.

Other possibilities are:

  • Watching some desert wildlife at the Wadi Gimal National Park

  • Seti’s temple at Kanais

  • See prehistoric rock inscriptions (near Kanais)

  • Dive at Elphinstone, Samadai or Dolphin Reef

  • Go to Zabargad, a mountain rising out of the sea surrounded by a lagoon and a circular reef with lots of ghostly shipwreck


Health & Safety

There are certain basic precautions for health and safety in Marsa Alam that will help you make the best of your stay. As it is located in the tropics you must use sun screen and sun block, even in winter. Make sure you use a high factor sun block that gives maximum protection against the desert sun.

Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and other problems due to the heat. Don't drink the tap water, stick to bottled mineral water.

Sharm el Sheikh


One of Egypt’s top holiday destinations is Sharm el Sheikh. It is situated on the coast of the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula. Hailed as the ‘City of Peace’, it has become a world-acclaimed dive centre and the most developed of the Red Sea resorts.

Sharm el-Sheikh has many activities, luxury accommodation and restaurants available. Most hotels and diving centres are situated four miles (7km) from the city at Na’ama Bay where there is a wide range of restaurants, clubs and shops that sell everything from local art and craft, clothes and jewellery.

There are many dive sites within reach of Sharm el Sheikh such as Ras Mohammed in the extreme southern part of the peninsula. There are also the Straits of Tiran, wrecks and 28 sites located along the coast that are reached by boat.

Na’ama Bay is ideal for dive classes, and provides diving and snorkelling opportunities for all levels without having to use a boat or car to get there. It is not all about diving and snorkelling though. There are plenty of water-sports available should you feel like doing more than just soaking up the sun. With a vibrant nightlife with casinos, discos and nightclubs, there is no chance of anyone complaining of boredom.

Despite the extremely hot temperatures, given that the sprawling sand dunes of the desert are just a stones throw away, Sharm el Sheikh's attractions of hiking, camping and of course unforgettable sunsets make a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable holiday destination.

See & Do

Sharm el Sheikh is one of the foremost diving destinations in the world. Water activities are a central feature for most visitors, however beyond its warm and mild waters there are historical and cultural monuments worth a detour:

  • Diving – e.g. Ras Mohammed, Ras Umm Sid and Straits of Tiran

  • Ras Mohammed National Park

  • Nabq Protected Area

  • Beaches – e.g. Na’ama beach, Sharks Bay Aqaba beach, Yolanda

  • Desert camel riding

  • Old Sharm – experience the traditional side of Egyptian living

  • Na’ama Bay

  • Tiran Island – superb diving and snorkelling

  • Sinai Hertiage Cultural Museum

But you can also indulge in scuba diving, wind surfing, golf, tennis, volley ball and horse riding.


There is a shopping style to suit everyone. Sharm el Sheikh offers a variety of malls and traditional souks. The main street for shopping in Sharm is known as the "King of El Bahrain Kingdom Street", in the heart of Na’ama Bay.

The main shopping draws are gold and silver jewellery and semi-precious stones from Na'ama Bay or the Old Market. Spices, glass perfume bottles, slippers, leather bags, Bedouin embroidery and Turkish delights are also popular. Good buys include Egyptian cotton bed linen and beach towels. 

If you prefer mall shopping, head over to Nabq Bay where the Al Khan Mall is home to 85 shops. Also in Na’ama Bay there is the popular Na’ama Shopping Centre and Tiran Mall, which are upmarket malls where shop-keepers are less likely to haggle.

If that still isn’t big enough for you, head for the Il Mercato which has 450 shops under one roof. It boasts designer brands, big name chain stores and exquisite boutiques.  

Food & Drink

Between the two tourist districts of Old Sharm and Na’ama Bay there is a huge variety of dining options, from hotel restaurants, and international fast food chains like KFC, to local eateries and fresh fish. You could try the:

  • Blue Ginger Restaurant

  • Tam Tam restaurant (Ghazala Hotel)

  • Hard Rock Café

  • Sinai Star Sea Food Restaurant

Sharm el Sheikh provides a good range of bar options for the tourist. Alcohol is mainly served in the hotels and resorts dotted around the city. Below are some of the famous and better known ones.

  • Camel Bar – Na’ama bay

  • Pirates Bar – Hilton Sharm el Sheikh Fayrouz Resort

  • Stars Music Bar – Hyatt Regency Gardens Bay

  • Pacha Club – Na’ama Bay

  • The Tavern Bar – Na’ama Bay



After a day full of activities at the beaches, the discos and the pubs are a perfect place to relax and unwind. Many of the large five star hotels provide a variety of discos, bars and pubs.

Na'ama Bay is the centre of nightlife. Popular venues include the Camel Bar, The Tavern, Pirate's Bar, Little Buddha, and the Mövenpick Beach. Clubs such as The Bus Stop and Pacha throw parties almost every night of the year.

There is also a cinema at The Star Hotel, Nabq Bay and, for those who enjoy a flutter, casinos – Sinai Grand Casino and Casino Royal at Na’ama Bay.


Sharm el Sheikh’s location makes it an ideal base to visit other historical sites in the region such as:

  • The Blue Desert

  • St Catherine National Park

  • Hammam Pharaon (Pharoah Baths)

  • Mount Sinai

  • Desert Safaris


Health & Safety

The tap water in Sharm el Sheikh should not be consumed and tourists are advised to drink only bottled water, even when cleaning your teeth.

Avoid eating fruit and vegetables that are unwashed, unpeeled or from stalls in the street. Dairy products should not be consumed as milk is unpasteurised.

However hot it may get never drink water from the Nile or bathe in it as it is host to numerous parasites that can pierce skin. 

ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.