Once little more than a Bedouin settlement and small port, Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea coast of Egypt is now filled with high end hotels that stretch the length of the resort.Glorious sunshine, sparkling waters filled with brightly coloured marine life and coral reefs, and flight times that make the resort truly accessible have all helped to turn this once empty coastline into one of the most appealing resorts in the world.
Constantly changing and improving Sharm El Sheikh is embracing the future, heavy investment in the tourist industry and a genuine desire to give the best experience possible will ensure that this resort will find a way to win you over and remain in your heart forever.
Most of the hotels in this modern resort are of a high standard with many offering self contained facilities within the grounds, most tourists simply spend their days within the hotel complex or on the beaches with little to interest them in the wider area.
However for those that do wish to explore more of the traditional Egypt or want to stay in a more authentic part of the region should stay in old Sharm centre, the hotels here cater much more for the workers of the area than the tourists but it has a simple honesty that will appeal to the more adventurous of travellers.
The taste of Egypt is instantly recognisable, it isn’t so much the main ingredients as the use of fruits, nuts and spicing to enhance even the most mundane of foods, even the coffee is given the addition of Cardamom providing yet more evidence that in Egypt everything is that little bit more exotic. Most dining is done within the hotel complexes with almost all the big name hotels welcoming non residents into their excellent restaurants giving the diner the choice to eat global cuisine as well as to sample the local delights.
To eat like the locals head into the old market where some fabulous little restaurants offer local food cooked for the locals, they are welcoming to tourists and will happily help with the menu choices making the meal relaxed and comfortable; most of these small restaurants will not have alcohol on sale but this is a small price to pay for the authentic atmosphere and unique dining experience.
Although with the guarantee of sun there are visitors with little on their mind except sunbathing it is difficult to deny that the favoured activity in Sharm El Sheikh is diving and just a short boat journey away are said to be some of the best diving spots in the world.
Not only are the waters filled with diverse marine life but they also contain interesting wrecks that are eerily well preserved and see visitors from all over the world vying to reach them. Further afield in the Sinai Desert is the perfect place to try camel trekking, the camels bad tempers are kept well in check by the knowledgeable guides who will lead you into the desert to enjoy a traditional meal whilst taking in the pure silence and the beauty of the clear night sky.
There is little to say about the climate except that it is hot, hot and dry but the predictability of the weather makes it a great place to visit for some winter sun, the sea temperature rarely falls below 70F making Sharm El Sheikh a popular year round destination for water sport enthusiasts as well as sun seekers.
Ramadan is observed across most of Egypt, this generally takes place during July/August but does change from year to year – little alters in the resort hotels but outside the resort area it is essential to respect the customs of the locals and to dress modestly as required.