There are a lot of things to do in Sharm el Sheikh, but before we get into it – let me introduce you to the place.
Sharm el Sheikh is a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, Egypt.
It is located on the coastal strip along the beautiful shores of the Red Sea, approximately a one hour flight from Cairo.
There are plenty of things to do in Sharm el Sheikh, which explains why it attracts international travelers from around the world with a warm and inviting climate 12 months of the year.
Below I have listed my top favorite things to do in Sharm El Sheikh – enjoy!
Things To Do In Sharm El Sheikh:
Quad Bikes and Dune Buggies
Quad biking and dune buggy rentals are the number one activity for action and adventure in the desert.
The off-road vehicle tours meet up daily in the heart of Naama Bay for 2 to 11 hour excursions across the rugged terrain.
Guests are taken on the fast track through scenic desert beauty and a thrill ride away from civilization on open-air dune buggies.
Ras Mohammed National Park.
The perfect escape from the desert is to visit Ras Mohammed National Park.
These tranquil waters and unspoiled protected wildlife is only a quick journey southward.
Ras Mohammed National Park is a picture perfect setting for rest and relaxation, scuba diving, snorkeling or hiking for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Ras Mohamed National Park in Sharm El Sheikh sits on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
It’s a marine reserve that has been protected since 1983.
This national park is renowned worldwide for its amazing diving opportunities.
The dive from Shark Reef to Yolanda Reef is highly recommended.
You will see all, if not most of the different varieties of fish that Sharm El Sheikh has to offer – a definite visit while on a Sharm el Sheikh holiday.
Tip: This place is great for sunset photos.
Sinai Mountain Sharm El Shiekh
Sinai Mountain is amazing by day and just as good by night.
You can travel up the mountain by either quad bike, camel or on foot.
There are plenty of companies that give guided tours, which will include the Bedouin experience.
You can go for a few hours, or camp out Bedouin style for the night.
There is a Muslim mosque at the top of the mountain that is still used today.
Tip: Sinai is perfect for stargazing because it’s free from light pollution.
Glass Bottom Boat
Sharm el Sheikh is known for it’s friendly and colorful sea creatures, and there’s no better way to meet them up-close and personal than an excursion in a glass bottom boat.
Tours generally last about two hours and offer vessel seating with indoor or shaded areas.
Take in magnificent coral reefs, exotic fish and perhaps a glimpse of a dolphin or two.
St. Catherine’s Monastery
One of the many things to do in Sharm el Sheikh is to visit St. Catherine’s Monastery.
The best way to visit is to book a motor coach tour from the hotels or tour operators in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Additional sightseeing may be had with an overnight reservation in one of the hotels central to this attraction, however, the St. Catherine’s Monastery tour may be completed in less than two hours.
Visit the dwellings of the monks who keep the monastery working and meet and greet your local hosts.
The St. Catherine’s Monastery is regarded as the most famous of it’s kind in the world and should be visited with modest attire and a respectful attitude.
Climbing Mount Moses
For the fit and feisty, a midnight climb up the steep slopes of Mount Moses is the ultimate adventure, and one of the most popular things to do in Sharm el Sheikh.
The upward trek contains over three-thousand steps leading to the summit at dawn for a breathtaking bird’s eye view over the jagged Sinai canyons.
Jebel Mousa, as it is known in Egypt, takes at least three hours of exhausting climbing with intermittent rest periods along the way.
Make sure you bring warm clothing in the winter months as Mount Moses can reach freezing temperatures at night.
In addition, nothing but the best walking shoes will do and don’t forget to pack your flashlight and some extra batteries.
There you go, these things to do in Sharm El Sheikh will definitely keep you occupied for at least a week, but remember to relax and enjoy the moment as well!
Most popular attractions to visit in Egypt
With pale desert colored buildings, the smell of apple smoke from the shisha pipes and toothy grins, the red sea coastline that runs for 500 miles and one of the world’s most talked about diving areas – Egypt is a place those who visit will never forget.
The Mummification Museum
Located in the city centre of Luxor, there is a small but unique collection of antiquities here – the museum explores the unusual art of mummification, which was carried out thousands of years ago.
The Egyptians believed that by utilising these methods, it would give sanctuary to the afterlife. The techniques used incorporate both animals and humans.
Artefacts include the mummy of Masaharta, which dates back to the 21st Dynasty and was recovered from a hiding place that contained the mummies of over forty royal figures.
Tip: Take a look at the instruments they used to remove the brain, it’s positively chilling!
Temple of Karnak
Situated in Luxor, the sheer magnitude of this area will be the first thing that strikes you – it covers 200 acres of an ancient city that was formed in temples, created more than 2000 years ago.
It’s the largest temple in Egypt and its majestic pillars remain very well preserved.
Tip: It’s cooler here in that afternoon and taking photos at that time will give the best light.
Souk Exploring in Hurghada
Narrow alleyways and the smell of spices will enchant you as you weave your way through the souk.
Leather, jewelry, rugs and slippers are some traditional goods to look out for.
Most of them are handmade, and make sure you barter your way to a good price.
This is the place to experience the real Egypt, by meeting the people and observing their foods and spices.
Tip: Sip some local mint tea, while you are measured up for a traditional Egyptian garment, the jellabiya.
Diving in Hurghada
A ship wreck and great under water photos are what the diving sites here have to offer.
There are over a dozen sites, including the remains of an Egyptian minesweeper.
The reefs offer an array of tropical fish like snappers, butterfly fish, goatfish and banner fish.
Tip: First time divers can learn and take their diving licence here.
Sharm el Sheikh – Diver’s Paradise
Egypt is becoming an increasingly popular destination for tourists, especially Sharm el Sheikh, which is very popular among divers.
Another reason for its popularity is that there are more and more, making it a destination that more people can afford to explore and enjoy.
It is one of the finest diving locations in the world, so although the beaches are beautiful and tempting, there is even more beauty awaiting underneath the surface of that blue, crystal clear water.
The contrast of the blue water and the rocky mountains is an otherworldly experience that you won’t forget.
Sharm el Sheik has grown from being a small fishing village with 100 citizens to a big tourist destination in just about 40 years, but with 10,000 inhabitants it’s still considered pretty small.
Aside from diving, snorkeling, climbing and laying on the beach, you should check out the old town and do some shopping.
The old market is lovely, but remember to haggle!
A trip to the desert is also a cool activity. You can go wither with a private guide for several days through the desert on a camel, or just go for a day.
For those who go to Sharm el Sheikh for the diving, some of the best places to dive are Tiran and Rad Mohammed, which can be reached by boat. At Ras Mohammed there is a lot of plankton, which attracts huge schools of fish.
You will see sharks, murrays, an barracudas, among many others.
The only negative thing is that you will share this reef with another 50 or more divers, which certainly makes the experience less authentic and unique.
If you want to avoid the crowds at these two reefs and at the SS Thistlegorm wreck, take a diving safari.
Then you will be gone for a few days and will be able to dive in places further away, way beyond the day-tripping boats.
If you have planned to take a couple of dive trips anyway, you might as well do them all in one bunch – it will not necessarily be more expensive at all, and you will have a much better experience.
Things to Do in Sharm el Sheikh
Renowned for its coastal setting, which naturally attracts flocks of tourists every year, Sharm el Sheikh is located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.
It’s generally considered as a paradise for those who seek crystal-clear waters and perfect diving conditions due to its proximity to some magnificent reefs and tropical waters.
A holiday in Sharm el Sheikh can be a truly magnificent experience.
The resort is very accessible with a large port and airport for those arriving by sea and air respectively.
Due to the inflated number of tourists arriving each year, Sharm el Sheikh is constantly developing, giving the airport an unfinished appearance.
Yet, once you’ve stepped through the gates, the resort is incredibly beautiful and features a wealth of things to do and see.
One stop that tourists will always get a kick out of is Sharm Old Town and in particular, the Old Market.
A very traditional and Arabic layout, the Old Market is an attractive series of neat stalls selling rich varieties of items and exotic foods.
Beyond the town’s limits lies a vast Desert; many are advised to take guided trips down to the Bedouins and Mount Sinai due to its worldly beauty and extravagant culture.
Guides can be done on camel-back or through independent travels and even though there are many cafes and hotels within the area, it’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Western culture.
Outside of its bustling tourist industry, Sharm is well known for being one of the best diving locations on Earth.
Diving into the warm waters of the Red Sea is said to be quite the majestic experience and the two reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are the best places to start with many opting to book a diving safari.
The food is wonderfully eclectic; for those feeling home-sick, there are familiar fast-food joints such as McDonald’s and KFC, but for those wishing to branch out to something alluringly different, Sharm features plenty of traditional restaurants serving the best food in all of Egypt.
El Masrien, found in the Old Town, features grilled Egyptian meat accompanied by rice, pasta and vegetables and elsewhere, many markets and restaurants serve fresh catch-of-the-day.
Cultural diversity is also on full display with a chain of sumptuous and popular Indian restaurants open in the area.
Na’ama Bay, the central hub of tourism in Sharm, was where it all began.
The focal point for one of the greatest resorts in the World, Na’ama is a stunning array of colors, smells and sights.
During the day, many choose to relax down at the beach but when the sun goes down, the lights come on and Sharm dazzles with its intense beauty and vibrant atmosphere.
There are many hotels in the area as one might expect and every way of life is catered for in this holiday haven.
Whether you’re there to relax on the sandy beaches or roam the vast Sinai deserts, Sharm el Sheikh will provide you with an experience of a lifetime.
Holidaymakers Guide to Egypt
Ever since commercial travel became a viable possibility after the Second World War, Egypt has been one of the major destinations for travelers from across the globe.
The sheer grandness of the country’s ancient history can still be seen at sites across Egypt, and it would be fair to say that no other place in the world can boast of such important and ancient landmarks as Egypt.
Modern name of the ancient city of Thebes, which was the seat of power in Egypt for thousands of years.
Its importance is marked by the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens, home to the tombs of former kings, queens, and nobility of Egypt.
These major historic sites attract millions of tourists every year, lying just west of Luxor, and can be reached by the many tourist buses that operate daily from the city.
Valley of the Kings
While the Valley of the Kings holds 63 tombs, only 18 can be opened, and at any one time there will only be a handful open for visitors.
This restricted access is to help preserve the tombs and their contents.
Further north lies the modern capital, Cairo.
As well as being the center of contemporary Egyptian life, Cairo is also the place from which to visit Egypt’s other great treasure, the historic site home to The Great Pyramid of Giza.
The pyramids, as well as other structures like the famous Sphinx, are a thousand years older still than the structures in the Valley of the Kings.
Also in Cairo, is The Egyptian Museum, home to the greatest pieces of art and history from ancient Egypt, including the most famous collection in the world, the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Sharm-el-Sheikh is the other major destination for UK travelers, located across the Nile on the Sinai Peninsula in Eastern Egypt.
It offers a different experience to the history-based holidays around Cairo and Luxor.
On the northern shores of the Red Sea, Sharm-el-Sheikh can offer a beach holiday extraordinaire for those who prefer to spend their time lying on the sand as opposed to learning about those who have lain under it for thousands of years.
Unfortunately, Egypt has had problems with terrorism in recent years, particularly those targeting foreign travelers.
The Foreign Office has regular updates on the situation and gives travel advice.
That said, the authorities in Egypt have worked hard to protect visitors and has largely succeeded in doing so.
Millions of foreigners travel there each year without experiencing any trouble whatsoever.
What are your thoughts about Egypt? Is it a place you would like to visit?
Popular Places To Visit In Egypt
Everyone knows about the pyramids in Egypt – you’d be hard pressed to find Egypt tours that don’t include a visit to Giza.
While Giza heads up our list for the five must see places for historical travelers to visit, there are four other places that also fit the bill.
Pyramids of Giza, Cairo
It would be impossible to travel to Egypt and not stop by Cairo to visit the pyramids serving as tombs to the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.
These three pyramids are accompanied by the Sphinx and Temple of the Sphinx, in addition to a variety of Queens’ Pyramids and Nobles’ Tombs.
Built by a peak workforce of 40,000 people some 4,500 years ago, the pyramids are the first stop on an historical tour of Egypt.
St Anthony’s Monastery, Red Sea Mountains
Take a trip to the heart of the Red Sea mountains and discover St Antony’s Monastery in a desert oasis.
Found in 356 AD, St Antony’s Monastery was used as a monastic community by St Antony the Great and Julian the Apostate in the 4th century.
As the oldest active monastery in the world, it is beautifully preserved, looking like a small scale Egyptian village.
Tour the four churches onsite and marvel at the intricate frescos before retiring to the library to examine the largest collection of Coptic manuscripts in Egypt.
Perfect for a day trip if you’re staying in Cairo, Tell Basta is only 80 kilometres away in the Eastern Nile Delta.
This ancient city is a current excavation site where archaeologists are still discovering ceramics and other assorted wares.
Built during the 4th dynasty, Tell Basta was religious centre for the cult of Bastet and you can still see monuments there depicting the lion goddess.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Cairo
Opened in 1902, The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is home to the most astonishing ancient treasures discovered in Egypt.
From Tutankhamen’s death mask to the Royal Mummies room, there is something to interest every historical traveller.
There are over 100,000 pieces on display at the museum so be sure to plan your visit in advance to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
There is so much to see and do for history-focused travelers in Egypt.
Hire a car or make use of Egypt’s extensive public transport system and take in every historical site this country has to offer.
Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa, Alexandria
For the historical traveler with a sense of adventure, the Catacombs of Komash-Shaqqafa is a site not to be missed.
Built in the 2nd century AD, the Catacombs are not for the faint of heart, as they house some 300 bodies distributed across three levels.
Allocate a couple of hours to explore the maze of passageways linking rooms, a banqueting hall and the main tomb.
The ornate decorations will catch your eye as you move through the site, showcasing a harmonious blend of Egyptian, Greek and Roman art.
Cruising the Nile
You are a homebody, so travelling has never really been your cup of tea.
In fact, you are like one of those hobbits from the Lord of the Rings who does not like going on adventures.
Sure, you might get over to Liverpool once in a while to catch a football game, or take a weekend jaunt in the country for some hiking.
However, when it comes to big, elaborate and extravagant trips, you are not a fan.
They say that opposites attract, and this certainly seems to be the case when it comes to you and your wife.
As luck would have it, she has a vagabond spirit.
Her favorite phrase is “wanderlust keeps you young.”
She lives, breathes and marks her time by holidays.
Every year, she has to slowly and carefully coax you to take a trip with her.
When she mentioned taking a tour of Egypt this summer, you cringed.
However, what choice did you have?
Cruising the Nile
When your wife first mentioned Egypt, you thought of sand, wind and blinding dust storms.
You imagined yourself on a camel in an arid desert.
Dehydration was imminent.
The one thing you did not imagine was first-class luxury.
You could not have been more misguided.
Cruising the Nile Day One
You are standing on the top deck of the Royal Lily, a modern cruise ship with 56 luxurious cabins.
You should be tired – the itinerary throughout the day was jam-packed, but there is something about the boat and the Nile that gives you an idyllic feeling.
From the Tombs of the Pharaohs and the Valley of the Kings to the Colossi of Memnon, you have seen more historical sights today than in your forty years on the planet.
Cruising the Nile Day Two
You decide to buy postcards. In fact, you buy a monstrous stack of postcards and begin writing to everyone you know. In twenty years of marriage, your wife has never seen you behave like this.
You write long, flowing description of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza.
There are not enough words to describe the Amon-Ra at Karnak.
Egypt is agreeing with you.
Wanderlust has taken over.
Cruising the Nile Day Three
It is no longer your wife who is telling you about the daily itinerary and excursions, but you who is explaining it to you.
Over breakfast, you give her a detailed lecture about the Temple of Edfu.
You mention Sobek, the Egyptian crocodile god, as if he was one of your favorite footballers.
Your wife has a theory.
She says that it was not travel you disliked so much over the years, but the endless hassles and complicated logistics – the Royal Lily made Egypt easy.
How To Explore Egypt
How To Explore Egypt: Egypt is one of those destinations which will always surprise you.
Many visitors come here simply looking for sun, sea and sand, and hole up for a week or two in a lush all inclusive resort with five-star service and everything they could ever need available on tap.
While this perfectly suits those who are looking for nothing more than to chill out and top up their tan, the danger is that you can miss out on an incredible world of mystery and intrigue.
To really get the most out of your, don’t get too settled.
Either book onto some excursions and enjoy the chance to get out and about, or check out the public transport system and find your own way around.
The range of excursions on offer are hugely varied – they can be fun-filled adventures such as jeep safaris or camel treks, short trips to a local landmark or beauty spot, or perhaps a full day excursion to see some of the most important historical sites of Egypt.
Whatever you fancy, there are trips aplenty to help you make the most of your visit.
After all, no trip to Egypt would be complete without seeing some of its incredible ancient monuments.
From the Pyramids of Giza and the towering Great Sphinx, to wandering around the magnificent temples and soaring pillars, these awe-inspiring relics of ancient civilizations have to be seen to be believed.
If you’re worried about your holiday budget, fear not.
Travelling to Egypt is now as easy as ever before thanks to the myriad of low-cost holidays available, which range from picking your own low-cost scheduled flights to booking package breaks with the likes of Thomas Cook holiday deals.
However you get here, be sure to plan your trip carefully to make sure you get out and about and make the most out of your experience.
You won’t be disappointed.
Best Destinations on a Red Sea Cruise North Africa
In Awe of North Africa
A trip to North Africa will promise to give you a fascinating experience full of history, culture and great beaches.
Whether you decide upon, Egypt, Morocco or the Gambia you will be certain to receive a cheerful and memorable welcome and enjoy an unforgettable stay in one of the world’s most fascinating countries.
Trips with tour operators, can bring this world to your doorstep, offering you a readymade deal including flights and accommodation, leaving you free to plan the excursions for your stay.
The fantastic climate is perfect for those who wish to sun bathe on the glorious beaches or relax under the shade of the palm trees surrounding the luxurious resorts.
But the real draw of Africa lies in its colorful past.
The Gambia has a turbulent and overwhelming history with its roots set at the heart of the slave trade, and many mementos of this terrible experience exist today.
It is a cultural mine of information; but the Gambia doesn’t spend all of its time looking back.
Tourism has developed at pace here, and visitors delight in its sub-tropical climate, endless sandy beaches and contemporary hotels.
Tunisia is one of Africa’s most popular holiday destinations, thanks to its endless golden sands and beautiful green landscapes giving way to mountains, rivers and lakes.
The scenery is picturesque and the wildlife is abundant.
Egypt of course is well known for its vast historical wealth of pyramids, Egyptian pharaohs and breathtaking monuments but it has also become a diving mecca and a holiday hot spot with excellent resorts throughout the region.
Then there’s Morocco with its multitude of cultural influences – from bustling market towns to idyllic beaches – which will delight and charm you during your stay.
The North of Africa is home to so much and to book your next vacation in any one of these regions will be the start of a lifelong fascination.
(photo credit: 1)
top 5 destinations on a Red Sea Cruise
One of the hottest new cruise destinations is the Red Sea – this destination is incredible historic, boasts some breathtaking scenery and is home to countless attractions and monuments in both Egypt and Jordan.
Many people are also surprised to find out that the Red Sea is home to several beautiful beaches, as well as recreation opportunities like scuba diving and swimming.
Keep reading to learn more about the top five destinations on a Red Sea Cruise.
Why not check out Thomson Cruises for great deals around the Red Sea.
Sharm el Sheikh
This is easily one of the most popular destinations for a cruise in the Red Sea.
Although there is no main tourism attraction per se, the beach itself is what draws in millions of visitors each year.
While swimming, tanning, relaxing or exploring the beach are all great ways to pass the time, it is the snorkelling and scuba diving that makes Sharm el Sheikh the most popular and impressive beach resort in all of Egypt.
Few people have heard of Port Sokhna, but it is where most cruise passengers disembark to explore Cairo, which is just a few miles from the port itself.
In the city of Cairo there are countless attractions to explore, including the Museum of Cairo and the Coptic Museum, but it is the nearby Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza that people are typically the most excited to see.
Located on the banks of the Nile River, Luxor was once the capital of the Egyptian civilization.
Today, it is a top destination for travelers who want to get an insight into the deep history of this place.
Passengers will typically disembark at Port Safaga and travel the 45 minutes to nearby Luxor in order to explore the Valley of the Kings.
It is here that visitors will be able to see the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the Tomb of Ramesses VI and countless other ancient historic landmarks.
Parts of the Red Sea border the beautiful country of Jordan, and there is no destination more remarkable to visit than Petra.
Petra is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and boasts several different structures carved from the almost pink rocks.
Although Hurghada may not be quite as big or as popular as Sharm el Sheikh, it is certainly every bit as beautiful.
This coastal destination in Egypt is a common location for the cheapest cruises in the Red Sea, and the area offers great opportunities for scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling or even horseback riding on the beach.
It is clear to see that cruises along the Red Sea offer everything from historical landmarks to relaxing beaches for passengers to enjoy whilst on their holidays.