Sharm El Sheikh rocketed to prominence as an international resort in recent years - and its appeal as a winter sun destination has grown correspondingly since the development of the port in the 1980s. Originally a little fishing village, it has developed into a well-equipped tourist resort and is still in a state of continual expansion. Its' sunny weather, a plethora of charter flights, world-famous scuba-diving sites, plus luxurious five-star hotels, shopping and entertainment make Sharm El Sheikh one of the most important tourist resorts in the Red Sea.
Situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, the city offers excellent beaches, coral reefs, lively nightlife and everything else associated with a major tourist destination. Travellers will find no shortage of things to occupy themselves with during a stay here, whether it be shopping, desert tours or simply enjoying the scenery and the many aquatic activities available on the seafront.
> The Coloured Canyon
> Ras Mohammed National Park
> Desert camel rides
> Turtle Bay boat trip
> Diving at Ras Um Seed
> Old Town
When to go
Rain is almost non-existent in Egypt away from the coast. Winter temperatures are comparable with summer in northern Europe, while in summer they soar to 40°C (104°F) and occasionally more. Light clothing and sunscreen are a must.
Sharm is very much a family-orientated resort. Most major hotels have swimming pools, themed parks, tennis courts, a multitude of sports facilities, health clubs, diving centres, kids clubs and entertainment programmes. Horse and camel riding and desert safaris are also popular choices for day trips.
Long stretches of natural sand and pebbles beaches are surrounded by a dramatic landscape. The waters around Sharm are clear and calm for most of the year. Coral reefs and marine life offer an amazing experience for divers. Other popular watersports include windsurfing, parasailing, boating and canoeing.
A visit to the desert is highly recommended for first-time visitors. Numerous trips to the rugged, Red Rock Mountains and barren Interior desert are available. Saint Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai are other popular destinations, only a three-hour drive away. Climbing the mountain on foot or by camel is the main objective for most visitors, but it's worth spending a couple of hours admiring the monastery's treasures.
Colourful Bedouin handicraft stands are always popular with tourists. The main shopping draws are gold and silver jewellery and semi-precious stones from Na'ama Bay or the Old Market, which is great for bargains. Spices, glass perfume bottles, slippers, leather bags, Bedouin embroidery and Turkish delight are also popular. Good buys include Egyptian cotton bed linen and towels.
Seafood is widely available, as well as Arabian cuisine and a selection of western options (mainly Italian). Most hotels have waterside grills offering the catch of the day as well as air-conditioned indoor restaurants catering for all tastes.
> St. Catherine's monastery
> Mount Sinai
> Strait of Tiran
The nightlife of Sharm El Sheikh is modern and developed. The colourful handicraft stands of the local Bedouin culture are a popular attraction. Ras Mohammed, at the southernmost tip of the peninsula, has been designated a national park, serving to protect the area's wildlife as well as its natural landscape, shoreline and coral reef. Several international hotels and noted restaurants are clustered around the centre of Sharm, known as Na’ama Bay, with golf courses and other leisure facilities further up the coast.
Beyond the Beach
The city is home to a Congress centre, located along Peace Road, where many international political and economic meetings have been held, including peace conferences, ministerial meetings, World Bank meetings, and Arab League meetings. The Maritime Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Centre can host events and congresses for up to 4,700 participants.
Ras Mohammed Marine National Park, at the tip of Sinai, southwest of Sharm el-Sheikh, is considered one of the best dive regions in the world. Also famous for its diving sites, the Strait of Tiran is only a few kilometres North of Sharm el-Sheikh. The strait separates Tiran Island from the east coast of Sinai and the main attractions are four coral reefs in the middle of the channel. Inland attractions around Sharm el-Sheikh include casinos, golf courses and spas.
Tourist Information Centres
Sharm El-Sheikh Tourist Office
Tel: +20 6260 0170