Sharm El Sheikh Holidays
Take a deep dive
From underwater adventures to beachfront lounging
With plenty of year-round sunshine and a plethora of luxury resorts, the purpose-built city of Sharm El Sheikh is ideally situated for sun seekers, beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. Home to some of the world’s most spectacular underwater scenery, especially that found in the Ras Mohammed National Park, the area’s many prime diving spots are a major draw with their abundance of colourful reefs and tropical marine life in crystal-clear Red Sea waters. Sharm also has its fair share of history to soak up. Add into the mix buzzy nightlife, desert excursions and serene spas and you have a compelling holiday destination.
Under the shadow of Mount Sinai sits the imposing Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Built in 527 on the very spot where Moses is said to have seen the burning bush, it’s home to an exquisite church hung with gold lamps and ancient icons, plus gardens that house an ossuary comprised of the bones of all the monks who have lived there. Take an overnight trek up Mount Sinai, stopping off at small huts along the way, just in time to catch the phenomenal sunrise from the 2,285-metre summit. Back in town, stop off for some succulent grilled lamb from the roof terrace of the elegant Tam Tam Restaurant watching the evening unfold around Naama Bay. Experienced scuba divers will want to check out Jackson Reef, which frequently features in lists of the world’s best dives thanks to its vibrant corals and plentiful schools of bannerfish.
Outside of town take time to visit the extraordinary Coloured Canyon, which looks like it comes straight from an Indiana Jones film. Water has carved this gorge over millions of years through layers of limestone and sandstone to produce a spectacular sight. In its narrowest section, the towering rock walls – rosy pink and gold in colour, with streaks and swirls of burgundy, green and yellow – are barely three feet apart and the sky above is just a sliver of blue. Book your flights to Sharm El Sheikh today.
Carefully selected Sharm El Sheikh hotels
Best hotels in Sharm El Sheikh for all types of traveller
We have a fantastic range of quality hotels in Sharm El Sheikh to recommend.
The Cleopatra Luxury Resort has its own private beach on Nabq Bay, an indulgent spa and a generous all-inclusive plan. The Grand Rotana Resort & Spa offers a magnificent lagoon-style swimming pool surrounded by a lush tropical landscape with over 2,000 palm trees, a 450-metre-long private beach, the Scorpion Dive Centre and a rejuvenating spa. The Savoy Sharm El Sheikh is an elegant beachfront retreat in Sharks Bay complete with unique dining experiences like Caligula Hot Rock where you cook your own dishes on a slab of hot volcanic rock. It’s also near the entertainment hub of SOHO Square. Sierra Sharm El Sheikh is a 5-star all-inclusive resort right by the airport offering a relaxing three-level spa, eight swimming pools and al fresco dining facing Mount Sinai. Xperience Sea Breeze Resort is a luxurious resort set on a private coral beach offering five swimming pools, a rooftop restaurant and a sumptuous spa. Aqua Blu Sharm is located inside Aqua Park City, Sharm’s famously vast water theme park, offering a kids’ club, nightly entertainment and all-inclusive options.
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Make the most of your Sharm El Sheikh holiday
For the ultimate authentic experience on your Sharm holiday consider taking a tour of the Sinai Desert in the capable hands of a seasoned Bedouin guide. Travel by jeep or simply on foot through this unique landscape learning about the Bedouin way of life and the stunning natural environment of the Sinai. You can do this as a day trip from Sharm or else stay overnight in a cosy Bedouin camp.
What are the best things to do in Sharm El Sheikh?
- The Ras Mohammed National Park is Egypt’s most renowned national park and one of the world’s most famous diving spots. It’s found between the coral reefs of the Red Sea and the inland desert of the Sinai, covering the coral headland at the most southernly tip of the Sinai. Deep below the waters of the Red Sea you’ll find reefs teeming with a wide diversity of marine life including over 200 varieties of coral. Further offshore you might spot Risso’s dolphins and rare bird species such as white storks.
- Renowned as one of the world’s top five wreck dives, the Thistlegorm is a 129-metre-long British cargo ship sunk during World War II. The ship was bound for Alexandria to deliver supplies to help with the war effort. Dive and see its cargo including Bren gun carriers, motorbikes, Bedford trucks and jeeps. Expect to encounter batfishes, barracudas and snappers. This intermediate to advanced dive can be done on a day trip from Sharm with a three-hour journey.
- The area is home to plenty of other spectacular dive sites to suit all levels of experience. Ras Um Sid is one of the area’s most exciting dives, blending diverse topography, pelagic sightings and fast currents. Thomas Reef is an advanced dive offering steeply plunging walls lined with colourful soft coral, schools of tropical fish and patrolling sharks. On this dive you’ll spy large Alcyonarians, impressive gorgonians and whip corals, colonies of black coral and other Antipatharians.
- Considered one of the most important mosques to be built in recent years, Al Sahaba Mosque, designed by Egyptian architect Fouad Tawfik and built by the Egyptian army, is an intriguing mishmash of styles combining Ottoman, Fatimid and Mamluk elements. Featuring two 75-metre minarets and numerous domes, it can accommodate up to 3,000 worshippers and is a popular photography subject, being one of Sharm El Sheikh’s most eye-catching buildings.
- Sharm’s vibrant entertainment, dining and shopping hub in White Knight Bay is SOHO Square. As well as an array of tempting restaurants, shops, cafes and bars with live entertainers, SOHO Square offers a wealth of attractions including an ice rink, a dancing fountain, a bowling alley, a kids’ gaming arcade, a tennis centre, a squash centre and the Culturama panoramic cinema. Bars include an ice bar and the Queen Vic British Pub.
Where are the best places to visit in Sharm El Sheikh?
Sharks Bay is a popular holiday destination on the Red Sea coast. It’s packed with luxury and all-inclusive hotels, diving centres, golf courses, spas and wellness centres, water parks and nightlife. It has a gently sloping reef that’s perfect for beginner divers and rewards photographers keen to snap the abundant marine life here including whale sharks, mantas, eagle rays, giant morays and Napoleon wrasse.
Naama Bay is another popular resort area just five minutes’ drive from the historic Old City. There’s a sandy beach with safe, shallow waters that’s perfect for families and a busy boardwalk bustling with shops, bars and restaurants. Take a dive boat from the harbour or just swim or snorkel in the bay from one of the many floating piers. The bay’s best corals are reserved for guests of the Sofitel Hotel but just outside the bay lies some well-preserved corals known as the Coral Gardens.
Dahab is a low-key, low-rise tourist town around 50 miles north east of Sharm. It’s a former Bedouin fishing village that’s been spruced up and is now popular with backpackers and independent travellers. Dahab is equally renowned for its diving, kitesurfing and windsurfing spots. There are over 20 dive centres to choose from and most of the prime spots are shore dives. Some of the most globally renowned sites include the Blue Hole, often dubbed 'the world’s most dangerous diving site', and the Canyon.
Nabq Bay is a luxury beach resort six miles from Sharm airport. Nabq’s beach covers a half-mile stretch of sand with ankle-deep water followed by a sharp drop off. Nestled on a promontory overlooking the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, Nabq Bay is one of Sharm’s quieter areas populated mainly by hotels and beaches where you can swim surrounded by tropical fish. For shopping and entertainment head to Al Kahn Mall or the new, rapidly developing hotspot of La Strada, both chock full of international brands.
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