Sharm el-Sheikh: Heaven on Earth

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The site of Sharm el-Sheikh shows up on a Spanish map in 1782, but until about 1968 it was nothing more than a quiet fishing community.

Sharm remains the leading tourist spot in Sinai

However, in recent years Sharm el-Sheikh has become one of Egypt’s best known and most visited beach resorts.

Sharm is a year-round resort, hot in the summer, but pleasant and warm in the winter (photo: Shed Expedition)

Sharm el-Sheikh, Ras Umm Sid Beach (photo: Mirror)

In Sharm memories are made, that remain pleasant and fondly cherished dreams 

In fact in recent years, the Egyptian government has worked hard to encourage the development of many other beach resorts, but Sharm remains the leading tourist spot in Sinai and there are a number of reasons why.

First of all, it is a year round resort, hot in the summer, but pleasant and warm in the winter, and it has an international airport that attracts both private and many international charter flights.

Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport 

Next, the area between Tiran Island and Ras Mohammed national park on the tip of the Southern Sinai features some of the world’s most amazing underwater scenery.

Tiran Island has most amazing underwater scenery

Tiran Island has crystal clear water 

Here, one finds crystal clear water, rare and beautiful reefs, and an incredible variety of exotic fish amongst the colourful coral.

You can see rare and beautiful reefs and an incredible variety of exotic fish amongst the colourful coral (photo: Tropical Fish Egypt)

Starfish can be seen while snorkelling off the coast (photo: Dive 2 Bubble)

Much of this can be seen simply by snorkelling off the coast, but it is well known world-wide for scuba diving, with easy access to some of the Red Sea’s most prominent and interesting dive sites.

Sharm is well known world-wide for scuba diving (photo: Look At Egypt)

Just to the south of Sharm, on the very tip of the Sinai, is also one of Egypt’s oldest and most beautiful, mostly underwater, protectorates, Ras Mohamed.

Lion Fish in Ras Mohammed (photo: Divescover)

Scalefin anthias in the Red Sea at Ras Mohammed National Park in Egypt 

Ras Mohammed park (photo: Sharm Experience)

To accommodate divers, Sharm has every possible amenity, including first rate dive shops, centres and boats.

Many of these are operated by Europeans, and they also provide excellent diving training.

Sharm has every possible amenity, including first rate dive shops, centres and boats (photo: Penguin Divers)

Sharm el-Sheikh also offers the beauty of Sinai, with its majestic mountains and valleys, a number of national parks, as well as some well-known nearby tourist attractions such as St. Catherine’s monastery.

St Catherine’s Monastery

There is more to Sharm, however, than the beaches, sea and landscape.

It is a well-developed area that seems more like a European resort than Egyptian, with refined facilities and amenities, including these days, some more budget-oriented accommodation, as well as five star hotels equal to any in the world.

Oriental Rivoli Hotel (photo: Oriental Rivoli Hotel)

While one is capable of spending on most any budget at their disposal here for most Europeans, it remains a relatively inexpensive alternative to more costly beach resort alternatives elsewhere.

Add to this the fact that, because of the number of tourists who continually pour into Sharm, there is just about every activity a holiday-maker could hope to find, and it is no wonder that the resort area is so popular.

Mercato Sharm El Sheikh Egypt.

Name a water sport and it can almost certainly be found here, but there is also every other activity from four-wheeling to go-cart tracks, from horse-riding to championship golf.

Championship golf (photo: Golf Planet Holidays)

One may bowl, bungee jump or, believe it or not, even ice skate.

There are any number of activities for children, as well as adults, because Sharm is very much family oriented.

Then in the evening, Sharm takes on almost a Las Vegas flavour along the boardwalk between the hotels and the sea, various types and styles of floor shows, bands, both Arabic and Western, and other entertainment.

Sharm el-Sheikh takes on almost a Las Vegas flavour at night (photo: Masry Now)

It is a circus, but it is a charming circus as one walks along the boardwalk, hearing a dozen or more languages from every part of the world.

Sharm el-Sheikh is the “City of Peace”, because of the various peace conferences held in the city and attended by world leaders, but it is also a “world resort”, popular among and visited by people from all over Europe, because of its affordability, but also by those from much more distant lands, because it is fun.

The Sharm el-Sheikh area consists of three main areas, consisting of the old town Sharm el Maya and its bay, a number of other bays, where most of the tourist facilities are located, though in fact some very fine resorts are located elsewhere, and El Hadaba, where there are vacations villas, apartments, condominiums and a few hotels.

Sharm El-Maya Bay (photo: Panoramio)

In the greater resort area of Sharm el-Sheikh the bays include, from south to north, Sharm el Maya, Na’ama Bay, Garden Bay, Tiger Bay, Sharks Bay, and Nabq Bay.

Of the bays, probably Na’ama Bay, which means “pleasant” in Hebrew, is best known, and this is also where the most hotels are located.

These include some of the finer hotels, including several Hiltons, several Sonesta hotels, a Marriott, the Movenpick, and the less expensive Ghazala, run by the always hospitable people of South Sinai Travel.

Sharm el-Sheikh, Na’ama Bay

Up the coast just a bit, near the airport, one finds some of the newer, very exclusive hotels, including the Four Seasons, the Hyatt, the Intercontinental, another Hilton, the Sheraton, the Movenpick Golf Hotel, which was host to Egypt’s first professional golf tournament, and others such as the Holiday Inn.

Up the coast near the airport are some of the newer, very exclusive hotels (photo: Travel and Tour World)

A number of other hotels are scattered about, including the Ritz Carlton and the Hilton Waterfalls to the south of Na’ama Bay closer to downtown.

The downtown area of Sharm, or at least the old town, around Sharm el Maya is not large, but there are any number of restaurants and nightspots, such as the Hard Rock Cafe, and various well known fast food chains.

Here, one finds the local bazaar (suq). This is also where the main port and marina at Sharm are located, though there are several other marinas up the coast from here at Na’ama Bay and Sharks Bay.

Sharm el-Sheikh is an extravaganza of entertainment in a beach setting, backed by the natural wonders and historic enclaves of the Sinai 

Here, one finds the fishing and diving boat jetty. There are banks, and other facilities, as well as one of the three hospitals located in the area.

Sharm el-Sheikh is really an extravaganza of entertainment in a beach setting, backed by the natural wonders and the historic enclaves of Sinai..

It is one of those places where memories are made, that remain pleasant and fondly cherished dreams.

Quad bike in Sharm El Sheikh