Egypt has long been known as the ideal destination for those seeking soaring temperatures, hours of blazing sunshine and cloudless skies.
It is the perfect destination for winter sun with temperatures more comfortable and bearable in January and February. The Red Sea has numerous holiday towns that line the coast here. There are huge luxury 5 star hotels, family friendly complexes and adult only resorts, offering something for everyone. You can find beautiful long white sandy beaches, and the Red Sea is reputed to be one of the best places in the world to snorkel and SCUBA dive.
Here are our suggestions for some of the best places on the Red Sea coast to visit.
1) Sharm El Sheikh
Located at the tip of the South Sinai peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh is a popular base for holidaymakers to the region. Naama Bay is the main tourism area of the city. There is a lovely, long sandy beach here, with plenty of different watersports on offer including water skiing, windsurfing and banana boat rides. Along the main street there are plenty of shops selling a range of souvenirs, clothing and trinkets. The bars and clubs here can get pretty busy and nightlife can be busy and bustling until the early hours. There is, also, a multitude of large, all-inclusive resorts along the coast here. One of the best areas to stay if you enjoy snorkelling is Sharks Bay. Located just a few miles from Naama Bay, Sharks Bay has a small but pleasant beach, with a number of jetties leading into the sea. You can rent snorkel gear and snorkel around the coral reefs at the end of the jetties. There are plenty of large colourful parrot fish, clown fish, angel fish and, if you are lucky, you might even spot a moray eel. Be careful though: currents can be strong, so be sure to have a life jacket if you are not a strong swimmer and keep close to the jetties in case the currents do become too much to handle. From Naama Bay you can also book other trips; it is popular to ride out into the sand dunes on quad bikes. Whilst fun, this can be potentially dangerous so ensure your insurance covers such activities before you travel.
Hurghada is a large beach resort town located on the mainland of Egypt. The old town, El Dahar, is a great place for shopping, and you can visit traditional souks and haggle for the best bargains. The city centre of Hurghada is the area called Sekala. Here you can find plenty of SCUBA dive shops where you can book day trips and liveaboards to surrounding dive sites. Research dive companies well before you sign up to anything, as quality and safety levels vary greatly. Sekala is a good location to be if you enjoy keeping busy; there are plenty of bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities here, so if the sea and beach become too much, you will not be bored. If you have children to entertain, you could spend a day at Makadi Water World – Egypt’s largest water park with 50 slides, a relaxing lazy river to float around in rubber rings and a pirate-themed play area for the little ones. If you prefer to see natural sites, take a day trip to Mahmya Island. This beautiful paradise island is just over an hour away by boat, where there are stunning white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and plenty of reefs to explore.
Health in Egypt
All visitors to Egypt should ensure that their Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Tetanus vaccinations are up to date. It is best to have these at least 2 weeks prior to travel to ensure you are fully protected. Anyone going off the beaten track, visiting for long periods or working out there should consider doing courses of both Hepatitis B and Rabies vaccinations; these take a full month to complete, so plan early.
While there is a very low malaria risk in Egypt, there are other diseases which can be contracted via mosquito bites in Egypt. For this reason, it is essential to use a good mosquito repellent both day and night. Dawn and dusk are the times when mosquitoes are most prevalent so be extra cautious at these times. Wearing long loose clothing can also help prevent getting bitten.
It is common to contract tummy bugs in Egypt due to the lack of access to clean, sterilised water. To avoid this, ensure you only drink bottled water, even when brushing your teeth in the hotel, eat foods that have been boiled and thoroughly cooked as this will kill any bacteria and avoid cold foods, such as salads as they may have been washed in unclean water. It is also best to not have ice in any drinks, as tempting as it may be, unless you can guarantee that the water used has been fully sterilised. We sell Tummy Kits in our clinics that contain a range of medications to treat stomach bugs, so you can be fully prepared in case the worst does happen.
Book an appointment with one of our travel health nurses today to get your vaccinations, repellents and any other additional products you may need to make your trip a safe and happy one!