The Sinai Peninsula And The Red Sea
Sharm El-Sheikh Travel Guide
Sharm El-Sheikh © Mr Rosewater
A world-acclaimed dive centre and the most developed of the Red Sea resorts, Sharm el-Sheikh has many holiday activities, and plenty of luxury accommodation and restaurants available. Most Sharm el-Sheikh hotels and diving centres are situated four miles (7km) from the city at Naama Bay and it has become a busy holiday resort with plenty of shopping opportunities, lots of late night entertainment and an attractive holiday atmosphere.
Numerous dive sites are within reach of Sharm el-Sheikh, including the huge drop-offs at Ras Mohammed in the extreme southern part of the peninsula, the Straits of Tiran, various wrecks, and about 28 sites located along the coast that are accessed by boat. Naama Bay has a gently sloping sandy bottom, is ideal for dive classes, and provides diving and snorkelling opportunities for all levels without having to use a boat or car to get there.
Besides excellent diving and snorkelling, which are the main activities for holidaymakers in Sharm el-Sheikh, there are plenty of watersports available for visitors who feel like doing more than just soaking up the sun. Add a vibrant nightlife with casinos, discos and nightclubs and one can't complain of boredom!
Avid shoppers will find a variety of goods in the old market and Sharm El-Sheikh's malls, where shops sell both foreign and local products, including jewellery, leather goods, clothing, pottery and books. Naama Bay offers a more upmarket shopping experience at the Naama Centre, where shopkeepers are less inclined to bargain but everything from souvenirs to scarves can be found.
There are a huge variety of dining options between Sharm el-Sheikh's two tourist districts of Old Sharm and Naama Bay, from hotel restaurants and international fast food chains such as KFC, to local eateries and fresh fish. Every cuisine from Mexican to Japanese is represented in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Sharm el-Sheikh's casinos, discos, pubs and bars cater to those ready to party the night away while on holiday. Entertainment ranges from dance clubs to informal hangouts.
Though diving and snorkelling are the main activities for holidaymakers in Sharm el-Sheikh, there are a range of other activities available including horseback and camel riding, golf, desert safaris and health treatments, and a variety of watersports. The desert holds numerous attractions and trips are offered to Mt Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery, among others (though these tours may be suspended when the region is not considered safe).
Shopkeepers and hawkers can become a nuisance but a polite though firm 'no, thank you' should ward them off. Travel authorities currently urge extreme caution when travelleing in the Sinai region; excursions into the desert to places such as St Catherine's Monastery may not always be possible.