Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh is the number one tourist destination in South Sinai. Receiving millions of visitors per year, it has established itself as the tourist city of South Sinai over the last 20 years.
The main things that draw people to Sharm El Sheikh are the amazing coral reefs and wrecks in the Red Sea, attracting divers from all over the world and snorkelers who come to enjoy the colourful underwater gardens. Combined with this Sharm El Sheikh has some beautiful beaches and coast line which are truly stunning.
Sharm El Sheikh is also full of amazing restaurants, night entertainments including shows, bars, nightclubs and more. There is truly something for everyone these days in Sharm El Sheikh, a wide variety of shopping options and you can find everything from Ice Skating, to bowling, to golfing, to go karting. Activities galore has really turned Sharm El Sheikh into the tourist city it is today.
Sharm El Sheikh is also known as ‘The City of Peace’ it has been a host to a variety of conferences, particularly peace conferences. In recent years the number of high profile conferences and meetings has reduced (a result of the 2011 Revolution) however it is still a popular place for holding meetings and events.
The year round good weather and sunshine at least 325 days a year are a great reason to visit and still fairly warm average temperatures in the winter months. You can still expect 22C – 24C in the daytime during mid winter in Sharm El Sheikh.
Diving and Snorkeling in Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh city is home to around 25 Dive Sites of which about one third are accessible from the beach. That is not including the Dive Sites in Ras Mohamed and near Tiran Island…. altogether you could spend almost a month diving all the sites in the Sharm El Sheikh area.
Sharm El Sheikh is most famous for its amazing wreck dives (advanced divers only) and for the diving at Ras Mohamed National Park which features more species of marine life than any other area in South Sinai. Many of the dive sites are also good for snorkelers, but not the majority of the wrecks.
The wrecks are mostly transportation ships that crashed into reef and rocks causing them to sink. Many of these ships had interesting cargo which is now part of the fun of the dive to see toilets are 35m deep with fish swimming in them, or cars in the deep of the sea covered in coral which are now home to marine life. Truly amazing for anyone that has never done a wreck dive before.
Ras Mohamed, Tiran Island and the Thistlegorm Wreck are the most popular diving areas in Sharm El Sheikh all are accessible by boat diving.
Most of the beaches in Sharm El Sheikh feature a pontoon or jetty for use for getting in and out of the sea. The reason for this is so to protect the coral particularly in the shallow water. There is much coral and marine life close to the shore. Please use the pontoons or jetties provided to protect the reef.
Sharm El Sheikh Information and Guide
Sharm El Sheikh taxi’s are probably the most expensive in all of Egypt. However the taxi drivers there also have to pay the highest taxi license fees (in the whole of Egypt). A short 5 – 10 minute taxi ride in Sharm will cost 20 – 50le depending on your negotiation skills. Average journey price is 30le, however Naama Bay to Nabq could cost 50le or more.
There are service taxi’s (minibuses) regularly running along the main roads into Naama Bay and the main areas of Sharm El Sheikh. These taxi’s collect passengers along the route. The average cost is 3le, whilst you can pay 1le for a short ride (5 minutes or less).
These service taxi’s are used by locals a lot who cant afford the expensive licensed taxi’s. However tourists can use them also and they are safe and offer a convenient alternative to the licensed taxi’s.
Sharm El Sheikh Bus Station is close to the Hay El Nour area of Sharm El Sheikh and about 10 minutes taxi ride to Naama Bay. The bus station receives buses from Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Ismaila, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba.
Sharm EL Sheikh Airport
The airport is located close to Sharks Bay (about 5 minutes) and about 10 minutes from Naama Bay.
See Sinai tourist information for more information about Sharm El Sheikh Airport.
Hadaba and Um El Sidd
Hadaba is a mix of tourist area and residential area. It has developed over about 20 years. Many of the expats that have moved to Sharm El Sheikh choose to live in Hababa due to its close proximity to Naama Bay and Old Market. There are many hotels also in this area, particularly budget 3 star resorts that offer very good value all inclusive packages. Most of these hotels are off the beach but offer shuttle bus to beaches they share with other hotels.
But there are also luxury hotels in this area on the beach or close to the beach, as much of Hadaba is built up on a cliff that overlooks the red sea. There are some stunning small bays with a little beach and amazing views of the cliffs with villa’s perched above.
Tower Bay is worth a visit just to see the view of the cliff and to enjoy a quieter beach alternative to Naama Bay.
There are several good shopping area’s in Hadaba, including Il Mercato which features many international brand shops as well as more local bazaars and merchants. Here you will also find burger king, Mc Donalds, Starbucks and similar fast food outlets.
Hay El Nour and Rowaissat
This area is mostly residential and has not so much of interest for tourists. There is good shopping in this area for residents of Sharm El Sheikh and also some good value cafes.
There is a beautiful new Mosque in this area which opened in 2009. It is stunning and worth a look if you are passing the area.
The main hospital of Sharm El Sheikh is in this area, along with the police station and the bus station.
Rowaissat is further back towards the mountains than Hay El Nour, it features a large industrial area which sells everything from car spare parts to glass for windows, bathrooms etc. Most of the products in this area are for residents and there are many workshops. Behind this area is a large residential area which features villa’s and is a popular place of residence for Sharmers.
Nabq is the newest area of Sharm El Sheikh which started to become established in 2006. It is mostly a coastal area which is adjacent to the protectorate of Nabq. It features many resorts along the beach which sit parallel to the main road.
On the main road there are many shopping centres, restaurants, nightclubs and places for entertainment. On the mountain side of the road you will find more resorts and residential areas.
Nabq has become almost a town of its own in recent years and you can find almost everything in this area now, without having to venture into the centre of Sharm El Sheikh. Unfortunately the beach here does not have a walk way, so access to the beach is only via the resorts.
The area of Nabq is still expanding and still being developed, more hotels and resorts are being planned and being built and it becoming a residential area as well as a touristic area.
The Protectorate of Nabq is well worth a visit, it features mangroves, a variety of flora and fauna that you will not find anywhere else. A Bedouin fishing village which has been established there for a long time. There is also a ship wreck just off shore which can be seen from the park area.
The main centre is Naama Bay, being the oldest touristic area of Sharm El Sheikh. It was here that the first hotel was built in the early 1970’s during the Israeli occupation. That hotel still remaining on the front of Naama bay, it is the Helnan Marina which is on the right side of the bay just next to the cliff of Naama Bay.
Naama Bay is still the centre of Sharm El Sheikh and the main hub for entertainment, shopping, cafes, restaurants and nightlife. There are many Bedouin style cafes and coffee shops along the shopping streets and the place is buzzing at night time until the early hours of the morning.
Naama bay is the only area in Sharm El Sheikh that has a beach front promenade running around the full length of the bay, that enables the general public to walk along the beach. There is a public beach along the strip which charges a small usage fee, or tourists can enjoy the beaches of the resorts if they buy food or beverages from the cafes here.
Old market is not as old as you would expect. But it has been named old market as it is one of the oldest area’s of Sharm El Sheikh to be settled on. It is close to an original natural spring area in Sharm El Sheikh which was the focus of a small Bedouin village some years ago.
Today old market is one of the most popular shopping areas in Sharm El Sheikh, with a mixture of tourist shops, clothes shops, home wares, fruit and vegetables. You can find almost everything here. Be prepared for a good haggle as shop keepers inflate the prices here a lot. However there are a few shops here also with fixed prices which is helpful.
There are also some excellent restaurants and cafes in this area so it is well worth a visit during a stay in Sharm El Sheikh.
Sharks Bay, White Knights Bay and Montazah
These are three lovely bays situated to the left of Naama bay. Sharks bay is one of the oldest of three, but all three are home to many resorts and hotels. Although the name sharks bay would leave you expecting to see sharks here, you are actually unlikely to see any sharks here. However divers going to the dive sites further out from the shore are sometimes lucky enough to spot a reef Shark.
Montazah and White Knights Bay are home to some of the best 5 Star resorts in Sharm El Sheikh. Both these bays have lovely beaches. Montazah also has a residential area.
White Knights Bay is home to the entertainment and shopping area known as Soho Square which is well worth a visit during a holiday in Sharm El Sheikh. As well as shopping here there are some great restaurants and entertainment. Sharm El Sheikhs first ice skating rink is here, there is also a bowling alley, 3D Cinema and even an ice bar. Lovely fountains in the centre of Soho Square are lit up in the evening making this a nice place for a evening out.
The area also hosts many live concerts and other entertainment activities for children as well as adults.
Sharm El Maya
This is the closet bay to the Old Market area. It has a nice beach surrounded by resorts and is surrounded by smaller rocks and cliffs. There are some nice beach cafes and restaurants in this area.
Dont miss these highlights in the area
- Ras Mohamed National Park
- Nabq Protected Area
- Naama Bay
- Alf Leila Wa Leila
- Soho Square
- Aqua Parks
- Thistle Gorm
- Naama Bay
- Old Market
- Space Night (sky at night dinner)
- Quad Biking in the Desert
- Camel Trekking in Nabq
Bedouina Tours and Travel can organise for you any hotel, holiday, tour or excursion in Sharm El Sheikh. Contact us for information. See our packages for good value holidays.