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Sharm el-Sheikh is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, popular with package holiday makers and divers.
Sharm el-Sheikh is sometimes called the "City of Peace", referring to the large number of international peace conferences that have been held there.
Sharm El-Sheikh has an arid climate, generally warm and dry, although summer months can be humid. The water temperature is always warm, although cold snaps may affect the region occasionally each winter.
Na'ama Bay part of the city is the center of nightlife and dining: most of Sharm's clubs, cafes, restaurants and shops are here.
Sharm el Sheikh has grown into three distinct areas now, Nabq is a new area to the North of Na'ama, Old Market and Hadaba to the South of Na'amaa Bay.
Nabq Bay Nabq Bay is on a promontory overlooking the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Sharm el-Sheikh city has been subdivided into five areas, namely Nabq Bay, Ras Nasrani, Naama Bay, Umm Sid, and Sharm El Maya. Together with Hay el Nour, Hadaba, Rowaysat, Montazah and Shark's Bay, it forms a metropolitan area of 42 square kilometres.
See Sinai for information on the Sinai visit pass, which allows visa-free travel for up to 14 days. For travel outside the Sinai you will need to get a Visa at the airport
Sharm el-Sheikh Airport (SSH) is the largest in the Sinai and receives planeloads of charter tourists daily in the winter high season. Domestic flights from Cairo are offered by Nile Air and EgyptAir. Your travel agent may have trouble booking flights with them but they can also be booked on some of the online booking engines.
For departures: timetable shows only nearest 1-2 hours, makes you watch over the row of check-in desks for your flight number.
Cafes after security check are: Sbarro (overcrowded), Cafe Europa' (on the back of the lounge, less crowded): sandwiches, coffee, Egyptian sweets; outlet of Caffè Ritazza international chain coming soon (also in Athens, Budapest, Madrid, Milan, London, Paris, New York, Stockholm, Zurich, Vienna).
After security check there is a Patisserie offering lucums, khalva and other Egyptian sweets.
Sharm el-Sheikh can be reached by driving down the eastern coast from Eilat (Israel) via Nuweiba and Dahab, or via the western coast from Cairo. There are daily buses for both routes. From Cairo,East Delta buses take approximately 8h (EGP80) while Superjet buses take 6 hrs. When taking the bus from Cairo, keep your bus ticket and passport handy, as you will pass through a number of checkpoints, which require passengers to present identification and ticket. The drive is interesting with beautiful scenery, throughout the route.
The Sharm el-Sheikh bus station is about 1km from the Peace road. If you should arrive during the evening hours your only option may be to take a taxi, as micro-bus service can be spotty. Since Sharm is a tourist-driven economy, you should be prepared to do some bargaining. If you are of the hiking type, the main road is, roughly, twenty minutes from main road. Just ask anyone to point you in the direction of Peace road. Once at Peace road you should have no problem hailing down a micro-bus.
There are also a fleet of blue and white micro buses which are used to ferry the locals around the region. These are a most economical method of transport compared to taxis however they are not by law allowed to accept tourists.
What to see
Sharm Old Town Hail a taxi to take you to to the Sharm Old Town, ask the driver for the old market. This is a much different experience for tourists staying in the Na'ama Bay area.
A visit to the desert is highly recommended. Various trips to the Bedouins, the beautiful Coloured Canyon and beyond to Mount Sinai. The more adventurous should try to find a private guide, who takes them for a few days into the mountain desert with a camel. You will walk through hidden valleys, rest at secret oasis and during the night you sleep under a breathtaking firmament.
Nabq National Park is a great experience with beaches completely deserted and beautiful mangroves. A complete contrast to the resort.
An unusual sight and a bit exotic for a westerner are huge fans pumping fresh air to street cafes and terraces near hotels.
Enjoy the sight and sound experience and the live show at Alf Lela w Lela (A thousand and one Nights) everyday. the live show is amazing, with different shows featuring a great male Belly Dancer well known as Mero, and other belly dancers. Also some egyptian weddings, tanourra dance and shows.
What to do
Diving is the main activity in Sharm el-Sheikh. When you dive into the warm water of the Red Sea and leave the remote desert behind, you will enter a world full of life and colours.
The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world. They can be reached by boat from Sharm within two hours. Ras Mohammed is the name of the southern most point of the Sinai peninsula. There, the current of the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez. Due to the increase of plankton in the water the amount of fish is incredible. Huge schools of Barracudas, Sharks and Morays can be seen there every day.
Discover incredible landscapes by jeep, camel or simply trekking with friendly and hospitable Bedouin guides. The Sinai desert is amazingly beautiful and varied. The famous Mt Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery are not to be missed as well as many spectacular canyons. It is strongly recommended to go to the desert with a responsible operator employing Bedouin and respecting the environment.
Stables at Sofitel Hotel. Helpful personnel. Require helmets (provided); several pairs of riding boots available. After the ride, offer you to give showers to your horse. Bambi and Kelly are declared as the fastest horses.
Go-karting is a fun activity here in Sharm with weather conditions fantastic.
Ghibli Raceway The circuit itself has been built to the standards set by the “Commission Internationale de Karting” (CIK-FIA) and the authorised international body within the “Federation Internationale d'Automobile” (FIA).
There are dozens of operators who seem to use just the same route, length and sequence of stops: when you drive, you meet many groups who follow just the same route as yours. There are several really shaky pieces of the route, very much like a washboard.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt; shoes are safer than sandals. Always wear a helmet and make sure your travel insurance covers this activity. Expect all your wear (and skin) to be covered with grey dust.
Para sailing is very enjoyable. But, for a less than 5 minutes ride, they charge 260 pounds for 2 persons and 220 pounds for one person.
The best place to do this is in the Sinai desert on a tour with the Sinai's on their own bred camels. After this you can look up at the desert stars at midnight after having a homemade meal cooked by the Sinais themselves.