Sharm el Sheikh is a great place to visit if you love the sunshine. The temperature rises to a scorching 40C in summer, and stays warm long after the sun has set. It’s a good idea to pack your swimming trunks as it’s also one of the best-known scuba diving locations in the world! Here’s a list of the top 5 things to do in Sharm el Sheikh, from diving in the cool Red Sea to quad biking in the desert.
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1. Dive in the Ras Mohammad National Park
This is one of Egypt’s most renowned diving and snorkelling sites on the extreme tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The colourful corals alone are worth strapping on your goggles for, but there are plenty of fish and even small sharks that really make for an unforgettable experience. I booked with a guide at a diving centre in the city, but snorkelers can also enjoy a day paddling in the waist-high water without having to venture into the deep.
2. Spend an evening in Naama Bay
This is the heart of the city and at night the promenade comes alive when bazaars begin selling local souvenirs. You can stop in for a meal at a traditional cafe on the street or at a 5 star hotel – whatever takes your fancy – and it’s worth walking over to the Old Market (about 3 miles from Naama Bay) to buy perfumes, spices, jewellery and textiles. Remember to haggle over prices!
3. Tour St Catherine’s Monastery at Sunrise
If you’re an early bird like me, this will be an unforgettable trip, particularly once you’re driving through the desert and the sun peeks over the horizon. Saint Catherine’s Monastery or as the locals say, Santa Katarina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the oldest Christian monasteries still working, it has a fascinating history that spans the centuries.
4. Day Tour of the Pyramids
For me, visiting Egypt wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse of the famous pyramids. Luckily, you can book a day tour from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo. I just booked a flight from the Sharm el Sheikh airport but there are buses as well. The Pyramids of Giza (particularly the famous Sphinx) are really worth the trip and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which is home to the child king Tutankhamen, has hundreds of slightly grisly artefacts as well.
5. Quad biking in the Sinai Desert
For those who can brave the heat, quad biking outside the city is exhilarating and we stopped for drinks at a remote Bedouin camp. The scenery is amazing, but my clothes got incredibly dusty, so remember not to wear your best things!