A relatively new holiday resort on the historic Red Sea, Marsa Alam is a destination for beachgoers and culture buffs alike. The famous Abu Dabbab Beach draws swarms of snorkelers and divers each year, attracted by the warm, clear emerald waters, sprawling nearby reefs, and exotic marine life, including sea turtles, dugongs, octopuses, and sea snakes. Although especially popular for its beaches and sea, those seeking more inland activities won’t be disappointed. Marsa Alam is within easy reach of the Sahara Desert, majestic mountains, and many sights of ancient Egypt – such as the temple of Seti I at Khanais.
Location: On the Balmy Shores of Southeastern Egypt
Sitting along vast stretches of Red Sea beach, Marsa Alam is one of Egypt’s coastal gems, and an increasingly popular destination for vacationers. The conveniently located Marsa Alam International Airport has grown the city substantially in recent years, bringing tourists and developers alike to the sunny sands. Expect a hot, desert climate with extremely little precipitation – all the more reason to take a dip in the sea!
Culture: Gateway to Ancient Egypt
Marsa Alam makes for a great home base from which to experience an ancient Egyptian way of life. Explore the Wadi el Gamal National Park, supporting human life since prehistoric times, or drop by nearby Shalateen, host to the most famous camel market in the locality. Mount Gebel Elba in the Gebel Elba National Park also is an attractive destination for hikers and outdoor lovers. Its mist-covered peak is a stunning wonder of nature. The modern city of Luxor, encompassing the timeworn city of Thebes, is located roughly 200 km to the west, and makes for a fantastic weekend getaway.
Activities: A Modern Desert Oasis
The clear waters and Red Sea reefs are a major draw, featuring colorful fish to view and incredible shipwrecks to explore. No trip is complete without a dive – and if you really enjoy it, consider certification through one of the local SSI/PADI dive courses. Those on land can kick back in a traditional Egyptian spa or unwind in a ‘hammam’ – a Turkish-style bathhouse and sauna. The dazzling international marina of Port Ghalib contains plenty of shops and restaurants for casual browsing or serious shopping.