Sharm el-Sheikh and Red Sea Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Sharm el-Sheikh and Red Sea Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. El Fanar Beach

    In addition to offering Sharm's best shore diving and snorkeling, this public beach—at the southeastern tip of town and surrounded by cafés, bars, restaurants, and lounges—is a great place to relax before or after spending time in the water. Come early in the day to sip fresh juice on a waterfront swing or to curl up with a book on a cushy lounge chair. At lunch, enjoy pizza, pasta, or fresh seafood. In the evening, smoke a shisha and unwind while enjoying sunset views that are the best in the city. Things hop here till about 2 am; on weekends, a lot of places have live music. Amenities: food and drink; water sports. Best for: partiers; sunset.

    Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt
  • 2. Hurghada Museum

    Opened in 2021, the first antiquities museum in the Red Sea Governorate is state of the art. Its collection is much smaller than those at museums and archaeological sites in Cairo and Luxor, but its exhibits, nevertheless, include hundreds of artifacts that highlight 5,000 years of Egyptian history.

    Airport Rd., Mubarak 6, Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: LE455, Closed Fri.
  • 3. Ismailiya Regional Museum

    The small Ismailiya Regional Museum has a modest collection of pharaonic and Greco-Roman artifacts. The majority of its collection consists of coins, pottery shards, and jewelry. The most impressive piece is a 4th-century Roman mosaic that has been cleverly laid in the floor of the hall. The picture shows Phaedra sending a love letter to her son Hippolyte. Other exhibits cover the ancient canals from the Nile to the Red Sea and contemporary canal history.

    Ismailiya, Ismailia, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: £E15, Daily 9–5
  • 4. Jabal Moussa (Mt. Sinai)

    From the base of Mount Sinai, any fellow hikers who have preceded you look like dots 7,504 feet ahead of you, and the prospect of reaching the top begins to assume biblical proportions. As you step up to the mountain, only passersby and the odd camel driver seeking your patronage disturb the serenity of the surrounding hills. Stop every now and then to notice how the clean desert mountain air awakens your senses. The dusty-rose tone of the granite mountains and the absolute peace make it no surprise that this land has fostered so many religious expeditions and revelations. New Age advocates also believe there are ley lines of gravitational energy running through the landscape here. Whatever you believe, it's truly a humbling place.Mount Sinai rises above Saint Catherine's Monastery to the spot where Moses is supposed to have received the Ten Commandments. Scholars have debated the legitimacy of this claim for millennia now and have resolved nothing. Other locations have been suggested for the biblical Mount Sinai, but the mountain's position on the chief ancient trade route and the accounts in the journals of pilgrims do seem to substantiate the claim for this mountain.In 1934, a small chapel dedicated to the Trinity was built on the summit of Jabal Moussa, covering the ruins of a previous Justinian temple. Looking southeast from the peak, you'll have a crystal-clear view of the top of Mount Catherine, which is the highest point on the Sinai Peninsula at 8,652 feet. With granite mountains in all directions, it may feel as if you're at the center of the earth.There are two routes up the mountain, and two essential times of day at which to start. The climb takes between 2½ and 3 hours. For a very steep climb, take the 3,750 steps that begin behind the monastery and lead directly to the summit. Please note that this is not exactly a proper staircase, and if you have knee problems, this will only exacerbate them. There is another route that is also a camel track; its last 230 feet consist of 700 steps. If you take this route, you can bet that drivers will ask—repeatedly—if you want a ride. If you opt for the camel, ask around for the going rate, then haggle. Expect to pay around £E70. The camel ride isn't the easy option it might first appear. Riding a camel can be somewhat strenuous and put pressure on your knees, especially on the descent. And some people get motion sickness because the camel does sway like a ship as it moves.The climb is strenuous, and you'll need to take along water and a snack to eat at the top (bring a backpack if you can). Many visitors begin this climb around 2 am to arrive at the summit at sunrise. If you are here during January, February, or March, it won't be too hot for a midday trip (which is much less crowded); at other times, it will be. If you're going to do the night hike, take long pants, because it gets cold, and a good flashlight, and wear layers that you can take off and put back on as you warm up and cool down. A solid pair of shoes (preferably hiking boots) is also essential.

  • 5. Na'ama Bay Beach

    This long strip of sand has many private stretches overseen by the hotels that line the beach. Some sections are calm and quiet, while others are busy, with loud music and resort-led exercise and dance classes. Some areas also attract a lot of families with extensive playgrounds, though these are typically only accessible to hotel guests. Note, too, that the entire beach area closes at sunset. Even if you don’t plan to get in the water, you can enjoy the view from one of many boardwalk restaurants that are open to everyone. Many dive shops and tour companies also have offices along the boardwalk, so it’s a good place to find out about tours and water-based activities. Amenities: food and drink; water sports. Best for: swimming, walking.

    Na'ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt
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  • 6. Pharaoh's Island

    Pharaoh's Island, so-called because it was first used during the reign of Ramses III (1194–1163 BC), is a long, rocky island surrounded by reefs and the turquoise waters of the gulf. The dramatic remains visible from shore mark the best-known period in the island's occupation. These are the ruined walls of the Crusader outpost created here in 1115 by Baldwin I. For 55 years, the Crusaders controlled both the trade and pilgrimage routes that passed this way from the safety of the island. But in AD 1171, shortly after coming to power in Egypt, Salah al-Din attacked the fortress by surprise, having transported his dismantled ships secretly through the Sinai on camelback. Despite repeated attempts, the Crusaders never again regained control of the island. Most of what now remains dates from the Mamluk period (14th century). Diving or snorkeling is good around the excellent reefs off the north end of the island (though currents are strong). With its ruined Crusader castle and Ottoman additions, Pharaoh's Island (also known as Coral Island) attracts many a roadside photographer. Boats to the island run from the Salah El-Deen Hotel; in high season the island can get quite crowded with travelers from Eilat and Aqaba.

    Taba, South Sinai, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Castle $10, ferry $5, Daily 9–5 (boats run every 15 minutes
  • 7. Port Said National Museum

    This small museum has an exquisite collection of artifacts spanning the history of Egypt from predynastic times until the 19th-century reign of Muhammed Ali. It's also the only place in Egypt to see finds from the Mamluk port of Teinis. The ground floor is dedicated to pharaonic history, the top floor to Roman, Coptic, and Islamic periods, including artifacts of the Khedival family.

    Corner of Palestine St., Bur Sa‘id (Port Said), Port Said, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: LE12, Daily 9–5
  • 8. Quseir Fort

    Quseir Fort was one of many strategically located military posts that the Ottoman Turks built along the Red Sea Coast, and it was one of the chief posts that the Napoleonic Expedition in 1799 thoroughly bombed and then rebuilt. It is estimated that the fort was commissioned in the early 16th century by the sharifs of Mecca and Medina. They wanted to protect the hajj route and to maintain control of the passage of goods against the threat posed by the Portuguese fleet. (The area around El-Quseir was a profitable granary for wheat and coffee from Yemen, and the most valuable spices of India and Persia were reloaded here.) Although the fort is a bit run down, it has a small museum containing finds uncovered during excavation work at the site.

    el-Quseir, Red Sea, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: LE50
  • 9. Sharm el-Sheikh Museum

    As part of a grand plan to showcase Egyptian history across the country, the state-of-the-art Sharm el-Sheikh Museum opened in 2017 with major ancient pharaonic artifacts. Notable items include the heads of statues of Hatshepsut and Ramses II; the inner and outer coffins of Isetemheb; and the ornate, 21st-Dynasty sarcophagus of the nobleman, Imesy, which was repatriated to Egypt by U.S. authorities in 2010. There's also a small collection of Coptic art. 

    Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: LE200
  • 10. Taba Heights

    Taba Heights, the northern Sinai's largest new tourist venture, aims to develop into a self-contained settlement anchored by excellent tourist facilities including high-class accommodations, sports outfitters, shopping, and entertainment. This is a project that's still evolving, but already there are five hotels, an excellent dive center, an 18-hole golf course, a wide range of water sports, and a program of excursions, all set against the dramatic backdrop of the Sinai peaks and fronted by 5 km (3 mi) of golden, sandy beaches. A village-style Old Town, with independent shops and eateries and served by shuttle buses from the hotels, adds interest and dining variety.

    Taba, South Sinai, 46621, Egypt
  • 11. The Monastery of St. Anthony

    Saint Anthony is a prominent figure in Coptic Christianity because of his influence on the monastic movement. And even though his contemporary, Paul, was the first hermit, Anthony was the more popular of the two. He was born in the middle of the 3rd century AD to wealthy parents who left him with a hefty inheritance upon their death, when he was 18. Instead of reveling in his riches, he sold all his possessions, distributed the proceeds to the poor, sent his sister to a convent, and fled to dedicate his life to God as a hermit in the mountains overlooking the Red Sea. Disciples flocked to Anthony, hoping to hear his preaching and to be healed. But the monk sought absolute solitude and retreated to a cave in the mountain range of South Qabala. After his death in the 4th century—the hermit lived to age 104—admirers built a chapel and refectory in his memory. Saint Anthony's grew. In the 7th, 8th, and 11th centuries, periodic Bedouin predations severely damaged the structure. It was restored in the 12th century. Saint Anthony's is deep in the mountains. Its walls reach some 40 feet in height. Several watchtowers, as well as the bulky walls' catwalk, served as sentry posts. The Church of Saint Anthony was built over his grave, and it is renowned for its exquisite 13th-century wall paintings of Saint George on horseback and the three Desert Fathers, restored in the 1990s. Four other churches were built on the grounds of the monastery over the years. The most important of them is the 1766 Church of Saint Mark, which is adorned with 12 domes and contains significant relics. A 2-km (1-mile) trek—be sure to bring plenty of drinking water along—leads you to Saint Anthony's Cave, 2,230 feet above sea level, where he spent his last days. Views of the Red Sea and the surrounding mountains are superb, and you're likely to encounter interesting local bird life on the hike. Inside the cave, among the rocks, pilgrims have left pieces of paper asking the saint for intervention.

    12-2332–6999-WhatsApp of Father Markos

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 12. The Monastery of St. Paul

    Saint Paul of Thebes (also known as Saint Paul the Anchorite) made his way into the desert to live as a hermit in the 4th century AD, after a wealthy upbringing in Alexandria. The monastery was built in the 5th century, after the saint's death. Following several raids about a thousand years later, the monastery was abandoned. Monks from the Monastery of Saint Anthony eventually reopened Saint Paul's. A 7-km (4-mile) drive west from the Red Sea Coast highway twists through the rugged mountains and deposits you near the entrance of Saint Paul's Monastery. The high walls of the monastery are surrounded by a village, which has a bakery, mills, and a few surrounding fields. The buildings of the monastery are believed to encompass the cave in which Saint Paul lived for nearly 80 years. In the Church of Saint Paul, paintings of the Holy Virgin cover the walls. To experience the ascetic life of the monastery, you can overnight in guesthouses here; women lodge outside the walls, men inside. For permission to lodge here, and for information on open days and hours, contact the monastery residence in Cairo.

    12-0661–3572-WhatsApp of a monk

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sat.–Mon.
  • 13. Wadi Kid

    The trip to to Wadi Kid is a gorgeous trek that leads to Ain Kid. Ain in Arabic means "spring." As is often the case in the Sinai, the wadis lead to springs, where the fresh water gives life to luscious green trees and grazing areas. Your hotel can arrange a trip to the wadi. On the way you drive through a Bedouin village. Stop off for a tea in the shade of an acacia tree. This is a great photo op.

    Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt

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