Egypt - Sharm El-Sheikh - Relaxing at the beachFollowing our adventurous journey through Cairo and the ancient wonders of Egypt, we eagerly anticipated our time in Sharm El Sheikh, where the serene, crystal-clear waters awaited us. This Red Sea resort city offered a refreshing contrast to the bustling Egyptian cities and historical sites we had explored.

Travel Tip: Sharm El Sheikh is renowned for its world-class snorkeling and diving sites. Don't miss the chance to explore the vibrant underwater world of the Red Sea.

The ambiance of Sharm El Sheikh reminded us of a Californian beach town, blending modern resort comforts and open-air malls with unique Middle Eastern elements like Mosques and Bazaars.

Interesting fact: Egypt is predominantly located in North Africa, but Sharm El Sheikh is situated on the Asian part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Our time in Sharm El Sheikh was well spent lounging on the beach, exploring the old city, visiting two contemporary malls, savoring an Egyptian dinner, and embarking on a submarine cruise to witness the stunning coral reefs and marine life.

The evening was highlighted by the 1001 Nights dinner and show, a spectacular event that felt like a Middle Eastern-themed Cirque De Soleil performance, right in the heart of Las Vegas.

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Sharm El-Sheikh

Egypt - Sharm El-Sheikh - old market from the bayPositioned on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El-Sheikh is a jewel of a resort town in Egypt, uniquely located in Asia. Renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, this city is a paradise for beach lovers and diving enthusiasts alike.

Interesting fact: Sharm El-Sheikh has become a linguistic melting pot, with a significant increase in Russian signage throughout the city, a testament to its popularity among Russian tourists, especially following the geopolitical shifts in recent years.

The city is not just about natural beauty; it's also steeped in history and culture, with attractions like the Naama Bay promenade, Ras Mohammed National Park, and the bustling Sharm el-Sheikh Old Market.

Diving sites such as the Shark and Yolanda Reefs and the Thistlegorm Wreck offer unforgettable underwater adventures.

Egypt - Sharm El-Sheikh - Red Sea calm watersActivities in Sharm El-Sheikh are plentiful, ranging from diving and snorkeling to desert camel rides, visiting the historic Monastery of St. Catherine, and hiking Mount Sinai.

Weather and Best Time to Visit

The climate in Sharm El-Sheikh is moderate year-round, with temperatures ranging from the 60s F in January to the 90s F in August. The most pleasant times to visit are during the Spring and Fall when the weather is ideal for all types of outdoor activities.

Travel Tip: While the Red Sea waters can be a bit cool in the winter months, many resorts offer heated pools, ensuring you can enjoy swimming any time of the year.

The temperature was in the high seventies during our visit, perfect for beach days or lounging by a heated pool. The Red Sea's waters were slightly chilly but still enjoyable for a swim.

Hotels and Resorts

Egypt - Renaissance Sharm El-Sheikh Resort by MarriottOur stay was arranged at the Renaissance Sharm El-Sheikh Resort by Marriott, a stunning property sprawled across several hills, offering breathtaking views of the Red Sea. The resort's blue and white theme instantly set the tone for a relaxing beach vacation.

Interesting Fact: The resort's architecture is designed to blend seamlessly with the natural landscape, offering guests a unique blend of luxury and natural beauty.

From the moment we checked in, we were treated to exceptional service, starting with a golf cart ride to our room and navigating through the resort's beautifully landscaped paths.

The breakfast buffet was a highlight, featuring an extensive selection of international cuisine, complemented by stunning views and impeccable service.

Although the resort boasts two large pools, the beach, with its comfortable recliners and beachside café, was our preferred spot for relaxation.

Strong Wi-Fi coverage throughout the resort, including the beach, was a welcome convenience, ensuring we stayed connected.

The resort also offers a range of activities, from scuba diving lessons to parasailing, though we opted for a more serene experience with a couple's massage at the SPA, which was thoroughly rejuvenating.

While the Renaissance was our home during this visit, Sharm El-Sheikh boasts a wide array of accommodations, from luxury resorts like the Four Seasons and Mövenpick Resort to family-friendly options like the Pickalbatros Aqua Blu Resort, known for its impressive water park.

Old Market

Egypt - Sharm El Sheikh Old_Market - by Tanya Dedyukhina - WikimediaSeeking more than just relaxation, we ventured into the vibrant heart of the city—the Old Market. A prepaid taxi from our hotel dropped us at the edge of this pedestrian-only haven, bustling with life and color.

The Old Market is a sensory overload, alive with the sights, sounds, and smells of Egypt's rich culture. Shops overflow with spices, textiles, souvenirs, and street food, offering an authentic glimpse into local life.

Travel Tip: Bargaining is expected in the Old Market. Start at about half the asking price and enjoy the haggling process—it's part of the experience!

Among the market's highlights are its mosques and churches, contributing to the area's historical and cultural tapestry. The stunning Islamic architecture of the Al Sahaba Mosque is particularly noteworthy.

Egypt - Sharm El-Sheikh - Old Market CamelCamels, often seen resting or offering rides, add a touch of authenticity and charm to the Old City's streets.

Our exploration led us to Andrea Restaurant, where we enjoyed a meal with a view of a peculiar hill, complete with an artificial waterfall—a delightful surprise that added to our memorable day.

1001 Nights – Arabian Nights Show

Egypt - Sharm El Sheikh - 1001 Nights ShowThe 1001 Nights Show was an integral part of our itinerary, promising an evening of enchantment and spectacle. The venue, resembling an elaborate castle, was surrounded by lush gardens, pools, and fountains, setting the stage for a magical night.

Interesting Fact: The 1001 Nights Show is a cultural extravaganza that showcases Egypt's rich history through music, dance, and storytelling, making it a must-see for any visitor.

As we dined on Moroccan cuisine, the evening's entertainment began with a saxophonist, followed by a diverse cast of performers, including belly dancers, fire dancers, and acrobats, all contributing to a vibrant portrayal of Egyptian heritage with a modern twist.

Despite the show's Las Vegas flair, it retained a distinct Middle Eastern essence, offering a unique blend of tradition and contemporary entertainment.

Guided Tour

Egypt - Sharm El Sheikh - Naama Bay MallOur exploration of Sharm El-Sheikh wasn't limited to the 1001 Nights Show. A quick call to our guide from Memphis Tours, we arranged for two additional excursions, starting with an evening tour of the city's modern side, including Naama Bay.

Once a quaint fishing village, Naama Bay has transformed into a bustling resort district, complete with a marina, hotels, restaurants, and shops, all maintaining a Bedouin-inspired ambiance.

Interesting Fact: Sharm El-Sheikh has hosted numerous international conferences, including the United Nations Climate Change conference, highlighting its global significance beyond tourism.

For dinner, we chose Saltana, a local favorite, where we indulged in traditional Egyptian dishes like Fool and Ta’ameya, experiencing the warmth of Egyptian hospitality firsthand.

Egypt - Sharm El Sheikh - Soho Square MallOur night concluded at Soho Square, a dazzling open-air bazaar. Its vibrant atmosphere, adorned with statues, fountains, and a dancing water fountain show, was the perfect end to our day.

Submarine Cruise

Egypt - Sharm El Sheikh - Submarine CruiseWith a few hours left on our last day in Sharm El-Sheikh, we embarked on a Submarine Cruise with the Royal Sea Scope, eager to explore the underwater marvels of the Red Sea without getting wet. Upon arrival, we were greeted with pineapple drinks, a refreshing start to our adventure.

Though not a submarine in the traditional sense, the vessel's glass-bottom design allowed us to enjoy panoramic views of the coral reefs and marine life from the comfort of the boat. The upper deck offered expansive views of the coastline, including the old market, Ras Katy, and the stunning Ras Mohammed National Park.

Interesting Fact: The Red Sea is home to over 1,000 species of fish, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth. Its biodiversity is a treasure trove for marine enthusiasts.

Descending to the lower level, we were treated to an underwater spectacle through large windows, immersing us in the vibrant sea life without the need for diving gear.

This serene experience was complemented by knowledgeable guides who shared insights about the diverse marine species and the ecosystem of the Red Sea.

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Travel Tip: For those interested in a closer encounter with the Red Sea's marine life, snorkeling and scuba diving excursions are available and provide an unforgettable experience with the world beneath the waves.