One of the most popular destinations for family holidays is Sharm el Sheikh. The city appears as a group of buildings on a breathtaking mountainous plateau overlooking sandy beaches, some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs and crystal clear waters. This city was constructed by Israelis after the 1967 War. Its purpose was to break Egypt’s blockade of the Tiran Strait and gain control of communications between the Suez and Aqaba. Tourism helped to finance the Israeli occupation. Returned to the Egyptian government in 1982, Sharm el Sheikh remained a relatively inexpensive travel destination with good restaurants, and exotic local shops.
As a city, Sharm offers a mixture of bazaars, coffee shops, traditional Egyptian entertainment, gourmet restaurants and modern nightlife in bars around the Old Market. It’s a wonderful hub for travel to other nearby areas such as Nabq Bay, Naama Bay and Sharks Bay, each of which has its own dynamics. Family activities include diving the reefs at Ras Mohammed National Park to view the vast varieties of marine life, dining under the stars Bedouin-style, and traveling through historic backdrops.
Sharm el Sheikh’s coast off the cliffs is rocky meaning access necessitates stairways. To save visitors’ feet and the coral, swimming is allowed off the jetties. The place to dive in a beautiful cove is Sharks Bay. Snorkelers and divers appreciate the variety of wildlife and fantastic colors of the coral reefs and around Tiran Island opposite. Soho Square at the bay includes shopping malls and restaurants with international cuisine after a day in the water. Naama Bay and Nabq Bay are other popular beaches nearby.
Families and groups that would like to see the Sinai Desert differently can choose quad biking. The trip takes tourists away from the crowds on the “usual” Sinai camel trails. This 2 hour, fun filled exploration requires no previous experience and central Sharm el Sheikh hotels provide door to door service. The most popular times for biking are at sunrise or sunset when the desert reveals its spectacular colors. Spending time among the dunes and crags by riding through the sands takes travelers completely away from the bustle of the city.
International clientele can choose from every style of cuisine. Middle Eastern foods abound at the Saffron; El Mercato provides quality sushi; Chinese foods are available at Tahi; and a wide variety of oriental cuisine spreads before customers at El Masrrieen.
All major hotels include excellent bars open day and night. Their staff members will also direct families to quality restaurants, clubs and bars around the area. Many of these establishments include rooftop bars where patrons enjoy the sunset and starry nights. Little Budda disco provides a night of dancing for those with energy left after their day out; Pangeae gives adults a traditional night club atmosphere; and Fantasia lets tourists experience cultural belly dancers.
Sharm el Sheikh offers the perfect center for a family’s visit to Egypt. Any desired entertainment – day or night – is found within the city or at the nearby desert and beaches.