Thinking of a dreamy vacation in a city blessed with golden sandy beaches and colorful marine life? Then Sharm El Sheikh is where you should be heading next for some sea, sun, and fun.
Sharm El Sheikh is a beautiful resort town in Egypt located on the southern side of the Sinai Peninsula and you will find a lot of amazing things to do in the city. Sharm El Sheikh is home to some world-class, remarkable diving sites. If you are a diving expert, you should definitely visit the city, but whether you are a diving expert or not, trust me (I’ve been myself), you will not be disappointed.
Here are some of the best attractions in Sharm El Sheikh that you shouldn’t miss while vacationing in the city.
Dive in Ras Mohammed National Park
Ras Mohammed National Park is a must-visit destination to leave Sharm El Sheikh without regrets. It is truly a diver’s paradise. Park’s location is the point where the mighty Red Sea is split into two gulfs; Gulf of Aqaba and Gulf of Suez, divers will find rich colorful coral reefs and exotic marine life underneath. Even if you are not a diving expert, you will find something to do here. From exploring the desert areas, mangrove forest which is the world’s second northerly, saltwater lake, pristine beaches to snorkeling and swimming you will love everything about the park.
If you are up for a scuba diving adventure, get to Yolanda and Shark Reef to witness the marvelous marine life underwater. At the Yolanda Reef site, also known as Jolanda Reef you will get to explore a garden of corals plus the Jolanda wreck, a freighter ship that sank in 1980 carrying bathroom porcelain. A diving expedition to Yolanda Reef can also be coupled with a trip to Shark Reef, where you will come across more multi-colored corals and a variety of fish species, including sharks, barracuda, crocodile fish, turtles, and pelagic fish.
If you are not a fan of diving, then you can spend time exploring the sandy beaches including the Old Quay Beach and Aqaba Beach. Make sure to go to Shark Observatory Cliff top before you leave Ras Mohammed National Park to treat yourself to mesmerizing views of the Red Sea.
Go snorkeling to explore the underwater world
Don’t worry if you are not an experienced diver. There are a lot of beautiful snorkeling spots in and around Sharm El Sheikh for you to explore the sea world.
Ras Um Sid Beach
Ras Um Sid Beach is perfect for snorkeling, especially if you are a first-timer. You will get a magnificent coral reef to explore closer to the shore. Also if you feel like trying diving, Ras Um Sid Reef is perfect to do so. You will come across a lot of reef fish here.
Located towards the northern end of Naama Bay, Gardens Reef is home to some beautiful corals. Here you will find three snorkeling locations; Near Garden, Middle Garden, and Far Garden. If you are a beginner at snorkeling check out Near Garden and if you are thinking of going for a dive, I suggest you explore Middle Garden and Far Garden. If you are lucky you will be able to spot some butterfly fish at Near Garden.
The Blue Hole
The Blue Hole is yet another very popular snorkeling spot where you will witness a variety of fish. It can get dangerous if you go deeper into the sea beyond the diving limits, as deaths have been reported here. So be extra careful and make sure to stick to the limits.
Climb holy Mount Sinai
This is something you shouldn’t miss when in Sharm El Sheikh. Located in the Sinai Desert, 209 km inland from Sharm El Sheikh, Mount Sinai is believed to be a holy mountain, where God handed over the 10 commandments to Moses according to the Old Testament. It is considered holy by faiths Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
The hike to the very top of Mount Sinai will surely inspire you and give you a unique and unforgettable experience. Two trails, Steps of repentance and the Camel Trail will get you to the summit of Mount Sinai. The Camel Trail is a little easier, but Steps of Repentance is a scenic route. Do not miss to watch the sunrise from the top if you get a chance to reach the summit before sunrise. Trust me, the climb is totally worth it.
Visit Saint Catherine’s Monastery
If you are planning on hiking Mount Sinai, you should definitely pay a visit to Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Located at the bottom of Mount Sinai, Saint Catherine’s Monastery is one of the oldest working monasteries in the world.
It houses the ‘Burning Bush’ mentioned in the Old Testament and a museum with the finest collection of religious artifacts including some very old Bible texts. Group tours are arranged to visit the Monastery.
Dive some the top shipwrecks in the world
If you are an experienced diver, then you probably already know something about diving in and around Sharm El Sheikh. You will get to explore several famous shipwrecks in the world here. So, do not miss to include the Thistlegorm Wreck and the Dunraven Wreck in your diving adventures.
Thistlegorm Wreck Dive
Diving to the Thistlegorm Wreck should ideally top the diving destinations list of an advanced diver. Located in the Straits of Gubal, about 40 km from Sharm El Sheikh, it is considered as one of the top wreck dives in the world.
You will be amazed to find a sunk 126 meter freighter ship carrying supplies for British troops during World War II lying 30 feet underneath with motorbikes, steam locomotives, and weaponry.
Exploring this ship will be a bucket-list opportunities for qualified divers.
Dunraven Wreck Dive
A two-hour boat ride will take you to the Dunraven Wreck site. At this site, just off the southern tip of the peninsula, you get to explore remnants of a torn 80-meter ship that sank in 1876 on a return trip from India when it crashed on a reef. You will also witness a variety of fish here that is way too long to try to list here.
Visit the Colored Canyon
If you are someone who loves and admires nature’s beauty, Colored Canyon is a must-visit for you.
Situated 177 km north from the city of Sharm El Sheikh, Colored Canyon is truly a natural wonder. You will find it interesting to walk along the pathway, appreciating the pinkish rock formations created by water and wind. Do not forget to snap some Instagram-worthy photographs along the way.
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes appropriate for walking if you are planning to visit the Canyon and to take enough water to keep hydrated.
Do some shopping at Sharm Old Market
After all the diving, snorkeling, and hiking tours this is an excellent way to relax.
At the market, you will find herbs and spices, traditional shisha pipes, crafts, leather items, lamps, street food, and much more.
After all the shopping, you can grab a snack or a meal at one of its cafes or restaurants, and do not forget to try delicious Egyptian cuisine!
You will arrive at Sharm Old Market in less than ten minutes from Naama Bay. Taxis are everywhere and getting to and from your resort to the city center is fairly simple.
Spend a night stargazing in the Sinai Desert
This is a cool thing to do in Sharm El Sheikh. If you are traveling with kids, this is something you should try.
Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and travel with your guide in search of crystal clear skies that are perfect for stargazing.
Explore the Red Sea desert at night on a quad, enjoy a 20-minute camel ride, and eat a buffet and barbecue style Bedouin dinner by candle light
You will love the atmosphere and above all the spectacular night sky lit up by stars.
You will not notice the time passing as you gaze up at the starry sky.
Spend a day at the Aqua Blu Waterpark
This is the perfect way to spend some quality time with your family, especially if you are traveling with kids. Situated in one of the local resorts in Sharm El Sheikh, the Aqua Blu Waterpark offers some amazing, fun-filled water rides for kids and adults.
Sculpted to match the rugged rocks of Maya Bay, Aqua Blu is a spacious water park with boomerangs, tube slides, raft rides, a lazy river, a range of different children’s and adult pools, and a wealth of restaurants, bars, and shops.
You will also get some smaller water slides for younger kids and for those who aren’t adrenaline junkies (yet).
Aqua Blu sits in Aqua Park City in the Maya Bay area of Sharm el Sheikh, about one mile (1.6 kilometers) southeast of Sharm el Sheikh Old Town. Most travelers will find booking tickets with transfers (in advance) easier than working out the microbus system or self-driving.
I guarantee that you will have an adventurous day at the Aqua Blu Waterpark.
Sunbathe at the Naama Bay
This is the ideal way to relax and end your vacation in style.
You can get a feel of Sharm El Sheikh’s resort life at Naama Bay, but it is perfect for spending some quality time sunbathing at the beach. You will get a number of fancy restaurants, hotels, bars, and cozy cafes to enjoy mouthwatering cuisines, while you sunbathe. You will love the vibe and everything about Naama Bay for sure.
Sharm El Sheikh is truly a gem in Egypt and a city to admire. From diving to snorkeling, hiking, stargazing, sunbathing, and shopping, Sharm El Sheikh will not disappoint you in any way. This is not a large city by any means, but I can say, you will not run out of things to do here, as it offers something for everyone. Make sure to include these amazing attractions in your itinerary to make the most of your time in Sharm El Sheikh.
Explore Sharm El Sheikh further in these other posts: