Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide - Sights & Travel Feature - Cairo 360
 







Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
Published On: 15/03/2011
Sharm El Sheikh has become the premier tourist resort destination in Egypt. Located on the very southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, tourists are drawn to the resort town because of its many beaches, the sunny Sinai climate and the propensity of hotels, restaurants and nightclubs dotted around.

How to Get There:
An EgyptAir flight from Cairo takes 45 minutes, with the average flight priced at 1000LE for a round-trip plus an additional 50LE for a taxi to your hotel. A bus can take seven hours and costs 70LE to100LE, while driving your own car will take around five hours.

Where to Stay:
The resort hotels lining Sharm El Sheikh's shoreline are landscaped with green grass, palm trees, and colourful flowers, all giving the area a tasteful, tropical feel. Located near the airport, Ras Nusrani is best known for Sharks’ Bay and SOHO Square. The hotels in the area offer all inclusive rates, private beaches with calm waters, and in this reviewer’s opinion, the most awesome snorkelling in Sharm. Hotel beaches can sometimes be crowded; so Sharks' Bay also offers a fantastic public beach with sun beds, descent food and a beverage bar. Admission to the public beach costs 25LE per person.

What To Do:
SOHO Square is a more modern, upscale area of Sharm. There is plenty of shopping to be had and a wide variety of restaurants to indulge in. At the end of SOHO Square is the Queen Vic, a nice bar to enjoy a drink or two in. Next door to the bar is a small bowling alley, where three games will cost 100LE per person and include the very stylish bowling shoes. Maybe you’d like to go ice skating at SOHO's indoor Ice Rink.

One of SOHO's most unique attractions is the ICE Bar: a bar made entirely out of ice; so your drink is sure to be cold. Just try not to catch frostbite while enjoying it. Upstairs from the ICE Bar is SOHO's premier nightclub: Pangea has a large dance floor and a bar that extends the entire length of the place. A taxi to SOHO should not cost more than 40LE.

Naama Bay is the heart and soul of Sharm El Sheikh. This picturesque bay is home to the most popular restaurants, bars/nightclubs, and activities. Along the bay the beach is lined with sun beds and offers beach activities like windsurfing and waterskiing. Dive clubs include Camel Dive Club, Ocean College, Emperor Divers, and many others. Naama Bay really comes to life in the evening with shisha bars. You might enjoy a cold beverage at the Camel Bar or one of the many smaller bars along the bay.

After-hours parties are aplenty at the famous Pacha. The Buddha Bar and Hard Rock Café also turn into nightclubs with DJs playing music until the wee hours of the morning. The Hard Rock Café has a special on Wednesday nights: for 200LE, a wrist band will give you drinks all night long.

Continuing south along the coastline is Om Sid and Hadaba, providing great views of the Red Sea and Tiran. Il Mercato is a modern shopping centre with outlets like Starbucks, Cilantro and a few international restaurants.

Down the street is Alf Leila, a large Egyptian bazaar selling various goods and plenty of shisha bars. Alf Leila also has Fantasia, which offers an evening show of belly dancing, whirling dervishes, and a man that plays with cobras. The show starts at 11PM and tickets cost 25LE. The Old Sharm Market is a 10LE-taxi ride from Om Sid and has a more laidback atmosphere, selling typical tourist goods, but also nice fruit stands and local food such as koshary and shawerma.

Where to Eat:
The Buddha Bar serves up good sushi and other Asian-inspired cuisine, but if you feel like a burger it is best to head to the Hard Rock Café. Fayrouz is on the second floor of the central mall and serves pretty good Lebanese cuisine. After dinner, save room for dessert; the Vanilla Pastry Shop is to die for.

Sites Worth Seeing:
The most famous part of Sharm El Sheikh is Ras Mohamed, located at the southern tip of the Peninsula. Ras Mohamed covers 480 square kilometres and is one of Egypt's National Marine Sanctuaries. The entry fee into Ras Mohamed park is 5 Euros (40LE). If you are a little adventurous, you might enjoy renting a motorcycle to get there for 300LE a day. Follow the road until it turns to dirt; then signs to either Yolanda or Sharks Observatory will take you to spectacular beaches. It is best to pack a lunch and have a picnic on the beach, and you will need to bring your own chairs, towels and snorkelling gear.

For a taste of something a little different, take a 2.5 hour drive to Mount Sinai. The Cathedral of Saint Catharine protects the legendary burning bush. To climb Mount Sinai (2285 meters), you can either go on foot or take a camel; but be aware that the camel ride will only take you to the beginning of the stairs, the rest is up to you.

From Ras Nusrani to Ras Mohamed and from the top of Mount Sinai to the bottom of the Red Sea, Sharm El Sheikh has it all. With all the natural beauty surrounding the area and the variety of activities, it is sure to become a favourite destination.
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  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
  • Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh: A Veteran's Guide
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About Writer
Daryl Kane
Written by:
Daryl Kane
Publish Date:
15/03/2011
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