Sharm el Sheikh Egypt
In our opinion is Sharm el Sheikh Egypt a wonderfull place to enjoy the beach and sun.
The sea is just stunning and there are very good snorkling options. From all the places we visited, the best place for snorkling after The Maledives. However the Maldives is not a fair comparision as it cannot get any better. It is one of our favourites on the Real Travel Blog.
For us, comming from the Netherlands, the flight time is a big advantage. With a flight of about 4,5 hours you are at your destination.
Especially if you have a shorter vacation this is a big plus, not spending to much time on travelling.
Sharm el Sheikh Egypt.
Our first time in Egypt, back in 2000, was in Sharm El Sheikh. The center of Sharm el Sheik is more modern than other cities in Egypt.
You see women in short skirts on the streets, you have casino`s and quite some bars and restaurants.
The 2nd time in this area was in Taba. We believe it used to be one the nicest areas in Egypt, but terrorism destroyed the tourist industry.
Things to keep in mind
Tourism seems to be slow in the area, due to fear of terrorism. As revenues for the hotels dropped, less money is spent on maintenance. This will at leas apply for some hotels. Therefore, it is more important than ever to check the recent reviews on TripAdvisor.
Another downside of the lower number of tourists is that the sales people in the street have less business and will even be more aggressive towards tourists to sell. It also seems a habit that they increase prices. It looks like they want to earn the same money but divide it by less tourists.
Make sure you negotiate hard on your prices!
Things not to miss
- A snorkeling trip to Tiran Island is a must do. It is one of the better snorkeling spots we have seen.
- When you are in Taba, a daytrip visiting the Dead Sea and Jerusalem is a real experience, you will not easily forget.
Accommodation Sharm el Sheikh Egypt.
We forgot the name of the hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, but also doubt it that it is still existing.
It was a 5-star hotel, with a beautiful looking swimming pool. However, after a few minutes in the water you did not feel your legs anymore as it was freezing cold.
It was also rather close to the airport, which made it loud. When a plane passed you could not hear the person next to you anymore.
In Taba Heights we stayed at the Intercontinental, which was a nice hotel at a good location but seems to be closed. The only downside is that it is very isolated. There is just a number of hotels and a few shops in the area.
The Real Travel Blog strongly advice to do a careful research on your hotel before you book it. Room pictures, like everywhere, are always pictures of the best room they have. And sometimes even decorated by designers to have it look better.
You should check TripAdisor wherever you go, but for Sharm el Sheikh Egypt it is even more important.
Food & drinks.
Both our stays were on All Inclusive basis.
In Sharm El Sheik it was bad. Food was quite terrible, and drinks were warm with a small selection (for example no diet drinks at all), and huge waiting lines for the drinks.
The Intercontinental was quite good in terms of food and drinks.
From the Real Travel Blog, we believe that the All-inclusive you for example find in the Riu Palace hotels in places like the Domanican Republic island, Playa del Carmen or Cancun Beach you will not find in Egypt.
Many hotels are a bit further out of the city center areas, and in the direct environment there is not much. In these cases, all-inclusive is a good option. We are also not impressed with the quality of restaurants you will find.
And anyway, with the addition you pay in price now it is defiantly worth it. Even if you consider eating out a few times.
Weather in Sharm el Sheikh Egypt
We strongly advice to avoid the months of July and August as it will be very, very hot. The winter months are to cold to enjoy the beach. And honestly speaking beside the beach and sea there is not much to do.
We prefer the autumn, like for example October. The seawater will be very warm and nice to swim.
Don`t forget there is always a sea breeze and there is a dry climate. This can make the evenings chilly even if it is hot during the daytime.
It will also cool down quite quick after about 16.00.
Getting to Sharm el Sheikh Egypt
Direct flights are mainly operated by holiday airlines like TUI. During the high season there will be many flights. With a flight time of about 4,5 hours it is ideal if you want to catch some sun in the autumn or spring.
At the end or beginning of the season you can sometimes find very good prices. A return ticket you can find for around 100€. As also prices of hotels are very low now, you can have a very cheap week of vacation on the beach. A hotel like the Renaissance you can find in May already for like 30€ a night!
If you prefer a standard airline, most like you must switch planes in Cairo.
Already back in 2005 we saw, when we went from our hotel to the center of Sharm El Sheik, that there was a big military presence watching in the direction of the desert. With all things happened over the last years, we will not go to this destination now.
Also, not all tour operators are offering this destination anymore, but even if you find something, the security measures take away your holiday feeling.
The Sinai dessert is seen as a place where terrorism is prevalent. If you want to go to Egypt, Hurghada might be the better option.
However, you never now. For any destination in Egypt you must do your research on the current situation before you start your vacation. Things can change quite quick.
People & culture
One of the big letdowns for us is the continuous hassle. Everybody tries to sell you something. The story that somebody is working in your hotel we have heard in the meantime many times.
When we are in vacation, we want to relax and sometimes just take a walk. In this case we don`t need to be bothered continuously by people trying to sell you something. And these salespeople can be aggressive in selling you things you have no interest in.
We are also not a fan of the bargaining process. Staring at ridiculous prices, and afterwards arriving at just a fraction of the price, is one time fun. However, we don`t want to do this continuously.
On the other hand, it is part of the culture, you should respect it. But starting prices for tourists are a multiple of prices quoted to locals.
Another point we don`t like are the standard jokes you ill hear many times when you go for example on a snorkeling trip.
For these reasons, we prefer to fly a few hours extra and go for example for a vacation in Abu Dhabi or see the best at Dubai, where there is less hassle. And if long flights are not an issue for you, consider amazing Thailand.
Especially now, with terrorist risks, Sharm El Sheikh is only advisable when you are looking for a beach only vacation.
We are no persons who get afraid to quick, but we would not feel comfortable making daytrips over land in this area.
We have been 4 times in Egypt so far, but the chance we will go again on a short term is rather small. Beside the beach there is not too much to do. The impressive attractions like the Pyramids we have visited.