The simplicity of sun, sea and sand. The luxury of five-star hotels, water sports, shopping and entertainment. This is Sharm el-Sheikh, one of the most accessible and developed tourist resort communities on the Sinai peninsula. All around are Bedouins, colorful tents, mountains and sea. There are small, intimate hotels with modern designs, as well as larger hotel complexes belonging to International chains, plus about all the amenities one could expect of a tourist center, including casinos, discos and nightclubs, golf courses and health facilities. In fact, with diving and snorkeling, windsurfing and other water sports, horses and camel riding, desert safaris, and great nearby antiquities attractions, it is almost impossible for a visitor to ever suffer from boredom. Four miles south the southern section of the town stands on a cliff overlooking the port and is a great view. Na'ama Beach is one of the center of the tourist activities. Located just north of Sharm, this area is developing into a resort town of its own. Most hotels at Na'ama Bay have their own, private beaches with comfortable amenities such as chairs, shades and even bars. Shark's Bay is also nearby, and again is a growing resort community with more and more to offer, along with several diving centers. The small harbor known as Sharm el-Moiya is located next to the civil harbor, has accommodations for boats, and includes a Yacht Club with rooms.
For those who live to shop, the Sharm El-Sheikh mall provides shops with both foreign and local products, including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, pottery and books.
It has been said that this is a must visit for all diving enthusiasts. There are many diving sites along the 10 mile beach between Sharm el-Sheikh and Ras Nusrani.
I've often wondered why the Red Sea has its famed high visibility conditions underwater...
Many theory abound to try and explain to this. The high salinity of the water ? The lack of rivers dumping sediment into the ocean ?
I'm sure that these factors contribute to the clear water here. But, I put forward to you, that the main reason that you can see so clearly underwater in Egypt, is because here, even the fish are potty trained...
Obviously one of the main things about shopping in Egypt is the custom of haggling. The shopkeepers will offer a ridiculous price for a product and you should give something way way below this!
We bought an underwater camera from a local shop near to our hotel for LE100 (this was after a LOT of haggling), however, we went to the Kodak shop in Naama Bay where they were priced on the shelves at LE75.... !
I suppose a lot of the local shopkeepers perhaps don't make as much as the ones based centrally so I don't blame them for trying to make a bit more money out of the tourists!
Packing for Sharm El Sheikh
You don't need a lot of stuff - you can easily wash things like underwear and t-shirts out in your hotel (do it while you're showering and help save water) and they'll quickly dry. Take an old pair of trainers or shoes that are closed and comfortable if you think you might travel beyond your resort - the desert is sand, of course, but also contains stones that are very annoying in your flip-flops!
Take a hat or something you can wrap around your head to protect yourself from the sun. I recommend taking all your preferred toiletries and medicines, and include something for a jippy tummy - hopefully you won't need it....
Make sure you take high factor suncream - we used two bottles of factor 30 in a week. An underwater camera would be fun if you think you might snorkel or scuba - or even to take photos of the coral and fish from the jetties. You might like to take your own snorkelling gear but it is easily available and cheap to buy or hire in Sharm. Make sure you have something you can wear that covers your knees and shoulders (and the bits between) if you think you may visit any religious places. Dressing conservatively will also mean you draw less attention to yourself when you are out and about - this is a Muslim country.
The area is just perfect for scuba diving. You're very close to the National Park of Ras Mohammed and the famous Strait of Tiran.
Furthermore there are so many reefs close to the coast that you can do shore dives almost everywhere. Equipment can be rented in all the diving centres. Take your own equipment if you can because renting is expensive: 20 US$ per day.