Prepare for the heat!
Favorite thing: Ok fellow tourists, you may have heard like us before we left for Sharm, that it might be wise to take a sweater for the evening (we were travelling early May). I'm so glad we didn't bother!
We reckoned that daytime temps must have topped 40 degrees......as you can see from the photo, it was even 32 degrees at 8pm, and that was with a cloudless sky. A cloudless sky usually cools things down a little as there are no clouds keeping the heat in.
This was definately the hottest destination we have visited and you can see from my travel pages where else we have been to compare it to.
Fondest memory: So, my advice is if you are travelling between April - September, rest assured it will be hot hot hot!!
I am a sun lover and if it wasn't for the lovely breeze, I think I would have struggled in this heat (can't believe I'm saying that!).
Therefore, I would advise you that you are likely to fry during the months of June - September, where temperatures are WAY into the 40's according to our travel rep, Sayed of Cosmos.
One thing that did help us was a true once a day sun protection lotion called Ultrasun, which we got from www.ifsogo.com in the UK. This helped us not to get burned like with other sun lotions we have used in the past where it's easy to forget to reapply it after you come out of the pool, or after a few hours in the sun. With Ultrasun, we applied it once in the morning and then could forget about reapplying for the whole day :-)
learn some arabic!
Favorite thing: You should expect to be hassled to buy stuff anywhere in Egypt and Sharm is no exception even though it's nowhere near as bad as Cairo or Luxor. It's a really good idea to learn a bit of arabic to put off pushy salesmen as they'll think you're a bit more knowledgeable than the really 'green' tourist.
salaam = hello
la'a shockren = no thank you
fil mish mish! = in your dreams! (a good one to quote when you actually want to buy something but they're giving you a ridiculous starting price!)
kif halek = how are you.
don't be rude to salesmen they're just doing their job but don't get talked into buying something you don't want. be firm but polite is a good rule. don't get talked into going into someone's shop so they can write you out a business card or address of their family in england - it can get a bit embarrassing when you 'escape' when the realisation hits you that they're jus on the make.
Fondest memory: the people are lovely. Aside from the hard sell people are keen to talk to you and are generally very happy and hospitable people (even on an average wage of LE200 a month ($30) they manage to keep smiling). Our pool barman - Ahmed even took us out for a sheesha pipe and a coffee one night and fitted the bill for it. Top man! (He did make lots of tips off us mind you). Don't go over the top with tipping. Most places charge a 12% service charge. DO tip generously though when you get extra special service. Our house keeping guy - Essan was superb. We left him £10 english which was probably around 2 weeks wages. It felt nice and made his day.
Favorite thing: Just remember everything you wish to buy has a negotiable price, there are one or two shops that I came across in Fantasia that had fixed price stickers on things, but this is very unusual. Haggle for everything start as low as you can ( hubby would start at a penny!)and look to pay about a third to a half of what he first said it was worth! Just enjoy it, dont feel aggro.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Family Travel
The other beach...
Favorite thing: Maya Bay, Moya Bay or Noya Bay ? I 've seen lots of different spellings... lets just call it the other beach.
Located on the otherside of Oum el Seid from Naama Bay, this used to be where all the dive boats were moored until they were moved to the next bay.
Iberotel Palace, Seti Sharm, Beach Albatros and Tourquoise Hotels are located on this beach.
Fondest memory: A pleasant and clean beach. Not much coral and a very gradual slope to the deeper water.
Banks and Money Exchange
Favorite thing: There are plenty of banks, ATMs and money exchanges in Sharm. I only had my ATM cards (as well as a few Egyptian Pounds from a previous trip) and that all I needed.
It may be adviseable to bring some US Dollars into the country when you need to pay for your visa. I think they also accept British Pounds (see other travel tip)
Mangrove swamps, Ras Mohammed
Favorite thing: The mangroves growing in Ras Mohammed are important ecologically.. Mangrove forests are used in stabilising coastal lines and maintaining deposits also serve as breeding place for fish and other aquatic creatures as well as settlement haven for migrating and resident birds. They are truly lovely
Sunset in Sharm
Favorite thing: One of the most amazing sights to be seen in Sharm has go to be the wonderful sunset.
My favorite place to watch this fabulous happening has got to be at Terrassina beach in Old Sharm. This is located next to the Iberotel Palace. There is a little path next to the hotel car park which you may miss if you dont know where it is.
I have mentioned Terrassina previously in restaurant tips, but really its not just about the food, the ambience and feeling of relaxation is second to none. After a lovely hot day topping up the tan, then comes the sunset delights.
Fondest memory: As the sun begins to set you can look out on to the bay and see the magical colours of the sky begin to change from brightest blue to fiery red and then the darkeness begins.
Sit with your friends on rugs and cushions on the beach. Listen to the chilled out sounds on the massive speakers and watch the fire glow in the dark. Smoking a nice shisha pipe, could it get any more perfect? I dont think so...
Commodes of the Deep...
Favorite thing: Ive seen many things under water, but anytime you jump in the water, you invariably run across new sights. And my first visit to the Red Sea was no exception.
what was it, Hammerheads ? Whale Sharks ? Giant Octopus ? No, no, no... Twas a debris field of toilets apparently dumped by a ill-fated vesel some years ago on the south side of Ras Mohhmmed National Park...
While the wreck itself has since tumbled off the ledge into the briny abyss, the killing field of toilets remain to remind of all of its misfortune...
- Road Trip
Convenient Rest Facilities
Favorite thing: And it goes without saying that having the convenience of an accessible under water Water Closet facility is not lost on the local diving community.
As such, here you can see a happy diver, in need of relief, decides to use to the local facilities rather than observing the time honour practice of pissing in one's wet suit...
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: 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...
Used Car Lot
Favorite thing: Used car for sale: As is, no warranty, Slightly water damaged. $2,000 EP or best offer.
Part of the cargo that the Thistlegorm dumped on the Red Sea ocean floor included these trucks. (There does appear to still be some usable tread on the tires...)
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: If you will change your money in the hotel, the rate will be bad. The best way is if you meet a local person, that he changes the money for you in some of the shops. For example:
in hotel I got 6,12 punds for 1$. On the "street" i got 6,9EP. So it does make a difference.
On the picture: Naama bay at nite
Favorite thing: The best thing on offer on Sharm is without a doubt the myriad of stunning marine life and this should be the highlight of any holiday here.
There are a number of famous and interesting dive sites including the Thistlegorm and Shark and Yolanda reef.
For those who aren't divers, the snorkelling is fantastic and the visability is supreme. Also because the water is so salty even those who are nervous of the sea should find their confidence improves hugely here.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of my time in Sharm is diving Shark and Yolanda reef at Ras Mohammad, which is listed as one of the worlds top ten sites.
I endured terrible seasickness and spent my time on the boat lying on the deck as green as the ocean before entering the crystal clear water. The minute I entered the water the sickness instantly disappeared and my attention turned to the kaleidoscope below me. Needless to say my air ran out all too soon - I could have spent hours down there!
- Diving and Snorkeling
Sun 'n Fun
Favorite thing: There is a Sun 'n Fun excursion desk at the Hilton Fayrouz, Novotel and Marriott (on the beach). You can book the following types of excursions a day in advance:
Arabian Horse riding USD20
Camel rides in the desert USD15Discovery Glass bottomed boat LE55
Ras Mohammed snorkelling USD20
St Catherine & Dahab USD40
Mount Moses & St Catherine USD45
Coloured Canyon, Dolphin Beach & Dahab USD50
Bedouin Dinner USD35
Quad runners USD35
By plane to:
Cairo USD 285
Fondest memory: www.sunnfunsinai.com
Coral Reefs of the Red Sea
Favorite thing: The main attraction for the tourists in Sharm-El-Sheikh is Red Sea with it's wonderful underwater world.
Scuba diving, snorkeling and boats with glass bottom (for those who cannot swim).
The best places consider to be in a National park zones - Ras Mohhamed, Ras Nasrani, Tiran, etc. But my experience shows that reef near by your hotel could be even better :)))
Fondest memory: This photo was taken through the glass bottom of the boat - this is really not the best way to observe reefs :(, though this photo is rather good.
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