Just along the road in Taba going to Nuweiba, you can spot a large stone island at the Gulf of Aqaba lying about 240 meters from the shore with a stone fort and an Egyptian Flag. the island and fort is called Pharoah island, named after one of the egyptian emperors Ramses III who made fortifications here. The island also served as a Crusader Fort that guards the the trade routes from egypt to jordan in the middle ages and it was captured by the forces of Saladin from Crusader King Baldwin 1 and was converted into a Mamluk fort and housing. It is now one of the Unesco World Heritage Sites of Egypt and is a museum and there are actually ferries going to and from the fort from the mainland from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm everyday for tours.
from the Island, you can see the views of 4 countries, namely, South Sinai in Egypt, Aquaba in Jordan, Haql in Saudi Arabia and Eliat in Israel.
like what i've said, the main attraction in Taba is the Taba Heights area, which a a large self-contained community composed of various hotels, inns, villas and even a casino. this huge resort is about 20 kilometers away from the Taba Border to Eliat (and 45 kilometers north of Nuweiba). The Resort complex is owned by an large egyptian comglomerate, the Orascom and inside the complex is a golf course, a water park, several international chain hotels like the mariott and intercontinental and sofitell and hyatt, several restaurants and private villas for rent. Unfortunately, we did not have time to stop here as we were on a pilgrimage instead of a vacation.
Taba is part of the Huge Egyptian Red Sea Riviera stretching from the border up to the tip of the south sinai and in between are thousands of kilometers of beaches, reefs, diving places and although the towns of Nuweiba and Dahab and Sharm al Shiekh, Taba has it's fair share of tourists and the most popular area where they stay is at the Taba Heights, located more than 20 kilometers away from the border crossing and is nearer to nuweiba.
the beaches along taba have a goldenb sand color and the water are bluish green (who named the area the red sea?).
From now you can go on a cruise on the gulf of Aquaba with Aqua Sport on a glass bottomed boat ..you can stay dry and still have access to the stunningly beautiful underwater world..a trip not to be missed ...prices are 15 Euros for an adult ticket and 10 Euros for a child under 12 for an hours trip
Parasailing is now included among a lot of other water activities you can take part in at Aqua Sport in the Hilton Hotel in Taba.
Parasailing can be done most days with fair wind and can be a 1,2 or even 3 person ride with a maximum weight of 150kg in total...prices are in Euros at 35 single , 50 double and 75 triple for at least a 10 minute ride ( or longer at the discrection of the speedboat driver)
You can also go on the *fun ring* for 15 Euros single and 20 Euros double for a 10 minute ride and there is a Banana Boat available for maximum 5 people (minimum3) for 5 Euros per person for a 10 minute ride.
Also available are other watersports equipment to hire.
You can pay for these activities in Euros, American Dollars, Egyptian Pounds and Israeli Shekels and a daily conversion rate chart is available at the desk.
There are always trained life guards on duty while these activities are going on.
We are both qualified divers and have been to Egypt many times and in many places and Aquasport in the grounds of the Hilton in Taba is probably the only one we will go back to time and time again!! (high praise indeed coming from The Man)...their manner of working is excellent...the staff are superb and super friendly and not too "in your face" which we appreciate ...you dont need someone all over you when your busy with your kit or you just have a swimsuit on...they know when to stand back which we like ...the set up works well and is easy to understand the rules and follow them even for beginners.
They cater for all levels of divers and non divers alike...you can go on guided snorkelling trips...you can be a non-diver on the dive boat you can do a try dive or take a beginners course or an advanced course or even join them to become a dive master!!!...you can go on sunset cruises ...its all available right there...they speak quite a few languages there including russian and german
And why not?...maybe because I am dangerous on a vehicle but theres not a lot to run into out there I suppose...The guides explain the vehicle and how it works..they explain either the 1 hour or 2 hour route depending which you have chosen and they make sure you have a helmet that fits and then with your lead driver you are OFF! (both times we have been its just been us and the lead driver....perfect) ...you drive out to a bedouin tent for some tea or water and then you do another bit of the course and stop again for a picture opportunity and then its back to the fun obstacle part of the trac for a few goes round and then back to base...2 hours is best and the time like the scenery flies by!
You can arrange a free pick up and drop off from many of the hotels in Taba and Taba heights and you can choose from many different start times
It is a wonder to see that this monastery was built in the middle of nowhere.
The church is a typical Orthodox church, so similar to the ones I have seen in Romania & Russia. Do take advantage to go and visit the Icon Museum, the icons are fantastic, some have preserved their colour for 100s of years.
The burning bush is fenced off now but viewable, too many visitors disrespecting it apparently.
The journey through the mountains/desert is spectacular with occasional glimpses of Bedouin settlements.
Go snorkelling or diving. The red sea is the most beautiful place in the world. Although the seas of the Caribbean will always appeal, and the likes of the Maldives or Great barrier reef in Australia. In Egypt you will dive into the clearest and warmest sea in the world, with the most species of fish anywhere in the world, endless coral reefs and it's joint top in the world for proffesional and amateur divers and snorkellers. It's also the saltiest sea in the world other than the dead sea. You can go to the beach for water sports too, such as para gliding and jet skiing, wind surfing, pedlo's and boats. The best things in Egypt away from the tombs and ancient grounds such as the pyramids are definately in the water. The sun is obviously a great attraction too, and considering it reaches 47-48 degrees in the peak of summer you can understand why. To enjoy this sun without just bathing by the pool try excursions like quad biking in the desert. You get a guide to take you throught the mountains into the open desert. You can go two's up on the quad or have one each. You stop off half way for a drink in a Bedouin tent and then turn back. You get the chance to take some pictures of each other up in between the mountains.
Snorkelling and scuba diving can be done in Taba at Waterworld, which is next to the port. A free shuttle bus runs between the hotels and the Waterworld complex. Also does waterskiing, paragliding etc.
We booked a Red Sea day cruise which stopped off Heron Island and we snorkelled around the reefs near the island. For about £30 it included dinner and snorkelling equipment.
There are a few small reefs to snorkel just off the hotels beaches, the better fish are seen along the jettys.
When we were snorkelling around these reefs, the M25 of Jellyfish suddenly turned up. I boxed one on the head by accident, but luckily they were pink ones which dont sting. We also saw turtles, stingray, puffa fish.
Just as me and my girlfriend was now going up too do this a storm come over and weather conditions prevented us from doing it i was really gutted as it looked so much fun this costs 20GBPp.p and they did refund us our moneyp.s they only have about 2 storms a year here in Taba so the chances of this happening if you want to give a go are very slim.
From Taba Water World at a cost of 40GBP a Red Sea cruise and Snorkle trip is avalible for this trip you will need your passport as you will enter neutral waters as you a taking to varouis Reefs and snorkling spots of the Red Sea and it`s coral lunch is included in this trip.
Like most the tours in Taba this is very avalible and is run on a number of different days with a number of different tour companies, i`m not sure of the price for this trip but be warned as the Monastery apparently can be very busy and touristy with some pickpocketing happening frequently.
Your excursion in to the desert is with a local guide who will see that you take the proper safety precedure and that you can handle the bikes, this trip lasts about half a day from mid morning to mid afternoon and costs about 40-50GBP. be careful in the hotter months as it is in the desert.
Readily avalible from all the beach resorts in Taba and Taba Heights is a jeep safari through the desert to the Coloured Canyon, please note this is not a day trip for the less mobile as it involves lots of climbing and moving through some small places.