Africa, Egypt

A Trip to Egypt – Part 6 Sharm El Sheikh

After a few days in Jordan, it was time to return to Egypt to continue our trip and check out the famous Red Sea. If you enter Egypt’s Sinai peninsula through Sharm El Sheikh and you’re staying in the resort area, you may qualify for a free permission stamp so you won’t need a visitor visa. This stamp allows you to stay up to 14 days in this region. Check with your nearest consulate for requirements. I had a 1-hour wait at the airport for immigration to confirm the case for my passport. The end result being Trinidad & Tobago passports always require a visitor visa to enter Egypt no matter the port of entry.

As a side note, we investigated sailing to and from Jordan but much of the feedback we received suggested that the ferry service was unreliable. All tour guides recommended that we take flights. In Sharm El Sheikh, you’ll also notice extra security checks done on vehicles before entering the resorts and airport compound.

The Hotel

We checked in to the Radisson Blu Sharm el Sheikh resort (now the Parrotel Beach Resort) located at Nabq Bay with the intention of visiting Mt. Sinai, Moses Mountain and St. Catherine’s Monastery. We were a bit tired from all the activities thus far, so we changed our plans and opted to spend the time mostly lazing at the resort. Maybe I’ll go back one day.

Nabq Bay, The Hotel
The Beach at the Resort, Nabq Bay

The beach at the resort is a little rocky and has a high barrier of coral reef which makes for great snorkelling on site. When the tide is in, the beach itself is calm (because of the barrier) and good for swimming. When the tide is out, the beach becomes more of a wading pool and you can find a lot of black starfish camouflaged along the shore if you look carefully.

Black Star Fish
Black Star Fish, Nabq Bay Red Sea Resort Area

The property has lots of swimming pools and beach activities such as yoga and volleyball to keep you busy during low tide. There’s also nightly live entertainment by dancers and the hotel’s animation team.

The Hotel

We met an independent tour guide in the hotel’s lobby, he always seemed to appear out of nowhere. He actually reminded us of Sesame Street’s Lefty (the shady muppet who tries to sell Ernie an invisible ice cream cone and the letter O). “Lefty”, turned out to be a pretty good guide. He made the best arrangements for a Red Sea submarine tour and short dive trip. There were options available at the hotel but these were half day and full day catamaran tours.

The Submarine Tour

A shuttle picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the submarine boarding point. We passed through the Old Town of Sharm el Sheikh, which has the Sahaba Mosque, one of the prettiest mosques I’ve ever seen.

Al Sahaba Mosque
Al Sahaba Mosque, Sharm El Sheikh

The red sea is renowned for its biodiversity, the ride aboard the Seascope Submarine was well worth it and lasts about 1 hour. We saw many species of fish, colourful coral and pods of dolphins. The ride is very smooth, so no worries for those (like me) who get seasick.

Reef view

Seascope Submarine

My first dive

Later that day, Lefty picked us up at the hotel to take us to lunch and then the dive site. This was my first dive ever. After getting into all the gear, I sat at the edge of the boat and was told to lean back into the water at which point I momentarily chickened out and said, “Nope!” I was then given a nudge (literally) and tipped into the water. The instructor was very nice and patient but most of my efforts were spent trying to get my ear to pop to relieve the pressure. Conclusion, the red sea is pretty amazing but I’d probably stick to snorkelling. As a bonus my sister got to drive the boat.

Sharm El Sheikh Dive

Next stop, back to Cairo for religious Cairo.

Savita


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25 thoughts on “A Trip to Egypt – Part 6 Sharm El Sheikh

  1. Gorgeous pictures of Egypt. When I see pictures like these, it makes me want to dust off my passport and book a flight…

    People that I personally know who have been to Egypt tell me that it’s a beautiful country. Like anywhere else, you have areas it ‘s not recommended to venture into. But the vacation spots and tourist attractions highlight the beauty and diversity of the country. Thanks for letting us take a peek…

  2. I have never been to Egypt but your article about Sharm El SheiK looks very tempting. The diving in those crisp blue waters, very alluring, but my diving days are over. But it would be great just touring around and taking in the delights of the place and sampling the food. perhaps when i am a bit richer this will be on my holiday list.

    1. I think my diving days are over too lol. But the red sea is amazing, those photos weren’t even very deep. There are many many many dive sites. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be rich, our 5 star hotel cost 30USD a night, a diving lesson cost about 25 USD. There are a lot of options for all budgets.

  3. Looked more like a deliberate toss over than a nudge for your dive. :p Lol.
    Amazing pics from the submarine tour though.

    1. Hi Kevan! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Lol!! yes it was more of a toss over… what did i expect right? After putting on all the gear and then saying NOPE! What i saw below was unreal though, photos don’t do justice.

  4. Hi Savita,

    Wow these are great pictures! I have never really considered visiting Egypt before, but I may just need to add it to my bucket list now! I love to snorkel and have never seen black starfish like that before. Very cool!

  5. Hello once again Savita, another great blog on Egypt. Sharm El Sheikh is so gorgeous!!! I really enjoy the pictures that you have uploaded (a picture speaks a thousand words) and it really makes me want to visit this place so bad. I have never went diving before, and I’m planning to do so very soon. Thanks again, and keep up the great work!!!

  6. Wow that looks like a lot of fun! And your photos are beautiful.

    I have always wanted to visit Egypt, but my dreams of it are all pyramids and date palms. Is there a lot of pre-planning to do to access everything that a person may want to visit or are people pretty much free to visit where they want in Egypt?

    1. Hi Irma.
      Your dreams are true, but there’s so much more than just that. You can check out some of my other posts on Egypt as well. You don’t need a lot of pre planning, but I do recommend it if you are unfamiliar with the language. I used a tour operator who handled the arrangements. You do need tourist permits for some areas, but the guides arrange it. Other than that, I do recommend guides at the sites. If you aren’t versed in Egyptian history, you’re going to miss a lot of details and you won’t appreciate it as much.

  7. It can be one of the best place to visit for vacation or any relaxing tour. The landscape. urbanization and more importantly natural biodiversity in waters area seems interesting and beautiful to enjoy this kind of place. Me too would like to visit such wonder place, if will get chance.

  8. Wow, these are great pics of Sharm El Sheikh. I have been myself twice and loved it, especially the snorkeling which I found great as I was too scared to go proper diving. I also LOVE their mint tea out there, I have tried many times to recreate it back home and it’s just not the same so I guess I will just need to go back…again 🙂

    1. Yes, the teas are amazing. The leaves for hibiscus tea is used to make a seasonal cold beverage in my home country at Christmas time. I never knew it was used for tea before this trip.
      You should definitely give diving a go, you’ll never know until your try.

  9. This looks amazing! The submarine trip especially looks so awesome to me. I love exploring the under water world. Great pictures, definitely made me want to visit! 🙂

    -Sarae

  10. Great post!
    I have been in Egypt and in Sharm el Sheikh too, and I did snorkeling for the first time there. I didn’t have the opportunity to take pictures, but looking at yours I remembered all the amazing time I had exploring the Red Sea.
    Really nice post and beautiful pictures!

  11. Great article, thanks for the tips! Indeed, Egypt is a country that needs no introduction, with its gorgeous sweeping deserts as well as some of the most iconic structures on earth. However, the country has one of the highest numbers of tourist targeted scams globally.

    Do be wary of the unlicensed touts, papyrus scroll museums, camel handlers, tours with hidden extras, Valley of the Kings photography scam, show me your ticket scam, public beach scam, inflated prices, friendship gifts, postcard scam, scarf photo scam, entry visa scam, horse carriage scam, felucca scam, tourist menu scam and many more!

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