Thanks to the addition of an international airport in 2001, Marsa Alam is fast becoming a premium tourist destination, especially for scuba divers. The waters here are brimming with marine life and pristine dive sites. Landlubbers, don’t miss the Emerald Mines and the Temple of Seti I at Khanais.
Observe the underwater world
Marsa Alam is called a resort town. But this is not at all the level of urbanization to which we are accustomed: in fact, Marsa Alam is a separate hotel in the desert, so there are no very interesting historical places and entertainment here. And the main attraction here is unconditionally the sea.
The Red Sea, washing the local shores, is luxurious both in appearance and in content: it is populated to capacity with cute (and not so) marine life. It is home to different types of fish, sea urchins, turtles, dolphins, and even dugongs – in general, everyone you have ever seen in the Jacques-Yves Cousteau program. Moreover, it is very simple to contemplate this whole group: you put on a mask, go into the water, look for a coral reef – and the observation of the underwater world began. Almost every hotel has its own reefs here, the only difference is how difficult or simple it is to get to these reefs. It is believed that one of the most comfortable sea coasts for diving is located near the Maliki a Resort Abu Dabbab… It is located in Abu Dabab Bay where turtles live. There is a soft smooth entry of water, a sandy bottom, and its own reef with a bunch of inhabitants.
But in general, you can admire the underwater world in Marsa Alam almost everywhere – there would be a mask and a desire. Therefore, it is a huge omission to come here and not to snorkel from the heart, not to see coral reefs, schools of colored fish, and a turtle. This is the first and most important thing for which it is generally worth flying to Marsa Alam.
Go on a sailing trip
A yacht trip here is not so much a whim marked “luxury” as a logical continuation of acquaintance with the inhabitants of the Red Sea. Yachts depart from Port Ghalib, a premium resort with multiple hotels. There are also many small shops and several cafes based there – at the same time, you can arrange a promenade and shopping in the evening.
A yacht trip, as a rule, takes almost the whole day: you will be rocked on the waves (stock up on seasickness pills, if necessary), dropped off in places attractive for snorkeling, and at the end, you will be fed lunch. It is here, in the open sea, that you can meet that very dugong. It is important not to try to touch the animal or frighten it, as, unfortunately, many not the most conscious tourists do. Observing the underwater world should be as ethical and friendly as possible towards the inhabitants of the sea.
A boat trip will cost you an average of $ 50. For another $ 25 from above you can practice diving – you will see all the same fish, turtles, and corals, but not from above, but going down to the depth. Unlicensed divers are accompanied by instructors, so everything looks pretty safe.
And do not forget to constantly use sunscreen: during a boat trip, the skin burns once or twice – why do you need these problems.
Take an ATV ride in the desert
Another popular attraction in Egypt is the ATV safari. Entertainment can seem pretty specific, especially if you don’t like all sorts of things like that. But in fact, it’s worth it: you need to go at least in order to see the Egyptian desert at sunset – this is an incredibly picturesque sight. The orange-pink sky immerses in yellow-brown sands and stones, envelops the mountains and everything around. The desert is so beautiful but so indifferent and ruthless to a person – and this feeling is definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life. Here you can also see local Bedouins, who peacefully lead their life in the middle of a lifeless plateau – even domestic animals are raised.
And for the evening, when the sun finally sets, dinner and a cultural program are planned in the desert. By the way, you will have to return from the desert by ATVs after dark. So if you doubt your driving skills, you can sit down as a passenger with a more experienced guide at the very beginning of the trip – some ATVs are designed for two.
Lie on the beach
Usually, they go to Egypt for this, which is absolutely fair. Marsa Alam is very warm for about eight months of the year and just warm for another four. And the beaches are what you need: fine white sand and comfortable sun loungers on the territory of hotels (if the hotel is on the first line, of course). The main bonus for an independent traveler who has not tried the very Egyptian all-inclusive before is that you do not need to pay for sunbeds and umbrellas, as, for example, in European resorts. As if this is a trifle by itself but in fact an important and pleasant nuance. Well, and all sorts of beach bonuses in the form of volleyball, stretching and water aerobics, of course, are included.
And the beaches of Marsa Alam are strewn with beautiful shells, corals, and other derivatives of the sea. And here and there hermit crabs scurry about under their house hats – it looks very funny. Speaking of shells: it is strictly forbidden to take them out of Egypt – this is quite seriously monitored at the airport during baggage checks. We advise you not to take risks and be law-abiding travelers.
Stay in a brand new stylish hotel
Marsa Alam is a relatively young resort, so there are quite a few new accommodations here. It is clear that novelty is not always a guarantee of the quality of service and good service, but it still gives great hopes at least for a comfortable stay and not shabby sofas. From personal experience, we can safely advise two good options.
Firstly, this is Fantazia Resort Marsa Alam 5 * – a pretty hotel that was built especially for European tourists. Here is a cozy and very green area – a real hotel garden. Rooms with sea views or direct access to the pool, jacuzzi, and bars scattered throughout the territory, a cozy beach, and unobtrusive animation are very decent places. Especially for those who are afraid of package Egypt and are filled with stereotypes about such a vacation.
Another worthy option is Lazuli Hotel 5 *. This is a brand new hotel, which was launched literally in 2021. There is even a chance that you will get a number where no one has ever lived before. Here, too, the whole set: nice rooms, swimming pools, bars, a cozy beach. True, for those who are not very confident in swimming, the sea can be a minus: to the depth you need to decently walk along the pontoon through the sandbank, while the depth immediately starts from a rather extreme one. But there is someone to stare at underwater.
Well, the general rules for choosing a hotel are the same as elsewhere: find out what the entry into the sea will be, what view from the room, whether there are slides for children if this is a mandatory item (for example, there are none at Fantazia Resort) and that’s it. in that spirit.
See gentle sunrises and sunsets
As you already understood, it is worth going to Marsa Alam for a calm rest and natural beauty. One of these beauties is the sunrise and sunset skies over the resort. It is painted here with such delicate and juicy colors that this is still a movie! Do not be too lazy to wake up at least once at 5 in the morning to see the sunrise – it is, however, very beautiful. And sunsets in Marsa Alam should be seen exclusively on the seashore.
They are quite early and very impetuous here – the sun literally falls below the horizon in a few minutes – but what colors they are. The azure sea meets the pink sky – and all this is enveloped in a light misty haze. And even if during a vacation it sometimes rolls that package tours are not yours, and there are almost no attractions in the area, this sunset is exactly what you can finally breathe out for – and calmly dive into the beauty that has befallen you.