Marsa Alam is an ancient fishing village washed by the Red Sea, which in recent years has become one of the most important seaside resorts in Egypt. An ideal place for those who like to relax on the beach, as well as for those who like snorkeling and diving thanks to the coral reef. It is an ideal starting point to visit the most important Egyptian archaeological sites and enjoy the charm of the desert and discover Bedouin traditions, perhaps with the help of our guidebooks.
History of the city
Its name means “flag port” (the population used to raise flags in the sea so that boats could find their way back), but Marsa Alam is a typical fishing village, which eventually became a tourist destination, thanks to the opening of the international airport in 2003. The city is located near the tropic of Cancer, where the Sahara meets the Red Sea and mangroves, palm groves alternate with the sea, rich in marine flora and fauna due to the presence of a coral reef. The latter is highly appreciated by divers for the presence of uncontaminated areas where hammerhead sharks, turtles, dolphins, and dugongs can be found.
Wadi El Himal Park
The area, whose name means “Valley of Camels”, was declared a national park in 2003 to protect not only an ecosystem rich in landscapes, animal and plant species, but also archaeological sites of significant interest. Among these mountains are the oldest emerald mines in the world. The park is home to an important Bedouin community. Inside you will find what is called the “Egyptian Maldives”, atolls surrounded by beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. To get to this paradise, you will need a boat trip from the port of Hamat (45 minutes).
Marsa Alam is one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. To discover the wonderful depths of the Red Sea, just go snorkeling or diving and you will discover numerous marine species, including turtles, stingrays, butterfly fish, and even Picasso fish or sea eagles. Sometimes you can even see a friendly dugong. Not forgetting about corals and aquatic plants. You must have a camera suitable for diving. The barrier is located a few meters from the beach, so it welcomes guests, sometimes just swimming at the surface of the water: a fantastic experience even for children.
Here we are on one of the most popular beaches in Marsa Alam, both because of the services offered and because of the water quality. Don’t be surprised if you see individuals of giant turtles or dugongs, known as “sea cows”, approaching you. These are particularly timid animals that can be seen during the mating season. Corals and colorful fish will be the other main characters of this sea, perfect for a relaxing swim or scuba diving lesson. Abu Dabbab is surrounded by numerous elegant resorts offering plenty of entertainment.
Temple of Horus
This attraction is a great opportunity to take a day trip to the vicinity of Mars Alam, or rather to Edfu, where there is a well—preserved temple dedicated to the god Horus, usually depicted in traditional iconography with the body of a man and the head of a hawk. According to historians, it was built in 237 BC. The archaeological site, protected by walls and columns, is rich in inscriptions, drawings, and hieroglyphs: hunting scenes, caravans of traders, and herds of animals are presented.
The interior of the desert stretches for miles along the Egyptian landscape. In the part closest to the Red Sea, the desert is formed by hills of metamorphic rock and is composed of canyons formed by the passage of a stream (most of the year is dry), which are commonly called wadis. There are many opportunities for organized excursions, ranging from the opportunity to visit Bedouin communities, perhaps sipping tea or enjoying the sunset, to a jeep tour of the dunes. The more adventurous can also explore the desert on a camel or go to the opening of the canyon. There is no shortage of moments to discover local dishes and traditions, starting with belly dancing.
Marsa Alam is an ideal place not only for tropical fish and turtles but also for dolphins. 15 kilometers south of the city there is a curious horseshoe-shaped reef: a volcanic caldera surrounded by sand and covered with corals, which has become home to dolphins. This place is characterized by lively marine life. While scuba diving, you can meet several specimens of tuna, barracuda, and white-finned sharks. To get there, you need to rely on an organized tour.
Not far from the Wadi El Himal National Park, you can enjoy the pristine beauty of the Bay of Sharm el Luli, famous for its sandy bottom and the tranquility it offers. You will plunge into a fabulous environment, ideal for those who like to enjoy the sun, swim, and lose track of time. You can also get here thanks to organized excursions. Nearby you can rent the necessary equipment for snorkeling, as you can see various tropical fish, including moray eels and scorpion fish. There are no bars and restaurants on the beach.
In this city located on the border with Sudan, you will get an unusual experience in the wilderness.
Shalateen is popular because there is a real camel market here. It is here that Sudanese shepherds, easily recognized by the whips tied to their belts, transport their camels to sell them to traders arriving from Egypt. It will be an unusual experience to live between trading, excitement, and special nature.