The things to do in Sharm el-Sheikh on Egypt’s Red Sea coast naturally include diving, snorkelling and water sports, but some very different options too.
You can take a trip into the Sinai Desert to see Mount Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery (the site of the Burning Bush), enjoy Sharm’s new nightlife hub, Soho Square, and make easy trips to places like Cairo, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, to Jerusalem, and to Petra in Jordan.
Being based in Sharm el-Sheikh, which has its own airport with national and international flights, means that several of the Middle East’s most famous places are easily accessible.
The Ice Bar on Soho Square in Sharm-el-Sheikh (see below)
Among the Things to Do in Sharm el-Sheikh, in no particular order, are:
Sharm el-Sheikh is on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, which is acknowledged as one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkelling. The fact that it is easily and cheaply accessible from London (see our London to Sharm Flights page) makes it a really appealing option. If your partner is into diving or snorkelling and you’re not, then there are still plenty of other things to do too – although lazing on the beach or by the pool isn’t a bad choice either, thanks to Sharm’s year-round sunshine.
Many of the hotels have their own dive clubs, so check before booking your accommodation if diving is important to you. Outside the hotels and along the coast are numerous other dive clubs too, and they aren’t expensive. You can also arrange day trips on dive boats to some of the best spots, for both divers and snorkelers, including the nearby Ras Muhammad National Park.
We’d really recommend a day trip to see Mount Sinai in the Sinai Desert (right), definitely one of the best things to do in Sharm. This is where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, and St Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of the mountain is the site of the Burning Bush. You can still see the alleged bush (no, it isn’t still burning) and tour the monastery, though a typical day tour doesn’t allow time to start climbing the mountain too. It’s well worth the early start, not just for the visit but for the chance to see some of the magnificent Sinai Desert scenery on the way there and back.
Soho Square, right outside the Savoy Hotel, is an entertainment complex that’s become a real magnet for people from all over Sharm - another ofthe things to do in Sharm. There are restaurants, shops, an ice rink, a bowling alley, a kid’s arcade, nightclubs and bars – including Africa’s only Ice Bar – as well as fountains and statues and a lovely atmosphere in the evenings. Visitors enjoy it because shopkeepers don’t hassle you, it’s all very laid back and kept immaculately clean
There's also a great choice of restaurants for dinner – Middle Eastern, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and two grills. We tried several on our week-long visit to Sharm and they were all excellent, without exception, helped by the fact that the chefs are all natives of each country, and ingredients are flown in to make sure the food is authentic.
There are regular music events in Soho Square too. Recent concerts have included Peter Andre, UB40 and Boney M, so it’s worth checking the Soho Square website to see if anything’s coming up when you’re planning to visit.
One of the big attractions of Sharm is that you can use it as a base for seeing several of the most important sites in the Middle East. Sharm’s airport has regular flights to Cairo, Luxor, and Alexandria, meaning that the Pyramids and the Valley of the Kings can easily be visited from Sharm.
Local travel agents (there’s one in Soho Square, for example) offer a wide choice of trips, of a day or longer. Others include Jerusalem and Petra. They mostly involve early starts, but it’s worth the effort to be able to see these magnificent places – several of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
If you want to do a few of these then our advice is to spend two weeks in Sharm, to give you chance to relax in-between trips, but if you only had one week in Sharm you could still easily take in one or two of these tours.
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