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Beaches in Egypt

Beaches in Egypt

Beaches in Egypt

Egypt is 500 kilometre-long Mediterranean coast has beautiful beaches and a sparkling sea all the way to Libya. However, many stretches could still be mined from World War ll or off limits due to military bases, or simply hard to reach.


Beach Resorts near El-Alamein

Holiday villages have sprung up to dominate the coastal road to El-Alamein. But the beach scene is more western than elsewhere on the coast; bikinis and cocktails are taken for granted. One top-class place that’s open all year is the Aida Beach Hotel (Tel: 499-0851, fax 499-0867), 30 km from El-Alamein. Barely 16km before El-Alamein, the sprawling low-rise Atic Hotel (Tel: 492-1340) has a beautiful beach. At the vaster condominium spread of the Marina Beach Club, four kilometers on, visitors can use an equally lovely beach.

Beaches Close to Town

A litter-strewn swathe and a small port separate the three beaches around Matrouh’s crescent-shaped bay further east. Beyond this, a spit of land curves around to face the town, rimmed on the landward side by Rommel’s Beach. The three are Lido Beach curving west around the bay, the Beach of Lovers (Shahata al-Gharam) on its western horn and further west (roughly seven km from town) lies Cleopatra Beach, which drops away sharply a metre offshore.

Ubayyad and Agiiba Beaches

Ubayyad Beach, 14km from town, is a vast expanse of silvery sand where the sea is calm and shallow upto 200m out. From the next headland, 24km from town, a path slopes down to Agiiba Beach. Agiiba ("Miraculous") is an apt name for this stunningly beautiful cove, but "beach" is rather a misnomer. To swim in the calm, crystal-clear turquoise water, you dive off rocky shelves protruding into the sea or wade in off a tiny beach.

Delta Resorts

Ranged along the coast of the central delta are three beach resorts popular with middle-class Egyptians: Ras el-Bahr, Gamasa and Baltim. During summer, they can be reached by service taxis from Damietta are another option, at least to Ras el-Bahir or Gamasa; Baltim is accessible by service taxi from El-Mansura. Out of season many of the resort’s hotels and summerhouses are boarded up.

Na’ama Bay

With its fine beach and unmarked facilities, Na’ama Bay has transformed into a mini-city. The amazing diving and snorkeling are still the main draws, with dive centers, hotels and malls being the points of reference along the beachfront but hippy-looking types may be hassled and topless bathing is not only technically illegal, it is highly unadvisable.

Between Nuweiba and Taba

The first spot worth noting is Maagana Beach whose southern end - called Lami Beach – begins eight kilometers from Tarabeen. Another eight kilometres up the coast is the upmarket beach resort of Bawaki (Tel: 069/500-470, fax 500-471) boasting A/C rooms with hot showers and a few triple-bed huts). The trendiest resort is Basata (Arabic for "Simplicity"), by the headland of Ras el-Burqa.

Five kilometers after Basata comes Aquasun (Tel: 069/530-391, fax 530-390;). A mile or so further on is Sallyland. Next to Sallyland is Bir Swair, a Bedouin settlement that has spawned a new wave of beach camps.

Travelers with their own car and scuba can explore several wonderful reefs within walking distance of the highway, notably El-Muqeibila, 25km before Taba. Ten kilometres north is another great spot for beach diving called the Sun Pool, which begins with a gentle slope and then plunges as it nears the Fjord, a beautiful inlet in the hills by the shore. It’s here that one finds Salima, a few rooms with communal showers, behind a nice cafe overlooking the Fjord.

Pharaoh’s Island

Seven kilometres before Taba one can sight Pharaoh’s Island (Gezirat Faraun), known to Israelis as "Coral Island". A cafeteria only opens when lots of tourists are present but coming here can be rewarding in terms of diving or snorkeling in the maze of reefs off the northeastern tip of the island. As the currents are strong and the reefs labyrinthine, it’s best to be accompanied by a guide. This can be arranged at the Salah al Din hotel (Tel: 069/530-340, fax 530-343, m...@ritsec3.com.eg) by the road on the mainland opposite the island.

Alexandria Beaches

There are many sandy beaches stretching from east to west: Ma' amura, Montazah, Mandara, Assafra, Miami, Sidi Bishr, San Stefano, Glymonopolou, Stanley, Rushdy, Sidi Gaber, Sporting, Ibrahimia and Shatby all of which lie along the seafront boulevard, the Corniche. On the western perimeter lie AI-Agami and Hannoville. All summer holiday areas are provided with amenities, services and recreation facilities and hotels.

Abu Kir Suburb

One of the calmest beaches, famous for fishing and its sea-food restaurants

AI-Montazah Palace and The Montazah Palace Gardens

These spacious gardens contain trees, palms and flowers. There is also a museum, several natural bays and beaches as well as a complete tourist centre, hotels, restaurants, bungalows and a children’s play area.

Beaches West of Alexandria

Sidi Kir
34 km. west of Alexandria, it is a private beach (3 km. long), with a tourist village and a cafeteria.

King Mariut

About 35 km. west of Alexandria, it is easily reached by rail, bus, car or taxi. It has a 3 star hotel "The Desert Home", and 2 star Hotel King Mariut. King Mariut is suitable as a health spa fort hose seeking rest and tranquility.

Abu Mina

Lies 50 km. to the west and dates back to the 4th century. St. Mina was buried there after he was killed during the reign of Diocletian in 226 A.D. It has a basilica church and two small chapels, as well as other historical buildings.

Borg al-Arab

About 52 km. to the west, it comprises a temple, Abu Sir lighthouse and a communal grave from Roman times.

Maraqia Tourist Village

About 52 km. away and comprises bungalows, villas and apartments, with all amenities and comfort.

Marina Ruins - Alamein

An ancient city discovered in 1985, it comprises temples, tombs, baths and nobles' houses, from the Graeco-Roman period. It is the largest archaeological city after Alexandria.

EI-Alamein Beach

104 km. west of Alexandria, this beach is renowned for its natural scenery, soft and white sands and tranquility. It was once described by Churchill as having the best climate in the world. Here also, the Germans, led by Rommel, and the Allies, led by Montgomery, fought one of the most decisive battles of World War II: The Battle of Alamein.

Places to visit
The British Cemetery: Thousands upon thousands of rock-hewn tombstones stand in straight rows amidst a fenced garden. The Italian Cemetery: It is a high tower fort standing on a high hill. The walls of the building are covered with marble. The German Cemetery: It is a fortress like memorial that was built on a high hill overlooking the sea. The Alamein Museum: Houses specimens of World War II weapons, as well as busts of the generals who planned the battle. There are also maps and charts showing troop deployment.

Sidi Abdel Rahman Beach

About 127 km. west of Alexandria, and 162 km. before Matrouh, it lies on a calm bay, about 25 km. west of Alamein. It is characterised by an excellent climate and clear transparent waters.

How to get there
By train: The Egyptian Railway Authority operates a daily train to Matrouh from Alexandria, with stops at Alamein and Sidi Abdel Rahman. By bus: The Delta West Bus Co. Ramleh Square: Where to stay Aida Beach Hotel Alamein Rest House Hotel. A tourist camp with all facilities and services is affiliated to the Town Council of Sidi Abdel Rahman.

Mersa Matrouh

Lies 290 km. west of Alexandria and 222 km. from Sallum. The distance from Cairo to Matrouh is 524 km. It lies on a bay on the Mediterranean and is distinguished by its 7 km. long beach.

The beach is famous for its white soft sands and calm transparent waters, for the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural wave-breaker, with a small opening to allow light vessels in.

There are ruins of a temple from the time of Ramses II (1200 B.C.) in Matrouh.

Monuments and Tourist Sites

Egyptian Fleet Anchorage: Built by the Ptolemies, the remains of the naval installations still stand west of the port.

Coptic Chapel: Built in the early Coptic age, and contains several caves bearing inscriptions.

Rommel's Hideout. A cave, hewn in the rock, where Rommel drew up plans of his military operations. It has now been turned into a military museum.

Matrouh Beaches

Cleopatra's Bath: Is hewn in a rock about 50 m. from the shore which is surrounded by rocky cliffs. It can be reached directly by boat; or by car or on foot, and then wading to the rock.

AI-Abyad Beach: About 20 km. west of Mersa Matrouh is equally pleasant but less crowded than that of Mersa Matrouh beach.

Ageebah Beach: Mersa Matrouh, it is distinguished by it’s numerous natural caves and enchanting scenery.

Ras el-Hekma: It is a land spur jutting out into the sea, about 85 km. east of Matrouh, and is distinguished by the beauty and serenity of its beach,

Ras el-Bar

Ras el-Bar is a very beautiful and serene summer resort. It is bordered on the east by the Damietta branch of the Nile, and by the Mediterranean on the north and west. It is like a stretching arm that separates the river water of the Nile from the briny Mediterranean Sea. It lies 193 km., from Cairo, and only 5 km. from Damietta, and is characterised by its straw huts.

Gamasah

Gamasah Beach is 193 km. from Cairo, and 61 km. from Mansoura. lt is one of Egypt's newest, calmest and most beautiful beaches. The beach, which stretches for some 25 km. along the Mediterranean, is characterized by a temperate climate and a high ratio of iodine content.

Baltim

Baltim is 212 km. from Cairo. It is a very calm beach and is distinguished by elegant huts and bungalows made of reeds. One could rent a hut or stay at Baltim Beach Hotel.

Port Said

Port Said was built in 1860 on the Mediterranean as the northern entrance to the Suez Canal. This city increased in repute when it was declared a free zone. It is 220 km. from Cairo, 80 km. from Ismailia and 160 km. from Suez. It is characterized by beautiful, calm and soft sandy beaches and rock-free waters, Geographically, it links Africa with Asia, through Port Fouad, a suburb on the east bank of the Suez Canal.

Ismailia

The "City of Gardens" lies midway between Port Said and Suez, on the western shores of Lake Timsah at a distance of 120 km. from Cairo. Ismailia is known for its beautiful natural scenery and abundant orchards. Many beaches are located along Lake Timsah, one of the largest lakes in Egypt, where sailing and rowing are popular sports.

Suez

Egypt's second largest port city lies at the northern tip of the Gulf of Suez, about 134 km. from Cairo. It is noted for its dry climate and the numerous beaches along its seafront with Port Tawfik.

Kebrit

Kebrit, at kilometer 32 on the Suez-Ismailia road, is fit for camping.

Ain Sukhna (Hot Spring)

Situated 55 km. south of Suez, it is one of the most beautiful spots on the whole of the Red Sea, and the nearest of its beaches to Cairo. It is an excellent winter/summer resort. There is a semi-circular shaped hotel equipped with all amenities and facilities for comfort, water sports and fishing.

Hurghada

Situated 395 km. south of Suez, it is a noted diving and fishing zone, especially for such species as sharks, barracudas, swordfish, sailfish, mullet, groupers, etc. However the town resembles a building site and the beaches are limited to the private beaches at some of the hotels. Every other square inch of coastline near to Hurghada is being mercilessly built upon with no apparent concern for the environmental consequences.

Sinai

The Sinai Peninsula is noted for its numerous beautiful sandy beaches that stretch from El, Kantara to Rafah, on the east, for a distance of some 210 km. The main beaches, in the north, are El Arish, Rafah, El-Kharuba between EI-Arish and Rafah, and Lake Bardawel the richest fishery in the region. To the south there are many beaches along the shores of the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, such as: Ras Mohammed, Sharm el Sheikh, Nuweiba, Dahab and Taba.

EI-Arish

Capital of the Northern Sinai Governorate, is noted for its palm-lined beach (30 km. long) on the Mediterranean. It is famed for its temperate climate and azure clear waters.

Ras Mohammed

Lies on the apex of the Sinai Peninsula, between the Gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, about 53 km. from Sharm el-Sheikh. It is a nature preserve, and is one of the most beautiful spots in the world for diving and underwater photography. There is a road linking it to the main highway.

Sharm el-Sheikh

350 km. from the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel, and 53 km. from Ras Mohammed, overlooking the Aqaba Gulf, Sharm is a world renowned summer/winter resort. There are many diving centres, tourist villages, hotels and an Institute Environment Research. The beach at Na’ama bay is the best in the vicinity

Dahab

It is called "Dahab" (gold) because of the golden colour of sand. It’s laid back charm developed such notoriety that much of the beach has now been developed except for a long stretch at the northern tip of the village which is relatively deserted. Dahab is about 95 km. from Sharm el-Sheik.

EI-Basata Village

Located 23 km. north of Nuweiba, at Ras el-Raf on the Aqaba Gulf, its name "basata" (simplicity), was inspired by the simple bedouin life in the region. Accommodation is in bamboo huts.

The village organises safaris, by jeep, to the nearby valleys and oases, as well as camel trips.

Nuweiba

On the Aqaba Gulf, 87 km. from Dahab, boasts a beautiful sandy beach, that teems with palm trees. Situated 150 km. from Sharm el-Sheikh, it has a beach that is 30 km.long and 50 m. wide, as well as several tourist villages and all tourist activities and services. Nuweiba’s main claim to fame though is a dolphin which has established the village shore as it’s base and allows tourists to swim with her. The arrival of the dolphin initiated a boom in dolphin tourism for the village.

Taba Beaches

Situated on Egypt's international borders, on the Aqaba Gulf, some 64 km. north of Nuweiba.

Geziret Faraon

Pharaoh's Island is a coral island, 8 km. south of Taba, in the middle of the northern tip of the Aqaba Gulf. It is noted for the Fortress built by Salah EI-Din, the most important Islamic relic in Sinai. The island offers a panoramic view of the Sinai mountains, the golden sands, and the many inlets and coves. There are two cafeterias, one on the island, and the other on the mainland.

Also Read:

Sinai Beaches - Sharm El Sheikh

Last Updated on Sunday 16th January 2011

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