Suez and Ain Sukhna

Suez and Ain Sukhna

Suez has been a commercial port since the 7th century. The spice trade and pilgrimages to Mecca made it prosperous throughout the Middle Ages, it became a naval base in the 15th century and, in 1869, the opening of the Suez Canal ensured its development as a modern city. Today, Suez is one of Egypt's largest ports. Also Ayun Musa (Moses springs); a small oasis, situated south of Suez. There are several springs that allow some large palms, tamarisks and other plants to flourish the land. They say in a Legend that this was the Hebrews' first camp after the exodus from Egypt.

Ain Sukhna- the Arabic for " hot spring " -was named after the nearby sulphur springs. Close enough to Cairo for a day-trip, this popular weekend resort has fine beaches and coves, coral reefs, fishing and water sports. Sokhna town is close enough to Cairo, Giza and Suez for a day-trip, this popular Egyptian weekend town has spectacular beaches on the Gulf of Suez. Coral reefs, Dolphins, fishing and water sports. It is located about 55 km south of Suez, and is the nearest bathing resort to Cairo. Some hotels in Ain Sukhna are the best on the Red Sea.

Ain Al-Sukhna lies on the Gulf of Suez just 55 kilometers south of Suez. Administratively, Ain Al-Sukhna is part of the Suez governorate. It extends 60 kilometers on the Red Sea coast from Al- Adbia in the north and Zaafarana in the south. Romantic expeditionary, desert safari lovers and mountain climbers in the 1940s put Ain Al-Sukhna on the holiday map. Turquoise waters are rich in marine life and coral reefs perfect for divers and snorkelers. With a constant breeze, windsurfing is always popular. Inland, desert safaris into nearby oasis and mountain canyons add to the list of attractions.

There is no airport in Ain Al-Sukhna, but it can be reached in slightly over an hour by bus, train or private car. Unfortunately, there are no direct buses to Ain Al-Sukhna, so you have to take an East Delta bus (00+(202) 576 2293) from Cairo to Suez (LE7.25), then go by service taxi or bus from Suez (three buses daily, LE5) to Ain Al-Sukhna. Cairo- Suez buses leave from the Almaza terminal in Heliopolis every half-hour. Trains to Suez leave from Ain Shams station, next to the Metro stop in Ain Shams suburb, for LE4 at 9:20am, 1:20pm, 4:15pm, 6:45pm and 9:40pm, but they take more than two hours.

Ras Sudar/Ras As-Sudr (Ras Sidr Area) on the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea coast

Ras Sudar/Ras As-Sudr (Ras Sidr Area)is an Egyptian city located on the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea coast. Ras As Sudr is an industrial town located about 37 miles south of the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel, which connects mainland Egypt to Sinai, and is the second most important town on the Gulf of Suez after El-Tor. It is a part of the South Sinai Governorate, and consists of three areas: Wadi Sidr, Abu Sidr and Soerp. The region has been known since ancient biblical times.

At Ras Sidr, turn left and visit Qalaat Al-Guindi fortress which is located approx. 80 km south-east of the tunnel Ahmed Hamdi. It was built in the 12th century AD by Salah El Din and was used to protect African and Mediterranean Muslims on their holy pilgrimage to Mecca, where they had to pass by Sinai to get to Mecca. Make sure you have a guide, since you are leaving the track.

Approach to Ras Sidr is by way of the main Suez to Sharm el Sheikh Rd through almost total desert terrain. The road is dotted with farms where olives, tamarinds, and fruits are grown. Ras Sidr is 200 km from Cairo, 100km south of the Suez Canal and approx 60 km from the Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel crossing in Suez, on the western side of the Sinai Peninsula, and almost opposite the resort of El Ayn An Sokhna on the opposite Red Sea coastline.

Ras Sidr has a 95 km beach coastline which offers waters for swimming and sea sports. The area also attracts bird watchers as tourists can see different species of migrating birds. Lying in the western part of the Sinai Peninsula, and about 100 kilometres south of the Suez, is the Egyptian town of Ras Sudr, a spot that has become an unrivalled oasis for kitesurfers and windsurfers. The clear waters of the Red sea offer the best possible range of water sports.

Kiteboarding Ras Sudr is another one of those funky, mellow little kiting spots in Egypt and is said to be some of the best kiteboarding Egypt offers. Its a great semi secret spot for Expats living and working in Cairo to escape for the weekends. This Ras Sudar/Ras As-Sudr (Ras Sidr Area) on the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea coast is a holiday place for Egyptians, mostly coming from Cairo to spend the weekend there. Apart from windsurfing there is not much to do or to see. Places close to Ras Sidr are Qalaat Al-Guinndi, Hammam Pharaon or Ayun Musa.

Approx. 45 km south of Ras Sidr, there is the Pharaoh’s Bath called Hammam Pharaon. There are hot water springs as well as a cave that leads inside the bath. It is very hot here and it smells of Hydrogen Sulfate. Coming from and going to Cairo resp. Suez, busses can stop there (ask, since it is not an official bus stop). Also, the beach of Hammam Pharaon is at a walking distance from there.

There are a number of resorts growing up around the town, and these have become popular retreats for residents of Cairo. Other activities to be enjoyed include camel riding. Located 20kms from the nearest town, a car is considered necessary here if you wish to travel around.

Last Updated on Friday 14th January 2011