Safaga, Egypt | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Safaga, Egypt

Port Safaga, also known as Safaga, is a town in Egypt, on the coast of the Red Sea, located 53 km (33 mi) south of Hurghada. This small port is also a tourist area that consists of several bungalows and rest houses, including the Safaga Hotel
This port is also a gateway for Duba port to some pilgrims or travelers to Arabia, by ferries.

History

Safaga was a marine port connected by a regular cruise shuttle service line. The port town was founded between 282 BC and 268 BC, originally called Philotera (Φιλοτέρα) by the Greek Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who named the town in honor of his deceased sister. Safaga City is considered one of the most important therapeutic tourist centers, as special medical researches have proved the potential of attracting international tourism to Safaga.

Overview

The resort is known for its unpolluted atmosphere, black... Read more

Safaga, Egypt

Destination:
Port Safaga, also known as Safaga, is a town in Egypt, on the coast of the Red Sea, located 53 km (33 mi) south of Hurghada. This small port is also a tourist area that consists of several bungalows and rest houses, including the Safaga Hotel
This port is also a gateway for Duba port to some pilgrims or travelers to Arabia, by ferries.

History

Safaga was a marine port connected by a regular cruise shuttle service line. The port town was founded between 282 BC and 268 BC, originally called Philotera (Φιλοτέρα) by the Greek Egyptian Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who named the town in honor of his deceased sister. Safaga City is considered one of the most important therapeutic tourist centers, as special medical researches have proved the potential of attracting international tourism to Safaga.

Overview

The resort is known for its unpolluted atmosphere, black sand-dunes and mineral springs which have acquired specific characteristics for remedy of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Safaga has a small but thriving tourism industry, specializing in scuba diving.
Safaga was a merchant port for many years; now the town, with its wide azure bay, long sandy beaches, and pretty islands, is a favorite sports destination in the Red Sea Riviera.

Source:
Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

Safaga, Egypt: Port Information


The industrial port of Safaga is located near the town of Safaga, and it doesn't have tourist facilities. Taxis are available.
Most tourists use this port as a gateway to Luxor (140 miles away). 
It's better to take an organized tour offered by a cruise company.

Get around Safaga, Egypt


Long-distance taxis and buses will get you from city to city quite easily. Buses are at fixed prices and tickets are bought at the bus station. It is worthwhile checking with different bus companies as the level of buses vary and some offer Elite buses. Taxis can be quite expensive and prices must be agreed on first. Always get a recommendation for a taxi from a trusted source.

Cars can be hired and this is quite an economical and fun way to travel around. It is quite easy to navigate your way and for long journeys, you have the freedom to stop when and where you want. Always remember to take additional water with you in case of an emergency.

What to see in Safaga, Egypt


Safaga is a good starting point for a day trip into the Eastern Desert to check out the granite quarries of Mons Claudianus, or to the sights of Luxor, one of the most impressive sights of Egypt, only 220 km (140 mi) away.

What to do in Safaga, Egypt


Safaga is especially popular among kitesurfers and windsurfers and was the host of the 1993 Red Sea World Windsurfing Championships. At 53 km (33 mi) south of Hurghada, Safaga acquires its unique character from both its port and the small surrounding village. A holiday in Safaga is mainly about watersports and sightseeing, with little nightlife around, except for some beach parties organized by the local divers and surfers.
The black sand dune beaches characteristic of Safaga are a favorite spot for sunbathers. The sea water is highly saline and rich in minerals which are beneficial for the skin, and it is a popular curative destination in the Red Sea Riviera.
Safaga is also home to some of the most outstanding diving of the Red Sea, with the bay’s chain reefs of Tobia Arbaa, and the impressive walls of Panorama and Abu Qifan towering reefs, where often big pelagics such as tunas, sharks, and mantas can be spotted.

What to eat and drink in Safaga, Egypt


Egypt can be a fantastic place to sample a unique range of food: not too spicy and well-flavored with herbs. For a convenient selection of Egyptian cuisine and staple foods try the Felfela chain of restaurants in Cairo. Some visitors complain, however, that these have become almost too tourist-friendly and have abandoned some elements of authenticity. A more affordable and wide-spread alternative is the Arabiata restaurant chain, Arabiata is considered by locals to be the number one destination for Egyptian delicacies as falafel and fūl too.

Beware of any restaurant listed in popular guidebooks and websites. Even if the restaurant was once great, after publication, they will likely create a "special" English menu that includes very high prices.

As in many seaside countries, Egypt is full of fish restaurants and markets so fish and seafood are must-try. Frequently, fish markets have some food stalls nearby where you can point at specific fish species to be cooked. Stalls typically have shared tables, and locals are as frequent there as tourists.

Local dishes

Many local foods are vegetarian or vegan compliant, a function of the high cost of meat in Egypt and the influence of Coptic Christianity (whose frequent fast days demand vegan food).

Classic Egyptian dishes: The dish fūl medammes is one of the most common Egyptian dishes; consists of fava beans (fūl) slow-cooked in a copper pot (other types of metal pots don't produce the right type of flavor) that have been partially or entirely mashed. fūl medammes is served with cumin, vegetable oil, optionally with chopped parsley, onion, garlic, lemon juice, and hot pepper, and typically eaten with Egyptian (baladi) bread or occasionally Levantine (shāmi) pita.

One should try the classic falāfel which is deep-fried ground fava bean balls (but better known worldwide for the ground chickpea version typically found in other cuisines of the Middle Eastern region) that was believed to be invented by Egyptian Bedouins. Usually served as fast food or a snack.

koshari is a famous dish, which is usually a mixture of macaroni, lentils, rice, and chickpeas, topped with tomato sauce and fried onions. Very popular amongst the locals and a must try for tourists. The gratinated variation is called Tâgen.

Additionally, hummus, a chickpea-based food, also widespread in the Middle East.

kofta (meatballs) and kebab are also popular.

Egyptian cuisine is quite similar to the cuisine of the Middle Eastern countries. Dishes like stuffed vegetables and vine leaves and shawarma sandwiches are common in Egypt and the region.

Exotic fruits

Egypt is one of the most affordable countries to try a variety of fresh-grown exotic fruits. Guava, mango, watermelon, and banana are all widely available from fruit stalls, especially in locals-oriented non-tourist marketplaces.

Water

Bottled water is widely available. The local brands (most common being Baraka, Hayat, Siwa ) are of the same price as foreign brand options which are also available: Nestle Pure Life, Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola), and Aquafina (bottled by Pepsi). Evian is less available and is expensive. While safe to drink some may find the local brand, Baraka, has a very slight baking soda aftertaste, due to the high mineral content of its deep well water source.

No matter where you buy bottled water from (even hotels are not entirely reliable), before accepting it, check that there is a clear plastic seal on it and the neck ring is still attached to the cap by the breakable threads of plastic. It is common to collect empty but new bottles and refill them with tap water which drinking a bottle of might make you ill. Not all brands have a clear plastic cover but all the good ones do.

Shopping in Safaga, Egypt


Egypt is a shopper's paradise, especially if you're interested in Egyptian-themed souvenirs and kitsch. However, there are also a number of high-quality goods for sale, often at bargain prices. Some of the most popular purchases include:
  • Alabaster Alabaster bowls, figures, etc are common throughout Egypt.
  • Antiques (NB: not antiquities, the trade of which is illegal in Egypt)
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Cotton goods and clothing Can be bought at Khan El Khalili. Better quality Egyptian cotton clothing can be bought at various chain stores including Mobaco Cottons and Concrete which have many branches throughout the country. The clothes are expensive for Egypt but cheap by Western standards given the quality.
  • Inlaid goods, such as backgammon boards
  • Jewelry Cartouches make a great souvenir. These are metal plates shaped like an elongated oval and have engravings of your name in hieroglyphics
  • Kohl powder Real Egyptian kohl eye make-up (eye-liner) can be purchased at many stores for a small price. It is a black powder, about a teaspoon worth, that is generally sold in a small packet or a wood-carved container and it is generally applied liberally with something akin to a fat toothpick/thin chopstick to the inner eyelids and outlining the eye. Very dramatic, and a little goes a very long way Cleopatra would have had her eye make-up applied by laying on the floor and having someone drop a miniature spoonful of the powder into each eye. As the eye teared up, the make-up would distribute nicely around the eyes and trail off at the sides, creating the classic look. However, beware that most of them contain lead sulfide, which is a health concern. Ask for lead-free kohl.
  • Lanterns (fanūs; pl. fawanīs) Intricately cut and stamped metal lanterns, often with colorful glass windows, will hold a votive candle in style.
  • Leather goods
  • Music
  • Papyrus (bardi) However, most papyrus you'll see is made of a different type of reed, not "papyrus", which is extremely rare. Know what you are buying, if you care about the difference, and haggle prices accordingly. If in doubt, assume it is inauthentic papyrus you are being offered for sale.
  • Perfume - Perfumes can be bought at almost every souvenir shop. Make sure that you ask the salesman to prove to you that there is no alcohol mixed with the perfume.
  • Water-pipes (shīsha)
  • Spices (tawābel) - can be bought at colorful stalls in most Egyptian markets. Dried herbs and spices are generally of a higher quality than that available in Western supermarkets and are a fifth to a quarter of the price, though the final price will depend on bargaining and local conditions.
When shopping in markets or dealing with street vendors, remember to bargain. This is a part of the salesmanship game that both parties are expected to engage in.

Safety in Safaga, Egypt


The weather can be very hot and it is essential to drink a lot of water. On long journeys ensure that enough water is taken.

Always use registered/licensed taxis.

Language spoken in Safaga, Egypt


The native spoken language in most of the country and the national lingua franca is Egyptian Arabic.

The official language of Egypt is Standard Arabic. It is taught in schools and thus understood by nearly everyone. Standard Arabic is the Arabic used in most written and official forms such as television, newspapers, government speeches, teaching, and educational institutions. Egyptian Arabic is one of the numerous (mostly mutually unintelligible) regional dialects of Arabic.

Most educated people learn English at school. You are unlikely to encounter difficulties finding someone who speaks English. Older generations may also be able to speak French as well.

Other languages such as German, Italian, Spanish and Russian might be spoken by tour guides, due to the high number of tourists who come from Europe speaking these languages.

LOCAL TIME

2:59 pm
November 20, 2019
Africa/Cairo

CURRENT WEATHER

27.66 °C / 81.788 °F
sky is clear
Thu

23.9 °C/75 °F
few clouds
Fri

24.81 °C/77 °F
sky is clear
Sat

24.71 °C/76 °F
sky is clear
Sun

24.58 °C/76 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

EGP

1 USD = 0 EGP
1 EUR = 0 EGP
1 GBP = 0 EGP
1 AUD = 0 EGP
1 CAD = 0 EGP

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