Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Sharm el-Sheikh (شرم الشيخ, also transliterated as Sharm ash Shaykh and popularly known simply as "Sharm") is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, popular with package holidaymakers and divers.
Sharm el-Sheikh is sometimes called the "City of Peace", referring to a large number of international peace conferences that have been held there. It was known as Şarm-üş Şeyh during Ottoman rule and was known as Ofira during Israeli occupation between 1967 and 1982.

Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Arab world. But there are also some very good reasons to visit it if you are not the common tourist, who likes to lie on the beach all day. It is one of the finest diving spots in the world and a trip into the desert is an unforgettable adventure.
The Sinai Peninsula is a remote desert mountain range. The rocky... Read more

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Sharm el-Sheikh (شرم الشيخ, also transliterated as Sharm ash Shaykh and popularly known simply as "Sharm") is a well-known port and resort town at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, popular with package holidaymakers and divers.
Sharm el-Sheikh is sometimes called the "City of Peace", referring to a large number of international peace conferences that have been held there. It was known as Şarm-üş Şeyh during Ottoman rule and was known as Ofira during Israeli occupation between 1967 and 1982.

Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Arab world. But there are also some very good reasons to visit it if you are not the common tourist, who likes to lie on the beach all day. It is one of the finest diving spots in the world and a trip into the desert is an unforgettable adventure.
The Sinai Peninsula is a remote desert mountain range. The rocky mountains are parted from the deep-blue sea by a flat desert strip. This combination of desert and sea is an incredible sight and makes you believe you are on a different planet.
About 40 years ago, Sharm el-Sheikh was nothing but a small fishing village with about 100 Bedouin citizens. When Sinai was occupied by Israel in 1967 Sharm el-Sheikh started to develop as a tourist destination (like the rest of the peninsula). Israelis evacuated Sinai between 1979 and 1982, following the signing of a peace agreement between the two countries. Since the 1980's the Egyptians have been continuing the development of Sharm where the Israelis left. Sharm's 100 grew into a bustling 10,000 population. There is now a nice promenade, a Hard Rock Cafe, one of the most modern hospitals in Egypt and so on. 

Sharm El-Sheikh has an arid climate, generally warm and dry, although summer months can be humid. The best times to go to Sharm el-Sheikh, for swimming and diving, are the month of April, and from mid-October to mid-November. The summer, from mid-May to September, is actually quite hot, and while the sea is pleasantly warm and you can enjoy long dives, it can be difficult to sunbathe and move outdoors during the day (especially in August and September). The water temperature is always warm, although cold snaps may affect the region occasionally each winter. In winter the stay can be enjoyable, and the temperature is often sufficient for sunbathing, however, the days are quite short.

Na'ama Bay part of the city is the center of nightlife and dining: most of Sharm's clubs, cafes, restaurants, and shops are here.
Sharm el Sheikh has grown into three distinct areas now, Nabq is a new area to the North of Na'ama, Old Market and Hadaba to the South of Na'amaa Bay.
Nabq Bay Nabq Bay is on a promontory overlooking the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Sharm el-Sheikh city has been subdivided into five areas, namely Nabq Bay, Ras Nasrani, Naama Bay, Umm Sid, and Sharm El Maya. Together with Hay el Nour, Hadaba, Rowaysat, Montazah and Shark's Bay, it forms a metropolitan area of 42 square kilometers.

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Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Port Information

Sharm's marina has been redeveloped for private yachts and sailing boats, with a passenger terminal for cruise ships which is located south of the town center.
Taxis are available in the port, however, you should be alert: taxi drivers like to drive up the price.

Get around Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

By taxi
In Sharm, the taxis are generally modern models, either Hyundai or Chevrolet. Don't bother with the meter in the taxi, it probably does not work anymore, they soon break due to the dust, and would work out more than the "fixed" prices anyway. Always note the driver's ID number. Don't assume they have meters. Locals tell you they don't. Make sure you have transportation waiting for you or better yet take an airport Limo which has a fixed advertised rate inside the arrival hall at the airport.
Make sure you have Egyptian currency to pay the fare and never pay before you reach your destination making sure you only pay the pre-arranged price. Make sure that the driver knows that you are paying in Egyptian pounds. It is highly recommended that you avoid the haggling and rip-offs by booking an airport transfer in advance with one of the various online providers.

By bus
There are also a fleet of blue and white micro buses which are used to ferry the locals around the region. These are the most economical method of transport compared to taxis however they are not by law allowed to accept tourists.

By minibus
It can be cheaper and more convenient to hire a private minibus.

What to see in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

  • Sharm Old Town Hail a taxi to take you to to the Sharm Old Town, ask the driver for the old market. This is a much different experience for tourists staying in the Na'ama Bay area.
A visit to the desert is highly recommended. Various trips to the Bedouins, the beautiful Coloured Canyon and beyond to Mount Sinai.
Nabq National Park is a great experience with beaches completely deserted and beautiful mangroves. A complete contrast to the resort.
An unusual sight and a bit exotic for a westerner are huge fans pumping fresh air to street cafes and terraces near hotels.
Enjoy the sight and sound experience and the live show at Alf Lela w Lela (A thousand and one Nights) every day. The live show is amazing, with different shows featuring a great male Belly Dancer well known as Mero, and other belly dancers. Also some Egyptian weddings, tanourra dance, and shows.

What to do in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Diving is the main activity in Sharm el-Sheikh. When you dive into the warm water of the Red Sea and leave the remote desert behind, you will enter a world full of life and colors.
  • The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world. They can be reached by boat from Sharm within two hours. Ras Mohammed is the name of the southernmost point of the Sinai peninsula. There, the current of the Gulf of Aqaba meets the Gulf of Suez. Due to the increase of plankton in the water, the amount of fish is incredible. Huge schools of Barracudas, Sharks, and Morays can be seen there every day.
Before 2011 you may have found 20 dive boats at each site, however, today with a decline in tourism divers are able to enjoy quieter dives and at times have sites to themselves.
  • The wreck of the SS Thistlegorm is generally regarded as one of the finest wreck dives in the world. However, it can also become very crowded with divers but less often now due to the decline in tourist numbers.
  • A diving safari allows the possibility of diving beautiful reefs way beyond the reach of any day tripping boats. The costs of dive safaris vary depending on the distance covered and standard of the boat.
Operators include:
  • Marina Divers Sharm, Concorde el Salam Resort (White Knights Dive Site close to the airport), 8 am-8 pm. A family-run dive center est. 1991 offering SCUBA & Snorkeling in a friendly and professional environment. Daily boats to Tiran and Ras Mohamed National Park.  
  • Blue Lagoon Sharm, New La Perla Hotel (Close to El Fanar in Hadaba), 8am-7pm. A boutique PADI Diving Center with own boats catering for individual and group bookings tailor-making each to suit clients needs.  
  • Camel Dive Club
  • Colona Divers. 
  • Divers International, Sofitel Hotel (North end of Na'ama Bay), 0020106770462, 9 AM-6 PM. PADI five star diving centers offering daily diving trips, PADI courses, and liveaboard safaris.  
  • Diving Ocean. 
  • Dolphin Diving Center. 
  • Emperor Divers. 
  • Enigma Charters. 
  • Oonas Dive Center A small, friendly dive center at the quieter end of Na'ama Bay offering daily diving and all PADI courses - discounts for internet bookings.
  • Millenium Dive Center, Sharm Resort & Plaza (10 Minutes from the Airport in direction of Na'ama Bay), 0020693604266, 8 AM-6 PM. PADI five star diving centers with own daily boat and trips to Dahab and Thislegorm. Located at Far and Middle Garden Reef.
  • Mr. Diver. A friendly dive center based in the Marriot hotel offering a full range of PADI courses.
  • Ocean College. 
  • RedSea Diving College. 
  • Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village. 
  • Sharm Divers. 
  • Sinai College Diving Center Special Discount for Online Booking.
  • Sinai Divers Naama Bay
  • Ultimate Diving Holidays. 
Desert Safari
Discover incredible landscapes by jeep, camel or simply trekking with friendly and hospitable Bedouin guides. The Sinai desert is amazingly beautiful and varied. The famous Mt Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery are not to be missed as well as many spectacular canyons. It is strongly recommended to go to the desert with a responsible operator employing Bedouin and respecting the environment.
Desert Safari operators:
  • Sharm Desert Safari It Is Not Normal To Visiting Sharm el-Sheikh Without Doing Sharm and Sinai Excursions in the Red Sea and Sinai Peninsula Desert Adventure Trips
  • Sharm Safari Excursions Many travelers interested in Safari Excursions in Sharm El Sheikh to enjoy a camel ride, quad biking, and Bedouin life.
  • Sharm Reisen Safari specializing in excursions for German speaking guests offers safari excursions from Sharm el-Sheikh to the stunning desert landscape and rock formations of Sinai including quad biking, camel safari, jeep safari trips, etc.
Eco-friendly operators:
  • Sinai Safari Daily excursions in the desert to suit all budgets and needs. Sinai Safari is the most qualified and experienced safari operator in South Sinai, owned, managed and guided by Bedouin guaranteeing you a memorable desert experience.
Horseback riding
  • Stables at Sofitel Hotel. Helpful personnel. Require helmets (provided); several pairs of riding boots available. After the ride, offer you to give showers to your horse. Bambi and Kelly are declared the fastest horses. Too far from the desert: in 2-hours route, only 40 minutes is an actual ride in the desert, the remainder time is spent to get there and to return back. For 2 hours, better choose stables at the edge of the desert. 
Go-karting is a fun activity here in Sharm with weather conditions fantastic.
Ghibli Raceway The circuit itself has been built to the standards set by the “Commission Internationale de Karting” (CIK-FIA) and the authorized international body within the “Federation Internationale d'Automobile” (FIA). Today, Ghibli Raceway's Sharm facility is proudly one of only four homologated tracks in the world with a “Grade A license”. Our fervor for the sport and its development has spurred us to continuously develop our service to be unsurpassed in all aspects. A testament to Ghibli's success was hosting the prestigious Rotax Max Challenge World Finals, the most international (38 countries) and popular (+7,000 competitors) FIA sanctioned motorsport formula, in January 2004.

Quad bikes
There are dozens of operators who seem to use just the same route, length, and sequence of stops: when you drive, you meet many groups who follow just the same route as yours. There are several really shaky pieces of the route, very much like a washboard.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt; shoes are safer than sandals. Always wear a helmet and make sure your travel insurance covers this activity. Expect all your wear (and skin) to be covered with grey dust.
2 hours of riding is just enough for a non-professional rider; expect several stops along the way.
At departure point, choose a bike at the beginning of the motorcade: being one of the first allows to drive faster, and results in less dust.
  • Sharm Safari Explore desert life and have enjoyable moments. Staff is highly qualified and helpful.
  • Tiba Safari / Tiba Trip. Sold by Orbit agency and many others. Groups are 10-15 bikes; two persons per bike is allowed (although bikes are originally designed for a single person). Tasting Berber tea is very risky for your stomach--proven several times. Group is accompanied by a car with camcorder--video is not worth buying, and the car generates much extra dust (you can't do much with it unless your whole group asks in advance to not make a video at all).
Make sure you stay on the path and follow your guide, as Egypt has one quarter of the world's landmines buried in its deserts, some of them surprisingly close to Sharm el-Sheikh.

Parasailing is very enjoyable.

Camel trekking
The best place to do this is in the Sinai desert on a tour with the Sinai's on their own bred camels.

What to eat and drink in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt


If you're looking for a taste of home Il Mercato houses a McDonalds, KFC, Costa and a Starbucks.
  • El Masrien, Old Market (next to the market exit), +20 (69) 366 2904. 12:00 - 4:00 am. Offering the finest Egyptian barbeque cuisine including Kabab, Kofta, Reyash, Nefa, Tarab & liver, all types of oriental dishes including veal shank, stuffed pigeon & stuffed duck, all types of pasta & rice & different types of stuffed vegetables. Alcohol-free. Enjoy all types of grills.  
  • The Blue Fountain, Naama Bay, No.1. Market Square. (back of Mall 8 beside the rear exit of Carrefour.), +20 11 4400 4401. Open 6 days a week, 1 pm until late. Closed on Fridays. Currently the number 1 restaurant on Trip Advisor and very popular with the locals. British managed serving global dishes.  
  • Beirut Bay, Bowling St. - Naama Bay (in front of Blom Bank), +20 (69) 360 1033. 11:00 am - 2:00 am. With most of the dry components (herbs & alike) used in the food process brought from Lebanon; gives the food the REAL Lebanese taste. With almost all range of different Lebanese Mezza & favorite Lebanese BBQ. Fair prices.
  • Fares Seafood, Horus Mall, and Old Market. All kinds of seafood fresh from the Red Sea.  
  • Fawanes Cafe, Naama Bay. Lebanese cuisine. Good place for waterpipes; order a smaller one (Fawanes); apple one is ideal.  
  • Onions, Il Mercato. Fusion food, good services, and reasonable prices.  
  • Safsafa, Naama Bay. Probably one of the best fish cafes in the town. A rare place where grilled calmaras are really good. However, the lobster included in the mixed seafood plate is dry.  
  • Tempo Cafe. Features some percentage of locals. Waiters are uninformed in distinctive orange-and-green. Waterpipe is good, but when served for several people (with many hoses), the menu price may be multiplied by a number of people--ask in advance; maybe it's just a scam.  
  • Indian Restaurants. There are 3 Indian restaurants in Sharm. One is Maharaja, on the beach pathway. Other two are India House Restaurants, of Thai Chain hotels. One is the old market and another one, opposite little Buddha, on the road near Taxi stand. Can get Indian menus.  


Fresh Guava juice is a must-try, excellent in any cafe.
Alcohol (including beer) is available in restaurants and street cafes. Travelers must be aware that taxes are now levied on alcoholic drinks that are purchased in cafes or bars that are not associated with the hotels. Please also be aware of drink prices in general as they can be relatively expensive, compared to other European destinations. Always ask to see a drinks menu before ordering a drink.
  • Black House. Second famous venue after Pacha club. Presumably owned by Russians.  
  • Bus Stop, Naama Bay.  
  • Hard Rock Cafe, Naama Bay.  
  • Little Buddha, Naama Bay Hotel, 002 069 350 1030. Good music and cocktails. Not the cheapest place in town.  
  • Ministry of Sound Red Sea, Pacha/Sanafir hotel, +31624930603. 23-03.45.  
  • TGI Fridays, Naama Bay.  

Shopping in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

  • Bring your sunscreen
  • Carrefour Express, Marina, one street west of 'main disco street' (one street off from the main shopping/nagging street in Marina part). One of the classic Europian shops with price tags, option to pay with credit card without disadvantages, exchange machine, and ATM inside, - they do have a lot of local spices and even some souvenir items, like small papyrus
  • Blue Lagoon Sharm, La Perla Hotel, Foroseya St, Sharm el-Sheikh, South Sinai, +2 69 366 3180, 8 am-9 pm. Blue Lagoon Diving Center is a well established diving Centre in Sharm el-Sheikh, offering the full range of PADI accredited courses as well as diving trip packages from 1 - 10 days. Discount offered for advanced online booking via website or email On Request.  

Safety in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Be wary of the usual scams that a visitor might be subjected to in most places with high tourist traffic and a wide income disparity between tourists and locals.

Language spoken in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Arabic is the official language. English and French are the main foreign languages.


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