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OTHER ITA SITES:
5 Alternative Egyptian Holiday Resorts
Whilst the mystical pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza are undoubtedly the jewels in Egypt’s tourism crown, the country’s Red Sea Riviera resorts continue to gain popularity with holidaymakers. Five of those resorts – El Gouna, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Sharm El Sheikh and Taba – are definitely worth a look.
Less than 20 years old, the man-made tourist resort of El Gouna is a complete holiday destination. Situated along a 10km shoreline, the resort is made up of islands, lagoons, gardens, luxury hotels and even boasts a USPGA rated golf course.
Catering for a wide variety of interests, El Gouna offers great shopping, restaurants, clubs, pubs and sailing. The resort also offers plenty for children with go-carting and pony rides amongst the organised activities available.
The Red Sea’s largest holiday resort, Hurghada has more than 20km of beach front hotel accommodation. Whilst a popular destination for scuba-diving holidays, Hurghada is also a highly regarded beach resort catering for traditional family vacations.
The resort has plenty to keep visitors entertained. Scuba-divers are keen to explore the clear waters and untouched reefs of the local Red Sea, whilst other holidaymakers can stay busy bowling, fishing, snorkelling and golfing. Other popular attractions include the nearby Roman remains, the imposing Red Sea Mountains and various shopping boutiques.
Although until recently a quiet fishing village, Marsa Alam is becoming an increasingly popular beach and dive holiday resort. Located to the south of the Eastern Desert, European tourists are drawn to the village by the tranquil beaches and exciting off shore coral reefs that host a spectacular variety of tropical sea life.
Whilst still a relatively new resort, Marsa Alam is developing rapidly and already boasts a variety of luxury accommodation and complexes. Served by its own International Airport, Marsa Alam has much to attract tourists, with restaurants, bars and shops located along the paradisiacal sea front. No trip would be complete however without experiencing the resort’s spectacular dive sites, offering an opportunity to swim with white-tip sharks at Elphinstone Reef and spinner dolphins at Shaab Samadai.
Sharm El Sheikh
With an impressive range of hotels and tourist facilities, Sharm El Sheikh is fast becoming Egypt’s most popular family beach resort. Tourists generally head to the region’s cosmopolitan Naama Bay area, populated with shops, restaurants, bars and 'Sheesha' cafes.
Amongst Sharm’s highlights are the area’s outstanding dive sites, the Ras Mohamed National Park and the Sharm El Maya Bay. The resort also offers a selection of nightclubs, discos, casinos, and golf courses, whilst water babies can take advantage of the snorkelling and windsurfing activities available. With camel riding, desert safaris and tours of ancient relics further on offer, Sharm El Sheikh is packed with enough attractions to provide an unforgettable Egyptian holiday.
One of the newest Red Sea resorts, Taba lies on the border of Israel, within view of the picturesque Sinai Mountains. Popular with tourists from Europe and Israel, holidaymakers are drawn to the region’s Taba Heights resort, a cosmopolitan development that includes a variety of top class hotels, bars, restaurants, a casino, an 18-hole golf course and a lively marina.
The waters off the coast of Taba are warm and calm, making the resort an ideal place in which to learn to dive. Offering a range of shallow reefs filled with hard and soft corals, and sea life that includes moray eels, seahorses, rays and snappers, Taba is also popular with more experienced and adventurous scuba-divers.
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