El Quseir, or El Qoseir, is one of the Egyptian gateways and one of the oldest cities on the western coast of the Red Sea. It was known by various names, such as Thagho in the pharaonic period, Leucos Limen (white port in Greek) in the Hellenistic and Ptolemaic period, and Portus Albus in the Roman period. El-Quseir means in Arabic “small palace or fortress”.
Location of El Quseir Town
El Quseir lies 138 kilometres south of Hurghada, 130 km north of Marsa Alam and 68 km north of the Marsa Alam International Airport.
Located between Hurghada and Marsa Alam, El Quseir used to be an important port. Many people travelled from there to the Land of Punt to buy ivory, leather and incense. During the Ottoman and the Islamic periods, Egyptians and Muslims from North Africa travelled from El Quseir as pilgrims to Mecca. It was also the only port importing coffee from Yemen. During the French occupation of Egypt, El Quseir was the arrival point for Arabs and Muslims from Hejaz coming to fight beside the Mamluk against the French army. The most critical sites in El Quseir are the fort and the water reservoir. The water reservoir was El Qoseir’s only source of drinking water 100 years ago.
Historical Sites in El Qoseir
El Quseir El Adima, the city’s historical area, was once a Roman port, and hundreds of amphora and old pottery artefacts have been found there. Several 300-year-old buildings in the area, including an Ottoman fort and several historic mosques: El Farran, El Qenawi and El Senussi. The police station is also located at a historic site. The area contains bazaars, cafes, coffee shops and restaurants selling seafood.
El Qoseir is a city in eastern Egypt, located on the Red Sea coast. Populated for approximately 5,000 years, its ancient name during the Ptolemaic era was Myos Hormos. Historically, it was the endpoint of the Wadi Hammamat trail, an important route connecting Egypt and the Red Sea. In 1986, its population was approximately 20,000. Today, the people of El Quseir are around 50,000.
Köppen-Geiger, a climate classification system, classifies its climate as a hot desert (BWh). Summers are hot, and winters are warm. Winter night temperatures in El Quseir and those of Marsa Alam and Sharm El Sheikh are the warmest of any other cities and resorts in Egypt. Additionally, Port Said, El Quseir, Ras El Bar, Baltim, Damietta and Alexandria have the slightest temperature variation. Rain is scarce, as in most of Egypt. Seasonal variation is small, comparable to Marsa Alam. Still, its summer days are more relaxed. Even temperatures are calmer than in northern areas at the Red Sea, like Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.
The highest record temperature was 46 °C (115 °F), recorded on July 12, 1983, while the coldest record temperature was one °C (34 °F), recorded on January 6, 1976.