Did you know that Sharm El Sheikh, also known as Sharm, is a city in Egypt located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula? It is situated in the South Sinai Governorate and runs along the coastal strip of the Red Sea. As of 2023, the population is around 73,000. Sharm El Sheikh serves as the administrative centre for Egypt’s South Sinai Governorate, which covers smaller coastal towns such as Dahab and Nuweiba and the mountainous areas of St. Catherine and Mount Sinai. This city and holiday resort is a central tourism hub in Egypt and hosts numerous international conferences and diplomatic meetings. Additionally, Sharm El Sheikh is considered one of the Asian cities of Egypt.
Sharm el-Sheikh is an Egyptian resort located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula and surrounded by the Red Sea. This resort’s sheltered sandy beaches, clear waters and coral reefs are remarkable.
- Location of Sharm El Sheikh City
- Sharm El Sheikh International Airport
- Why Tourists Choose Sharm El Sheikh
- Administrative divisions
- Sharm El-Sheikh Activities
- History-Related and Sightseeing Activities
- Snorkelling Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Diving Activities
- Fishing Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Sea-Related Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Desert Safari Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- City Touring Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Beauty and Wellness Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Entertainment and Fun Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Best Time to Visit Sharm El-Sheikh
- Festivals in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Places to Visit in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Where to Stay in Sharm El-Sheikh?
- What to Eat in Sharm El-Sheikh?
- Shopping in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Nightlife in Sharm El-Sheikh
Location of Sharm El Sheikh City
Sharm El Sheikh is located on a peninsula overlooking the Straits of Tiran at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba. It was once a fishing village on the Red Sea coast but was transformed into a major port and naval base for the Egyptian Navy due to its strategic importance. After being conquered by Israel during the Suez Crisis of 1956, it was returned to Egypt in 1957. The city has hosted several important Middle Eastern peace conferences and is recognized as a metropolitan area. The resort was hit by a terrorist attack in 2005, which targeted Egypt’s tourist industry.
In November 2022, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, creating the first loss and damage fund. The city is now an international tourist destination, and environmental zoning laws limit the height of buildings to avoid obscuring the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Sharm El Sheikh, also known as the “City of Peace” or “Madinet EL-Salam” in Egyptian Arabic, has hosted numerous International Peace Conferences. The city is often called “Sharm” by locals and visitors alike. In English, the name is sometimes written as “Sharm el-Cheikh” or “Sharm el-Sheikh”.
Like other areas in the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El-Sheikh was occupied by Israel during the Suez Crisis of 1956. However, it was returned to Egypt in 1957. A United Nations peacekeeping force was stationed there until the 1967 Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel, after which Israel recaptured the city. Israel initiated some projects in the area, including constructing the town of Ofira overlooking Sharm El Maya Bay and the Nesima area and opening the first tourist-oriented establishments 6km north at Naama Bay. This led to the commercial development of Sinai. Sharm El Sheikh remained under Israeli control until 1982, when the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt under the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979.
In 1982, after the restoration of Sinai, the Egyptian government initiated a plan to promote the city’s development. As a result of these efforts, the town has become a popular tourist destination on a global scale.
Sharm El Sheikh International Airport
Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (IATA: SSH, ICAO: HESH) is an international airport situated in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and is the third busiest airport in the country, following Cairo International Airport and Hurghada International Airport. The airport was previously known as Ophira International Airport. The airport was established on May 14, 1968, as an Israeli Air Force base. After signing the Egypt-Israel peace treaty in 1979 and the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, it was reopened as a civilian airport.
Why Tourists Choose Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El-Sheikh is a fascinating tourist destination in Egypt, renowned for its natural beauty and historical significance. It was once a part of Israeli territory but was returned to Egypt in 1979. Due to its strategic location, Sharm El-Sheikh has played a vital role in controlling the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba. Under the Israeli administration, the area began to develop as a famous tourist spot, and this trend continued under the Egyptians. Nowadays, Sharm El-Sheikh is a favourite destination for tourists from all over the world. Its unique marine biodiversity attracts visitors to indulge in snorkelling. The city is located between Cairo in Egypt and Jerusalem in Israel. It is home to several hidden gems, including popular beach resorts, rich underwater habitats, beautiful coral reefs, and unique diving spots.
If you’re looking to escape routine and enjoy some sunshine and warm waters all year round, Sharm El Sheikh is the perfect destination. It’s the closest place to Europe to indulge in the sun, sea, and amazing coral reefs. The climate here is excellent, with dry weather throughout the year and temperatures ranging from 20Â° to 25Â° C in the winter months and highs of 30 to 35Â° C in summer. Sharm El Sheikh offers exciting water and extreme sports, including diving, snorkelling, sailing, wind and kite-surfing. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try skydiving or parachuting from a helicopter.
Marine Life in Sharm El Sheikh
Embarking on a dive in Sharm el Sheikh promises an unforgettable experience. With a range of dive sites accessible from day boats and liveaboards alike, there is something for everyone. From historic wreck dives to magnificent wall dives and vibrant reef dives, the diversity of marine life will amaze you. Sharm el Sheikh caters to all diving levels and interests.
The Red Sea is home to a wide variety of marine life, including tiny nudibranchs and the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. Shark enthusiasts will be delighted to know that the Southern liveaboard itineraries provide the best opportunity to spot a variety of species, such as grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, silky sharks, hammerheads, thresher sharks, and the oceanic whitetip shark.
The Red Sea is not just about the sea creatures; it also offers a wealth of wrecks, each with its fascinating history. While most wrecks can be penetrated, ensuring that you have sufficient diving experience and confidence before attempting to do so is crucial.
The sea life in Sharm el Sheikh is genuinely remarkable. The fringing reef stretches over 250 km along the coast and supports one of the wealthiest and most productive marine ecosystems. The reef is further supported by a vast flat reef or ‘ridge reef’, which extends up to 500 meters in some areas. In addition, small harbours and gulfs separate the fringing reefs, and notable reef topography, such as swim gullies and tunnel systems.
Water Sport Availability
In addition to water sports, you can enjoy plenty of other activities during your stay in Sharm El Sheikh. You can book trips and safaris to the nearby Sinai desert and explore the impressive St Catherine Monastery or majestic Sinai Mountains. You’re in luck if you’re looking for a wellness and pampering holiday. Sharm El Sheikh is home to some of the best spas in Egypt. And when the sun sets, you can head to local bars, nightclubs, and beaches for unforgettable nights of dancing and fun.
Sharm El Sheikh has it all to make your holiday an unforgettable experience. It’s located on the Gulf of Aqaba, about 300 km from Suez and 19 km from Ras Mohammed National Park. Naama Bay is the perfect spot for those looking for action, while the Old Town is ideal for daily shopping and souvenir hunting. Hadaba (near Ras Um Sid) is an excellent choice with its calm hotels and resorts for serenity. And if you want to explore the Ras Mohammed National Park and Nabq Protectorate or go on diving and snorkelling trips, head down to the marina or one of the town docking ports.
The government divides
- Ras Nusrani.
- Naama Bay.
- Umm Sid.
- Also, Sharm El Maya.
Sharm El-Sheikh Activities
When you visit Sharm El-Sheikh, there are plenty of exciting things to do that will make your trip unforgettable. This city boasts some of the most stunning landscapes on the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. Spend a day lounging on one of the world’s best beaches, take in the local culture by exploring the Old Town, hike up Mount Sinai, or dive into the deep seas to discover the underwater treasures at Ras Mohammed Marine Park. Additionally, the region is rich in history, and you can visit historical sites such as St. Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mt. Sinai, the Sharm Old Market, and the Al-Sahaba Mosque.
Sharm El-Sheikh is famous for its coral reefs, islands and entertainment. Generally, many tourists visit it annually to enjoy snorkelling and diving. For the sake of the sea and sun, trips head from Sharm El-Sheikh to various tourist destinations. These trips go far to Cairo and Luxor. Sometimes, they head to Israel and Jordan. On the other hand, these trips arrive from Dahab the place.
- History Related/Sightseeing Activities.
- Snorkelling Activities.
- Diving Activities.
- Sea-Related Activities.
- Water Sports/Water-Related Activities.
- Also, Fun and Entertainment Activities.
History-Related and Sightseeing Activities
- 2-day Trip to Cairo-Alexandria from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Trip to Jerusalem from Sharm El Sheikh.
- Excursion Climbing Mountain of Moses from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Travel to Cairo from Sharm El-Sheikh by Plane.
- Trip to Monastery of Saint Catherine from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Day trip to Luxor from Sharm El-Sheikh by Plane.
- Also, Over-day Trip to Cairo – Giza from Sharm El-Sheikh.
Snorkelling Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Snorkelling Trip in Abu Galum and Blue Hole from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Sea Trip to Ras Mohammed From Sharm El-Sheikh by Bus.
- Snorkelling Excursion in Tiran from Sharm El Sheikh.
- Sea Picnic on semi-submarine in Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Also, go on Snorkeling Trip in Ras Mohammed from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Diving Trip in Tiran from Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Also, go on Diving Excursion in Ras Mohammed from Sharm El-Sheikh.
Fishing Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
Sea-Related Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
Desert Safari Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Quad Biking in Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Jeep Safari in Sharm El-Sheikh.
- Also, Camel and Buggy Riding in Sharm El-Sheikh.
City Touring Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
Beauty and Wellness Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
- Trip to the Spa Center in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Entertainment and Fun Activities in Sharm El-Sheikh
Best Time to Visit Sharm El-Sheikh
Summertime temperatures can get overwhelming, reaching 50℃ in Sharm El Sheikh. The ideal times to visit this fascinating place are spring and autumn, when the low seasons kick off with lower temperatures. You should spare at least three days to see the entire city.
Festivals in Sharm El-Sheikh
There are several festivities celebrated throughout the year in Sharm El-Sheikh:
- Unity Day (February)
- Abu Simbel Festival (February)
- Coptic Christmas (January)
- Sina Independence Day (April)
- Shem El Nessim (April)
- Leylet En Nuktah (June)
- Revolution Day (July)
- Art Festival (August)
Places to Visit in Sharm El-Sheikh
Sharm El-Sheik is a gate to paradise where you will have a fantastic time during your stay. Here are the places you should visit while in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Getting in the turquoise waters of the Red Sea is among the top activities to once in Sharm El Sheikh. The most famous diving centres are Ras Um Sid, Sheikh Coast Diving Center and Sharm El Maya, with breathtaking underwater scenery.
Shark’s Bay Beach
If you’re looking for a beautiful beach, Shark’s Bay Beach might be just what you need. Located about 10 km north of Sharm El Sheikh Airport, this beach area used to be a quiet spot for divers, but now it’s mostly known for its collection of luxurious five-star resorts. Despite its name, Shark Bay is no longer home to sharks, so enjoying the water and snorkelling is safe. The coral reefs here are stunning, with various colours and types of fish to admire.
If swimming isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. The beach’s northern end is shallow and perfect for snorkelling while diving enthusiasts can train for their next big adventure. The marine life here is diverse and fascinating, with many fish species, including coralfish, lyretail, barracuda, eagle, and shark. Even if you prefer to stay on shore, plenty of shady spots exist to relax and enjoy the sand. Don’t forget to take in the views of Tiran Island across the water.
When you’re ready to grab a bite, there are several restaurants in the area to choose from. One standout option is the Umbi Seafood Restaurant, which serves delicious meals. Whether you’re travelling with family or friends, Shark’s Bay Beach offers a memorable vacation experience.
Ras Mohammed National Park
Ras Mohammed National Park is among the worldly famous marine parks of the Sinai Peninsula. It is also a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkelling for those who want to venture into the crystal waters to discover the unique coral reefs marked as one of the most beautiful places after the Great Barrier Reefs of Australia.
You can take a safari trip to the Canyon from Sharm El-Sheikh through guided tours or by off-road vehicles. Colourful Canyon composes of rocks with many different colours formed by oxidation giving the unique landscape its name. You can hike through the canyons and enjoy this natural wonder with beautiful scenery.
Numerous guided safari tours take tourists on an adventurous journey along Sharm’s deserts. You can ride a camel, watch the charming sunset in the desert and stargaze with Bedouin guides.
Mount Sinai and Monastery of St.Catherine
Mount Sinai is sacred for Abrahamic religions, as it is believed to be where the Ten Commandments were delivered to Prophet Moses. St. Catherine’s Monastery, located 250 km outside the city at the foot of Mount Sinai, is one of the ancient historical places of worship. The Byzantine Emperor Justinianus built the monastery in the 6th century, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.
Where to Stay in Sharm El-Sheikh?
There are many accommodation opportunities in Sharm El-Sheikh, ranging from high-end luxurious resorts to more economical selections. Sabq, Soho Square and Naama Bay area are appealing spots for tourists. Hyatt Regency, Royal Savoy, Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort, and Charmillion Sea Life Resort are the preferred options along the beach.
What to Eat in Sharm El-Sheikh?
Lebanese and Indian cuisines have heavily influenced the food culture in Egypt. Yet, Sharm El Sheikh, a famous tourist destination with visitors from all over the world, offers a variety of options ranging from Italian restaurants to Far Eastern delicacies of Chinese or Thai food.
- Traditional Egyptian Cuisine: El Masrien Grill Restaurant (Old Market)
- Conventional Food & Grill: El Masrien Restaurant
- Seafood: Fish Market (Sultan Gardens Resort)
- Hookah: Farsha Cafe (Umm El Sid Hill)
- Barbecue and Kebab: El Kababgy
- French Cuisine: La Fleur
- Seafood: Fares Seafood
- Italian and Vegetarian Cuisine: Frantogo
- Indian Food: Rangoli
Shopping in Sharm El-Sheikh
Soho Street and Naama Bay are among the top spots for shopping. Al Khan and La Strada are two big shopping malls in Nabq Bay. Another famous shopping place is the Old Bazaar, which is quite similar to the Grand Bazaar in İstanbul. Handmade jewellery, Egyptian pharaoh and pyramid statuettes, spices and traditional local clothing are among the top souvenirs to look for.
Nightlife in Sharm El-Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh has a lively nightlife. Naama Bay is the most popular area of Sharm El-Sheikh to go out at night. Sinai Grand Casino and Dolce Vita Sharm El Sheikh -a nightclub in the middle of the desert are the most preferred entertainment spots in the city.