Princess Diana’s visit to Egypt in 1992 sparked a flurry of interest in the country and put it firmly on the tourist map. Visitors wanted photographs in front of the world-famous Pyramids and the historical Sphinx, and Giza quickly became a popular hotspot for tourists bustling with activity.
If you want to enjoy the delights of Egypt, but are after a more relaxing and peaceful break away from all the buzz, then you’ll want to head to the coastline. Here are our top tips for visiting Egypt, the luxurious way...
1. Stay at the Makadi Spa Hotel
Huge infinity pools, stunning views of the Red Sea and gorgeous golden beaches are just some of the luxuries you’ll soak up at this 5-star all-inclusive hotel, located just 45 minutes’ drive from Hurghada airport. Rooms at the adult-only hotel are incredibly spacious and come with private terraces for soaking up the sun, meaning a peaceful and luxurious experience is guaranteed. Within the encompassing Red Sea Holidays’ Makadi Bay resort there is also a brand new state-of-the-art waterpark, at the neighbouring Sunwing Makadi Hotel, for those wanting a little more adventure. For more information head to www.redseaholidays.co.uk
2. Taste Egyptian – and world – cuisine
Taste the flavours of Egypt and beyond at one of the Makadi Bay resort’s many á la carte restaurants offering a delicious variety of foods from around the world - Egyptian, French, Italian, Indian, Chinese and seafood. If you do opt for the seafood option, you’ll be sampling incredibly fresh fish, with the majority of it coming directly from the Red Sea at your doorstep.
3. Go over to the wild side with a camel-ride
When in Egypt, do as the Egyptians do. It’s a bumpy ride, but your guide will make sure you’re in safe hands as you take in the sites from the best seat in the desert. You’ll be able to organise a tour from the hotel reception and if you’re lucky you may also be taken to visit a Bedouin camp to learn all about their culture.
4. Go quad-biking in the desert
Taking a trip on a quad bike has got to be the most exciting way to take in the magnificence of your surroundings. The endless sand dunes mean it’s impossible to navigate the vast desert planes yourself, and taking control of a quad bike adds a touch of adventure to sightseeing. Top tip: Wear gloves to avoid painful blisters on your hands.
5. Feel like a goddess at the Palace Port Ghalib in Marsa Alam
Egypt’s most southerly resort, Marsa Alam, stretches across more than 50 kilometres of stunning white beaches and gorgeous sea views. The Palace Port Ghalib hotel is Marsa Alam’s most luxurious resort, with pristine pools, unspoilt beach access and comfortable rooms with attentive staff. It also sports one of the world’s largest man-made swimming lagoons – a must for even the most hesitant swimmer.
Get more information at www.redseaholidays.co.uk
6. Take a cruise out to the Red Sea
Daily cruises run from Port Ghalib into the Red Sea, taking you to stunning coral reefs and giving you the opportunity to dive in and get closer to the magnificence of the ocean, including fish of every colour, turtles and even the local Sea Cows.
7. Discover the underworld snorkelling
If you do go on a cruise, don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the beautiful marine life underwater. The friendly guides will make sure you feel confident out on the water even if you aren’t the strongest swimmer, and you’ll be treated to the most incredible views of fish and colourful coral. Keep an eye out for the stingrays gliding along the sea bed and the tiny pink jellyfish bobbing around!
8. Swim with giant sea turtles
There’s nothing quite like seeing 100-year-old turtles up close and in their natural habitat. The daily boat tours from Marsa Alam take tourists to top snorkelling and scuba diving spots, where you can swim with a number of giant turtles and make once-in-a-lifetime memories you’ll never forget.
9. Get a glimpse of the night life
The coastline boasts more than 100 upmarket shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. A particular highlight is the port, where you can sit outdoors and take in the enormous boats and glistening sea while sipping on a cocktail.
10. Indulge in some market shopping
The main thing to remember when shopping at the market is to haggle! Shops don’t put prices on their items, but shopkeepers are more than happy to negotiate wallet-friendly costs for souvenirs that take your fancy.