About the Red Sea
Red Sea holidays are all about sun, fun and world-class water sports. Just a short hop across the sea from southern Europe, Egypt’s Red Sea area is home to cosmopolitan resorts, golden sands and warm waters. Head inland and you can discover the spectacular Eastern and Sinai deserts by camel or jeep, meet Bedouin nomads, and climb rocky Mount Sinai. Or how about a visit to the awe-inspiring pyramids and Sphinx from here? They’re an absolute must when in Egypt.
35 °C June to September are the hottest months.
5 hours 15 minutes from the UK to Hurghada International Airport (HRG) or Marsa Alam International Airport (RMF).
The Red Sea’s exotic sunshine, stunning beaches and world-famous scuba-diving make for an unforgettable holiday at any time of year.
Whether you love to be in amongst the action or prefer away-from-it-all tranquillity, there’s a great range of resorts in the Red Sea. From the untouched shores of Marsa Alam, to laid-back Hurghada and the smaller resorts that surround it; the beaches are all gorgeous expanses of soft sand and warm blue sea. And whether you’re in one of the big, bustling resorts with huge entertainment complexes or a smaller community with a more tranquil atmosphere, you can go snorkelling or diving, enjoy international cuisine, sunbathe under blue skies, and relax by sun-dappled swimming pools.
An underwater world awaits on the Red Sea Riviera. Snorkelling and scuba diving through the turquoise waters will reveal stunning tropical fish and colourful coral. And it’s not just for adults, either; kids can have a go, too. Water sports enthusiasts won’t be able to resist kayaking or kite-surfing along the region’s coast. If you want to take things a little slower, you could relax on a boat trip instead. Take your pick from the likes of glass-bottomed boats to see beneath the waves, or yacht cruises serving a romantic dinner on board. Back on dry land, there’s plenty to keep you entertained after dark, from bustling bars and nightclubs to local entertainment like folk dancing.
Scuba-diving & snorkelling
Discovering colourful coral gardens and captivating shipwrecks are among the most popular things to do on a Red Sea holiday. You’ll find world-class dive sites across the region; there are almost 50 in the Hurghada area alone, plus nine shipwrecks to explore, if you’re a more experienced diver. The picture-postcard Marsa Alam resort is home to the most famous dive site on the planet: Elphinstone Reef.
Even if you’re not a certified diver, the Red Sea is an excellent place to get your dive ticket, with plenty of PADI-approved schools and instructors. And you can always stick to the snorkelling if you prefer.
There are endless places to explore on your Red Sea Riviera holiday. If you’re up for an off-road jaunt, why not head out to the desert for a 4x4 adventure? Here you’ll find traditional Bedouin villages, where you can enjoy dinner under the stars with your hosts. Back on the coast, you can take a boat trip to the stunning island of Mahmya, Egypt’s answer to the Caribbean. There are few places more idyllic than this. Of course, a trip to Egypt wouldn’t be complete without exploring the ancient cities of Cairo and Luxor, and both are easily accessible by road and air. This is your chance to see the world-famous pyramids, Sphinx and River Nile with your own eyes; an experience you won’t want to miss!
There’s plenty to keep you busy throughout your Red Sea holiday. You’ll find chic cocktail bars dotted along the coast; Hurghada’s marina is a particularly cosmopolitan spot. Or you can simply make the most of your hotel’s entertainment programme. If you’re travelling with the family, be sure to make time to visit some of the incredible waterparks; they’re packed with pools and slides to keep the little (and not so little!) ones entertained for hours.
RESORTS NEAR RED SEA
HOLIDAYS IN RED SEA
Red Sea holidays are best for...
Scuba-divers: Breathtaking reefs and colourful marine life are all part and part of a trip to the Red Sea Riviera, which boasts some of the finest dive sites on the planet.
Beach lovers: Sun, sea and sand are firmly on the menu with your Red Sea holiday. There are hundreds of kilometres of white-sand beaches to enjoy, and some of you won’t want to leave your sun lounger for the duration of your trip.
Adventurers: Go beyond resorts and cities like Sharm el Sheik and Hurghada and explore to the desert from the comfort of a jeep, experience the nomadic Bedouin way of life, or journey to the ancient pyramids in Cairo.
Language: The language spoken here is Arabic.
Currency:The currency used is the Egyptian pound (EGP).
Local time: The Red Sea is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Hurghada International Airport or Sharm el Sheikh Airport. Transfer times to the Red Sea resorts take 20–50 minutes.
Flight time from UK: The flight time to the Red Sea is 5.5 hours.
Tourist information: Read more tourist information at www.egypt.travel.
Visa & health: Before your Red Sea holiday, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt for recommendations and advice on visas and health.
Weather and climate
Temperature:June to September are the hottest months of the year, ideal for a sun-soaked holiday. Winter is mild, too, with temperatures rising up to 24°C in November. Even in January and February (the coldest months of the year) it rarely drops below 21°C.
Best time to visit:If you like things hot, book your holiday in June, July, August or September. If you prefer things a little cooler then book a holiday during the winter months.
By taxi: You’ll find plenty of taxis in the resorts here, especially in Hurghada and Marsa Alam where they’re the best way to get around. Make sure you agree a price before you get in to avoid expensive fares, and always look for licenced taxis that are metered. Ask at your hotel for details.
By tuk-tuk: These automated rickshaws are the main form of transport in El Gouna, and they’re cheap, too.
On the waterfront: Over in El Gouna, the weekly marina party takes place every Friday at Abu Tig Marina. From 8pm, you’ll find live entertainment and loads of good food in this picturesque spot. It’s the perfect spot to experience some authentic Egyptian flavours and relax with the locals.
Desert beats: Hurghada is fast becoming one of the leading party hotspots on the Red Sea Riviera. The marina is packed with vibrant restaurants, and plenty of bars and clubs with a great atmosphere every night of the week.
Ramadan: Ramadan (a holy month of fasting) is a key annual event in the Muslim calendar. It’s unlikely to affect the restaurants and bars in your hotel, but you might find restrictions elsewhere. Dates vary year on year, but it’s usually in May or June.