Fly To Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm el-Sheikh, affectionately referred to as ‘Sharm’, is a popular Egyptian holiday resort town at the Southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Romantically referred to as the “City of Peace” by some dreamy nomads, the regions beaches boast some of the best diving in the Middle East thanks to the diverse marine life of the Ras Mohamed National Park and hundreds of Red Sea coral reef sites.
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Why visit Sham El Sheikh
- Experience the underwater world of this city, with colourful reef that attracts all kinds of beautiful marine life and one of the best ship wrecks in the world all located in this magnificent holiday destination.
- Lay under the stars along the many untouched deserts that are scattered across Sharm el Sheikh, this place is much more than just a resort which is what makes it uniquely attractive.
- Be sure to visit Mount Sinai which is a sacred place where Moses received the Ten Commandments, this three hour trek is worth every step to the top as the views are extremely breathe-taking.
This is a city that can be enjoyed any time of the year, although the summer months have become very popular amongst British tourists who are looking to visit the Red Sea. It is advised (if crowds are not really something you enjoy) to avoid visiting this holiday destination during June, July and August.
Arabic is the main language that is spoken in Sharm El Sheikh, but English, Italian and French are also widely spoken.
- Before 1980 there were not many hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, there were just small camps for adventure travellers and a small fishing village.
- The longest river in the world is the Nile River which runs through Egypt.
- Mount Catherine is the highest mountain in Egypt, it stands at 2,629m high.
An exploration of the desert is a must when in Sharm el-Sheikh. There are numerous tours that will take you to the Bedouins, the Coloured Canyon and Mount Sinai. If you’re looking for adventure, hire a private guide who will spend a few days with you in the desert riding a camel and exploring hidden valleys.
Alf Lela w Lela puts on live shows daily which feature traditional belly dancers as well as a popular male belly dancer. The sights and sounds of the live shows make for an electric atmosphere.Diving is one of the reasons many tourists flock to Sharm. Dive into the Red Sea and enter a world of aqua life and colours. Try out the reefs at Tiran and Ras Mohammed which can be reached by boat within a couple of hours.
Quad biking and parasailing are also popular activities within the resort town as is camel trekking. When it comes to choosing souvenirs for people back home, think camel teddy bears and traditional, comfortable and cool clothing.
Taxis in Sharm are modern and the meters typically don’t function well. The fixed prices work out better in any case. There are blue and white micro buses that mostly ferry locals around and they are more economical compared to the sedan taxis. If you’d like to take the bus, wait next to the side of the main street and raise your hand when you see one approaching. Once in the bus, sit down and pass your money forward to the driver. Hiring private minibuses is also cost effective.
Egyptian cuisine encompasses many flavours and influencers, popular dishes that are loved by locals include fava beans; kushari, a mixture of lentils, rice, pasta, molokhiya, chopped and cooked bush okra with garlic and coriander sauce, and other ingredients. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Sharm El Sheikh with a wide variety of choice when it comes to international menus, Mediterranean dishes and local Middle Eastern cuisine.
The best restaurants to try when visiting this desert holiday destination include:
- Kona Kai & Sushi Bar Restaurant
- Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort
- Little Buddha
- SOHO Square Sharm El Sheikh
- Mahony Restaurant
- VIVA Beach & Restaurant
Most of the locals in Egypt affiliate themselves with the Islamic faith. There are also many Christians in this country, with the majority of them belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which was a dominant religion in Egypt before Islam.
This is a very safe city to visit, there are the odd occurrences of petty crime that takes place mostly during peak-seasons. It is advised to remain vigilant at all times and to not wander through the city at night alone as it can be very dangerous, especially as a female.
South African passport holders travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh do require a Visa to enter Egypt. Make sure that your SA passport is valid for 6 months from your return and that there are at least 2 free pages available for stamps.
Address: Building No. 11, Intersection Road 200 & 2003, Digla, Maadi, Cairo.
Telephone: +202 2535 3000
Fax:(+20) 2 2521 3277
|Item||Cape Town||Johannesburg||Sharm El Sheikh|
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R 90.00||R 100.00||R 41.38|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R 22.00||R 20.00||R 22.07|
|Cappuccino (regular)||R 19.00||R 20.00||R 16.09|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R 35.00||R 35.00||R 22.99|
Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport – SSH
The airport was originally an Israeli Air Force base prior to the territory being returned to Egypt. The terminals boast a wide variety of shopping facilities including souvenir and duty free shops as well as bazaars. The departure customs area offers fantastic local goods, perfumes and alcohol to take home.
Food and beverages:There are a few cafes, fast food outlets and restaurants where you can relax with a cup of coffee or something to eat before take-off.
Currency Exchange:Travellers can exchange currency at the dedicated currency exchange offices and bank department in Terminal 1. There are a number of 24-hour ATMs throughout the airport too.
Lost luggage:The lost baggage office is in the arrivals area.
Car hire:Thrifty, Hertz.
Airport hub:Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (code SSH) is a hub for Egypt Air flights.
The information on this page is correct as of August 2016. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.