|Some alternatives to fill the time between the beach and the club By Jessica Gray|
| Sharm El-Sheikh has it all: sandy beaches, golf courses, diving, world-renowned dance clubs, spas — and the list goes on. And that’s without mentioning its year-round warm weather, especially during the winter months. But with such notoriety comes crowds.That’s why Egypt Today has compiled a few off-the-beaten track ideas that will help you plan a unique getaway to one of the nation’s best vacation destinations.
Pick Up a Guide
Sharm El-Sheikh is a popular tourist destination, which means you need to go that extra mile to find an offbeat activity. That’s where The Ultimate Travel Guide for Sharm El-Sheikh comes in. For LE 40, you get a colorful 155-page book devoted to the very best the Red Sea resort town has to offer.The guide boasts hundreds of food reviews in easy-to-read tables. It also lists the best dive sites, which is unique for a travel guide of this size (most recommend the big sites, but fail to list some of the smaller or less popular areas).The book gives budding underwater photographers the tips and tricks of the trade as well while listing equipment you’ll need to enjoy your dive.
An Evening With Miro
Many of the belly dancers you see in the Middle East are actually from Eastern Europe, and there are very few Egyptian women who still bellydance for a living.There are even fewer men. That being said, there are still a few Egyptians making a name for themselves in this field. Amr Madih, better known as Miro, is one of the nation’s most famous male belly dancers. Miro swishes his hips like a pro, and as with any true performer, makes you wish you could do the same.His performance incorporates an eclectic mix of shaabi folkloric belly-dancing influences. Catch him at the 11pm show at Alf Leila Wa Leila, which also features a kitch pharaonic light show at 10pm.
Alf Leila Wa Leila • El-Fanar Street Om El-Sid Hill (El-Hadaba), Sharm El-Sheikh • Tel: +2 (069) 366 4280/1
The show 3D Planet is great for the kids, especially if they are interested in learning about the sea.3D Planet brings the underwater world to life in way snorkeling and diving can’t. With 3D glasses, kids and their parents get seemingly up close and personal with the many creatures living in Egypt’s abundant coral reefs and learn why it is important to protect them for future generations. The air-conditioned theater is also a nice break from the day’s heat.3D Planet also occasionally features short films and documentaries on the ancient history of Cairo and Alexandria. Make sure to call ahead and book your tickets for a truly unique 3D experience.
3D Planet • 214a Peace Road, Naama Bay • Tel: +2 (069) 360 2500
Sports and Fun in the Sun
As mentioned, Sharm El-Sheikh has it all, even for sports enthusiasts and adventurers. The long stretches of coast make it perfect to learn and indulge in kite surfing, water skiing and parasailing. Most hotels have deals with local water sports centers, so check with your concierge or call ahead to some of the mainstays like Colona Watersports center at the Regency Plaza Resort in Naqa Bay.
You can also give sea kayaking a go. Most offer several different options to meet your skill level, whatever it may be. White Knight Beach’s Sun ’N Fun center is a good choice for those who want to paddle off toward the setting sun, a great end-of-the-day idea for families or couples. et
Sun ’N Fun • Savoy Sharm El-Sheikh • Tel: +2 (069) 360 2500, ext 8318
Colona Watersports • Tel: +2 (010) 344 1812 • www.colonawatersports.com
Sinai at a Glance
• When to go? Warm winters and bustling summers make Sinai a great place to be any time of year.
• Must see: Make your way to St. Catherine’s Monastery to see what monastic tradition says is the Burning Bush mentioned in the Bible.
• Must eat: Seek out a traditional Bedouin feast in the desert complete with the famous spiced Bedouin tea.
• Must buy: Bedouin rugs are some of the most intricate and beautiful in the country.