Out All Night



Mon, 17 Jul 2017 - 12:54 GMT


Mon, 17 Jul 2017 - 12:54 GMT

Pyramisa Hotel Sharm El-Sheikh - File photo

Pyramisa Hotel Sharm El-Sheikh - File photo

CAIRO - 17 July 2017: Out of all the beach resorts on the Red Sea, perhaps the true belle of the ball is the ever popular Sharm El-Sheikh. The tiny village at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula has in recent decades turned into a glorified night club, as more and more Egyptian 20-somethings flee from the busy city to enjoy Sharm’s famous party scene and European and Russian tourists fly in for winter sun and five-star luxury.

For those wanting to enjoy the less contrived side of the city, there is still some natural beauty to be salvaged in Sharm El-Sheikh, with its mountainous surroundings, exotic underwater life and year-round sunshine. And at the end of the day, a little partying does no harm.

The city is divided into three main areas for visitors. The most popular is Na’ama Bay, where most hotels, restaurants, bars and night clubs are located. Along the shore is a brick-paved walkway, highlighted by brightly colored flowers on each side.

For a more secluded holiday, Sharm El-Maya is your area of choice. A natural harbor where many small boats are docked, Sharm El-Maya is the port for Sharm El-Sheikh’s old town. The bay remains relatively untouched, with only few hotels in the area, and its sandy beaches are lined with palm trees.

Between those two bays lies a connecting bridge, Ras Um Sid. Located on a hill where most of the hotels are situated, Ras Um Sid is famous for its coral reefs.

Sharm El-Sheikh is all about tourism, so you will find yourself with plenty of choices for where to drop your bags. If you’re willing to splurge on your nightly stay, then opt for one of the international names, most of which offer swimming pools, multiple restaurants with international cuisines, and spa facilities.

Though it may be at the end of the long Na’ama Bay walk, Sofitel boasts the best view, overlooking the whole bay. The hotel offers its guests complete privacy with its own secluded beach, as well as four different types of cuisines including Mediterranean food at El-Kababgy restaurant or barbecue at the open-air La Brise.

Other international names in bright lights along the coast include Hilton, Novotel and Marriott. However, if you are looking to spend a little less time at the hotel and a little more exploring your surroundings, then stay at one of the less expensive hotels that will meet your basic needs.

With its Bedouin-inspired architecture, Sanafir Hotel offers its guests an all-round authentic feel with the dome-roofed buildings. With a Bedouin tent and camp fire at the center of the hotel’s grounds, guests will feel submerged in the culture. Additionally, guests can also enjoy the waterfall that spills down into the hotel’s pool.

Sharm El-Sheikh’s main attraction lies beneath the waters. The area is said to have the most beautiful reefs in the world, which makes diving an absolute must. For a closer look at untainted underwater life at its best, go down to Ras Mohamed National Park on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. Ras Mohamed has several diving sites, including Jackfish Alley, which is sure to provide an adventurous dive. The calm, relatively shallow waters lead to a small bay where there is a set of small caves with steep walls and sandy floors. Inside the caves, you will be able to observe large schools of glassfish reflecting rays of light across the caves’ walls as they swim back and forth.

The fish are a little bigger at the Shark and Yolanda reefs, where several species of sharks can be spotted, along with Blue Spotted Stingrays, Stonefish, Scorpionfish and Barracudas. Besides exotic sea creatures, you will also get to dive among the wreckage of the Yolanda ship from the 1970s.

Another place that is guaranteed to offer adventure is Sha’ab Mahmoud, to the west of the peninsula. Surrounded by a shallow plateau of sand and coral formations is the irregularly-shaped reef known as Stingray Station, where stingray roam, particularly around the months of March and April, joined by Leopard Sharks.

Sha’ab Ali caters to the history enthusiast with two shipwrecks; the Thistlegorm and the Kingston. Thistlegorm is perhaps the most famous shipwreck in the Red Sea. It was hit by a German long range bomber in 1941 and ripped in half. Amid the wreckage you can still see the provisions and arms, including crates of rifles, jeeps and aircraft wings, that the ship was carrying for the British Army.

The Kingston has remained intact underwater, allowing divers to examine the top deck and large propeller, as well as look inside the engine room where the boilers and condensers are still in place.

Guiding you along the coasts are the many dive centers located in Sharm El-Sheikh, such as Sinai Divers at the Ghazala Village in Na’ama Bay. The center offers daily trips to all of the available dive areas, in addition to diving instructions and gear.

A diver’s certification is not the only way to enjoy Sharm El-Sheikh’s beautiful waters; there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied. If you want to enjoy the enchanting sights of underwater life without getting wet, take a trip on a glass-bottom boat, available at most hotels. The glass floors are perhaps the next best thing to a face mask for viewing the coral reefs and their strange and colorful inhabitants.

Sharm El-Sheikh also offers a variety of water sports for that healthy dose of adrenaline. Sharm El-Maya is ideal for all kinds of water activities because of its calm weather conditions and crystal clear waters. Give the emerging sport of wakeboarding a shot, or go waterskiing along the sandy coast. You could also rent out a banana boat or donut with friends for a guaranteed laugh, or experience the sensation of flying by parasailing above the coast.

Most hotels organize excursions inland on quad-bikes or motorbikes, or you can take a tour to the interior on a trip up Mount Sinai. The Colored Canyon is another stunning desert spot, and can be visited in a day from Sharm.

Relax in the desert at the end of a long day with a Bedouin-style dinner, served in tents around a camp fire with singing and dancing courtesy of local Bedouin entertainers. If you’d rather stay in town, however, tea and shisha at sunset from the rooftop Ali Baba Oriental Café at the Sonesta Beach Resort is a great lazy way to spend an evening. Those who want to witness Sharm El-Sheikh’s legendary nightlife will have a tough time picking out the perfect club attire and an even tougher time deciding between the different clubs, pubs and bars spread across the bay.

Perhaps the most popular is Pacha at the Sanafir Hotel, the first branch of the international chain to open in Africa and the Middle East. At Pacha, the clubbing goes on till the early hours of the morning as the party-starved overindulge in dancing and pick-up lines. The club also holds parties at the Temple of Sound, in one of the nearby desert valleys, where clubbers can enjoy the dancing and music amid the rough desert surroundings.

Bus Stop attracts all nationalities living and holidaying at Sharm with its high quality bar, dance music and a swimming pool in the middle of the club. Hard Rock Café also makes for a lively night out, offering its visitors a selection of snack foods, as well as full meals, with plenty of drinks from the bar.

Whether it’s late nights or adventure-filled days that you’re seeking, Sharm will definitely fulfill your need for natural beauty, adrenaline and parties that last until dawn.



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