Not Your Average Vacation

Egypt Is Not Your Ordinary Desert

Picture of a community compound in the town of Sharm el-Sheikh with the Red Sea in the background, taken from one of the houses in the compound.

Ayman Elhannawi, Staff Writer

What do you think when you think of Egypt?  Most think of a sea of sand with three pyramids and the Sphinx, that mythical lion with the head of a human. Although these impressions would be true, what the average person doesn’t know about Egypt is that it has two of the best seas: the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, along with tons of resort towns to visit. In summer, two of the most popular resort towns are Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab.

The best time to visit them would be from April to October, for these times are considered by the locals to be the best weather. Sharm el Sheikh is famous for its high temperature exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is a must to bring sunscreen for the trip. This resort town is located in the southern part of the Sinai peninsula, between the desert of Sinai and the Red Sea, which makes it the perfect candidate for a summer vacation.

Divers from around the world travel to see and experience the phenomenal view of the blue hole.

— Ayman Elhannawi

Sharm el-sheikh is a desert, mountain and resort town all in one place. It is the real star of the Sinai also known as “Sinai’s jewel,” for its beaches have amazing coral reefs that you can see easily from just swimming near the shores. TripAdvisor shows where you can stay at four-star hotels for as low as $50 per night. The American dollar is strong right now in Egypt.

Sharm el-sheikh is famous for its water activities like snorkeling, sandboarding, and for its beach parties. Sandboarding is just like snowboarding, only with sand. For the most adventurous people, safaris are another great way to get in a good view of the mountain of Saint Catherine.

Besides Sharm el-sheikh, another great place to visit would be the Dahab resort town. The name of the town literally means gold. It is located near Sharm el-Sheikh to the northeast, sharing the same coast. However, both towns provide a different experience. Unlike Sharm el-sheikh, Dahab is much smaller in size and population. However, it makes up for its small size by its large and warm welcome to all people.

Dahab is known for being the most treasured diving destination, for it has a giant hole in its coast called “the blue hole.” Divers from around the world travel to see and experience the phenomenal view of the blue hole. However, be advised that it is extremely dangerous and many divers have lost their lives attempting to dive there. Locals call it “the diver’s cemetery,” for many divers never come back from the depth.

Another perk of Dahab is the view of the mountains from the distance, making it viable for safaris and hiking. Hiking is somewhat dangerous for it is too easy to get lost without supervision, and if a tourist were to hike there, a guide is recommended.

Most of the people in Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab speak Arabic, for it is their native language. However, the majority speak English as well. Visitors come from around the world to spend their summers in both Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab. Furthermore, both resort towns are considered to have a tight security system for tourist safety. But be advised to follow security protocols to ensure your safety. Prior to travel, you should check for more information.

There are flights available out of Logan to Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport with connecting flights. The whole trip will take more than 20 hours. Recommended airlines are Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines and Emirates Airlines.