Egypt, officially known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country situated between Northeast Africa and Southeast Asia which connects the two continents by means of the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt covers 1,010,108 km², and most of the country is located within the Nile River Valley. The country also borders the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, the Red Sea, Sudan, and Libya.
Egypt emerged during the tenth millennium B.C., and therefore has the longest history of all modern countries. Ancient Egypt, considered the cradle of civilisation, is where the first developments in writing, agriculture, urbanisation and organised religion were seen. In addition, ancient monuments, such as the pyramids of Giza and their great sphinx, the temples of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings, reflect the historic legacy of the country, which continues to be important in archaeological research and of popular interest worldwide. The cultural heritage of Egypt is an integral part of its national identity, after having encountered various invasions by foreign peoples, including Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans and Europeans. Despite being Christianised during the Common Era, it later converted to Islam due to Islamic conquests in the seventh century.
Description of the area
Sharm el-Sheikh is a city located in the extreme South of the Sinai Peninsula and it’s the administrative centre of the governance of southern Sinai, Egypt. This territory is the home of Dahab and Nuweiba, the smallest coastal cities in the country, and a mountainous interior where you can visit Saint Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai.
Historically, Sharm el-Sheikh was a community of fishermen, but an increase in investment has transformed the “City of Peace” into one of the most popular and most visited holiday destinations in Egypt, where you can enjoy the beach and luxury hotels. You can also practise water sports such as diving in the Red Sea, experience a ride on a camel, go on a desert safari, or visit the historic sites. In addition, you can enjoy the tourist area, which has casinos, bars, nightclubs and golf courses.
Sharm el-Sheikh is truly a year-round holiday destination. The average temperatures in winter vary between 15 and 35°C. In summer, they range from 20 to 45°C, whereas the temperature of the Red Sea stays between 21 and 28°C year-round. In addition, Sharm el-Sheikh has some of the most incredible underwater scenery in the world, with crystal clear waters, stunning reefs and a variety of exotic fish. Much of this scenery can be seen when you dive along the coast, but Sharm el-Sheikh is known worldwide for being the top destination for diving holidays in Egypt.
Egyptian cuisine combines the best traditions of the Middle East, with influences from Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey. It is based mainly on indigenous vegetables, as meat has traditionally been expensive and fish limited.
The national dish is Kushari, probably the most popular among all social classes, which is made with pasta, rice, chickpeas, chopped garlic and seasoned tomato sauce.
As in the rest of the East, main dishes - known as mezze - are very popular. Also worth a mention is the cold main dishes made with a sesame base, Tahini, a chickpea base, Hummus, an aubergine base, Baba Ganouche or the hot main dishes made with a broad bean base such as Falafel/Taameya or Foul.
Of course, we must not forget bread, aish baladiis an essential part of the Egyptian diet. Also to be noted is the typical soup molokhiyya, as well as the different types of kofta and kebab and stuffed pigeon.
Egyptians also adore desserts; some of the most typical are Om Ali, kanafeh, mahalabiya and baklava. And as all this spread may make us extremely thirsty, we can try the best natural fruit juices such as mango, guava, strawberry, as well as Karkade, made from hibiscus flowers and shai nane, which is served with mint leaves.
Temple of Serabit el-Khadim. Between the rocky mountains, to the west of Sinai, lies one of the most important archaeological sites in Sinai, with ruins that date back to 2670 B.C.
Ras Mohamed National Park. The first national park in Egypt and one of the most famous diving sites in the world.
The SS Thistlegorm. Discovered by Jacques Cousteau, this old boat that sunk in 1941 is a submarine treasure.
Coloured Canyon. Spectacular sandstone labyrinth of 700 m whose walls reach 40 m in some parts.
Tiran Island. This is a destination where you are likely to encounter manta rays and barracudas in the depths of the sea.
Naama Bay. This is the heart of activity in Sharm El Sheikh and offers marvellous marine diversity.
Ras Um Sid. A diver’s paradise, Ras Um Sid is a quiet area with numerous entertainment options.
Sharks Bay. Maintains the style of old Sharm and offers sensational views of Tiran Island and the jetty.
Turtle Bay. From this bay it is possible to observe turtles in their natural habitat, as well as a wide variety of marine species.
Petra. Ancient Nabataean city located in the Jordanian desert declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
You will find numerous businesses selling excellent local crafts, including bags, purses, shoes, embroidered clothes and gold and silver items on the promenade at Naama Bay and in Soho Square. Sharm Mall and the tourist bazaar are also perfect locations for shopping, with boutiques selling international brands. Other shopping areas are Shark Bay, Om el-Seid and Sharm e-Maya.