Dahab and the Sinai mountains, Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea. Photo by jay8085.
Dahab, north of Sharm el Sheikh and heading up the Gulf of Aqaba, is the Red Sea’s most relaxed and natural resort/village with some lovely small hotels and restaurants and clusters of neo-hippies to prove it, though as the place develops they will doubtless be exiled and the charm will be cemented over. Next stop Aqaba?
Dahab also offers great snorkelling and diving, including immediately offshore, but the beaches are miserable. Other activities available around Dahab are camel rides to St Catherine’s monastery, visiting Bedouin camps and quad-biking.
Other newish, still developing Red Sea tourist resorts can be found in the Gulf of Aqaba at Nuweiba and Taba, or north of Hurghada at El Gouna and south of Hurghada at Makadi Bay, El Quseir and Marsa Alam.
The famous and challenging Blue Hole Dive site in east Sinai, 8 km north of Dahab, on the Red Sea. Photo by Grand Parc.
email from Henry:
We made one excursion from Dahab to the Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Catherine which is built around the burning bush from where Moses supposedly heard God speak to him. The bush is still there even though much of it has been hacked away by zealous pilgrims.
The monastery continues to be inhabited by a number of Greek Orthodox monks so it is only open for visitors for a couple of hours a day. When we arrived there were already coach loads of impatient tourists waiting to go in. Eventually, the doors opened they barged their way in. We hung back waiting for things to calm down and entered when most people were already leaving. It didn’t give us much time, but at least we were left to walk around its cobbled streets relatively in peace.
Dahab is a very different from the rest of Egypt. Less than 30 years ago it was just a collection of huts and cabanas that the Bedouin used to rent out to travelers and young Israelis. Now it is much more developed with lots of hotels, restaurants, shops and scuba diving establishments. To be quite honest it is not really my scene, but my family loved it.
A cunningly camouflaged Scorpion fish in the Red Sea. Photo by Derek Keats