When you think of Egypt, the first things that probably pop into your head are pyramids, mummies, pharaohs, the Sphinx, and other iconic relics associated with ancient Egyptian culture. Each of these tenets of Egyptian history is incredible, and it’s worth taking a tour to see them.
But once you’ve explored the inland part of the country, head to the outskirts. You might be surprised to find some of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen.
Egypt isn’t technically known for its beaches, but it has more beach access than many Middle Eastern countries. To the north, you’ll find the Mediterranean Sea, and the Red Sea lies to the east. The waters are breathtaking and warm, and you can toil many afternoons of your vacation by the seaside.
While you’re there, check out these highly regarded beaches on the coasts of Egypt.
- Sahl Hasheesh
Hurghada is a very popular tourist destination for shopping and history, but also for its beaches. There are more than 40 kilometers of beach on the edge of this city, and one of the most popular is Sahl Hasheesh.
For the last 40 years, resorts, hotels, shops, restaurants, clubs, and other tourist attractions have been developing along the coast of Sahl Hasheesh. Now, it’s a huge spot for water sports enthusiasts, windsurfing, snorkeling, sunbathing, swimming, and more. It’s getting crowded, but it’s still worth a visit if you’re in Hurghada.
- Mahmya Island
A slightly lesser-known beach is Mahmya Island, which is in Giftun Island National Park, a 45-minute boat ride from Hurghada’s coast. The island is less crowded than other Hurghada beaches, and it’s also more pristine and beautiful with clear blue waters. It’s common to see snorkelers and divers exploring the coral reefs that are lauded as some of the best in the Red Sea. You’re also likely to spot marine wildlife like dolphins, whether you’re on the shore or in the water.
- Soma Bay
If you’re staying in Hurghada, take an hour-long drive to an up and coming resort town called Soma Bay. Here, you can stay at a gorgeous resort that’s fully surrounded by the sea. Locals claim that every day of the year is sunny. You can’t have a bad day here, whether you’re parasailing, snorkeling, jet-skiing, or simply sunbathing on the sand.
It’s a pricey destination with all the luxuries included, but if you save your pennies, you’ll be able to buy a full-inclusive vacation where you can leave your troubles behind you.
- Wadi Qulaan
Sometimes, you just need to get away from the overcrowded tourist scene and enjoy the unspoiled nature of the Red Sea. Wadi Qulaan is the perfect beach for that, as it’s untouched by resorts and the tourist scene.
Instead of sipping daiquiris at the side of a resort pool, you can go hiking along the rocks, watch for birds, and discover ibex and gazelles lounging in the sand. Swimming, snorkeling, and other quiet water activities are also popular. Or, you could simply lay in the quiet, listening to the waves and working on your tan.
- Fjord of Taba
There’s a surprising beach just south of Taba known as the Fjord of Taba. The water here is crystal clear and deep blue. It’s very popular among divers and snorkelers who want to view the incredible marine ecosystems that live along the coral reefs. There’s also a lot to see around the water thanks to the many geological formations surrounding the fjord. There are caves, natural springs, and valleys. Many avid hikers head to this spot during the cooler months of the year.
The next time you’re in Egypt, enjoying the culture and history, take some time for the beach. You can enjoy hours of peaceful relaxation and escape the heat of this sandy country.