Egypt’s Most Relaxing Destinations: 3 Great Coastal Getaways

Hurghada has it all. You can try SCUBA diving for a close-up view of the local coral reefs. If you’d prefer a way to interact with the marine life without getting your feet wet, Hurghada offers great glass-bottom boat tours. Further water attractions include cruises to the Giftun Islands, River Nile cruise, and excellent windsurfing opportunities.

The sights on land are entertaining and relaxing too. Evenings in Hurghada can be fascinating and fun thanks to the community’s wide range of tempting restaurants and shops. For a big change of scenery, you could always head into the desert. Hurghada, like Marsa Alam, is a few hours’ drive from Luxor if you’d like to add historical sightseeing to your stay.

1) El Gouna

30 minutes down the road from Hurghada, the little resort town of El Gouna is an even quieter and more serene destination. It doesn’t lack for interesting diversions, though! El Gouna offers a vast range of different water sports, including SCUBA diving, windsurfing and snorkelling. The locals also operate many boat cruises.

El Gouna is a rather upscale destination in terms of accommodations and attractions. The town offers fun shopping, fine dining, some excellent spas and there’s even a local museum. If your land-bound interests include tennis, golf or horseback riding, El Gouna is the perfect destination. If the temptations of El Gouna are a good fit with your tastes, this Red Sea resort town just might be your can’t-miss relaxation destination.

2) Dahab

Another excellent seaside retreat, Dahab is situated on the Gulf of Aqaba. This laid-back beach town offers snorkelling, windsurfing, free diving, SCUBA diving, kayaking and more. The land-bound resources are also excellent for both relaxing and thrill-seeking. There are good yoga classes, sandboarding, excursions for rock-climbing and much more. Dahab has blossomed into a diverse resort from its origins as a tiny Bedouin village.

Dahab’s pristine beaches are excellent for drowsy seaside days even if the more energetic water sports don’t catch your interest. If you want to add desert excursions to your itinerary, the town lies within easy reach of inland attractions including St Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai.

3) Sharm el-Sheikh

50 miles further down the Sinai Peninsula from Dahab, you’ll find Sharm el-Sheikh, a town with a well-earned international reputation as a great dive spot. The pleasant climate and calm waters make it ideal for water sports of every sort. One of the community’s crown jewels is the Ras Mohamed Nature Reserve, which contains gorgeous coral reefs, mangroves and beaches.

Divers will find both natural and man-made attractions in Sharm’s waters. Local species of note include, moray eels, barracuda, stonefish, lionfish, and more. This is also the site of the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm, one of the world’s most interesting wreck dives.

There’s plenty to do on land too. Sports activities include horseback riding, quad-biking and go-karting. Like Dahab, Sharm el-Sheikh is a perfect launching point for expeditions into the interior that touch on historical landmarks like Mount Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery.

If you like your vacations with big blocks of relaxation time in gorgeous surroundings, the three destinations I’ve suggested here should all serve nicely. Seaside scenery, pleasant weather and extensive cultural attractions combine with a host of leisure activities to make your holiday as busy or as sleepy as you want it to be. Whether you spend your time snorkelling along the beach, hiking into the interior to visit the great historical monuments, or simply drowsing in the sun, any of these Egyptian destinations can be the answer to a world-class relaxing holiday.