by Jeremy Stevenson,
Located on the Sinai Peninsula and environed by the Red Sea, Sharm el-Sheikh’s clear, azure bays and shimmering coastline make it one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. With a cosy, arid climate that lasts all year and a vibrant nightlife that kindles as the sun slips beyond the horizon; this Egyptian city boasts the natural beauty, bold culture and rich history with which almost any new experience can be painted. Read on for the best and most budget-friendly Sharm el-Sheikh holidays 2014…
In the warmest sea in the world, go on in, the water is always lovely. Ship out to the white sands of Tiran, a protected island in the Ras Muhammad National Park to wonder at underwater dreamscapes of luminous coral and darting fish. If you really don’t do water, you needn’t miss out. Hop on a glass-bottomed boat in Naama Bay, grab a cool drink, and enjoy some guided sea-sighting without the need to rinse sand out of your ears once.
Holidays are as much about adventure as they are relaxation, so start your engine, roar across the desert dunes at sunset on a quad bike and become the action hero you always knew you were. Or, for something a little more traditional, clamber aboard a camel for a taste of Bedouin transit. Get the most out of your desert daytrip by dressing in loose, light clothing and covering your head and neck from the sun’s rays.
Light up the Night
If you’ve brought the kids, take them down to Soho square in the evening to catch a show from the singing fountain. This quirky attraction sprays rainbow jets of water, blooms flames and plays music. The new complex also boasts an ice rink, bowling alley and shopping. Clubbers should get their kicks from Pacha, Sharm’s largest nightclub, or if this is a little out of budget, the Hard Rock Café will still delight dancing queens.
From Dust to Dawn
If a night on the town isn’t for you, why not spend it in the desert? After gazing the star-spattered skies (so much brighter from out on the sand) sample a traditional meal and slumber in a Bedouin tent. Then, seek out the sunrise over Mount Sinai. You can trek across the desert through the night (or leave your hotel just before dawn by car if that seems extreme). If you want to be comfortable, wear lots of layers on your trek up the mountain – it’s before sunrise that desert heat is most diminished. Make sure you’re prepared for a little exertion too, the steps to the summit are steep, but the view from the top will stay with you for the rest of your life.