Marsa Alam, Egypt – a tourist paradise

Marsa Alam

Marsa Alam is an Egyptian resort town on the Red Sea coast 275 km south of Hurghada. It grew out of a small fishing village and today has become one of the fastest growing resorts in the country, receiving tourists from different countries. The name “Marsa Alam” means “fish village” in Arabic.

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Video: Marsa Alam

Highlights

The resort infrastructure stretches along the sea. An international airport opened here in 2001, and since then new hotels and other tourist facilities have been built every year in Marsa Alam. The city is populated by about 10 thousand people, half of whom are employed in tourism and hotel business. The rest of the inhabitants breed camels and sheep, fish, and work in granite and marble quarries and mines.

Travelers come to Marsa Alam for a good beach holiday, families with children love to spend their vacations here, but an overwhelming number of travelers choose this Egyptian resort because of the excellent conditions for diving. The coastal waters are home to dolphins, hammerhead sharks, turtles, dugongs and manta rays. And the seabed in the coastal strip is covered with picturesque coral reefs.

From the Egyptian resort are popular ATV safaris through the hilly surroundings. In addition, vacationers love to go on excursions to Abu Dabab Bay, the beautiful Kulan Islands, the famous valley of the pharaohs of Luxor, as well as the temple complex Abu Simbel on the coast of the Aswan Reservoir.

Resort Climate

Marsa Alam has a warm and hot climate. The temperature in this part of the Red Sea coast is on average 2 ° C higher than in Hurghada. The peak of the tourist season is from May to October. At the height of summer, it gets very hot here – up to +35. +42 °С. The coolest weather at the resort is in January. In the middle of winter the air heats up to +20 . The temperature during the day +25 ° C, and at night the thermometer column falls to +15 ° C. The resort area is as warm as the sun begins to shine.

The resort area stretches from north to south along the coastline with small bays and creeks. All year round it is windy here. The hot wind, which is called “hamsin” in this area, dries the air and at times brings sandstorms to Marsa Alam. This happens most often in the winter. The sea is rough, and many hotels prefer to close their beaches to protect guests.

Royal Brayka Beach Resort

Programs for Diving Lovers

The underwater world of the Red Sea near Marsa Alam is amazing and attracts diving enthusiasts from all over the world. For over 15 years, there are schools in the resort where you can take a training course with an instructor and learn the basics of diving, starting from scratch. These days, there are diving centers and schools in almost every local hotel.

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For beginners, they usually organize dives at the picturesque Malakki Reef. Visibility here is up to 30 meters, and the winding coral tunnels, in addition to beautiful fish, are inhabited by turtles, rays and sharks. Another popular place for first dives is the sandy bay of Marsa Shuna. Its soft bottom is overgrown with sea grass, in which large green turtles and ringtail turtles swim.

There are also programs for experienced divers, providing dives in the most interesting and unusual places in the coastal area of Marsa Alam – in the daytime, at dawn, at night, as well as visiting the twisting underwater caves and grottos.

Shaab Radir il Bar” diving site, which is located near the shore, has become popular among snorkelers. This place is interesting with encounters with sea turtles. The Shaab Abu Galawa reef is visited to see the Tinsting, a mid-century wreck. The Zabargad dive site is full of green coral, with octopus and rare crocodile fish.

Ship on the Reef

Directly within the resort you can see a large, rusting ship lying on its side on one of the coastal reefs. It has become one of the calling cards of Marsa Alam Resort, and all tourists who come here like to be photographed against the backdrop of the ship. This rather large ship is 120 meters long and used to be called the Sea God. It was sailing along the coast, but for some reason, it veered off course and ran aground, catching the bottom on the edge of the coral reef.

Many years later, the ship was badly rotten and began to fall apart. Now they can no longer even identify the country to which it belonged, nor where the ship was going. Only the rusty skeleton of the ship can be seen above the surface of the water, and its portholes, pipes and other parts have long been lying on the seabed, slowly growing new coral.

Ship on a reef in Marsa Alam

Dolphin House Reserve

115 km south of the resort town of Marsa Alam is a curved, horseshoe-shaped reef popular with tourists with seaweed on the bottom. It stretches for 3 km and has a width of up to 100 m. The average water depth is 18 meters. The current on the reef is very moderate and runs along the outer edge of the reef array. This unusual reef is famous for its underwater tunnels and caves.

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Sea bass, moray eels, barracudas, turtles, tropical fish, tuna, hammerhead sharks, and large packs of dolphins, numbering up to a hundred fish, can be found in the reserve. Dolphins living here are very friendly to tourists and let them close enough. The southern wall of the reef is decorated with gorgonian and colored corals.

It is known that a Roman merchant ship sank off the reef in the 3rd century. Almost every year, ancient amphorae, skillfully built, are discovered on the seabed. These valuable finds are found under the thick layer of benthic sand.

Dolphin House Reserve

Wadi El Ghimal National Park

The national park, whose name translates as ‘Valley of the Camels’, is just 40km south of the resort. Tourists come here by bus, cab and camel. The national park is considered the largest in the country, as it stretches along the Red Sea coast for 60 km.

The heart of the picturesque park is the valley of the El Himal River. Like many rivers of the Egyptian semi-desert, it fills with water only during the rainy season, and at other times the river bed is dry. Another attraction of the national park is the top Gabel Hamata, which rises to a height of about 2000 meters above sea level. On its slopes there are gazelles and ibex. While traveling through the park, tourists have the opportunity to see a lot of camels, visit the former emerald mines and look at the carved in the rock of an ancient temple. Diving enthusiasts can make interesting dives in the national park.

Wadi El Ghimal National Park

The ancient riverbed of the Nile – Wadi Hammamat

In the 6th and 5th millennium BC the area was a hilly desert area inhabited by a major right tributary of the Nile River. Here was the shortest route that connected Thebes with the sea. Through the great gorge caravans carried gold, tin and precious stones, which had been mined in this area for many centuries.

On the southern slopes of the dry gorge, some 2,300 ancient inscriptions and carvings on the rocks have survived. They were made by workers who mined ore, precious and finishing stones, and by those who traveled through the valley with caravans. One of the texts, dated 2287-2231 B.C., tells of participants in an expedition organized by order of Pharaoh Piopi I. From Marsa Alam to Wadi Hammamat you can go on guided tours.

Video: Diving in Marsa Alam

Tips for tourists

  • The resort has built 3*-5* hotels to accommodate tourists. Compared to Hurghada, their service staff hardly speak Russian, but they all know English.
  • On the beaches, which belong to the hotels, vacationers are free of charge with sun beds, umbrellas and towels. For outsiders entrance to such a beach costs 22 pounds. In addition to equipped beach areas, Marsa Alam, a lot of wild beaches, where lovers of privacy and quiet rest prefer to spend time. To enter the water without problems, almost all coastal areas need rubber slippers.
  • You can get around Marsa Alam by cab. Night trips are about twice as expensive as day trips. It is better to stipulate the price in advance with the driver to avoid misunderstandings. Besides, there are shuttles, the fare in which does not exceed 1 pound. There is room in such a minibus for up to 10 people.
  • The cost of renting diving equipment in different places may vary by 1.5-2 times, depending on the pricing policy of one or another dive club.
  • Prices for safari tours around the resort: jeep – $25, quad – $30, camel – $35.
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Souvenirs .

In the stores at the hotels and a small market in Marsa Alam you can buy a good deal of gold and silver jewelry, handicrafts depicting a scarab beetle, kartushi amulets, as well as Egyptian oils, which are used for cosmetic purposes and as a therapeutic agent. Aloe vera, jojoba, as well as rose and jasmine oils are especially popular.

Hookahs are often taken away as a memento of the holiday at the Egyptian resort. Usually, along with hookah tobacco is purchased. The most commonly purchased is considered tobacco with an aroma of apples. Making such a purchase, you should be aware that, according to existing rules, hookahs have to be transported not in hand luggage, and charcoal for it is prohibited to carry both in luggage and hand luggage.

Special offers on hotels

How to get there

There are no direct charter flights to the resort for Russian tourists, so travelers usually fly to Hurghada. From here to Marsa Alam is 275 km. The most trouble-free, but expensive option – to come to the resort by cab directly from Hurghada airport. Such a trip will cost no less than 100 Euros and take about 3 hours.

From the city, after bargaining, you can get to Marsa Alam by cab for 50 euros. And by bus, which goes from the bus station from the old part of Hurghada, the trip to the resort will cost 25 euros.

Marsa Alam International Airport serves up to 600 passengers per hour. From Russia you can fly here by connecting flights via Zurich. However, such a flight would be more expensive than going through Hurghada.

Holiday in Marsa Alam (Egypt) – reviews

My review about Rest in Marsa Alam (Egypt)

I was in Egypt in February, I was very tired of the Moscow winter, began to choose where to go in the summer and decided that it would be Egypt, but I did not want to go to all the well-known cities.

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First time abroad!

Always wanted to fly a plane, even though I’m afraid, I confess honestly! And also to go abroad! I’ve never been! How to do it, I didn’t even realize! Just buy a ticket and go, or rather fly, but I do not.

Still developing resort.

Went with my husband and friends for the first time in January 2022. We decided to try this young and new resort, to be exact for Ukrainians, it became available not so long ago. It takes longer to fly here than to Sharm el Sheikh. Visa.

Good, but not great.

This was my first experience abroad, stayed at Fantazia resort in Marsa alam. The hotel is beautiful, big, lots of rooms, big area. The reefs are gorgeous, we were promised that turtles would come, but we didn’t see any. But the fish.

A great holiday, great resort.

Wonderful resort for lovers of snorkeling and the underwater world! Highly recommend a visit! You can see turtles, dolphins, dugongs, stingrays, mantas, shark and many beautiful fish. I have been to Sharm 9 times and decided to fly.

A great holiday.

BEAUTIFUL TERRITORY BEAUTIFUL SEA. I, husband, child (6years) and friends, a couple without children. We arrived a day late (but this is because of the opening of flights to Turkey, a separate story) at the hotel chic area. Many pools.

And why am I not a mermaid.

The Red Sea is rich not only with fish, but also resorts. One of them is Marsa Alam, still young, but already oooh very fashionable. Europeans have been flying there for a long time, but the Russians have just started to visit it.

Very nice hotel, the best beach in Egypt.

I vacationed in 2017 in the hotel El Malikia Abbu Dabbab in Marsa Alam. Loved that Marsa Alam has an airport, respectively the long road from Hurghada airport passed me by. The hotel is nice and not a big hotel. Adequate staff, good restaurant.

A great family vacation.

-The warmest sea in the world with impressive coral reefs. -Every day is almost guaranteed sunshine. -Great place for desert and mountain safaris. -The best place in the world to relax and unwind. Twenty years ago Marsa Alam.

A picturesque place in Egypt.

Pleasantly surprised! although our hotel was on the reef and swimming was almost always forbidden. But once we swam with masks and were stunned by the beauty. No excursions in the sea can not take. The only thing we did.

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An uninhabited island in Marsa Alam or wade through the Red Sea

I managed to see this new and very young resort recently. In February 2018 we vacationed in Hurghada and the local company Sea Lion Tour, from which we booked all the tours, advised to go for a day on an almost uninhabited island.

Le mirage moon resort

Hotel Moon resort 4 * is a four hour drive from the airport, located in Hurghada. The first people who greeted us at the hotel were the front desk staff. The staff at the front desk had little understanding of Russian, but that.

A great place for privacy.

On my next well-deserved vacation I decided to go in search of adventure on his *poo in Egypt, because there I have not been, and February is considered the beginning of the season. To the usual resort areas like Hurghada, or.

It’s a beautiful place!

In 2014 we had a choice between Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Reading the reviews, we decided to try something new and chose the second one. We stayed at Fantazia Resort Marsa Alam. And in the future did not regret that we went.

Super. Would advise everyone.

Hello, I stayed in Marsa Alam with my girlfriend at the end of July 2014. Went on a last minute package, so we found out about the trip in just 5 hours! And to make a decision in general was only 15 minutes B.

Marsa-Alam Hotel Coral Hills

My sister and I decided to go to Egypt. Heard a lot of reviews about the rest in this sandy country. A lot of negativity. We found an inexpensive tour, all inclusive, and, “Wait for me sea. ,. The tour price included a flight, transfers to and from.

Remained very satisfied.

Hello, I want to share my impressions, which remained after a vacation in Egypt, to be exact in the town of Marsa Alam. We vacationed in a five-star hotel Resta Grand. Went on vacation in the summer of 2015 with my husband for the first time. When.

Good vacation.

I really liked the vacation in Marsa Alam! It’s quiet, peaceful, very beautiful underwater world (corals, fish), really liked the hotel (we were at Coral Hils), but our guide pushed us too hard with buying packages and.

Paradise for divers.

The previous review showed pictures of the hotel I go scuba diving in twice a year. It is a modest hotel (4*) is close to nature. You can safely meet a lizard in your room. If you live on 1.

Great time spent.

Great city with a good climate, population and of course hotels. I was there last winter, nice staff, beautiful sea, nice port, interesting traditions, animals (especially for me were dolphins and turtles 1.5m in diameter) interesting excursions.

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