Marsa Alam travel guide
Marsa Alam little popular resort in Egypt. It is difficult to call it relatively new, because tourism began to develop in it about 10 years ago. But for such a long period of time, he did not gain any special popularity. In my opinion, this is its big plus. There are no crowds of tourists in hotels and on the beaches, and the rest in Marsa Alam measured and quiet. Basically there are more foreigners than Russians. Therefore, before the trip to remember your vocabulary of English, because not the fact that you will be understood in Russian.
Map of Egyptian resorts.
As for the location of Marsa Alam, it is 275 kilometers from the resort town of Hurghada..
To get to him, you can in two ways, or take a direct flight to the airport of Marsa Alam, or fly to Hurghada, and from there by bus, the journey time is about 3 hours. The second option is of course less attractive, but because of the small number of direct flights, we have to make such a “traffic circle.
But it is worth it! The great treasure of Marsa Alam is its sea. In contrast to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, it is very clean and the water is crystal clear.
Why do tourists come here? The answer is simple, the underwater world of the resort is very diverse, this place is a treasure trove for lovers of scuba diving. Here is one of the most beautiful coral reefs, experts say it is not much worse than the Australian Great Barrier Reef.
Where to stay in Marsa Alam?
The main means of tourist accommodation in Marsa Alam are hotels. There is a great variety of them. Most of them are designed for tourists who prefer the hotel type of vacation when all the infrastructure is located inside the hotel.
Marsa Alam has no old hotels, as the resort is relatively new and young as compared to the rest. The main stardom of hotels is 4 * and 5 *. Cost-effective options with a category of 3 * are not much, but the choice is still there. It is worth only in advance to be puzzled about their booking, otherwise you can not have time. Most divers stay in them, because for them it is important to stay overnight, not the level of service.
As you know, Marsa Alam is rich with its underwater world and coral reefs. In this regard, not all hotels have direct good entrance to the sea. For the most part, this applies to accommodation facilities in the center of Marsa Alam. In this case, a free shuttle to the nearest good beach.
As in all Egypt, the best hotels here are located on the beach. The beaches are equipped with free sun loungers and umbrellas.
In Marsa Alam a lot of hotels targeted at families with children. They offer: children’s meals, animation. They have water slides, and some have their own water park.
Well, now tell you about the hotels in which to stay if you want to rest in Marsa Alam:
Iberotel Lamaya Resort 4*.
One of the best family hotels.
How to get there?
There are no direct charter flights from Russia to the resort of Marsa Alam, so all tourists usually fly to Hurghada. The distance between Hurghada and Marsa Alam is about 275 kilometers. The easiest but also the most expensive option is to take a cab directly to the resort from Hurghada airport.
It lasts about 3 hours and costs no less than 100 euros. If you get to the old center of Hurghada, you can take a cab from there to Marsa Alam for about 50 Euros. If you take a bus in Old Hurghada you can get to the resort for about 25 Euros.
In 2001 the resort of Marsa Alam was opened its international airport and now tourists from many countries can easily come here without any periods. But since the line of hotels at the resort stretched literally for tens of kilometers along the coast, then the transfer may sometimes take about an hour.
You can fly in principle first to Cairo, and from there by a regular flight of “Egypt Air” fly to Mars Alam International Airport. Flight time is 1 hour and 20 minutes.
What tours are worth visiting in Marsa Alam?
Marsa El Alam is a fast-growing resort of Egypt. A few years ago there were two or three hotels, and now you can find an accommodation for every taste and purse.
The pride of the resort – insanely beautiful underwater world. Here you can see turtles, dolphins, stingrays. And the main advantage – dugongs. These wonderful and cute animals delight both adults and children.
How to have fun?
In addition to visiting all sorts of historical sites at the resort of Marsa Alam, of course you can have fun in some other more simple ways, but of course at this will have to pay for them separately.
Extremely popular among holidaymakers in Marsa Alam walks on comfortable motor boats on the sea, and some have a duration of 3 days and cost about 60 to 135 dollars. Sometimes such trips may include diving. You can, for example, go to Lake Nasser or the Kulan Islands.
Then there are very popular among tourists boat trips to the reserve of Abu Dabab. There you can admire not only the huge turtles, but also large marine mammals – sea cows and dugongs.
Dugongs are an endangered species and the name comes from the Malay language and can be translated as “sea maiden” or mermaid. In ancient times, it was the dugongs that essentially became the prototype of the mythical sirens, luring sailors either to the shoals or the reefs with their sweet singing.
Excursion to the reserve of Abu Dabab costs an average of $ 25 per person, but some hotels offer free trips there, which are provided in the program “all inclusive” if you book a particular hotel in advance, or choose a particular tour.
It is also quite possible to go to the national park Gebel Elba, which is located almost on the border with Sudan. There, by the way, are often organized.
Weather in Marsa Alam by months:
Egypt Marsa Alam October 2016, new itinerary – new experiences
Traveling with my husband, love, but since I am difficult to tolerate the climate, we decided not to go to Turkey, and took the route to Egypt. We chose the resort of Marsa Alam, hoping to experience a different experience in a new place.
October 2016 was quite comfortable for rest. The choice was made by the spouse, booked a place two weeks in advance, guided by the services offered, liked the greenery, flower beds, the description of the beach and rooms. Spent there 11 nights, 12 days, which cost us $ 700. The flight was fine, there were no delays, upon arrival tourists were put on buses and brought to the place, the guide spoke perfect Russian. The first impression was good, there is a lot of vegetation, lots of pools, slides for adults and children. The area is guarded, specially trained guards strictly monitor literally every step. The sea is warm and along the coast is not deep, 250 meters can safely go until you start to dive into the depths. When checking into the hotel, gave cool drinks service at a high level. Room was found quickly, it looked very classy. The food was excellent, some dishes were cooked just in front of us. If necessary, you can go to the market and buy fruit, which is not available in the homeland. For dinner we had all kind of soups, chicken, desserts. It is worth noting that I could use some learned in Arabic expressions, my husband did not try hard, trying to memorize the phrases, but it was not bad too, it worked, to communicate in different languages. On the beach. read completely.
Red Sea in Egypt.
I liked the city of Sharm El Sheikh. The beaches in Sharm El Sheikh are very nice and don’t have huge waves. All around are fenced with rocks and there is calm. I like Sharm El Sheikh in spring. We go only in March, the temperature is 27-30C. It’s not hot, the Red Sea is warming up and there are not a lot of tourists. The beaches everywhere are sandy, white and soft. But, to go into the water from the sand, the locals do not advise, for this even hung up posters with warnings. For bathing every 200 meters set pontoons (bridges). Pass on it and dive, the depth of about 2.5 meters, the bottom can not reach your feet. These safety measures because of the poisonous corals. They pierce even tight slippers and the consequence – high fever, rash, suffocation. The water in the Red Sea is like glass. You can see the bottom, can be seen at a depth of 4 meters. The beaches are cleaned several times and new trash cans are brought in. Entrance to the coast is free, to pay only for a deck chair or umbrellas. Rest here is comfortable – there is no dusty air, dirt and bustle. Everything you need is a step away from the sea – restaurants, cafes, museums and hotels. But before going to the museum you need to change and decent clothes.
Marsa Alam for a stormy holiday in the company of friends is not suitable
I was in Egypt twice, the first time I was in Hurghada and I was not disappointed, I really wanted to visit Egypt again, very attracted by their all inclusive system. Absolutely I will go back to Egypt more than once, there are a lot of cities there. In Hurghada we were in September, there were enough people, you can even say a little, and we decided to fly to Marsa Alam on May holidays. We chose this city because we wanted to get away from people, especially from the Russians, as such cities are usually vacationing divers, and they are friendly and calm people. In order to experience all the pleasures of all-inclusive tourism ordinary people fly to Sharm or Hurghada. To have a rest in Marsa Alam is much cheaper than in the above mentioned cities. A direct flight from Moscow to Marsa Alam takes 4.5 hours. You can also get to the city by another way, by plane from Moscow to Hurghada (3 hours), then by bus 270 km (3 hours).
The city is small, the local population, as in all Egypt, or working in the tourism business or engaged in agriculture.
We stayed at the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort. The hotel is not in the city itself, but 30 km away.
The resort is located not in the city itself, but about 30 km from it.
All about rest in Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam is a young resort town whose main asset is diving. Marsa Alam was originally a small fishing village. Today it is a building a modern resort, the coastline which stretches for 70 km. Of the village are reminiscent only of the bus stop, a few stores and a pharmacy. If you are planning a vacation in 2022 and you want to be in a quiet, warm place, “paradise” where you can feel the peace and tranquility, Marsa Alam is just what you need.
General Information About Marsa Alam
A brief historical background.
Even before Christ, Marsa El Alam (or more precisely, the area around today’s resort) was famous for containing gold, precious stones and other minerals. Historians speculate that these expensive earthly treasures were actively mined there.
Later, the town stood quietly on Egyptian soil. The population consisted of fishermen, pastoralists. The resort era in the development of the settlement began fairly recently, in nough years of this millennium was opened an international airport, which has sharply increased the inflow of tourists. Now this Egyptian city – the promising developing resort of Egypt.
A brief geographical background and climate
Marsa Alam is located three hundred kilometers from the popular Hurghada, in the administrative district of the Red Sea. It is washed by this very sea. The climate is tropical desert. There is practically no rainfall. In Marsa Alam is almost always sunny and warm. The average temperature is the lowest in the year – in January, it is 23 degrees Celsius. It is hottest in summer: around 35 degrees. The water temperature ranges from 19 to 29 degrees.
Holidays at the resort can be throughout the year, heat lovers will choose summer and the water, as fresh milk, those who can not stand the intense heat, can go on vacation, for example, in the spring or fall.
By the way, the breezes make Marsa Alam a little more cool and pleasant even for a summer vacation.
Marsa Alam on a map
Planning a trip to the resort of Marsa Alam: transportation, accommodation, visa, safety
Marsa Alam Resort Transportation Infrastructure
Since 2001, the resort city has its own international airport, so you can fly here by direct flight. Travelling there and back per person, with early booking of air tickets and in early autumn will cost about 40,000 rubles.
You can also go through Hurghada, it will be much cheaper. With the same inputs – the savings will be from 10,000 rubles. Until the resort will have to get to the resort, using the shuttle from the airport (travel time will be about 3 hours).
Marsa Alam has a well-developed infrastructure. If you want to quickly get to the other end of the country – the airport is at your service.
Many hotels provide their own buses for certain excursions. There are also buses, shuttles and regular cabs at the resort. The shuttles are quite cheap and convenient, they are suitable for driving around the resort and surroundings. Buses go to many other cities in the country, they are well equipped.
You can rent a car, Egypt has a well-developed car rental market, however, it will only suit the prepared travelers.
The hotel infrastructure of the resort of Marsa Alam
In the former fishing village for more than fifteen years, actively doing everything possible to turn the village into a resort of international level. So hotels – and not just any hotel, but four and five stars, are constantly being built. But the resort has offers for different categories of travelers, because Egypt is famous for recreational opportunities for people with average income or even students, as well as large families.
You can stay in a five-star hotel on the Red Sea, as well as in a small apartment for 4 people (two bedrooms). You can walk to the sea from virtually anywhere in 5-10 minutes, as the entire resort – tourist complex is located along the coast.
Recreation prices range from about 1500 rubles per day per person (apartment “Ambassador House Marsa Alam”) to 7000 rubles (“Fantazia Resort Marsa Alam”, 5 stars).
Hotels in Marsa Alam are characterized by attentive staff and quality service. Many hotels have on their territory nightclubs, bars and restaurants.
Visa for Russians
Visa for recreation in Egypt, the citizens of the Russian Federation can issue and in advance, through diplomatic institutions on the territory of our country, and directly at the airport, already arriving in the sunny country.
Arriving in Egypt, you should just show your passport, return ticket. Then the border service can easily get a stamp and you can enjoy your stay in Egypt for a month. In a foreign passport stick a special stamp, the cost of which is about $ 25.
Safety at the resort of Marsa Alam.
In general, Egyptian resorts are sufficiently adapted to the stay of tourists and in the tourist zone, there is no particular danger to travelers. Unfortunately, the political situation in the country has recently been complicated, which may cause some difficulties or risks even for tourists. However, Marsa Alam is not a big city, and it is not so affected by these peripeteias. General safety rules in Egypt and specifically at this resort are as follows:
- it is not recommended to wear too open clothing outside the tourist area;
- You should use only bottled water;
- On the coast, because of the possibility of encountering a fragment of coral worth wearing rubber slippers;
- The staff at the hotels barely speak Russian, so it is a good idea to pull up knowledge of English.
Read more about safety rest in Egypt here.
Rest in the resort of Marsa Alam: beaches and recreation, attractions, entertainment
Beaches and water sports in Marsa Alam
The beaches of Marsa Alam can not be attributed to the best beaches on the entire Red Sea coast. Due to the peculiarities of the ecology it is not possible to remove stones and other natural obstacles on the entire coast. However, the coastline spreads over 70 kilometers, and probably can find a more or less clean section of the beach. If you stay at the hotel on the first coastline, the beach area at the hotel will be landscaped, with sun loungers and umbrellas for protection from the sun.
Who will definitely like Marsa Alam, it is – lovers of active recreation, namely, water sports. Marsa Alam offers activities for lovers of the underwater world. Above all, it is diving and boat trips.
Professional and beginner divers from all over the world come to Marsa Alam, as it is here untouched by man underwater reefs. One of the most beautiful and popular places – “Dolphins House”. This is a large curved horseshoe-shaped and beautiful reef Samadai, characterized by clear water and beautiful corals and algae. Shoals of dolphins sometimes enter Dolphins House.
Not far from the shoreline is the “Shaab Radir el Bar” reef, where you can see turtles, moray eels, and sharks. A little further away is the reef of “Shaab Abu Galawa”, famous for the sunken boat “Tinstin” back in the 50s of the 20th century.
Malacca is another reef, suitable for beginner divers. Visibility – 30 meters. The reef is rich in bizarre corals, among which you can meet stingrays, sharks and turtles.
The cost of diving depends on the chosen program and sports club that provides all necessary equipment, training, instructor, if desired. Prices for such pleasures range from 200 to 350 euros. There are many programs, for beginners and professionals, as well as different in what is included in the offer. You can choose, for example, a program for 17 dives or an unlimited number of dives in 7 days.
Many experienced divers admit that the underwater world of the resort of Marsa Alam is even better than in the famous reserve of Ras Mohammed. Barracudas and stingrays, moray eels and turtles … And on the Zabargad Reef – the best evening and night diving: only there you can admire the green corals, octopus, crocodile fish.
See the beauty of the underwater world in the video:
Marsa Alam Resort Attractions and Surroundings
There are no historical sites and monuments in Marsa Alam. The main attraction here is the Red Sea. However, from the resort town you can go on day trips, for example, to the valley of Wadi Hammamat, the temples of Abu Simbel or the ancient city of Luxor.
Caravans once passed through Wadi Hammamat, it was the shortest road from Thebes (Luxor) to the sea. There are still rock carvings and inscriptions (the earliest inscription dates from 2321 BC). The cost of such a one-day tour will cost an average of $30 per person.
The complex of temples and architectural structures of Abu Simbel is one of the historical monuments of Egypt during the era of Pharaoh Ramses II. Right in the rock built several temples, one of them is just perfect preserved: the clean frescoes, petroglyphs. You can admire and outside – the huge sculptures depicting the ruler and the gods. Also for tourists in Abu Simbel is a light and sound performance in one of the eight languages. For this you will have to stay until the evening (6 or 8 pm) and pay about 400 rubles.
The city of Luxor deserves special attention. It is the calling card of Egypt with its legendary tombs. Luxor should be visited by those who love history and archeology. Luxor is located on the banks of the great Nile and is conventionally divided into several areas – the “City of the Living” and “City of the Dead. In the former are located Karnak and Luxor temple complexes, connected by a long alley of mysterious sphinx statues. In the temples you can admire the images glorifying the gods and rulers, columns, bas-reliefs, statues. And in the “City of the Dead” is the world famous Valley of the pharaohs, where there are almost fifty tombs, including the tomb of Tutankhamun. This tomb contains the most striking frescoes and a mummy of the ruler.
The most curious can hop on domestic airlines for a day trip to the legendary Cairo, where there is sure to be plenty to see.
Marsa Alam Resort Entertainment
In addition to visiting other, more interesting historical antiquities, places, you can entertain and more simple ways in the resort itself and nearby, of course, for this will have to pay separately.
Popular among holiday-makers boat trips on comfortable ships (duration of 3 days, cost about 60-135 dollars), they also may include diving. Where do they go? For example, to Lake Nasser or the Kulan Islands.
Such walks are also often taken on the Abu Dhabab Marine Reserve. Here you can admire the turtles and large marine mammals – dugongs or sea cows. The dugong is an endangered species, the only representative of the dugong family. The name of this species has its roots in the Malay language and translates to “sea maiden” or “mermaid. It was the dugong that became the prototype of the mythical creatures – the sirens, who lured sailors to the reefs and the shoals by their sweet singing.
The cost of a trip to Abu Dhabab is on average $25 per person. However, most hotels arrange the trip for free (included in the “all inclusive” if you take a particular tour or book a particular hotel).
You can go to the national park Gebel Elbe. It is located almost on the border with Sudan, there are often excursions from Marsa Alam. The park is especially notable for its population of rare birds.
Another option – the national park of Wadi el-Gemal. It is located very close (half an hour drive), it is there, by the way, are the very historical mines, and of the animals are especially beautiful wild gazelles. In the reserve you can ride a camel. You can go on such a journey through the desert in jeeps, horses or camels. While traversing the barchans, you can watch gazelles and birds, as well as enjoy the beauty of the desert, especially in the evening or morning hours. An average jeep safari with a guide and meals will be about $53 for a company (2-10 people).
Mangrove trees preserved in the surrounding area are in the El Qulan Mangrove Forest Reserve, and tourists describe this place as still untouched, not overcrowded, clean in its natural beauty. Near the resort there is an astronomical site, which can also be reached for some money and observe the stars.
Standard tourist entertainment, such as parties or discos, can mostly be found only in the resort area. Several spas, hammams and thermal centers are active.
The cuisine at the resort is varied. Due to the fact that it is now very popular among Europeans, you can find places with different European cuisine. But do not neglect the traditional, Middle Eastern cuisine: hearty lamb with couscous and spices, falafel, koshari. Due to the proximity of the sea you can eat different seafood every day and try them all. The resort has both small cafes and excellent restaurants.
Shopaholics who want to buy mostly national souvenirs can not worry, because the resort has everything the same as in other, more popular among tourists resorts in Egypt:
- spices and herbs;
To summarize, Marsa Alam is a resort for those who want mostly solitude, rest away from compatriots or want to take the kids to the sea. It is ideal for those who like different sports and outdoor activities, especially scuba diving is excellent here. However, you can plan a trip that will include a couple of excursions: and Egypt to see, and quiet rest – in 2022.