Zaafarana is a young and promising resort in Egypt

Zaafarana Resort Overview

Zaafarana is a fairly young and still little-known Egyptian resort. The town is located on the Red Sea, halfway between Hurghada and Cairo. From Hurghada Zaafarana separates about two hundred and thirty kilometers, from Cairo – two hundred. Another ninety kilometers from Zaafarana, is the city of Suez. Due to a combination of remoteness from the famous resorts with high quality service and infrastructure, which some of these resorts could only envy, Zaafarana became a favorite destination for many Egyptians.

Despite the fact that Zafarana is a relatively young and small area resort, it is able to meet the tastes of the most demanding and spoiled tourists. In local hotels everything is thought out so that the guests were comfortable, even the windows of all rooms are oriented in such a way that the guest residing in the room could enjoy the sea scenery. Each hotel necessarily has a fitness and dive center, tennis courts, jacuzzi, bars, restaurants and small stores.

Through Zaafarana passes through the highway that connects the resort to the rest of Egypt, so there is no difficulty in visiting the famous Hurghada or go to the capital of Egypt – Cairo, and, plenty of enjoying the charm of these vibrant cities, returning to a quiet, comfortable Zaafarana.

Zaafarana Climate

The climate of Zaafarana is no different from the climate of most cities in Egypt. Spa season here lasts all year round, the average summer temperature is plus thirty degrees during the day, and plus twenty-three at night, the water gets warm, about, to twenty-five degrees. Normally endure the summer heat helps sea breeze. The peak of the heat is August – September when the daytime air heats up to plus thirty-two degrees. However, in October the temperature begins to drop, and by early winter is only plus twenty degrees.

The History of Zaafarana

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The resort with the beautiful name of Zaafarana, which means the golden city in Arabic, was built at the beginning of the twenty-first century, under the government program of tourism development in Egypt. The city did not get its name by chance: when the hot Egyptian sun fills the white sands of Zaafarana with its rays, giving it a deep golden color, the glare of this gold is reflected in the bright walls of buildings, and it seems that the whole city and even the sea itself is flooded with gold.

The sights of Zaafarana The monastery of St. Anthony

Forty-five kilometers from Zaafarana, in the mountains among the desert, is the oldest Christian monastery – the monastery of St. Anthony. The monastery was founded between the years three hundred and fifty-six and three hundred and sixty-three on the very spot where St. Anthony the Great, the man whom the Orthodox Church regards as the founding father of monasticism, lived the last years of his life.

Saint Anthony died at the age of one hundred and five, having spent the last forty-four years of his life in these mountains in the wilderness, far away from people. It is known that two disciples lived with him all this time, and they buried the body of the deceased saint. History has not preserved the exact details of who founded the monastery and who were its first settlers, nor is there any exact information about the early life of the monastery.

From fragments of the ancient history of the monastery we know only that at the end of the XI century, it was destroyed by the Turks, and one hundred years later was restored by Copts, since then the monastery of St. Anthony has turned from Orthodox to Coptic. In the year one thousand four hundred and fifty-four, the monastery was raided by the Bedouins, looted and ruined. Nearly a hundred years later, by order of Patriarch Gabriel, the monastery was again restored and inhabited.

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Today, the monastery of St. Anthony looks more like a small village with five churches, one of which, according to the monks, contains the remains of St. Anthony. Outside the monastery walls there are orchards and a small bakery. The monastery has a population of seventy monks.

Saint Paul Monastery

The monastery of St. Paul is located in the desert twenty-six kilometers south of Zaafarana. It is considered a contemporary of the monastery of St. Anthony and in many ways follows its fate. Thus in the fifteenth century, the monastery was raided by the Bedouins and was ravaged, the monks left these places for a hundred and nineteen years. The man who brought the monastery back to life was the same patriarch Gabriel.

Today the monastery has four churches, one of which, the Church of St. Paul, is housed in the same cave where the hermit St. Paul of Thebes lived his last years. Here, in the southern part of the church, are the remains of the saint. Services in the church-cave are no longer held, but in the other temple of the complex – the church of St. Michael, services take place twice a day.

Excursions from Zaafarana

Most often, tourists who come to vacation in Zaafarana, offer to visit with excursion located in the desert monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul. In addition, there is a wonderful opportunity to go to Luxor and admire the Luxor temple, built by order of the two pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramses II, in the name of the god Amon, and the temple of queen Hatshepsut, known for its unusual architecture, or walk through the “city of the dead”, visiting the Valley of the Kings.

If you are not attracted by the ancient temples and tombs of Luxor – go to Cairo, walk around the city and visit the market Khan Al-Khalili, founded in the XIV century, which is considered the oldest bazaar in the Middle East. Check out at least one of the many mosques in the capital or visit the “Suspended” Coptic Church of Al-Muallaka. Finally, don’t forget to check out the Coptic Museum in Cairo.

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After enjoying plenty of religious and cultural treasures it is worth heading to Hurghada to visit the city’s Aquarium which features all the inhabitants of the red sea from the harmless bright and intricate angel fish and butterfly fish to enormous sharks and deadly morays. While in Hurghada, it is worth checking out the water park and dancing fountains show, held every night at hotel “Golden 5 Hotel. And, of course, you can not leave this city without buying something in Aka duty free – the largest duty free store in North Africa.

In fact, the beauty of Zaafarana is that you can easily get almost anywhere in Egypt, and see the most interesting places of the country.

Entertainment and Shopping in Zaafaran

Entertainment in Zaafaran is very diverse, there is a water park and entertainment complexes, bars, restaurants, and cozy cafes, and local discos are not inferior to those held in the best clubs in major resorts of Egypt. For fans of sports in Zaafaran also have all conditions: a fitness club and diving center, in almost every hotel There are courts for playing lawn tennis.

Zaafarana is ideal for water sports, especially windsurfing, as the area benefits from consistently good wind, which is why Zaafarana is so well loved by surfers. Especially for those who have never surfed before, there are courses where professional instructors will teach beginners not only the basics of the sport, but also, if desired, some professional tricks.


In Zaafaran there are both small stores and souvenir stores, as well as quite large shopping centers. Here you can buy almost everything: tea, spices, fragrant oils, clothing, souvenirs and household items. It is worth noting that the prices in most local stores are not fixed, so the better you can haggle, the lower will be the price paid for the desired product. If the local range for you is not wide enough, you can always go shopping for example in Hurghada.

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Relatively young, but very promising Egyptian resort Zaafarana – an ideal holiday destination for mobile people who prefer to spend their vacations away from the bustling cities, not staying on the sidelines of civilization.

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