People don’t come to Sharm el-Sheikh to experience the Egypt of the Pyramids, the Nile and the noseless Sphinx. They’re drawn here by more modern pleasures – namely upmarket hotels, world-class dive schools and a finely calibrated tourism infrastructure – as well as the resort’s glorious Red Sea setting, which is spectacular enough above the water but reaches staggering levels of beauty when you dip your head under the waves.
Dive and snorkel
For many, the clear waters and underwater exotica of the coastline are the principal reason to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh from Glasgow Airport. You’ll find coral beds and tropical fish in copious quantities, and the nature of the destination makes it well suited to everyone from complete beginners to qualified divers. If you’re just after a taster, various boats head out into the bay on day trips, complete with snorkelling equipment.
Explore the desert
On average, the region around the resort experiences one solitary day of rain a year. It means that the surrounding landscape is authentically dry and dramatic. It’s far from featureless, however, and by taking to a dune buggy (or a camel, if you want a more sedate experience), you’ll be able to get in among the mountains and valleys that lend the Sinai Desert so much character.
Relax – or rave
Sharm’s rise in consciousness over the last 15 years or so owes much to the comforts it provides. It might have a remote location, but the range of activities on offer is extensive, whether you’re looking for a spa treatment, a bowling alley, a tennis lesson or a beat-heavy, open-air nightclub – Pacha (Sanafir Hotel) is the big-name option and one of the focal points of the Na’ama Bay nightlife area. It was named 21 in DJ Mag’s Top 100 Clubs in 2013.