Introducing Marsa Alam & Around
In-the-know divers have been heading to Marsa Alam for years, attracted to the seas just off the rugged coastline offering up some of Egypt’s best diving. Despite this, for a long time this far-flung destination stayed well off the tourism-radar. The secret though is now out. Heavily touted as the Red Sea Riviera’s new tourist drawcard by the Egyptian government, the last few years have seen a construction boom along the coastline. While the town of Marsa Alam itself is a rather nondescript place which most of the development has passed by, the strip of coast to its north and south has been snapped up by eager developers and is now home to a plethora of resorts and half-built hotels.
Despite the construction, Marsa Alam’s coastline is still a diving aficionado’s dream and there are some long-standing beach camps here specifically for those who want to spend most of their time underwater. This is also the best base from which to venture into the southern reaches of Egypt’s vast Eastern Desert where gold and emeralds were once mined by the Romans in the barren, mineral-rich mountains just inland.