Top ChoiceMonastery in Eastern Desert

Monastery of St Anthony

Monastery of St Anthony

This historic monastery traces its origins to the 4th century AD when monks began to settle at the foot of Gebel Al Galala Al Qibliya, where their spiritual leader lived. Today the monastery is a large complex...

Top ChoiceMonastery in Eastern Desert

Monastery of St Paul

Dating to the 4th century, the Monastery of St Paul began as a grouping of hermitages in the cliffs around the site where Paul had his cell. The complex's heart is the Church of St Paul, which was built in and...

Top ChoiceWildlife Reserve in Marsa Alam

Sha’ab Samadai

This lagoon 18km south-east of Marsa Alam is home to three dive sites with a reef system full of interesting coral pinnacles and fish life. What makes Samadai so special, though, is the pod of spinner dolphins...

Top ChoiceDive Site in Hurghada

Gota Abu Ramada

A mind-boggling abundance of marine life is on display here, 5km south of the Giftun Islands, making Gota Abu Ramada a popular spot for underwater photographers, snorkellers and night divers. Depth: 3m to 15m....

Top ChoiceWaterfront in Hurghada

Hurghada Marina

Hurghada's marina is a pleasant, car-free place to stroll, especially in the evening. When you get tired of staring out to sea or dreaming about owning one of the many huge yachts tied up here, drop by one of the...

Top ChoiceFortress in Al Quseir

Ottoman Fortress

This small fortress was built in 1571 to provide Ottoman troops with control to the port and therefore passage to Mecca. Modified several times by the French and then by the British, who permanently altered the...

Dive Site in Marsa Alam


North of Marsa Alam, Elphinstone has steep reef walls covered with soft corals and is washed by strong currents that make it ideal for spotting sharks – seven species reportedly frequent its waters. This is one...

Cave in Eastern Desert

Cave of St Anthony

Perched about 300m above St Anthony's Monastery on a cliff just outside the monastery walls is the cave where St Anthony is believed to have spent the final 40 years of his life. Inside the cave, which is for the...

Desert in Eastern Desert

Wadi Gimal Protectorate

The starkly beautiful desert of the Wadi Gimal Protectorate extends inland for about 85km from its coastal opening south of Marsa Alam, and is home to a rich variety of bird life, gazelles and stands of mangrove....

Beach in Eastern Desert

Sharm El Luli

In the middle of the Wadi Gimal Protectorate, 60km south of Marsa Alam, lies a pristine sand beach with azure water and excellent coral and fish viewing. Because it is located inside a national park, Sharm El...

Dive Site in Hurghada

Umm Qamar

Umm Qamar, 9km north of the Giftun Islands, is highlighted by three coral towers that are swathed in beautiful soft, purple coral and surrounded by a large range of fish as well as a wreck at 25m. The site is...

Dive Site in Hurghada

Giftun Islands

These islands, among the closest to Hurghada, form part of a marine reserve and are surrounded by a number of spectacular reefs teeming with marine life, including Hamda, Banana Reef, Sha’ab Sabrina, Erg Somaya...

Dive Site in Marsa Alam

Rocky Island

A sandy island east of Berenice, Rocky Island has a range of dive possibilities, including a 25m drop off the east side of the island. Plenty of coral and reef life, including a range of sharks. Rating: advanced.

Dive Site in El Gouna

Sha’ab Al Erg

Ease of access means this is an excellent dive site for beginners, though veteran divers will still enjoy the towering brain corals and fan-encrusted rock formations. Depth: 5m to 15m. Rating: novice.

Dive Site in Hurghada

Shedwan Island

There is some fabulous diving off this island, which sits in the straits between Hurghada and Sharm. Pilot whales and large pods of dolphins have been seen off the north reef wall.

Archaeological Site in Marsa Alam


Founded in 275 BC by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Berenice was one of the most important harbours and trading posts on the Red Sea coast from about the 3rd to the 5th century AD. Remnants of the ancient town,...

Historic Site in Eastern Desert

Wadi Hammamat

The main route between the Nile and Red Sea for thousands of years, Wadi Hammamat runs from Qift, just north of Luxor, to Al Quseir. Inscriptions, remains of old wells and other evidence of the area’s long...

Ruins in Eastern Desert

Mons Porphyrites

These ancient Roman porphyry quarries were the only source for the precious white-and-purple crystalline stone associated with imperial grandeur. Porphyry was used in the Temple of Venus in Rome, the imperial...

Ruins in Eastern Desert

Mons Claudianus

This granite quarry/fortress complex was one of the largest Roman settlements in the Eastern Desert. For Roman prisoners, brought to hack granite out of the barren mountains, this was the end of the line: there...

Mosque in Al Quseir

Faran Mosque

Little is known about Sheikh Al Faran, the mosque's namesake, beyond the fact that he came from the Hejaz (now Saudi Arabia), and that after his death he was adopted by local sailors as their patron saint. More...