2008 News Archive - Holidays - Magical Red Sea draws adventurous tourists

20 02 2007

Egypt's Red Sea coast is famed for its beautiful beaches, five-star hotels and outrageously cheap food and drink - if you know where to look.

More famous still is the scuba diving and there are few places in the world as popular with pros and amateurs alike. Writing in the Times, holidaymaker Jo Giles admits that she toyed with a few other ideas before plumping for Egypt last November. In the end, however, the lure of the magical Red Sea was too great to resist.

"Only five hours' flight time, year-round sunshine, and with the Red Sea offering some of the best diving in the world: I took a leap of faith and decided to head to the Sinai and learn to scuba for a week," she wrote.

She stayed in Dahab, described in the brochures as "a laid-back village on the Sinai Peninsula", celebrated for its "unspoilt beaches" and "spectacular diving".

Jo reports that she qualified for her PADI Open Water Divers at the end of her fourth day, allowing her to spend the rest of her week-long holiday sunbathing by the pool and "pottering around the bazaars".

Part of the reason for the enduring popularity of the Red Sea resorts is that they are more liberal than many parts of Egypt. Pleasant bars can be found dotted around the various towns and villages and the atmosphere around the beaches is reminiscent of the Costa del Sol.

Na'ama Bay is particularly popular with tourists, thanks to its private beaches and a long history of welcoming holidaymakers.

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