Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: Bargains in Sharm-el-Sheik.
Egypt is one of the few places where the pound goes further than a year ago, putting Sharm-el-Sheik, its most popular Red Sea city, firmly on the radar for anyone wanting family-friendly holidays without breaking the bank.
Latest figures show £100 bought a little under 2,500 Egyptian pounds in January 2022. Now it buys more than 3,500. Holiday prices alone can also be a pleasant surprise – many fell last year as hoteliers rushed to woo new guests to replace Russians who once filled up to four in ten Sharm-el-Sheik rooms.
Olly Gaspar, of travel advice guide weseektravel.com, says: ‘This is definitely a great year to visit Egypt. It’s tipped as a must-see destination by National Geographic and offers great value for everything from meals out to holiday extras like sunset drinks.’
Holiday Hero Neil Simpson shines a spotlight on the bargains to be had in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt. ‘Warm blue waters, coral reefs and miles of sandy beaches remain Sharm-el-Sheik’s real draw,’ he reveals
Better still, Sharm-el-Sheik is fresh from the facelift it was given before hosting last year’s COP27 climate conference.
The already short, 20-minute transfer from the airport to most hotels is now a smooth cruise on brand new roads. Meanwhile, the sleek new Sharm-el-Sheik Museum has been dubbed ‘fit for a pharaoh’ with a mix of mummies, tombs and ancient statues of Ramses II, Queen Hatshepsut and more. Tickets cost about £20pp.
Warm blue waters, coral reefs and miles of sandy beaches remain Sharm-el-Sheik’s real draw.
Along most of the 37-mile coastline, waters stay shallow for some distance, making it safer for young children. Snorkellers and scuba divers can head out to around 250 reefs to swim alongside turtles, stingrays and 1,000 varieties of colourful fish.
Experienced divers can swim inside sunken Second World War ships, such as the British Navy’s Thistlegorm (above), with local dive schools
Day trips to dive-sites over shipwrecks are popular. Prices start from £60pp and can be booked with hotel concierges or at dozens of beach-side dive schools. Some of the most exciting allow experienced divers to swim inside sunken Second World War ships, such as the British Navy’s Thistlegorm.
Back on land, at sunrise or sunset, 4×4 dune safaris in the Sinai Desert promise amazing photo stops. Tours start at £40pp with getyourguide.com, which has similarly priced camel-rides and star-gazing trips.
Or souvenir hunt in Sharm’s modern malls and the recreated souks of its Old Market area.
At sunrise or sunset, 4×4 dune safaris in the Sinai Desert (above) promise amazing photo stops
Set off on a hunt for souvenirs in the recreated souks of Sharm-el-Sheik’s Old Market (above)
Sharm-el-Sheik is ideal for smart, large resorts such as Sunrise Montemare, which is complete with clifftop pools and a private beach
While Sharm-el-Sheik isn’t known for having a quiet, intimate vibe, it’s ideal for smart, larger resorts.
One option is Sunrise Montemare, with clifftop pools and a private beach plus family rooms, swim-up suites and pools at the edge of your private terrace.
Seven nights, room-only, including flights, start from £863pp in March on bestattravel.co.uk.
Tui’s Platinum collection has many family-friendly hotels in the area, such as the low-rise Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort & Spa with a water-side infinity pool (above)
Above is Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort & Spa’s private beach with jetty
Seven-night all-inclusive stays at the Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort & Spa, with flights, are priced from £941 per person
Tui’s Platinum collection has many family-friendly hotels here, such as the low-rise Reef Oasis Blue Bay Resort & Spa with a water-side infinity pool, private beach with jetty and water-slides for children. There are seven-night all-inclusive stays, with flights, from £941pp on tui.co.uk/platinum.
The Four Seasons Resort Sharm-el-Sheik has one of the area’s prettiest palm-filled gardens – a seven-night B&B stay with flights starts at £1,595pp on thomascook.com.
Baron Palms Resort offers all-inclusive holidays in a quiet, adult-only atmosphere. Seven nights with flights this spring costs from £951pp through easyjet.com.
The Four Seasons Resort Sharm-el-Sheik has one of the area’s prettiest palm-filled gardens
Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday in a quiet, adult-only atmosphere at Baron Palms Resort (above)