Marsa Alam is a sunny resort town fringed by gold-sand beaches and rainbow-coloured reefs. The resort offers some of the best scuba diving on the Red Sea, ranging from beginner-friendly shore dives and coral gardens to advanced wrecks. Venture inland to explore otherworldly desert landscapes and visit an ancient emerald mine.
Things to do in Marsa Alam
Sea turtles, spinner dolphins and dugongs are just some of the marine animals that frolic in Abu Dabab Bay. The water is calm, shallow and ideal for snorkelling. Underwater you’ll see colourful fish, grassy meadows and coral bouquets. Glass-bottom boat excursions are a great option if you don’t want to swim.
Divers can explore bucket list sites like Hamada, a 65-metre-long cargo ship submerged on the sea floor. Unlike other wrecks, it’s just 14 metres deep and is ideal for beginners. Sha’ab Sharm is reserved for advanced divers and offers a chance to swim with hammerhead sharks and enormous schools of barracuda. Elphinstone is popular with shark enthusiasts, with the possibility to spot more than five species.
The deserts surrounding Marsa Alam were once studded with gold, emeralds and other precious stones. Visit the Cleopatra Mines in Wadi el-Gemal National Park to find out more about the centuries-old mining industry. The mines are ancient and date to as early as 30 BC. ATV tours are an exhilarating way to explore the desert. Sahara el Beyda, also known as White Desert National Park, is another fantastic day trip. The gleaming white sand and enormous chalk rock formations give the park an otherworldly feel.
Getting around Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam is located on the western shores of the Red Sea, while taxis and minibuses are a fast and affordable way to get around. Marsa Alam International Airport is a one-hour drive away. Long-distance buses run between Cairo and Marsa Alam in around 10 hours.