Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to the west of Alexandria, Mersa Matruh is a coastal resort town in northern Egypt. It’s renowned for its sandy beaches and tranquil lagoons where you can participate in a range of water sports, as well as the wartime caves and ancient ruins dating back thousands of years.
Things to do in Mersa Matruh
A short drive north-west of Mersa Matruh is Cleopatra’s Beach, which is one of the area’s most beautiful stretches of sand. It’s surrounded by rocks that create a natural pool where legend states that Cleopatra and Mark Anthony bathed together. Also nearby is Lover’s Beach, a stunning cove named after a famous Egyptian movie that was filmed here.
On the other side of the bay is Rommel Beach, where you’ll find a museum dedicated to the German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. It occupies the caves that he used as his headquarters while drawing up his plans for the El Alamein campaign, with vintage maps and artefacts from the battle on display. Several war cemeteries can also be found in the surrounding region, including cemeteries dedicated to British, German and Italian soldiers.
Mersa Matruh is dotted with ancient ruins dating from at least 1,200 BC, such as a temple dedicated to Pharaoh Ramesses II. You can explore naval installations from the Egyptian Fleet Anchorage built during the age of Ptolemy or learn about Christianity’s influence on the region in a Coptic Chapel cave that houses 4th-century inscriptions.
Getting around Mersa Matruh
Mersa Matruh International Airport is a 10-minute drive from the city centre and has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Buses connect Mersa Matruh to Cairo and Alexandria and throughout Mersa Matruh. Bicycles are a popular way of exploring.