Ancient history aside, Egypt’s scuba diving scene is one of the top reasons to head there on holiday. Pack your bags for the Red Sea coast and you’ll discover a rainbow-coloured world of fish, coral and shipwrecks – it’s like an underwater Egyptian museum. This famous site has even been named one of the seven wonders of the underwater world – alongside the Great Barrier Reef – so it’s definitely worth a visit. Most hotels have diving schools where you can learn the ropes. TUI MAGIC LIFE Kalawy is a diving and snorkelling paradise – it’s got its own swimming lagoon and coral reef.
Book your stay at the TUI MAGIC LIFE Kalawy in Hurghada.
Forget the hustle and bustle surrounding the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple. If you want to see some of ancient Egypt’s lesser-known sites, look no further than Elephantine Island. This lozenge of land sits between the banks of the Nile and is within daytripping distance of Marsa Alam. Archaeologists excavating the island have uncovered artefacts that date back to prehistoric Egypt. Some of the ruins – like the Temple of Khum – have been well-preserved, so you can still see these time-stamped buildings in all their glory. While you’re in the area, visit Lake Nasser – one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. The reservoir was originally built, along with the Aswan Dam, to control the flooding of the River Nile. Nowadays, however, its beauty draws in photographers and tourists alike.
Find out more about Marsa Alam.
Offering up a perfect balance between beach and town, Hurghada’s one of Egypt’s most popular holiday destinations. As well as a standout selection of beaches, you’ve got an old and new town to explore, and you can even tour the surrounding Sahara desert on a quad bike. Intrigued? Take our Badawya Ultimate Desert trip and you can zoom between the pyramid-like sand dunes on four wheels and take in sweeping desert panoramas. Later on in the day, you’ll get to learn about life in the desert from a Bedouin family, before dining on traditional treats under the stars.
Check out the Badawya Ultimate Desert VIP excursion.
After a slice of the Caribbean, but closer to home? Mahmya Island fits the bill. Think coconut-white sands and turquoise waters that are home to splash-making dolphins. You’ll find it near Hurghada, nestled into Giftun Island National Park. The best way to get there is on a cruise, which means plenty of snorkelling stops over Egypt’s kaleidoscopic coral reefs en route. There’ll be sunbathing time on deck, too, so you can make the most of the sunshine. And it doesn’t matter when you book your holiday – thanks to year-round toasty temperatures, the best time to visit Egypt is whenever your flight’s taking off.
Secure your spot on the Mahmya Island Cruise.
Many of Egypt’s kings, from Tutankahmun to Ramesses II and Alexander the Great, have spectacular tombs and temples dedicated to them. Naturally, history buffs flock to these sites to swot up on their ancient Egyptian history. However, if you don’t fancy the trek to Luxor or Cairo, there’s a slice of history much closer by. Those staying in Marsa Alam can make the daytrip to the Kom Ombo. This ‘double temple’ is over 2,000 years old and is dedicated to not one, but two sets of gods. This means there are two of everything and the whole site is impressively symmetrical. The buildings have been well-taken care of and added to over the years, so it’s safe to wander through the rooms and imagine what life was like thousands of years ago.
Interested in ancient sites? Take a look at the best things to do in Tunisia.
The TUI SENSIMAR Medina Gardens is set in the heart of Marrakech, plus it's all wrapped up in traditional Moroccan good looks.
The TUI SENSIMAR Makadi Gardens is all about fine dining and downtime on a private beach.
The TUI SENSIMAR Alaya will come with all the trimmings of a chic, adults-only retreat – including swim-up rooms, à la carte dining and five pools.
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