Marsa Alam was widely regarded as one of the best scuba diving spots in Egypt. This was once a well kept secret, but not so much these days. When the Marsa Alam International Airport opened its doors in 2003, holidaymakers began coming to enjoy the Red Sea coastal spot. With investment from the Egyptian Government into promoting the resort, its popularity goes much further than just within the scuba diving community.
Yes Marsa Alam remains quieter and less known about amongst British tourists than other Egyptian resorts like Hurghada. So you can still enjoy the relative quiet of the resort while making the most of the hotels and facilities that have been built as the result of growing tourism here.
Since the tourist interest in holidays to Marsa Alam has increased so has the industry around it. A number of luxury hotels have been built on the resort’s Red Sea coast. Interestingly, the hotel construction has been mostly focused on the coast so the town of Marsa Alam is relatively untouched, providing a look into the everyday Egyptian life.
Holidays in Marsa Alam are perfect for nature lovers as there is a thriving aquatic ecosystem. From the coast line you may get to spot a range of turtles, octopi, dugongs and dolphins, while divers have the opportunity of getting up close and personal with them in the clear Red Sea waters.
There are also a range of historical attractions to see on Marsa Alam holidays. In Wadi El Gamal National Park, just south of the resort are the Cleopatra Emerald Mines. Thought to date back to 330BC, these mines played a huge part in the Ancient Egyptian and later Roman Empire’s economies.
Thanks to the amazing Egyptian weather, you can typically enjoy the sun here all year round. Here’s what the weather’s like:
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As one of the best kept diving secrets in the world it goes without saying that diving and snorkelling are incredibly popular on Marsa Alam holidays. There are a handful of reefs to explore, such as Dolphin House and the lesser known Sataya Reef.
Both Dolphin House and Sataya Reef offer you the opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat as well as a chance to see other sea life, such as dugongs and tropical fish. Even if you do not take a trip to the famous reefs there is a high chance that you will run into turtles wherever you dive on your holiday to Marsa Alam.
There are other water based activities to enjoy on Marsa Alam holidays. Surfing, both regular and kite surfing, and very popular on the coast, as the area boasts the perfect weather combination of wind and waves to compliment both.
Sea fishing is very popular on here. There are over 1248 species living in the Red Sea and it is legal to fish for over 200 of them. The crystal clear waters make for a unique experience as you can actual see the fish. Always make sure you book your fishing trip through a reputable source as there are a lot of complicated regulations in place regarding fishing in Egypt.
The Cleopatra emerald mines are a very unique sight that people still speak about for years after their holiday has ended. The name is rather misleading as it was not only emeralds that were mined here. Copper, lead, gold and other semi precious stones were mined here too. To make it even more confusing there is no actual evidence that the mine had anything to do with Cleopatra!
Tours are available of the mines that require you to travel through the Eastern Egyptian Desert from Marsa Alam to get there, giving you two experiences in one trip! To top off the extra value of the trip, there have been artefacts from the Holy Roman Empire found within the mine, meaning that you even get two ancient cultures for the price of one!