Soft, golden sands, camel treks, ancient Bedouin traditions, luxury hotels, family attractions, hours and hours of sunshine and some of the world's best dive sites: it's little wonder that more and more Brits are choosing Red Sea holidays. Perhaps it's time you went and found out what all the fuss is about?
Stretching for more than a thousand miles from Egypt, down between Africa and the Middle East and flowing out into the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea is a vast and beautiful body of water. Four airports deliver holidaymakers to the delights of the Red Sea's Egyptian shores, where they have the choice of a host of famous resorts, as well as a few lesser-known gems.
The Red Sea Riviera attracts holidaymakers thanks to excellent facilities, wonderful dive sites, beautiful views, and the sort of year-round weather that Mediterranean destinations can only pray for. So take your pick from popular beach hotspots such as Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Marsa Alam and Hurghada, or quieter, but equally lovely resorts such as El Gouna and Nuweiba. Wherever you choose to base your trip, you will be sure to enjoy holidays in Red Sea resorts. And thanks to the numerous airports in the region, the transfer time to your hotel will never be that long.
You can fly into Sharm El Sheikh Airport (SSH), which serves the largest and one of the most popular resorts - Sharm el Sheikh, plus other northern resorts such as hippy hangout Dahab and quiet Taba or Nuweiba (Taba Airport - code: TCP - also caters for the northern part of the Red Sea); Hurghada Airport (HRG) delivers travellers to the western shore and hugely-popular resorts such as Hurghada and Makadi Bay; while Marsa Alam Airport (RMF), which is much further south on the western coastline, serves fast-growing Marsa Alam.
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If you had just one word to describe the weather along the Red Sea coast, it would probably have to be “hot”. The heat in the summer months can be oppressive as a result, with daytime temperatures regularly hitting 40C. And it never gets cold along the Red Sea Riviera. Even in winter, you can expect daytime temperatures of above 20C, with spring and autumn, when the mercury hovers between 25C and 30C, attracting the most visitors.
Hurghada International Festival; February: Sporting events such as marathons, triathlons, and even a fishing festival attract visitors to Hurghada every February.
Sham el-Nessim; Easter Monday: Otherwise known as “sniffing the breeze”, this family event sees the locals welcoming in the spring.
International Camel Competition; April: This thrilling contest aims to find the fastest camel in the Sinai Peninsula.
International Shopping and Tourism Festival; July: The cosmopolitan and fun-filled resort of Sharm el Sheikh puts on some great deals at hotels, restaurants and shops to entice visitors despite the July heat.
El Wakala Street Festival; weekly: Taba Heights, in the far north of the Red Sea, puts on a weekly spectacle of song, dance and children's games.
Best of Red Sea holidays for...
Active types: As well as diving, several Red Sea resorts have become a Mecca for kite-surfers and windsurfers due to their shallow waters and reliable sea winds.
Romance: The luxury hotels along the Red Sea coast make this Egyptian destination a favourite with couples on romantic breaks.
Babies & Toddlers: The gentle, warm waters off the beaches of resorts such as El Gouna are perfect for little ones.