Nestled between picturesque mountains and the Red Sea, it’s not hard to come up with excuses to visit Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. Boasting highs of 37 degrees in summer and with beautiful, never ending beaches in sight, this resort town is incredibly easy on the eyes.

Once a small fishing village, the area now hosts a number of hotel resorts to cater to five-star lifestyles to budget backpackers. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a ‘lie on the beach and soak it up’ kind of trip. From exploring traditional markets to snorkeling or even a round of golf under the Egyptian sun there’s a whole of things to do in Sharm el Sheikh than first meets the eye.

Diving the Red Sea, Egypt

The climate means there are plenty of fish in the reef. Dive right in to see it for yourself with regular diving school boat trips, or stay shallow and snorkel around the coral at your own pace. If you fancy venturing further or sticking to the land there’s also a number of excursions and trips you can take advantage of from quad biking through the desert to exploring the canyons. The ‘Colored Canyon’ is worth scoping out and makes for some great snaps, having earned the name as its rock has worn over the years to unveil its many colored layers.

Sharm el Sheikh town also packs a punch when it comes to the night life with a range of beach bars ideal for afternoon cocktails and aperitifs and more recently, the infamous Pacha night club for those ready to break out the glow sticks. Other shiny objects can be found in the markets of Na’ama Bay, including jewelry and home ware, but prepare to drive a hard bargain!

Giza Pyramids

Sharm el Sheikh also provides an ideal base if you’d like to delve into Egyptian life a little further. You can easily jump on a day tour to Cairo and check in with Tutankhamen at the Egyptian Museum before swinging by the Pyramids. Travelers and those with more time might want to move on to Dahab afterwards and just watch the world go by.

So pack your swimwear and walking boots and hone your haggling skills. They’re all going to come in handy.

Images by mattk1979 and tom@hk, used under Creative Commons license.