Discover the charms of Sharm el-Sheikh as a honeymoon destination.
From its humble origins as a small fishing village, Sharm el-Sheikh has developed into Egypt’s largest and most popular beach holiday resort.
With several world-famous dive sites, along with desert and mountain hiking opportunities, luxurious 5-star hotels, family entertainment, shopping options and a sunny climate, Sharm (as it is popularly referred to) offers all the ingredients you need for a memorable beach honeymoon or romantic getaway in Egypt.
Set against a backdrop of brown desert and craggy mountain range, and grouped around a series of turquoise bays at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, Sharm el-Sheik spreads over four main areas.
Take in the charms of the old town of Sharm el-Maya and its small bay, then visit El Hadaba, which sits on a small peninsula and is home to a collection of upscale resorts, holiday villas and several amusement facilities.
Na'ama Bay is the centre of modern Sharm el-Sheik, with a beachfront promenade lined with numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. And finally, the recently developed, large, all-inclusive resort enclave of Nabq (pronounced na-bik) lies around 26km north of the Old Town.
Sharm el-Sheik’s string of golden-sand beaches stretches along the desert coast from Na'ama Bay to Nabq Bay. For the most part, these are separated into hotel- and resort-owned sections that are open to everyone; typically, only hotel guests are allowed to use the properties’ sun parasols and loungers.
The beaches along Na'ama Bay are accessed by a boardwalk or by walking along the beach, while those further north are often enclosed as part of a large resort compound. Many of the well-groomed beaches are artfully decorated with palm trees, shrubs and thatched parasols.
Sunbathe on the soft golden sands, go swimming in the clear, warm waters and snorkel above offshore coral gardens that teem with rainbow-hued fish just a short walk or boat ride north of Na'ama Bay.
For the best snorkelling and diving, head to the nearby Strait of Tiran or the world-famous Ras Mohammed Marine National Park, only 25km to the south.
All the major resorts offer a range of water sport activities including diving, snorkelling excursions, glass-bottom boats, windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing, banana boating and kayaking. Note: Topless bathing is illegal at Sharm el-Sheikh.
Inland, discover the barren Sinai desert and rugged red mountains either on horseback, atop a camel or by quad bike.
Or take a day or overnight jeep excursion to the Coloured Canyon (named for its layers of brightly coloured stone), St Catherine's Monastery and Mount Sinai.
Around Sharm, take the kids to the numerous waterslides and themed restaurants at Aqua Blue Water Park in El Hadaba or Cleo Park overlooking Na’ama Bay. Adults and teenagers may want to race karts at the Ghibli Raceway at Na’ama Bay or at Go-Karts at Hadaba.
Browse for gold and silver jewellery, spices, perfumes, slippers, leather bags, Egyptian cotton linen and Bedouin handicrafts at the air-conditioned shops in Na'ama Bay or in the open-air souk (market) at Old Sharm.
After dark, head to the bars and restaurants of Na’ama Bay. Take in a live show at the Sinai Casino or dance the night away at one of Na’ama Bay’s many lively nightclubs, including the renowned Pacha Club and Hard Rock Café.
With several world-famous dive sites, along with desert and mountain hiking opportunities, Sharm offers a variety of sightseeing attractions, including the following…
Consistently rated as one of the world’s most exhilarating dive locations, Ras Mohammed offers several stunning dive sites to match every skill level.
Two hundred species of hard and soft coral, 1000 species of fish, 40 species of starfish, 25 species of sea urchins and more than 100 species of mollusc and crustaceans are all clearly visible in the clear, Prussian-blue waters of the Red Sea.
Dive among bommies, caves, chimneys, gullies, canyons, overhangs and cliffs, and drift among schools of colourful angel and butterfly fish while stingrays, manta rays and wrasse glide around you without fear. At 25m, encounter white-tipped reef, silvertip, silky and scalloped hammerhead sharks.
From December through January, sharks mate at Ras Mohammed. Don’t be surprised to see scorpion fish, readily sighted here but often a rare encounter elsewhere.
Major highlights of Ras Mohammed, include…
Shark Reef, which starts at about 26m, resembles a submerged mountain peak with a sheer vertical wall that attracts loads of groupers and stingrays.
Ras Mohammed Wall, with great visibility, a steep wall, several caves and overhangs.
Yolanda Reef, home to the remains of the shipwrecked Yolanda where you can marvel at thousands of different reef fish, gigantic moray eels and blue- and black-spotted stingrays; and
Thistlegorm, arguably one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world.
More about diving Ras Mohammed…
Discover spectacular drift dives through the coral gardens and shipwreck-littered strait, teeming with colourful reef fish, just a short boat ride from Sharm.
Head to Jackson Reef, with its 70m drop-off, sharks, pelagic fish and the Lara shipwreck.
See some of the world’s best-preserved Byzantine mosaics inside the 6th century Monastery of St Catherine, said to be the world’s oldest continuously functioning Christian monastery and built on the site of the burning bush where God spoke to Moses.
Examine the rich collection of paintings, relics and icons in the museum. Visit for a day or stay longer at the conveniently located but rather basic Monastery Guest House or try the more comfortable Catherine Plaza Hotel.
The mountainous region around St Catherine is known for its excellent trekking, with the chance to spot herds of ibex, hyena and the rabbit-like hyrax along the way.
Try hiking to the summit of nearby Mount St Catherine: at 2629m high, this is the highest point on the Sinai Peninsula, providing spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Escape the crowds of Sharm on a day trip or stay longer at this authentic and laid-back resort town located around 90km north of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The town boasts excellent snorkelling and diving, especially around Reef Island, at the 107m-deep Blue Hole and at nearby Ras Abu Galum.
The latter is a popular spot to arrive by camel or jeep, spend a night or two at a Bedouin camp and dive among fire, brain and table corals, looking out for puffer fish, turtles and sea cows, some of which weigh up to 1000kg.
Dahab is also a good base for excursions to the Coloured Canyon, Ain Khudra, White Canyon, Mount Sinai and St Catherine’s Monastery.
Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the very sleek Le Méridien Dahab Resort, surrounded by a lush garden and cascading water features.
Climb on foot or by camel the holy mountain, said to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Take the longer, easier route up the mountain then descend by the shorter route – the Steps of Repentance, 3750 rock steps hewn by a penitent monk.
The best time to arrive on this craggy massif is at sunrise, which then also allows more time to explore St Catherine's Monastery. Mount Sinai is a 3-hour drive away from Sharm el-Sheikh.
Sharm offers an excellent choice of hotels and resorts mainly located in Na'ama and Nabq bays.
Splash out at the exclusive Four Seasons Resort Sharm el-Sheikh, a quiet hideaway that has been styled as a traditional Arabian village spilling down a hill, overlooking a small beach and surrounded by lush gardens with multiple water features, or try one of the following 5-star hotels…
Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh
Location: 1 Four Seasons Blvd, Sharm El Sheikh
Ave nightly price: AUD664 per person
Description: Four Seasons Resort is a hillside Red Sea diving resort set in Sharm El Sheikh. It boasts 4 pools, 5 restaurants, 3 lounges and a spa. Guests can also benefit from the snorkeling and diving activities available on site. All accommodation at Four Seasons feature a balcony or terrace with views of the Red Sea, the garden and the resort. Each room offers a seating area with a flat-screen TV and a minibar. The villa includes a private pool with a sun-lounger terrace. Four Seasons offers an eclectic fine dining experience ranging from Mediterranean to Italian Cuisine. Guests can savour European specialties at Al Waha Pool Bar that overlooks the pool. The Four Seasons's spa offers a range of relaxation options, including full-body massages and facials. There is also a modern gym equipped with state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. For beauty purposes, a salon is also available. Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a 25-minute drive from Naama Bay. Old Sharm with its traditional markets, is 40 minutes by car. Sharm Al Sheikh Airport is 15 minutes by car. A free round trip transfers are available between the resort and Sharm El Sheikh.
Rixos Seagate Sharm - Ultra All Inclusive
Location: Nabq Bay, Sharm el Sheikh
Ave nightly price: AUD391 per room
Description: This luxurious 5-star resort in Sharm El Sheikh is located on the seafront among palm trees. Featuring a private beach, Rixos Seagate Sharm offers an Ultra All Inclusive Concept. It offers 8 swimming pools including 1 indoor pool, 6 à-la-carte restaurants and 7 bars. It includes free WiFi in the entire property. All rooms feature balcony or a terrace with a pool or a garden view. Each one offers a flat-screen TV, a safety box and a minibar, refilled daily for free. The bathroom includes a bath, a shower and slippers. It offers 6 a la carte restaurants, 1 buffet restaurant, VIP executive lounge, beach food courts and 7 bars serving imported alcohols. Rixos’ spa offers a range of relaxation options, including full-body massages, facials, Turkish bath, steam room, therapy saloon, a beauty centre and a Ladies Spa. There is also a modern gym equipped with state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. At Rixos Seagate Sharm-Ultra All Inclusive you will find tennis court. Other facilities offered at the property include a nightclub, luggage storage and shops (on site). An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including diving, snorkeling and beach football. Unique kids concept of Rixy Club with a spacious area, game rooms , special kids restaurant and 2 kids swimming pools and Teenage Club from the age of 13. Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is 9 km away from Rixos Seagate Sharm. Guests can do shopping at Naa’ma Bay Shopping Centre which is 18 km away. An airport shuttle is available upon request.
Royal Savoy Hotel and Villas
Location: Soho Square, Sharm el Sheikh
Ave nightly price: AUD258 per room
Description: Located in the centre of Soho Square, the Royal Savoy features free WiFi in all areas, a private beach, 3 swimming pools and a beach bar. Snorkeling and diving facilities are available upon request. The Royal Savoy offers luxurious rooms, suites and villas fitted with air conditioning and plasma satellite TV. The villas come with a private pool and a garden, Each unit has a marbled bathroom and a balcony or patio overlooking the hotel’s landscaped gardens or sea. The Savoy's spa has several massage rooms, steam room and sauna, hot tub as well as a rooftop rest area with parasols. It offers treatments using natural herbs, pure essential oils and products from Egypt. Guests can relax in the Savoy’s exclusive private lounge, which offers a continental breakfast, assorted snacks and canapes throughout the day. A wide variety of dining options are offered at the property's 6 restaurants and 8 bars. The Royal Savoy is only 5 km from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport and a free private limousine airport transfer is available on request. Sharm el-Sheikh city centre is just a 10-minute drive away.
Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort
Location: Sharks Bay, Sharm el Sheikh
Ave nightly price: AUD132 per room
Description: Located along its private beach, the Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort is located on the shores of the Red Sea. It is surrounded by gardens and offers a variety of facilities, including a spa. This property offers 8 à-la-carte restaurants. Free WiFi is available in the lobby, public areas and suites. Featuring a private balcony or terrace, each modern room at the Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort is elegantly decorated in Arabian style. They all come with air conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV, and an en-suite bathroom. Guests can enjoy the large variety of menus available in the resort, from Indian “Masala “, Thai “ Sabai ”, Italian “ La Pergola ”, French “Côte d’Azur” and International buffet at the Waterfall Grill. A lounge bar and a coffee shop are also available. Including a hot tub, a steam room and a sauna, the wellness centre is the perfect spot to relax and recover energies. Massages on the beach, a well-equipped gym, and the selection of water sports are also on the large list of services. Overlooking Tiran Island, the resort is 11 km from Naama Bay. Soho Square is 8 km away and a free shuttle is available. Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is 9 km away.
Baron Resort Sharm El Sheikh
Location: Ras Nasrani Bay, Sharm el Sheikh
Ave nightly price: AUD87 per room
Description: This stylish, elegant and prestigious 5-star Sharm El Sheikh resort is situated on 600 m of gorgeous private silky white sandy beach. It offers a lagoon-style pool and a 145 m snorkeling and scuba diving platform. It has 9 restaurants and bars. It also offers a large sandy beach, Olympic-size sweet water swimming pool (heated in winter); only for adults partially–covered seawater whirlpool with jets and a kid's pool. The property offers a free shuttle bus once a day in the evening to Soho Square. A pillow menu, satellite TV, and 100% Egyptian cotton bedding are offered in Baron Resort’s rooms. Each has floor-to-ceiling windows and a furnished balcony. Some have views of the Red Sea, Tiran Island or the resort gardens. Baron Resort’s 9 dining and drinking options include beachfront Taj Mahal, which serves Indian specialities. Now & Zen Dance bar offers exotic cocktails and evening music. Restaurant theme nights vary and include traditional Bedouin dinners. Live entertainment is available at Al Sakia Seafood Restaurant and Oasis Pool Restaurant & Bar. Algae wraps and Egyptian massages are offered at Baron Resort’s Health Club & Relaxation. Gym and steam rooms are also available. Other activities available at the resort are beach volleyball, jogging and cycling track. The 24-hour staff can organise excursions to Ras Mohammed National Park which is 1.5 hours away by boat. Baron Resort Sharm El Sheikh is 3 km from Soho Square, and Naama Bay is 15 km away. Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is 8 km away.
The best time to visit Sharm el-Sheikh is at the start and end of winter during October and November and in March and April, when temperatures are warm rather than unpleasantly hot and the peak season crowds have left.
This is also the best time for scuba diving, when underwater visibility is at its best.
Sharm el-Sheikh is considered a year-round holiday destination, with clear sunny days year-round.
Sharm el-Sheik has a subtropical desert climate, with two distinct seasons: a hot summer season from June to September, and a warm winter season from October to May.
Rainfall is rare, averaging at most one millimetre on one day in a month, and humidity is low.
For more climate info see: Sharm el-Sheikh Weather Guide…
Sharm el-Sheikh sits on a promontory on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula, overlooking the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba. The resort is around 500km (310mi) from Cairo.
The most convenient route to Sharm el-Sheikh is by air to Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (SSH), located about 10km (6mi) north of Na’ama Bay and 18km (11mi) from the centre of Sharm el-Sheik.
By sea, a luxury high-speed ferry runs four times a week between Sharm el-Sheikh and the Red Sea resort of Hurghada (1.5 hours).
More information on how to get to Sharm el-Sheikh…
Latest update: Sharm el-Sheikh: 8 September, 2022