Sharm el-Sheikh is an Egyptian resort town between the desert of the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea. It’s known for its sheltered sandy beaches, clear waters and coral reefs. Naama Bay, with a palm tree-lined promenade, is filled with bars and restaurants. Ras Muhammad National Park is a major diving destination, with marine life around the Shark and Yolanda reefs and the Thistlegorm wreck.Nabq Bay, home to many of Sharm’s high-end hotels, is also an access point for scuba and snorkeling sites in the Straits of Tiran, including Gordon, Thomas and Jackson reefs. Sharm el-Maya, another beach area, offers Bedouin goods in its Old Market. Farther north, the 600-sq.-km Nabq Protected Area is a reserve for water birds and marine animals. Desert safaris by foot, camel, horse, dune buggy or truck are popular, especially those to Saint Catherine’s Monastery at the base of biblical Mt. Sinai.

When to visit

Sharm el-Sheikh has a subtropical desert climate, with sunny skies year-round and almost no rain. The peak travel season is Jun–Sep, a very hot time of year, with Aug being a particularly popular month to visit. Nov–Mar, with fewer visitors, has warm days and mild nights. Sea temperatures are warm year-round, peaking Jun–Oct and dipping slightly Dec–Apr. Sinai Liberation Day (Apr) commemorates the 1982 withdrawal of Israeli troops. Around the same time, the town hosts camel races and fishing competitions.