When it comes to selecting a destination for a winter break there may be many things to consider but really only two things matter: sunshine and warm temperatures. Of course a nice beach, decent scenery, fantastic restaurants, perhaps a bit of history and culture will add value but with warm weather most destinations can write of their chances.
So given the weather patterns of Europe during the winter months, very few locations can claim to be attractive to winter sun seekers. The main candidates are typically the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Turkey perhaps, Dubai for those who can afford it and finally Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.
Sharm is a custom built holiday resort, developed purely to attract sunseekers keen to get away from their cold, wet and dull Europe homes during Winter and early Spring. Sharm has tried to include everything the holidaymaker needs to enjoy an off season break. The weather is a given with warm sunny days almost guaranteed but on top of that there are luxury hotels, well maintained beaches, plenty of watersports to try and a feast of shopping opportunities for those so inclined.
Its location on the Red Sea also provides the resort with some fantastic diving and snorkeling opportunities and there are plenty of specialist scuba diving holidays and dive training schools using the area.
The original development of the area for tourism started in the 1970s when the land was still owned by Israel. The beach north of Sharm at Naaama Bay saw the first hotels being built and that beach is still popular today as an alternative to the main Sharm area. When the land was returned to Egyptian control in 1982 a plan was developed to turn the area more carefully into a holiday resort with building heights being restricted in an attempt to preserve the skylines.
During the summer months Sharm is perhaps not suitable for families with small children as daytime temperatures can regularly reach the high 30’s right through from June to September but during the winter months the average daytime temperature is usually at least 20 degrees Celsius making the location an obvious choice for those yearning for warm sunshine.
Visitors to the resort who are contemplating a trip to the Pyramids may wish to consider the amount of traveling involved. The great Pyramids are certainly a sight worth seeing but the 8 hour road journey from Sharm may put off many people but there is always the option of taking a flight to Cairo which only takes an hour. There are visa regulations to watch out for. A visa is not required just to visit Sharm but will be required for any travel outside the area.
The resort has certainly benefited from some well controlled development and planning rules and the choice of attractive luxury hotels will satisfy even the most discerning. Hotels on Nabq Bay overlook the offshore Tirana island. Other bays include Tiger Bay, Garden Bay and the lovely Sharks Bay with its golden sand and fantastic views.
Sharm Old Town is also very interesting, with its picturesque marina area and curious market. Once you put the incessant pestering of the traders to one side and concentrate on enjoying the experience there is plenty to enjoy, but be careful not to show too much interest in a particular item as the traders are relentless in their pursuit of a sale.
A trip to Sharm El Sheikh would not be complete without a snorkeling trip to see the coral reefs of the shoreline. Boats trip are reasonably priced and armed with a snorkel and set of flickers even average swimmers can enjoy the fascinating sights. A typical trip can last up to seven hours in total so make sure you are fully prepared with water, food and sun screen if temperatures are high. One of the more unusual excursions on offer is an overnight mountain walk on Mount Moses. Here it will be cold rather that hot weather that should concern you.
Temperatures can drop very quickly at altitude after dark and warm clothing will be required. There will be Bedouin tents lining your route for those in need of a cup of tea but the highlight comes towards the end of the walk when, if you are lucky, a most amazing sunrise will reward you. There are also horse and desert camel riding to enjoy put during the winter season many people are quite content just to lie in sun and relax.
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