A small town of 6,000 inhabitants, Marsa Alam is located in south-eastern Egypt. Situated beside the Red Sea, 500 miles south of Cairo, this place is not unlike a tropical paradise. The neighbourhoods here are full of mangroves and palm trees, and the coral reefs off its shores are home to playful creatures.
A former fishing village, Marsa Alam is a delight for divers thanks to its many sites that have remained preserved. You may come across some dolphins, dugongs, or hammerhead sharks.
Also known for its gold, emerald, gemstone, copper and lead deposits at the time of the Pharaohs, the city is still home to a few mines. It is said that Marsa Alam had the first emerald mines anywhere in the world and was the sole source of emeralds for the Roman Empire. South of the city, it is still possible to visit the "Cleopatra Mines" at the heart of Wadi El Gamal National Park.
To get to Marsa Alam, you can take the bus or a taxi from Cairo. Open since 2001, the international airport in Marsa Alam is located 40 miles north of the city, which can be quickly reached.
Dive into the turquoise waters and swim with tropical fish, or give kite-surfing or deep sea fishing a try.
Visit the Cleopatra Mines or Wadi Gimal National Park, one of the last places where you can still see gazelles in the wild.
An underwater camera will allow you to forever capture the beauty of the waters of the Red Sea.
Aimed at protecting visitors against microbial infections, the general recommended hygiene tips while travelling in developing countries are: avoid eating raw or undercooked food products, especially meat and eggs, and wash your hands regularly with soap and water or a hydroalcoholic solution.
Taste the 'mezzes' (tasty sauces for dipping bread), 'foul' (mashed beans seasoned with lemon juice, herbs and olive oil), hummus (a chickpea puree with sesame paste oil), stuffed vine leaves, vegetables and lamb, grilled meat, phyllo pastry, watermelon, dates, baklava, dried apricots, etc. As for drinks, try karkade, Egyptian wine or mint tea.
You will be able to buy souvenirs such as djellabas, tunics, embroidered cotton shirts (cotton is very cheap here), sequinned oriental dance costumes, papyrus, oriental slippers, Bedouin jewellery, pearl-encrusted boxes, sandals, glass, ceramic and copperware, perfume bottles, Egyptian music and spices, ashtrays made of alabaster, and more.