Extraordinary diving and snorkelling opportunities
The Red Sea beaches stretching from Hurghada in the north to Safaga in the south offer a rich coral reef network, with remarkable marine life and aquatic plants. Makadi Bay has a prime location in the middle of these two areas, and diving and snorkelling schools cater for the more experienced as well as the first-timers. Well-protected Makadi Bay is ideal for beginners, with its gently shelving sandy beach making the sea easily accessible.
The Bay has a ‘house reef’, which is the point just before the vertical drop into deeper ocean. It’s located 18 metres from the shore, with stunning coral reef gardens and a plethora of marine life including eagle rays, turtles and even the bow mouth guitar shark. Head offshore to explore other diving spots such as Tobia Soraya, which at just 15 metres deep is listed as an easy dive and suitable for people of all levels.
Other fantastic diving areas nearby include Ras Abu Soma. It’s an interesting reef split in two different planes – one reaches a depth of 25 metres, with a drop off leading to caves and a deeper area. Take the other plane towards a gradually slopping plateau and for the opportunity to see reef sharks. Otherwise try your hand at windsurfing or canoeing.
Luxury hotels with an abundance of amenities
An upmarket resort, Makadi Bay boasts a number of stylish and very well-serviced hotels offering package holidays to Egypt. They include the Moorish-style Makadi Palace on the northern side of Makadi Bay, which is set among varied tropical gardens and has a peaceful appeal. The extensive holiday village also includes Fort Arabesque and has five swimming pools plus a Diving Centre.
The Sunrise Royal Makadi Bay is here too, which even boasts its own thrilling aqua park with 11 slides including a black hole, perfect for some family fun. But if you’re after something a bit more sedate, there are also five swimming pools to choose from.
All the hotels offer watersports and spa areas where you can relax with a gentle massage. Or head to the 18-hole Madinat Makadi Golf Resort, which has been awarded the accolade of Egypt’s best golf course, twice. It’s not surprising with green areas set among desert planes and fantastic views to the mountains and Red Sea.
Nestled between Hurghada City and Safaga
To the north of Makadi Bay lies Hurghada. Once a small fishing village, it has since evolved into a thriving city. However, the historic El Dahar old town area still boasts traditional fishing stalls and a bazaar with a plethora of shops selling everything from traditional Arabian spices, to jewellery and perfume.
Holidays in Hurghada often involve sitting in a cafe with a strong Arabic coffee and watching others try out their bartering skills. This city’s also known for its thriving nightlife, where you can sip a cocktail in the relaxed, palm-thatched Caribbean Bar, or dance the night away at the legendary Hed Kandi bar.
To the south of Makadi Bay sits Safaga. Once a merchant port, it’s a picturesque area that’s best known for its black sands. Another name for Safaga is ‘Healing Zone’ because of the minerals contained in the sand and the higher than average salt content in the sea, a phenomenon caused by the huge number of native coral reefs here.
With 30% more salt than other areas it’s easy to float here, aiding blood circulation, and it’s said that bathing in this water helps with arthritis. Safaga is also known for a chain of reefs called Tobia Arbaa and Tobia Hamra. Close to the shore, they are considered one of the most stunning sights in the whole of the Red Sea.