With spectacular scenery and an illustrious history, Egypt is perfectly poised to attract tourism. And although you may not ordinarily consider Egypt an ideal holiday destination to take your children, you will be surprised just how well suited the country is to expose your kids to a destination rich in culture, history and entertainment.
Of course, the little ones need entertaining while on holiday, and ancient ruins only appeal to most children for so long, but with a number of hotel resorts providing baby-sitters, kiddie clubs with a full schedule of entertainment day and night, special play areas, a host of sports activities and even on-site waterparks, catering to the kids allows parents to indulge in Egyptian culture without boredom-induced tantrums.
Adults and older, inquisitive children will not want to visit Egypt without seeing the wonders of ancient cities of Luxor, Abu Simbel, Aswan, and, of course, the famous pyramids of Giza. Day trips are readily available to many sites, which you can visit in between outings to aquariums, boat rides, and snorkelling on the beach.
Whatever your reasons are for visiting the Land of the Pharaohs, it is the choice of resort that makes your holiday relaxed, enjoyable and memorable. So if you are keen to visit Egypt and will be travelling with children, what are the best child-friendly resort options for you?
Coral Sea Water World, Nabq Bay
Nabq Bay in the Red Sea Riviera is one of Egypt’s most idyllic hot spots. Situated just north of popular Sharm el Sheikh, the desert town where most of the seaside action takes place, the tranquillity of the bay area provides a relaxing retreat from the chaos of downtown Sharm, yet is still within an easy distance. It is also close to neighbouring Na’ama Bay.
The best hotel for children in Nabq Bay is the Coral Sea Water World, located in a picturesque setting by the beach, where you will find excellent snorkelling and water sports that all the family can enjoy. And Coral really is a full on aquatic experience—the recently-built SplashWorld is a brand new waterpark featuring a glut of chutes, body slides and tube slides all the family can enjoy. The waterpark is split into two areas; teens and adults, and special area for infants and kids under seven. It’s only fair that the very little ones have their own slides and splashes to enjoy. With sand-side pools, special kiddies play area and a tranquil garden where you can escape for some peace and quiet, you have the option of different setting any time of the day.
The hotel provides a full entertainments programme day and night together with sports activities including windsurfing, tennis, beach volleyball, pool table and a football pitch. You can also take time to relax in first-class facilities which include Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and massage or chill out with a relaxing drink in the beachside Bedouin tent serving shisha and Turkish coffee. The hotel also organises a kid’s club for little ones aged between 4 and 12 years of age.
Holiday Village Red Sea, Nabq Bay
There are specific details you should take into account when travelling with young children; a kid’s club and activities they can enjoy are a given, but you’ll also want to consider factors such as what they will eat, and the transfer journey from the airport.
Holiday Village provides an ideal solution for both as it is only 20-minutes from Sharm El Sheik International airport, and contains a wide choice of restaurants – you can eat in a different one every day of the week. As the hotel name implies, this resort is a little village in its own right.
The resort is geared towards children of all ages, but does not forget about adults. Activities are designed by childcare experts and target age groups starting from 0-35 months, 3-5 years, and so on. There is entertainment the whole family can enjoy together, such as the football academy, swim academy and stage academy for budding stars (only from April to October).
Health and safety is also a high priority. Child minders adhere to UK standards and the character-themed club room are designed with health and safety in mind. If you are visiting Egypt to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, be sure to inform the staff at the Holiday Village Red Sea and they will provide you with a delicious complimentary cake.
Jungle Aqua Park Hotel, Hurghada, Egypt
Hurghada is the second largest city in Egypt’s Red Sea region and presents an alternative to Sharm El Sheikh. It is best known for its string of white, soft-sand beaches together with a coral reef that provides some of the best snorkelling and scuba diving experiences in the world where you will find darting dolphins and World War II ship wrecks.
With three distinct areas, there is also plenty more to see including the old historic town where you can get a feel for local life, the fast-paced shopping district in modern Sakalla and the newly built Village Road where you can find peace and tranquillity under the palm fringed streets.
The best place to stay in Hurghada with children is another water-themed resort, the Jungle Aqua Park Hotel which boasts an astonishing 21 swimming pools and 35 water slides, covering an area of 35,000 metres. Toddlers will love the animal-shaped slides, but this resort is geared more towards older kids who dare to rumble in the jungle and brave high-speed freefalls, the Turbo Tunnel and the Tsunami. There is also a rafting pool, for a sedate activity all the family can enjoy.
There are plenty of activities on dry land, too, such as a day trip to meet members of tribes living in the Sahara Desert, horse riding on the beach, dirt biking in the sand dunes and cultural tours to local neighbourhoods where you will get an eye-opening appreciation of what daily life is really like in Egypt.
Residents at Jungle Aqua Park Hotel are well cared for, and with a choice of six dining options including Mediterranean, Italian, and Asian cuisines, there is something for everyone. Al the restaurants have children’s options. There is also a quiet coffee shop, eight bars and a satellite TV in every room, and the option of family bungalow rooms that sleep up to five people.
Iberotel Lamaya Resort, Marsa Alam, Egypt
Marsa Alam is one of the Red Sea’s newest resorts, and it’s a rising star. That the beach town is not yet fully developed plays in its favour, as it provides a picturesque retreat with all the trappings of comfort, but without the hordes of travellers. It is also within easy distance of lesser known day trips to the 4000-year old city of Queseir, and a visit the kids won’t get the hump about, the Valley of the Camels – no prizes for guessing what you can do there! Protip: Try a taste of local camel cheese for a truly unique experience – its flavour is described as somewhere between bitter and smoky.
The Iberotel Lamaya resort is a platinum rated hotel with tour operators, receiving high scores for its dedication to service and customer satisfaction. One of the perks of staying at the Lamaya is that the resort owns a private stretch of beach and coral reef which guests are free to enjoy undisturbed by crowds; relax under thatched parasols and admire spectacular views. You also get free entry to the Aqua Coraya Waterpark in Madinat Coraya.
For small children and infants the resort runs a children’s club, playroom and a baby pool, but is more geared towards children age eight and up. A wealth of sport activities such as tennis, football, basketball, beach volleyball, archery, billiards and table football are all at the ready whilst aerobics, aqua aerobics and a multi gym are on-site for fitness fanatics. However, the sauna, steam bath, and whirlpool are reserved for adults 16 years and over – so you can escape for some solitary moments!
With a shopping arcade, massage parlour, and fully-equipped luxury suites, the Iberotel Lamaya pampers to your every need and treats guests of every age so well, you will want to return – and the hotel keeps you to your promise to go back every year by planting a tree in your honour after your fourth visit.
Aqua Blu Hotel, Ras Um Sid, Egypt
Located just 10 kilometres south of popular Naama Bay is Ras Um Sid, perched on the tip of a small hillside peninsula which provides spectacular views of the Red Sea coastline. Although the neighbourhood is quieter than downtown Sharm, it is home to Egypt’s biggest water park, Aqua Park City, and built into the massive complex is the Aqua Blu Hotel, voted as one of the best family holiday experiences in Egypt.
Given the facilities at the Aqua Blu, it is hardly surprising the resort consistently receives rave reviews. On water park on the doorstep has 62 slides and 14 pools, and as guests of the hotel you have free entry access every day. But with other on-site sports options including tennis, table tennis, volleyball and billiards together with scuba diving and pedalos, water slides are not your only option. And for something less energetic – and a break from the kids – treat yourself to a massage and beauty treatment in the swanky hotel spa.
The cliff-top resort is also close to Ras Mohammed National Park which offers the best snorkelling experience in Sharm. Nearby El Fanar beach hosts weekly beach parties, and day trips to some of Egypt’s main tourist attractions can be booked through the hotel. A trip to the local Old Town market is also a great shopping experience – Egypt style.
The plush Swiss interior provides comfortable surroundings and the rooms sleep 2 adults and 2 children. The hotel also runs a kids club for children between 4 and 11 allowing adults a reprieve to relax in peace and quiet. A great selection of dining choices includes an international buffet, together with Italian, Indian, and Chinese restaurants.
Xperience St George Homestay, Sharks Bay, Egypt
The Xperience St George Homestay is a great all-rounder for the entire family. The resort has a relaxed atmosphere and is located in bustling Shark’s Bay which has a great atmosphere to explore and learn more about Egypt, its customs and its people. There are plenty of options here for shopping, eating and nightlife.
Shark’s Bay is one of the Red Sea’s oldest and most established destinations, reflected in the charming Old Town which bustles with activity on a daily basis. Head for the market to experience the atmosphere and culture of Egyptian bizarre and interact with the shopkeepers where bartering for a bargain is the typical style of buying and selling.
The water in this part of the beach is shallower than other stretches so is ideal for paddling with toddlers. There is also plenty of snorkelling opportunities for older kids to snorkel and admire the abundance of aquatic life in the coral reefs. You will also find other options from the beach such as water boarding, speed boats to Tiran Island and banana boats.
The St. George Homestay is built on a hill and offers incredible views of the bay together with providing a home from home experience. Facilities include Jacuzzi, spa, steam bath, gym and table tennis. There is also a good choice of restaurant including Italian and Belgian.
Families with small children between the ages of 4 and 11 years can take advantage of the Children’s Club and kiddies playground and separate children’s swimming pool. The hotel’s entertainment team also put together a full schedule of activities for both children and adults including gymnastics, darts and water polo. In the evenings you can enjoy a disco and shows performed by local entertainers including belly-dancing.
You may not ordinarily think of Egypt as a child-friendly destination, but with a host of resorts geared towards children’s entertainment, this ancient nation becomes an extraordinary modern holiday the entire family can enjoy.