Me and my friend spent 10 days in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt at the beginning of December. Although there were a couple of negatives points, though I’m sure there are with most holidays, we really loved it! Our flight was basic but good enough, though we’re both tall girls, nearly 6ft, and our cramped legs were just screaming to get up for the last half hour! After the long wait to collect our suitcases we climbed onto the transfer minibus. It was almost as though I’d just sat down and we were getting up again and stepping into our hotel reception area. The transfer was less than 5 minutes! Bonus!
We stayed in the Park Inn in Nabq Bay and after unpacking we went for an evening meal. The food was all very hot with plenty of choice. We chilled out by the bar with a couple of drinks, then fell into a deep sleep after such a long day of travelling. The next day we woke just in time for breakfast. The beds were comfy though, as as excited as we were for the day ahead, it was still difficult to peel ourselves away and get food! By far my fave meal of the day in this hotel was breakfast. Lots of variety and it was all fresh! The omelette station cooked up all varieties of yummy omelette exactly as you asked for them! Even though we had indulged in a hearty breakfast, we still managed lunch as we wanted to make the most of being all inclusive! Unlike most other hotels, cocktails were included as part of our all inclusive package, and we’d highly recommend the Pina Colada! We started our evening drinks early to make sure we sampled the whole menu.
We overheard some people saying the hotel was too far from the beach, but personally, I didn’t agree. You did have to cross a main road and pass through another hotel complex, but the hotel ran a shuttle bus type thing to take visitors to and from the sea.
I’d never even considered snorkelling or diving on holiday as I’ve never been a good swimmer. It seemed like more of a nightmare than fun to me! My friend convinced me to try it though, and I’m actually really, really glad I overcame my fear and went for it. The coral reef in the Red Sea off the coast of Sharm El Sheik is wonderful. We booked the Garden Reef trip through our rep. We set off at about 8am, which is really early for us, so we had time to visit 3 different sites. The three guys running the tour were fab and showed us the basic skills we needed to snorkel and dive. We took our underwater cameras and one of the guys took mine and swam to the seabed to snap a great shot of a sting ray. I like to tell everyone that I’ve taken it! Diving is supposedly amazing, but I was still building my snorkelling confidence! All of the food and drink was included in the excursion price, but don’t take advantage as you’re not allowed to snorkel if you’re drunk!!
During a couple of other days, we went into Naama Bay during the day for a spot of shopping. I’ve heard you can haggle a bargain or two at the markets, and some of my friends have found some great replica designer bags! But in all honesty, this turned out to be Sharm’s downside. In one lovely shop, where we were asked to sign the guest book and have peppermint tea, we were encouraged to take our time sampling all of its perfumes and weren’t allowed to buy anything until the next day so we could see for ourselves their quality. When we left, we were each given a gift and were thanked for our time.
This gave a good impression of the shops here, and we wondered about stories of tourists being dragged into shops and forced to buy items. However, the rest of the shops we visited were definitely hard sell! It was horrible at first; really tough going, but we realised a firm and polite “no” as we kept on walking was the only way to survive shopping in Egypt! Don’t be put off by this though, as there are some genuinely nice souvenirs on offer amongst the tat. Sharm El Sheikh Holidays are no worse than, for example, Turkey for hard-selling people.
I personally can’t wait to go back to Egypt. Ten days was just not enough! Holidays to Egypt are so unique in the sense that you can visit the ancient history of the Pyramids, kick back with a cocktail in a lush hotel and watch the world go by or experience the hustle and bustle of market life! Hot weather, gorgeous food, friendly people is my idea of a good holiday! With the history and culture on offer holidays in Sharm El Sheikh are always a winner!
By Sam C