From desert plains to dazzling corals, Marsa Alam is a nature lover’s paradise. With three days in this Red Sea resort, you can discover the undersea world on a snorkeling or diving trip, bounce across the sands on an all-terrain vehicle, and even check out Cairo or Luxor. Here’s how.
Day 1: Sampling the Sights
Marsa Alam is known for its Red Sea beaches, but don’t overlook the nearby Eastern Desert. Begin with a camel ride as the rising sun illuminates the desert mountains, or join
a late-morning ATV tour.
After lunch, go ahead and hit the beach, cooling off by swimming or snorkeling around the house reefs. To immerse yourself in the Red Sea without getting wet, catch one of Marsa Alam’s semisubmersible voyages, and watch from an underwater observation deck as fish, turtles, and rays cruise by.
Those who missed the morning ATV ride can take an evening drive. Zoom over the plains to a Bedouin village for dinner and entertainment as the sun sets—or get there in a chauffeured, air-conditioned Jeep.
Day 2: Sand and Sea
Your second day is all about as much sand and sea as possible. Chill out on the beach—or join a snorkeling or diving trip to a marine hot spot.
Take a boat to Sataya Reef—dubbed “the dolphin house”—to snorkel among wild spinner dolphins. Or, travel to Abu Dabbab and explore a bay frequented by turtles and dugongs. Sharm El Luli, a white-sand beach with snorkel-friendly shallows, is another idyllic destination.
Scuba divers will find options for every experience level. Beginners can book discovery programs that include instruction and equipment; qualified divers might choose shore dives or excursions to the region’s most spectacular reefs.
Day 3: More of Egypt
Many of Egypt’s must-see cities and attractions are reachable on day trips from Marsa Alam.
Luxor tops many travelers’ lists for its sights such as Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. Also popular is Aswan—tours typically cover the Philae temple, the unfinished obelisk, and felucca sailboat rides on the Nile. Otherwise, visit Edfu and Kom Ombo, two of Egypt’s best-preserved temples.
Alternatively, treat yourself to a flight to Cairo, and marvel at wonders like the Pyramids of Giza, Tutankhamun’s treasures at the Egyptian Museum, and the Khan El-Khalili bazaar.