Welcome to another post of Behind The Lens! In this section I will be writing a little guide about the places we visit. We travel with a tight budget so that means we have to prepare quite a lot before hand, and that also means that we are able to get to know quite a lot about the countries we visit so I thought that would be a nice idea to share it so you can benefit from it and hopefully save you time. I will include images, tips, hotels, restaurants, routes and many more. Also make sure you check the bold words together with the Tips section to get key information about your trip.
I really hope you enjoy it and find it useful!
Easyjet has recently released a new destination from Gatwick airport: Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt). This affordable new flight, makes it a great opportunity to enjoy the sunny weather of Egypt for the same price as any other European destination. We went for 5 days (which equals to 3 and a half full days to enjoy) and we paid less than £50 return each, which is a real bargain.
That being said, is it worth it for such a short break? What can you do if you go?
Let me give you an itinerary with what we did and why we think it is the best short holiday break.
This itinerary will be based on what we did. We did not stay in Sharm, instead we took a taxi and went to Dahab which is 1h north from Sharm. Why? Sharm is more touristic and full of people, I would not say it is “real” Egypt. Dahab instead is a bedouin town, more quiet and nearer to the best spots in the area. If you prefer to be in the Egyptian Benidorm then stay In Sharm, but I would go to Dahab instead 11 out of 10 times. If you follow this itinerary, you will have time to relax, time to enjoy in the best snorkel spots in the world, the privilege to see the best sunrise you have ever seen and much more.
Depending on your landing time, you should use that day to rest a bit after the flight and maybe enjoy the local beach and go for a nice dinner. In our case, we took a taxi to Dahab and after that we just enjoyed the views and went for a bite in downtown Dahab.
After breakfast, visit the town (either Dahab or Sharm), enjoy the view, aromas and the locals. Save your energy as you will not sleep again till the day after. After lunch, go to the room for a nap (thank me later) and go to the local view/swimming pool for a couple of hours. After that you will want to eat something.
At 10pm you will be picked up from the hotel by a taxi/limousine that will take you and others to the Sinai desert to climb mount Sinai. The ride will be 1-2h from Dahab (2-3h from Sharm) in a pretty smooth drive. You will arrive in the base of the mount, a car park where local bedouins will try to sell you ponchos, torches and food. Be prepared, take winter clothes for that trip as it will be REALLY cold up there. A torch would be handy too but if you have a full moon like we did, you won’t use it.
From there, your driver will take you to the guides that will walk with you to the summit. The walk itself is not hard but if you are not in shape it may be a bit challenging as it gets a bit steep at times and there are many steps at the end. It will take around 4h and there are many “shops” on the way, where locals will sell you hot drinks and snacks.
You will reach the summit before sunrise so make sure you get a good spot to enjoy the best sunrise you will ever witness, ever.
After that you will descend and you may choose to visit St Catherines church. Your driver will be waiting at the car park to take you back to your hotel, that will be at around 11ish am. Yes this excursion sounds exhausting but for me it was by far the highlight of the trip, so it is 110% recommended. The price was around £20 per person including the taxi. This is best arranged upon arrival in your hotel.
Considering you will go back to the hotel in the midday, you should sleep for 4-5h and wake up in the afternoon for another chilled evening. Discover different foods and areas and pick a nice spot for sunset. Do not oversleep as that will mess you up. I would recommend to wake up no later than 3-4pm so you have time to do something and at night you will be sleepy enough to sleep the whole night and have energy for the day after.
Wake up, have breakfast and book a trip with the hotel to visit some local places. From Dahab will be a 15min ride, from Sharm it would take 1 extra hour or more.
The driver will take you to the Blue hole, there you will rent the snorkel equipment and will take a speed boat to the Ras Abu Galoum natural reserve, this will take 20-30min and you will enjoy the turquoise water clashing with the rocky mountains. This used to be done by camel but would take much longer.
When you arrive in Ras Abu Galoum you will be be able to tell the driver what you prefer to do, we decided to go and do snorkel first and then rest a bit. We have done some snorkel in the past in Philippines and Thailand, nothing compares to what we saw in Ras A. G, it was literally like being inside a huge aquarium. Amazing fish and corals everywhere, completely unreal. This has to be experienced and words or pictures won’t show the extend of that feeling.
After this unique experience we rested a bit and then we were driven to the blue lagoon. We did not expect much from this place but… man… stunning. It is a C shape beach that it’s water is more turquoise than turquoise color itself, full of kite surfers that paint the sky in multicolor. There you can rest and swim and enjoy some local food and drinks. After 2h or so we drove back to the boat and from the boat to the hotel. Again, pick a nice spot for sunrise + dinner, the best combo. Again for that excursion we paid around £20 per person.
You are going back home today, so depending on your flight you can visit something else or not. We decided to go to Sharm in the morning as our flight was in the evening, so we went to Farsha, a beach side bar that is one of the best man made places I have ever been to. Specially for sunset, when all the decoration starts to light up, they burn the incense and turn the music down. That place is magical. From there we took a taxi and went to the airport to take our flight back to Gatwick.
So… best short break ever? We spent under £500 for both of us including flights, accommodation, food, trips and taxis. That is less than £250 per person! That would be half the price of many flights outside Europe alone!