How to Spend 1 Day in Marsa Alam
The most southerly of Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, Marsa Alam has shrugged off its just-for-seasoned-scuba-divers image for one of sun and sea with luxe beach hotels and desert adventures. If you’re on a quick trip, here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in the area.
Morning: Active Adventures
Begin in classic Bedouin style with a dawn camel ride, lumbering through Egypt’s Eastern Desert as the sun rises. Qualified divers, meanwhile, might prefer an early-morning dive around a house reef—although it’s just offshore, Marsa’s marine life is nothing short of spectacular. Later, if you still have energy to spare, consider joining a snorkeling tour to explore a prime marine location such as Sharm El Luli. Those who like to stay on terra firma, however, can head out on a rip-roaring all-terrain vehicle drive across the desert plains.
Afternoon: Sand, Sea, and Spa
If you want to view the Red Sea’s underwater world without getting wet, catch one of Marsa Alam’s semisubmersible trips. Cruise out to sea on a comfortable, multideck boat, and watch from a dry underwater observation deck as tropical fish, turtles, and rays glide by. Alternatively, if you’re a scuba enthusiast and missed out on a dive trip this morning, quick-and-easy forays depart from Marsa’s beaches. Otherwise, roam the souks and sights of the historic harbor town of El Quseir, or treat yourself to a soothing spa session at one of Marsa’s upscale beach resorts.
Night: Desert Dusk
The Eastern Desert is extra-atmospheric come evening, when the fading sun casts the mountains and plains flame red. Tonight, make the most of its beauty—and wide-open spaces—on an all-action sunset ATV expedition. Churn up clouds of dust as you zoom to a Bedouin village for a camel ride, barbecue, and folklore show before driving your ATV back to base. Or if that sounds too strenuous, take it easy: hop in a rugged, air-conditioned Jeep, then ride to a Bedouin desert dinner, stopping at mountain lookouts along the way.