The yachting hub of Hurghada on Egypt’s mainland shore enjoys a cosmopolitan nightlife and a reliable tourist throng. Its hedonism is well balanced by the gruff tranquility of the old town and various land-based pursuits like camel riding and desert treks. The prettier town of El-Gouna, a short hop north, also warrants a closer look.
The Red Sea is not short of uninhabited islands, but the Giftun Chain is particularly noted for its exemplary waters. There are plenty of places to find a good anchorage in the lee of the prevailing northerlies and although the islands are largely sunbaked desert, the subsurface diversity more than makes up for that.
If you don’t object to the dive tourists who come for the clear, warm waters, sub-surface caves and astonishing corals, the Ras Mohammed Marine Park is a magnificent place to witness the Red Sea’s sparkling wildlife. If diving isn’t your thing, it’s just as good for an informal snorkel or a beach jaunt in the tender.
Just past Sharm-El-Sheikh, on the eastern shore of the Sinai Peninsula, lies Nabq – an unspoiled Red Sea destination, with spectacular diving and useful shelter on the south side of the outlying islands. If you have the time, Dahab, further north, is a more modern, leisure-ready destination for roaming Aqaba Gulf tourists.
At its most northern part, the Red Sea is separated from the Mediterranean by the Sinai Peninsula. It’s a region tailor-made for the demands of a super yacht charter, and Sharm-El-Sheikh on its southernmost point is a well-established base for Red Sea exploration.
It provides plenty of first-class beaches, easy-access to the dive sites of the Ras Mohammed National Park and a broad choice of luxury waterfront resorts. It also offers ready access to the yachting hub of Hurghada on the mainland shore. Here, the cosmopolitan nightlife is happily balanced by a charming old town and some active land-based pursuits like camel riding and desert treks. Between the two resort towns, there are a great many islands for yacht charter fun, not least Giftun El Saghir, where the diving is exemplary.