Did you know that the Red Sea is home to over 1200 fish and 250 coral species? But that’s not the only thing that sets it apart!
The weather, the fantastic beaches, many watersports from diving to kitesurfing, and the fact that it’s quite secluded, make the Red Sea (also known locally as the Red Sea Riviera) one of the most intriguing beach destinations in the world.
Every year, thousands of people from Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of the world plan vacations to the Red Sea in Egypt to enjoy a relaxing getaway and dive in the salty waters.
Red Sea Coast Resort Areas
Although the Red Sea coast is a famous vacation spot, many people get confused when it comes to the various coasts that stretch along the sea.
Covering nearly 170,000 square miles, the Red Sea lies between two continents – Africa and the Arabian Peninsula of Asia. To the west, you’ll find Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea, while Yemen and Saudi Arabia are located on the east coast of the Red Sea.
Towards the Northwest, the Red Sea borders the Gulf of Suez, and in the Northeast, it borders the Gulf of Aqaba.
However, the south of the Red Sea, where it borders the Gulf of Eden, is mainly covered with coral banks, and the water level is only 380 feet deep. This is where the coastal channel narrows down.
Red Sea resorts in Egypt are broadly defined as being on the Sinai Peninsula or Mainland Red Sea Riviera or “Egyptian Riviera”.
When is it Best to Visit the Red Sea?
As all the cities located on the Red Sea coast have temperate climates, you can visit them any time during the year. However, the summers and winters are tourist peak times, while spring and fall are relatively quiet times.
During the busy months of summer and winter, the crowd is thick, and the hotel rates and airfares are sky-high. The water temperature in the summer is around 30 degrees, which is on the warmer side; however, it can go as low as 18 degrees in winter.
This leaves us with the spring and fall months when the water temperature is around 24 to 26 degrees, perfect for enjoying water activities, especially diving.
You can learn more about the best time of year for visiting Egypt here
Diving in the Red Sea
Red Sea diving in Egypt is one of the country’s most popular attractions (after ancient Egyptian tombs, temples, and the Pyramids, of course!) And, why shouldn’t it be? With so much to see and explore under the mysterious sea and mild waters, it is bound to attract amateur to pro divers.
From viewing the colorful coral reefs with hundreds of different sea creatures inhabiting them to swimming with the dolphins and having close shark encounters, you will experience all the fun and exciting things when diving in the Red Sea.
But don’t expect too many shore dives. Particularly off the coast of Hurghada, dredging has resulted in bleaching and the reefs simply aren’t as beautiful as they once were.
However, if you’re up for an adventure, you can go a bit deeper into the sea and find shipwrecks from the past, with tons to explore within their skeletal structures.
Ras Mohammed and the Straits of Tiran are often touted as the best diving spots, along with Marsam Alam, though you will not find large family resorts in these locations. Serious divers will want to consider a Red Sea liveaboard experience in preference to the resort towns we’re going to cover here.
With that sorted, let’s move on to some of the best Red Sea resorts in Egypt:
Best Red Sea Resorts in Egypt
When we talk about the resorts in Red Sea Riveria, we’re talking about the resorts located on Egypt’s east coast and the Sinai Peninsula. And while there are many places for you to stay, we have listed some of the main resorts and alternative accommodation options we’d consider on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
1. Sharm El Sheikh
One of the most renowned Egyptian beach resorts is Sharm El Sheikh. It is famous internationally for having many upscale resorts, restaurants, bars, and diving centres. People from all over Europe get dozens of direct flights daily to the Sharm airport and head to Sharm El Sheikh just to enjoy scuba diving.
The best part about Sharm El Sheikh is that its resorts are located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where tourists can have a peaceful time relaxing on the beach or diving. It also serves as a base for people who wish to tour the Sinai Mountains and Ras Mohammed National Park.
How to Get to Sharm El Sheikh
The best way to get to Sharm El-Sheikh is by getting a direct flight to the Sharm airport (SSH). However, if you choose to go by road, it takes about 6 hours from Cairo.
Best Places to Stay in Sharm El Sheikh
These are some of the best resorts in Sharm El Sheikh, recommended for family travellers:
The Baron Resort is a 5-star resort stretching over 600m of a private white sandy beach. Apart from the beach, it has a majestic swimming pool, snorkelling and diving section, and a separate pool for the kids. Plus, it has 9 different restaurants and bars to choose from.
Labranda Sharm Club
Labranda Sharm Club is a 4-star resort with a 700m beach, an outdoor pool, spa, and Turkish massage facilities. It also has an equipped playground for the kids. As for food, the guests can enjoy traditional Egyptian and international cuisine.
Oona’s Dive Club
On a budget? No need for the fancy five-star resorts if your main purpose in Sharm is diving and snorkeling. Oona’s Dive Club is a 2-star hotel with a professional diving center attached, and it also arranges boat excursions.
The family rooms at Oona’s are equipped with air conditioners and wifi and have large windows with a beach view, sleeping up to 5 guests. The hotel restaurant is open all day and offers sandwiches, salads, and seafood to the guests. There’s no pool here, but the private beachfront is right on your doorstep.
2. Ras Sudr
The first Egyptian beach resort that you will encounter when you reach the Sinai Peninsula is Ras Sudr (Ras Sedr). Although it stretches over quite a small area on the Gulf of Suez, it is one of the best places for kitesurfing due to favourable conditions.
Even though Ras Sudr is in its developing stage with many projects underway, many resorts have been completed and open for visitors. However, most resorts are kite centres but have proper arrangements for staying and having meals.
How to Get to Ras Sudr?
Situated approximately 150 kilometers from Cairo, the easiest and cheapest way to get to Ras Sudr is by bus from Cairo, which takes approximately 3 hours. The bus is operated by East Delta Travel and departs daily.
You are about 4 hours drive northwest of Sharm El Sheikh, so another option is to hire a taxi from SHH, or take the East Delta Travel bus which takes around 4.5 hours, departing every 4.5 hours.
Best Places to Stay in Ras Sudr
If you’re visiting Ras Sudr with kids, here are some of the places you may want to consider staying:
Mousa Coast Resort
Mousa Coast Resort is one of the best luxury resorts in Ras Sudr, located on the beachfront. A 4-star resort, it has beautiful gardens, pools, a golf court, and artificial fountains for the guests to enjoy. Besides that, it also has a restaurant, cafe, spa, and a commercial area.
Golden Beach 1 Ras Sedr
Golden Beach 1 Ras Sedr offers guests 4 -star accommodation close to the beach. An on-site waterpark for kids is the star of the show here, along with rooms that offer triples and apartments with cooking facilities and lounge areas.
In addition to a kid’s playground, the hotel is equipped with a kids’ club, there’s an evening entertainment program, movie nights, and a restaurant.
Luxury Chalet La Hacienda
If you’re looking for private accommodation during your visit to Ras Sudr, A luxury chalet in La Hacienda is ideal. It has 2 bedrooms, a TV, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The facilities within La Hacienda include a children’s playground, and you’ll have access to a pool, bar, restaurant, and beachfront.
Dahab, a small town located in the Southeast of the Sinai Peninsula, and almost 50 kilometres Northeast of Sharm El Sheikh, is the ideal getaway for people looking for a quiet vacation. While it is best for a laid-back getaway, you can still find several activities to enjoy, like diving, hiking, camping, and trekking.
It is most famous for being home to world-renowned diving sites, like Blue Hole, the main tourist attraction in Dahab. But, if you want to make the most of your stay, you can trek to the famous St. Catherine’s Monastery and Sinai Mountains, or you could camp at the Blue Lagoon.
In short, it’s a quiet town where you can have lots of fun! If you are beginner diver, this is an excellent spot to set up camp for a while and learn.
How to Get to Dahab
To get to Dahab, you will first have to get a flight to Sharm El Sheikh, and from there, you can take a cab or bus to get to the town in almost an hour.
Best Places to Stay in Dahab
Although Dahab is a small town, you will find many hotels to stay in on a budget.
Jaz Dahabeya is a luxury resort in Dahab with a lagoon-style swimming pool, sauna, and lush green gardens lined with palm trees. It also has a gym and relaxing massages for the guests. Plus, there’s a separate playground for the kids.
As for water activities, you can enjoy snorkelling and windsurfing. And, if you would just like to sit back and relax, you can do so with a picturesque view of the Red Sea and the Sinai Mountains.
Swiss Inn Resort
Swiss Inn is a resort in Dahab with a private beach, a swimming pool, a sauna, and a well-equipped gym. You can enjoy activities like snorkelling and diving while staying at the resort. It is famous for having a welcoming environment and excellent service.
Looking for a condo apartment? Ideal for a longer-term stay in Dahab, Dar Dahab allows for two-bedroom apartments and self-catering facilities, which are ideal for families. A beautiful seaside location, your walking distance to everything you could need,
Also well-worthy of a mention at the very far north of the Sinai Peninsula, facing the Gulf of Aqaba, is the resort town of Taba. Taba is exclusively about sunshine and relaxation; Taba Heights includes a marina, golf course, and dive opportunities.
How to Get to Taba
Taba sits around an additional hour and a half north of Dahab. If you are flying into SHH, allow about 2.5 hours to cover the 200-kilometre journey. From Cairo, it’s about a 6 hour’s drive across the Sinai Peninsula.
Alternatively, from Eliat in Israel, it’s just 10 minutes away by bus to the border crossing. You need to pay a border-crossing fee of 106 shekels/ Around $25USD (unless included by your hotel).
Best Places to Stay in Taba
Taba is largely about family resorts in the sun – if you’re seeking something a little more rustic, look for the smaller towns between Dahab and Taba such as Ras Shetan. We recommend you look at:
Movenpick Taba Resort & Spa
Set between the Sinai Mountains and the Gulf of Aqaba, this family resort offers guests 3 pools, a private beach, and three on-site restaurants. Families can take advantage of the kids club and outdoor play equipment, whilst snorkelling and diving gear can be hired to get out in the water.
The Bayview Taba Heights Resort
If it’s endless hours of pool fun the kids are after, sit back and relax at The Bayview Taba Heights Resort. The massive lagoon-style swimming pool is the huge drawcard here, and extensive dining options at 8 different restaurants. Kid’s club and evening entertainment are all part of the package, along with a beach frontage and plenty of additional paid water sports to choose from.
Heading to the west of the Red Sea now, the Mainland Red Sea Riviera.
Hurghada is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Egypt, not least because of its proximity to Luxor, giving tourists in Egypt a chance to enjoy both the Red Sea and the country’s historic past.
It was once a small fishing village but has developed into a flourishing tourist center due to the many resorts that have been constructed there.
If you intend to enjoy water activities, Hurghada is the best place for it! It has temperate weather, and the water temperature is good enough all year long to go for a deep-sea diving excursion.
How to Get to Hurghada?
As Hurghada is quite a famous destination, it has an international airport (HRG) where dozens of flights, largely from Europe, land daily and domestic flights. However, you can also reach there by road from Cairo, which takes around 6 hours, or 4 hours from Luxor.
Best Places to Stay in Hurghada
If you are staying in Hurghada with kids, there’s a huge (almost overwhelming!) choice of hotel resorts you could stay at. We’ve picked out a few here to suit different budgets and travelling styles:
Kempinski Hotel Soma Bay
Kempinski Hotel is a 5-star resort in Hurghada with its own expansive private beach, a lazy river, a lap pool, and dozens of bridges to enjoy the scenery. It offers breakfast on a private boat, Egyptian tea, and a lavish seafood barbecue on the beachfront. In short, if you are looking for a luxury place to stay, you know where to go!
Sunny Days Resort Spa and Aqua Park
Located 3 km away from the centre of Hurghada is the Sunny Days Resort Spa and Aqua Park. It has a lagoon pool, a private beach, 12 on-site shops, a diving centre, a gym, and a sauna for the guests. The evenings are quite lively, as there is belly dancing, live music, and shisha. The guest can enjoy various seafood, pizza, and international cuisines as well.
If you prefer the convenience of a family apartment, Hurghada has a wide range to suit different budgets too. Lilly Apartments are a good choice if you still don’t want to compromise on a pool (albeit much smaller than the resorts!)
You are just a few minutes walk from the beach and nearest dive centre and will have the convenience of your own kitchenette. It’s ideal for larger groups; some of their apartments can sleep up to 8 people.
5. Makadi Bay
Another family-friendly resort town on the Red Sea coast is Makadi Bay. Although it is a small town, it has several luxury resorts with a stellar view of the beach and many other features to keep the guests entertained, like pools, water parks, and watersports. You can enjoy diving, snorkelling, and scuba diving while staying at the beautiful resorts in Makadi Bay.
How to Get to Makadi Bay?
The best way to get to Makadi Bay is to take a flight to Hurghada and then a taxi for 45 minutes to reach the town.
Best Places to Stay in Makadi Bay
While Makadi Bay is a small town, it has some really amazing resorts where you can stay and make the most of your family trip. Some of the highly recommended family resorts on this superb section of the Red Sea coast include:
Cleopatra Luxury Resort
Cleopatra Luxury Resort is a 5-star hotel in Makadi Bay with a private beach, eight swimming pools, a full-service spa, and a day-care facility for kids. The best part about this resort is the wildlife safari where you can have an encounter with the local animals. You can go deepsea diving and have an up-close look at the sharks and other fish species.
Sunrise Tucana Resort
If you love an all-inclusive package where everything is taken care of for the entire family, this is a fabulous choice. There are 3 pools here (heated in winter!), and a great recreation program is offered, alongside 5 restaurants. Suites are large enough for families of up to 4 people, a kids’ club is on hand, and babysitting can be arranged.
Iberotel Makadi Beach
Iberotel Makadi Beach makes an excellent choice on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. A wonderful kids’ club awaits with entertainment staff on hand, an evening entertainment program, and even babysitting (extra charge) if you’d like a grown-up’s night out! Your perfect set on the beach with two large heated swimming pools and a choice of 4 on-site restaurants.
Other Red Sea Resort Towns beyond Egypt
As mentioned earlier, the Red Sea coast is not only limited to Egypt. Some cities in Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are also located on the Red Sea coast. They have several resorts where you can plan a family trip.
Red Sea Resort Towns in Israel
In Israel, the town of Eilat is the only one that sits on the Red Sea coast. It has several private and public beaches and hotels where you can stay. The part of the Red Sea that touches Eilat has excellent water conditions for diving.
Besides this, you can also visit the Timna National Park, situated 25 miles from this coastal town.
Red Sea Resort Town in Jordan
In Jordan, the city of Aqaba stretches over 27 km along the Red Sea coast. Like all other coastal towns, Aqaba also has several beaches and resorts that offer various watersport activities, including windsurfing, snorkelling, boating, cruise rides, and diving.
Head further south, just before the Saudi border to experience the small resort town of Tala Bay, the perfect family place to stay on the Red Sea with several hotels, apartments, and resorts including Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay, a favourite with our readers!
The Red Sea stretches over an expanse of 2,000 km on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. The most famous city on the coast is Jeddah. The resorts in Jeddah offer swimming and diving to the visitors, giving them a chance to explore shipwrecks and beautiful coral reefs with all the exotic marine species.
There’s still plenty more to come from Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea. Watch this space as the expansive Red Sea Project – a mega-development starts to take shape, we believe the first luxury island resorts will open by late 2022.
Many cities and towns line the Red Sea coast, and each city has several resorts for tourists. If we talk about Egypt alone, there are countless places on the coast, including Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, and Dahab, that have all sorts of activities for water sport enthusiasts.
Before You Go… A little more family resort inspiration!
If you’re looking for a unique family resort experience in the Middle East, you may also be interested in:
- The Best Resorts on the Jordanian Dead Sea Coast
- Best family accommodation close to the Pyramids of Giza
- Where to stay in Salalah, Oman’s southern coastal city
- Best Family Resorts in Fujairah, UAE
- Stunning Saadiyat Island family Resorts in Abu Dhabi
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