Nice hotel with pool, all-inclusive, relax for one week – These words usually give me goosebumps and make me want to run away. After two days of just lying at the pool and eating all day I get horribly bored and feel like a tiger in a cage. This year however I decided to give it a try because we found such a great deal. Would I do it again? Read on…
The main reasons I had Egypt on my list for possible destinations was that it was still quite warm there in December, flights were cheap and not too long and my favorite travel blogger couple had just done a gorgeous roadtrip there. The problem with Egypt is: all the amazing places I wanted to visit are miles and miles apart. Not possible to do everything in just one week and still have enough time to experience everything properly. So I made a compromise.
Diving and culture
We decided to head to El Quseir, which is located between Hurghada and Marsa Alam – two of the most popular tourist places at the Read Sea. I had heard that Marsa Alam has lots of amazing coral reefs and diving spots, which are not as destroyed by tourists like in Hurghada. And diving was one of the things I had put on the must list.
The second one was harder tough. The pyramids? The Nile? From El Quseir it is possible to do a daytrip to Luxor and visit some of the most spectacular temples in Egypt. So I could at least have a little bit of culture.
What I loved
Diving in Egypt actually blew me away. The underwater world was so colorful with thousands of different fish all over the place. I had feared that it would be crowded with people and you could see the destruction of the reefs but it wasn’t all that bad. I also really liked that our diving instructors really emphasized how important it is to be careful and show respect to nature.
The bus ride from El Quseir to Luxor was pretty cool regarding nature. For hours all you see is sand and stone in the most spectacular formations and then suddenly there is green all around when you get close to the Nile.
Friendly open faces everywhere. It’s amazing how open hearted people in Egypt are. Not only our hotel staff but also our tour guides and the people we met during our trips. They smile and wave and are really happy when you want to know more about their history and culture.
What wasn’t that great
If you are only staying at the coast of the Red Sea you can’t really say you’ve been to Egypt. It’s only tourists there and huge hotels with nothing around them. I got all excited when we reached the Nile area and suddenly it was all full of people talking, harvesting, going to school, working, and living. That’s a big thing I would definitely change when going to Egypt again. I would spend much more time in this area, exploring the real-life.
The daytrip to Luxor was nice but I hate being dependent on a group. We couldn’t stop at the side of the road to watch the sunrise above the mountains. We arrived at the temples way to late and had to stroll around with thousands of other people. We had no chance to explore the town on our own or stop at a field. It was nice doing this daytrip but I don’t want to miss being flexible and staying at one place for how long I want and get off the tourist tracks.
I really liked experiencing Egypt even if it was just a really small part and I definitely want to come back one day. The one week all-inclusive was nice if you only have limited time but I rather stick to backpacking and experiencing different facets of a country. For Egypt, I would start in Cairo, go down along the Nile, explore smaller towns and walk off the tourist paths. I would visit the temples early in the morning to avoid crowds and really enjoy the place and I would do some more diving 🙂 already looking forward to it.
Have you been to Egypt? I would be happy if you share your experience. Let me know what was your favourite spot, what you would change next time and what you recommend.