Marsa Alam The Jewel In Egypt’s Crown

 Things to do in and around Marsa Alam

Marsa Alam is still a relatively unknown Egyptian tourist destination. It’s unspoilt beaches and superb mild weather is a refreshing change from the more popular ports of call in Egypt. It’s a quiet location with tranquil waters and serene desert views.

Most Red Sea tourists have probably heard of it but would admit that they have never visited this delightful little town and its incredible natural environment.

The native people, the Ababda, say their lives are between the sea and the desert, reflecting their dependence on both for their livelihood. So, let’s take a trip around Marsa Alam.

Relaxing White Sandy Beach in Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Chillout and relax on white, sandy beaches.

Diving and Snorkelling

Both are popular and people from all over the world come to see the pristine reefs and superb coral, in Marsa Alam. The Red Sea boasts one of the best coral reefs in the world a length of approximately 2000 km and home to 300 hard coral species and about 1200 fish 10 per cent of which are only found in this area.

A Map of Elphinstone Viewed from South West Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Located on the coast of the Red Sea, Marsa Alam is no exception it’s a divers’ paradise, with spinner and bottle nose dolphins, green turtles, the Dugong and other marine life at Elphinstone, Sataya the Dolphin House, Abu Ghusoun – shipwreck and Abu Dabab to name but a few.

Map of Marsa Alam Coast line & Abu Ghusoun Shipwreck Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

There are many diving centres dotted along the coastline and their schools provide courses for beginners right up to PADI certification.

Below are a few of the most popular diving schools;

You could also click here to check out TripAdvisor’s highest rated centres, to find the perfect one for you.

Marsa Alam Desert Retreat Snorkelling in the Oriental Bay
If deep waters don’t appeal to you, then snorkelling is a great way to explore the sea. Strong winds can sometimes be challenging, so choose a location with sheltered bays. Oriental, Tondoba or Ras Hankorab, are amongst the best, the coral is spectacular so don’t forget your underwater camera.

Boat trips

Available daily, these are great for sightseeing and snorkelling in deeper waters. Join a group or charter a boat for the day, for fishing or just a relaxing afternoon.
Trips to Hamata Islands and Wadi El Gemal Islands leave daily. This archipelago is part of the Wadi El Gemal National park.

Wadi El Gemal

The National Park, also known as The Valley of The Camels, is 7400sqm and includes both marine space and virgin desert, it is described as the most natural area of Egypt.

Activities in the park include;

Bird Watching, Jeep Safari, Hiking, Nature Trails and Camping. You may even see a Dorcas Gazelle or Nubian Ibex.
Visit the Roman Hillside Settlement with its’ amazing Temple you can still even find ancient coins around the site.

Ancient Ruins and Cleopatra mines in the National Park Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Ancient Roman Temple

Sign of El Qulaan Mangrove and trees Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

                           El Gulaan – The Lagoon, Mangroves near Hamata


Marsa Alam’s clean environment and low precipitation guarantees clear skies. It is truly amazing to drink “Gebana” (Bedouin coffee) under the stars after a traditional meal in a Bedouin Tent nestled between the sand dunes in the desert.

A camp of beautiful tents in darkness perfect for stargazing Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Other activities include

Quad Bike Desert Safari, kite-surfing and Paddle boarding – to give your holiday a real thrill! Add some adventure to your holiday with Quad biking and kite surfing. Camel rides are also a fun away to roam the vast desert.

Quad biking and wind surfing activities in Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Group of people riding through the desert on camels Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Day Trips and Excursions

With all the activities and relaxation you could dream of, it’s got something for everyone but if you’re wanting to wander a little further then there’s plenty of tours and excursions that leave daily.

Valley Of The Kings Egypt Marsa Alam Desert Retreat
You could visit the world famous ‘ Valley Of The Kings’ in Luxor or check out the ‘Grand Aquarium’ in Hurghada. There’s also Aswan, El Quseir and Shalateen if you wanted to stretch your legs and really take in some culture. All within a few hours away from Marsa Alam.

For such a gorgeously picturesque destination, it’s crazy to think that it’s not the hottest holiday spot in the country. With all of this to offer and much, much more – it’s no wonder tourists are starting to flood to Marsa Alam.

Port Ghalib Marina

Night time view of beautiful port Ghalib Marina with pretty lights Marsa Alam Desert Retreat

Check out the video below to see what’s on offer at this spectacular Marina.


 Marsa Alam Desert Retreat is being built right now! 

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Mofilo says:

    I heard a lot about Marsa Alam. Would love to come this summer. Where’s the nearest airport? Great post!

    1. Thanks Mofilo. Marsa Alam has its’ own international airport, with regular flights. We’d love to see you in the summer!

  2. mystere212m says:

    I love this post it really captures the essence of Marsa Alam.

    1. Thank you Mystere.

  3. purawika says:

    I had a chance to be in Marsa Alam few years ago. Snorkelling there was amazing and had a chance to see dolphines in a wild! ❤️

    1. Yes snorkelleing is great here and our dolphins are super friendly. Thanks for following our journey❣

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