Marsa Alam is popular among the tourists as one of the best sea resort towns along the coast of Red Sea. The sandy beaches and crystal blue water of the Red Sea are quite unparalleled. The part of the sea it occupies, the U-shaped Abu Dabab Bay, is a breeding ground for sea turtles. Together with the warm and sunny beaches, coral reefs and great surfing options, Marsa Alam is the place to be if you want something other than history and art in Egypt. You can also visit tourist attractions in Marsa Alam like Dolphin House, Astronomy Center, Marsa Soona Bay.
Here's the list of places to visit and 15 best things do in Marsa Alam:
1. Elphinstone Reef
Elphinstone Reef is the fascinating attraction of Marsa Alam. The reef is full of wild sea creatures like sharks and barracudas as well as friendly ones like dolphins and turtles. The reef is deep and full of mysterious caverns and coral reefs that make the diving a lifetime experience. Although meant for more expert divers and veterans, newbies can learn and dive to the shallower places.
2. Aqua Coraya
For a day off from the natural waters and some fun with the artificial ones, visit Aqua Coraya. It has excellent water rides guarded by the security and lifesavers all the time. Once you are done and dusted with all the splashing and squealing, the drinks and snacks bar will charge you up instantly. It is a great place to spend with friends and family.
3. Dolphin House at Samadai Reef
The Dolphin House at Sha’ab Samadai Reef is a diving site where you can see dolphins in their natural habitat from up close. The offshore reef has a portion of the lagoon where Spinner dolphins live in their usual pods. There are dolphins of all sizes, and you can swim and snorkel alongside the friendly creatures.
4. Sharm El Luli
Sharm El Luli in English means ‘paradise,’ and the place is nothing short of it. Azure blue waters stretching till the horizon starting from the hot, sandy beaches make it one of the best attractions of Marsa Alam. You can take a walk along the beach, rest upon the occasional rocky outcrops or even swim out easily, if the tide is low.
5. Sataya Reef
Just like the Samadai Reef, this is also a major attraction at the south-eastern tip of Fury Shoal diving spot off Marsa Alam. The lagoon at the reef resembles a horse show. You can spot even more aquatic creatures here, like fusiliers, Spanish dancers, parrotfish and Oceanic white-tip sharks. Deep sea diving for the experts and snorkeling for the amateurs are the popular sports.
6. Wadi Gemal
Go to the south of Marsa Alam, and you will encounter the vast stretches of rugged coastal plains called Wadi Gemal or in English, the Valley of Camels. Wadi in Arabic means a channel or a ravine, and there are one flowing inlands of this park through a mangrove forest along the coastline. Once known to be the mining grounds of minerals and stones for the Pharaohs, it is now a tourist attraction with some flora and fauna to be explored.
7. Cleopatra’s Mines
Although a part of Wadi Gemal National Park, Cleopatra’s Mines deserve a separate mention. The powerful and mighty Egyptian queen who refused to be ill-treated for being a woman had immense love for the green colored precious stone Emerald. It is a legend that one of the mounds in Wadi Gemal used to be a supplier of emeralds to the queen. The legend also says that it is the first ever emerald mine and the sole source of the gem for the Roman Empire afterward.
8. Marsa Mubarak
It seems like there is no dearth of diving sites in Marsa Alam, and there should not be. In the modern era, its attractive and exotic coral reefs are the factors depending on which the place built up its tourism and economy largely. Marsa Alam is yet another of such diving reefs in the south of Port Ghalib. But this place is also famous for the visits by green sea turtles and dugongs quite frequently.
9. Astronomy Center
Deserts and stargazing go hand in hand. But you do not always need to lie down in the sand to enjoy that. The clear night skies of Marsa Alam can be enjoyed from the Astronomy Center, with the help of special devices like giant wide screens and Astro Laser. The stories behind the mysteries of our huge universe will be explained to you in an interesting manner.
10. Kitesurfing at Marsa Alam Beach
This is more of an activity rather than an attraction. But the multiple kitesurfing arenas on the Marsa Alam beaches are as fun and exciting as the diving and swimming. There will be professionals to show you how to do it, and all sorts of safety measures will be taken. You need to let your hair down and enjoy the wind and the sea.
11. Port Ghalib Marina
Port Ghalib Marina does not exactly offer something that the rest of the attractions do not. But on the other hand, it is an exquisite marina area where everything from diving, snorkeling, launch trips, sunbathing, swimming, surfing to shopping, eating and drinking can be done – all within easy walking distance. You also get to rent a desert safari trip or the traditional desert camel ride over here.
12. Marsa Soona Bay
Marsa Soona beach is for those who love to remain away from the crowd and simply enjoy a day out at sea under the sun. Ten times more peaceful than the other diving and snorkeling areas, the Marsa Soona Bay is naturally full of much more sea creatures, ready for you to explore. You can find scorpions, coral gobies, lionfish, morays, pipefish, clownfish and so on.
13. El Qusair
El Qusair is the best shopping center around. It might take around half an hour’s drive from the outskirts of Marsa Alam, but you will get everything that you want or need. From regular items like jewelry, leather products, perfumes, and oils to antique things like papyrus, they sell everything. But beware of conmen and fake products at all times.
14. Mara's Dolce en Salato Gastronomia Restaurant
A continental café and pizzeria along the beach, Mara's Dolce en Salato Gastronomia is a reasonable haunt to visit when you are famished from all the diving and snorkeling. It serves well-sauté pasta, pizzas with a thin crust and delicious toppings and many other from their extensive menu.
15. Stella del Mare
Stella del Mare serves you one of the best seafood in the city. With cozy interiors, comfortable seating and courteous staff, there can be no other place to dine if you want a well-cooked lobster or delicious crab cakes. They serve other cuisines like Italian and American as well.
Enjoy all these and more in this historic town of Egypt. If you have time, you can book trips for longer journeys like to Luxor, Aswan or even Cairo – it will be worth the money and the effort.