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What are the beaches in Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh lies on the shores of the Red Sea, which is famous for its clean water, magnificent corals and rich underwater flora and fauna. Due to this, Sharm is considered one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling, and the most popular resort in Egypt for beach holidays. On this page we will tell you everything that tourists and vacationers need to know about the beaches in Sharm el-Sheikh, but first, brief answers to the most frequently asked questions about the beaches of Sharm el-Sheikh:
What are the beaches in Charm, are there sand or reefs here?
Most of the beaches here are reef and coral, there are few sandy beaches with a clean bottom.
Is the entrance to the beaches in Sharm el-Sheikh paid or free?
Almost the entire coast is occupied by hotels, the entrance is paid (1-6 dollars) or generally closed to tourists who are not hotel guests. There are only a couple of places where you can go for free, more about them below in the list and description of all the beaches.
Are there sharks in Charm?
Yes, there are sharks, and there have been cases of attacks on people, including fatal ones. But this happens very rarely, and after the incidents in 2020, hotels are working to ensure that this does not happen again: restrictive nets are installed underwater, they do not allow swimming at night.
Are there beach and water activities?
Yes, banana riding, parasailing, etc. are, but not everywhere. The main entertainment centers on the shore and in the water are the bays of Sharm el-Maya, Naama Bay and Sharks Bay, but locally entertainment is also presented on the beaches of other areas (bays).
Is there an embankment?
The only public promenade in Sharma is in the main tourist area of Naama Bay, this is the Pedestrian road Pedestrian road. It runs along the line of beaches behind the fence, and not directly along the coast, so it is difficult to call it a full-fledged embankment, but you can walk along it. There are several cafes and fast food stalls such as ice cream and drinks on it, excursions are sold.
Is there a long coastline to walk along the water?
Unfortunately, there is no such place. The entire coast is divided into separate sections of paid or hotel beaches by fences, and the staff monitors that no one comes to them from the outside. There are more or less conditions for walking along the sand along the coast in the bay of Sharm el-Maya, and you can also walk between the beaches in Naama Bay.
Do the beaches in Charm work at night?
For safety reasons, all beaches are closed at night, swimming is prohibited. And we do not advise you to tempt fate, because many predatory fish, including sharks, are nocturnal animals. But there are beaches that work as bars at night. For example, this is the famous beach bar Terrazina Beach in Sharm el-Maya, where you can sit or lie on soft ottomans and drink a cocktail or beer under the sound of surf and chill-out.
Are there cafes on the beaches, is there fast food?
Yes, there are paid bars and simple cafes, there are free All-inclusive bars on hotel beaches.
Is it possible to come to the beach with your own food and drinks?
There is no general ban, and everything else is at the discretion of the administration of a particular beach. I.e. somewhere they don't allow you to bring your own and they monitor it, but somewhere there are no problems with it.
There are two beach areas in Charm that are ideal for a carefree holiday and swimming with children and for those who do not know how or swim badly – these are the beaches in the bay of Sharm el-Maya and in the bay of the most developed tourist area of Naama Bay. At the same time, the only natural sandy beach is only in the bay of Sharm el-Maya, all the others are artificial with imported sand, which eventually erodes and exposes the rocky and reef bottom, and it needs to be replenished again.
On most other beaches, the bottom is covered with corals and stones, these are the so-called reef beaches, which are ideal for snorkeling and for those who know how to swim well. Under the water there are sharp cliffs with a departure to the depth, and near these cliffs, called the "wall", the richest and most colorful underwater life is concentrated. Entering the water here is mainly organized by floating pontoons or stationary bridges so that the corals are not damaged by their feet. The best coral beaches are Nabq Bay, Ras Umm el Sid, Coral Bay and Sharks Bay.
And therefore, when choosing a hotel, be sure to look at the description, reviews and photos of the hotel beach, so as not to spoil the reality of your dreams of an ideal vacation. In any case, we advise you to take special bathing shoes on vacation, called "aqua shoes" or "corals", to protect your feet from unpleasant stones and dangerous sea urchins. If anything, you can buy them here at the markets or in stores for 5-10 US dollars.
Paid and free beaches in Sharm el-Sheikh
All equipped beaches in Charm are either paid or hotel. You can get to the paid ones for money, so they are called public or Public, and you will not get to the hotel ones even for money if you are not a guest of the hotel.
The entrance fee to public beaches ranges from $ 1 to $ 6, you can pay in Egyptian pounds or dollars, pounds are usually more profitable (learn more about Egypt's money, how and where to change it here). The price includes the use of a toilet, a beach shower, sometimes a chaise longue and a mattress, but you will have to bring your own towels or rent them here for a fee. On many paid beaches there are bars and cafes with simple dishes, there are water activities and rental of snorkeling equipment, but all this is for an additional fee.
There are no equipped free or urban beaches here at all, but, unlike Hurghada, where in general all access to the shore is blocked by fences almost with barbed wire and guarded, there are still wild places in Charm where you can relax on the shore for free and even swim with a mask. But we will tell you more about this below in the list of beaches.
Hotel beaches and how to choose the right hotel
Each hotel that operates on an All-inclusive system and accepts tourists on vouchers, as a rule, has its own beach or an agreement with a paid beach to pass hotel guests. But not everything is so simple and there are features that must be taken into account when you choose a hotel on a tour or separately:
The entrance to the hotel beaches usually takes place by bracelet, but in very rare cases the pass system works: you need to receive a paper pass at the reception every day, which will allow you to go to the beach. At the hotel beach, at least you can use sun loungers, mattresses and a toilet for free, and, as a rule, you need to get a beach towel at the hotel and bring it with you. There may also be a hotel bar where drinks are poured for free: tea, coffee, lemonades, juices, beer.
A private beach at the hotel does not mean that you will get to the shore right from the room, it's not everywhere, and only hotels on the first line from the sea represent such conditions. In the most developed and tourist-rich resort areas of Sharm el-Maya, El-Fanar and Naama Bay there are quite a lot of hotels that are located on the second, third and so on lines from the sea. If you choose a hotel not on the first line, then you will have to walk, and in some cases even go. For example, the second line assumes that you will get to the beach by crossing the road. And hotels, the description of which does not indicate a line from the coast at all, may be located a few kilometers from the beach. Then you will have to constantly take a taxi or a hotel transfer, which is not always convenient. The fact is that a hotel transfer can work in the same way as the mentality of the Egyptians, i.e. not very precisely in time and necessarily. For example, instead of the promised buses, you can wait for it for an hour every 15 minutes, and in the end you can't wait.
So be very careful when choosing a hotel, and once again we repeat: read the description and reviews of the hotel, see the photo of the hotel beach.
Overview of the beaches in Sharm El-Sheikh
And now we will tell you more about the beaches in Charm, so that you can choose the right place to stay, and not be disappointed. To make it easier, we have combined some groups of similar beaches into districts and coves:
You can download ⤓ points of interest, important transport points (bus stations, airports, etc.), districts and beaches from our map in KMZ/KML format. These files can be downloaded to the navigator or smartphone for use with offline or online Google Maps applications, Organic Maps and others that support this format, and use them to navigate and explore resorts.
Naama Bay is a group of hotel beaches in the bay of the same name, which belongs to the most developed and popular tourist area of Sharm el-Sheikh (Naama Bay on the map). Here, for almost one and a half kilometers of shore in a cozy bay, protected from wind and waves, there are perhaps the best conditions for a traditional beach holiday in the entire resort. The entrance to the water here is sandy and gentle, and there is fine yellow sand on the shore. Everything is well equipped for recreation, there is entertainment, and along the fences separating the beaches from the rest of the resort, there is the only promenade in the city, Pedestrians Road. Even further parallel to the shore is another pedestrian street Melek Al Bahrein, which has cafes and restaurants, bars, one of the most famous full-time clubs Pacha Sharm el Sheikh.
All beaches have a paid entrance here or only for hotel guests. But you can go through the entrance to the cheapest public beach for $ 1, and then along the water's edge, bypassing fences, you can walk to any place on the shore. However, they will not give you free to relax on sun loungers on other beaches, they are watching this here.
Sharm El Maya Bay
Sharm el-Maya Bay is located in the south of the city near the district of the same name and the Old Market (Sharm el-Maya on the map). The bay goes very deep into the land and is perfectly protected from waves and winds. There are several equipped hotel and paid beaches worth 3-5 dollars at once, including the famous Terrazina, which turns into a stylish beach bar in the evening. There is sand on the shore and under the water, the depth is small, but, unfortunately, not everywhere the bottom is well cleaned: there are stones and even sea urchins, so it's better not to swim without "aquashuz". Part of the water area of Sharm el-Maya Bay is occupied by a pier with water activities, from where glass-bottomed boats, bathyscaphes depart, and bananas start.
Wild free beach Alex beach, aka Military Beach or Albatros
At the exit from the bay of Sharm el-Maya, a wild coast stretches for almost a kilometer (wild free beach on the map), which is known by various names: Alex beach, Military Beach, or Albatross (Albatros). This is the only full-fledged free beach in Sharm el-Sheikh, but it is completely wild, i.e. there are no amenities and infrastructure here. But you will be able to stay quietly on the shore in one of the small rocky coves, and if you go further, then on a large sandy field. Sometimes the military appear here and ask tourists to leave, but, fortunately, they do this without much enthusiasm and rather for show.
The shore and bottom here are diverse: sand in places, coral in places. But almost everywhere you need to go into the water in "aquashouses", otherwise there is a big chance to step on a sea urchin, and this is very painful and the wounds heal for a long time afterwards. A few dozen meters from the shore, there is a cliff (wall) under the water, where corals and wildlife are well preserved, so you can swim with a mask with pleasure.
The easiest way to get here is along the path from the port parking lot. Do not be alarmed when you see a long fence from the parking lot, it is easy to bypass it on the right or a little longer on the left.
Beaches of Al-Fanar (Al-Fanar)
El Fanar is a large developed area with hotels on the second and first lines and its own beaches (El Fanar on the map). But there is nowhere to take a walk and have fun in the evening outside the hotels, so most vacationers go on foot or by taxi to the Old Town in Sharm el-Maya.
Almost the entire coast is occupied by hotel beaches without the possibility of getting to them even for a fee. They have their own peculiarity: the coast is very high and rocky in places, and therefore you will have to go down to the beaches, for which some hotels even have special elevators. Because of the rocks, the coast is mostly narrow, and therefore recreation areas are equipped on artificial concrete platforms or on stone platforms above sea level. The bottom surface on the beaches of El Fanar is rocky, there are a lot of corals and marine life, the depth is great. It's not suitable for simple bathing, but for those who like to swim with a mask or scuba gear, it's better not to think of it.
Ras Um El-Sid Bay (Ras Um El-Sid)
Ras Um El-Sid (Ras Um El-Sid) is one of the vast coves of the tourist area of El Fanar, which should be singled out separately (Ras Umm al-Sid on the map). The fact is that this is one of the few places in El Fanar where you can get to the beaches for a fee, and not only if you are a hotel guest. The coast is divided into several beach areas, the entrance to the beaches "Faraana" and "Farhsa" costs 3-4 dollars, including the use of a sun lounger.
Although this is a typical coral beach, there is sand on the shore, which makes for a pleasant rest and sunbathing. The approach is very shallow and also on sand, but there are rocks and reefs at the bottom. In principle, you can relax here with children or if you do not know how or do not particularly like to swim, but "aqua shoes" are required. At the same time, it is also a great place for snorkeling. Colored fish can be seen even near the shore, but corals near the shore are "killed" by the feet of vacationers. To observe living corals and more saturated underwater life, you need to walk along the pontoon to an underwater cliff almost 100 meters from the shore.
Nabq Bay is the northernmost district of the city (Nabq Bay on the map), the newest and longest, according to various estimates, the coast here stretches for more than 8 kilometers. The beaches in Nabq Bay have their own characteristics: a shallow depth and a bottom not cleared of corals, and therefore you have to go to the depth on pontoons and bridges that lead into the sea for hundreds of meters. Another of the minuses here is quite strong and constant winds, especially in winter, because the coast is not protected in any way. Because of this, temporary bathing bans are introduced in the winter months. But it attracts kitesurfing enthusiasts, and there are no better conditions for practicing this sport in Charm. Of the advantages, it is impossible not to mention a very wide coastal strip for recreation, in some places it reaches 100 meters, and all this is covered with sand.
You can get to the shore here only by staying in one of the hotels, and there are no public paid beaches at all. There are a lot of big "star" hotels in the area with a huge territory and all the amenities, so you won't even want to leave here. But if you want to take a walk outside the hotel, there will be nowhere to do it, because the area is still relatively empty, and there is almost nothing outside the hotels except the road and other hotels. It would be more accurate to describe this as follows: there are shops, tourist shops, cafes and even casinos here, but they are all too scattered around the area along the main street of El-Salam, so there is no single place of concentration, and therefore you will have to walk very far.
Nabq Bay, photo arrivalguides.com
Ras Nasrani or airport beach is located next to the airport in the northern part of the city (Ras Nasrani on the map). This is not a typical urban area, but, one might say, a tourist "reservation", where there is almost nothing except hotels. But in fairness it should be said that just a couple of kilometers from Ras Nasrani is Soho Square, where there is a large shopping center, shops and cafes.
The beaches in Ras Nasrani are not bad, but, like in Nabq Bay, they are not located in the bay, i.e. poorly protected from winds and waves. All the beaches are hotel, you can't get to them even for a fee. On the north side (to the left, if you look at the sea) from the chain of hotels there is a large space where you can still get there for free, but considering how far all this is from the main tourist areas and "civilization", it is unlikely that you will consider this coast as a free beach.
But back to the hotel beaches in Ras Nasrani. They are wide and diverse: there are places with sand suitable for swimming (but there are few of them), and in most cases there is a coral bottom, perfect for snorkeling thanks to a living coral reef. There is sand everywhere on the shore, everything is well equipped, because these beaches belong to chic and expensive 4 and 5 star hotels. In general, as for beach holidays, Ras Nasrani will please almost any tourist.
Coral Bay is also known as Tiger Bay – located in the geographical center of Sharm el-Sheikh near Naama Bay and near the airport (Coral Bay on the map). The area consists almost entirely of expensive luxury hotels with their own territory, there is no urban infrastructure here. But nearby is the tourist hangout area of Naama Bay.
Coral Bay does not go very far into the land, and therefore does not protect holidaymakers from winter winds, but still in winter it is more comfortable to rest here than in Nabq Bay or Ras Nasrani. The entire bay is occupied by the Domina hotel complex, which is a kind of independent tourist town. It even has its own promenade with cafes and restaurants. The beach is very well equipped: there are bars and cafes, entertainment, animation programs. There are places with a gentle approach for swimming, and pontoons up to the reef border are equipped for observing underwater wildlife. And for those who swim badly, in the center of the bay right in the sea there is a floating pool with sea water, which for some reason is called the "Shark Pool". In general, everyone will enjoy a holiday on the beaches in Coral Bay, if you, of course, can afford to stay in this hotel complex.
Garden Bay, also known as Pasha Bay, is even closer to Naama Bay than the previous Coral Bay, and there is almost nothing here besides hotels (Garden Bay on the map). Here are the most expensive luxury hotels Hyatt Regency, Intercontinental, Sharm Plaza, Reef Oasis on the first line, and they all occupy the shore without the possibility of access there for a fee.
The conditions for relaxing on the beach and on the shore here are not much different from Coral Bay: there is also sand on the shore, and rocks and reefs immediately begin underwater. The "wall" is 20-40 meters underwater from the shore, and bridges are equipped for snorkeling to get to the beautiful corals without damaging them on the bottom with their feet.
Sharks Bay is located right next to the airport, literally across the street from the area, its runway is already located behind the fence (Sharks Bay on the map). Like other bays and tourist areas in the northern part of the city, there is almost nothing except hotels in this area. But nearby is the famous square and entertainment complex Soho (Soho Square), which are rightly recognized as the cleanest and most beautiful place in the city.
The entire shore in Sharks Bay is divided between 4 and 5 star hotels, there are no public beaches even for a fee. The beaches in the bay are mostly coral, but in general the coast is very heterogeneous: there is sand under water, somewhere corals begin immediately, and somewhere stones. Therefore, you need to choose a place to stay with a specific hotel in mind, so carefully read the descriptions and see the reviews. But one thing is common to all beaches here: this is a living coral a few dozen from the shore, for access to which pontoons are equipped. At the same time, hotels here take care of all categories of vacationers, so there are special equipped places for children and those who do not know how to swim with a mask or at depth. However, even if you just want to sunbathe on the shore and occasionally plunge into the water, be sure to use "aqua shoes".
Tower Bay is a bay with a length of almost two kilometers, located to the server from the tourist area of El Fanar (Tower Bay on the map). In our opinion, this is one of the most inconvenient places to relax in terms of beaches, although its proximity to the two most popular tourist areas of the city attracts some vacationers here. The fact is that the bay is located between the Hadaba area (which includes El Fanar and Sharm el-Maya) and Naama Bay, and it seems to be convenient, because you can get out for walks to the Old Market and to the walking areas in Naama. But the problem is that there are no city minibuses here, only taxis.
So, the coast in Tower Bay is very rocky and rocky, along a high cliff. The beaches here are appropriate: a narrow strip, sometimes artificially reinforced with concrete and covered with imported sand. Access is blocked everywhere by hotels and private villas, only at the left end of the bay there is a public paid Reef Beach with an entrance of $ 3. The only plus that can be distinguished from the beaches in Tower Bay is a magnificent reef with live corals just a couple of dozen meters from the shore.
Which beach is better to choose and where to stay
Summing up, now we will give final recommendations on the right choice of area or beach in Sharm el-Sheikh:
If you can afford an expensive hotel, then choose accommodation in Ras Nasrani, Sharks Bay, Coral Bay or Garden Bay. In these areas there are many very expensive and fashionable hotels with their own territory and golf courses, excellent beaches.
If you want to swim with a mask and watch marine life, then you can settle in Ras Nasrani, Coral Bay, Garden Bay, Sharks Bay, Nabq Bay, Ras Umm el Sid.
If you want to be in the center of the party, walk in the evenings along the embankment and pedestrian street with bars, and on the beaches not just to bask in the sun, but also to have fun, then there is no better area than Naama Bay in Charm.
If you go on vacation in the low season in winter, it is best to choose wind-protected coves in Naama Bay or Sharm el-Maya in Hadaba.
If you want to relax a little away from civilization in hotels with a large territory and its own beach, while not spending a lot of money on vacation, then you can consider Nabc Bay, just take into account the peculiarities of local beaches with very shallow depth.
If you are going on vacation with children, it is better to choose the beaches in the bay of Sharm el-Maya or Naama Bay, because it is in them that you will find sandy beaches with shallow depth and a clean bottom without corals and stones.
If you want to relax in Sharm el-Sheikh on your own by renting accommodation or staying in a hotel without your own beach, then we advise you to choose the area of Sharm el-Maya in this case, because there are more accommodation options here, and you can use free wild beach behind the bay of Sharm el-Maya.
And now that it has become clear to you where (in which area) it is better to choose a hotel for a holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh, you can pick up a tour online on these trusted travel shopping sites: