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This former fishing village had a lull in tourism due to security issues, but it is slowly making a comeback and offers a perfect escape from packed cities and over-populated resorts. Walk along deserted beaches (away from the crowded shores of neighbouring Sharm el-Sheikh) or immerse yourself in the town’s Bedouin culture. A popular spot for divers and snorkellers, the Red Sea is renowned for beautiful coral reefs and abundant sea life – recents sightings include hammerhead sharks, giant sea turtles and eagle rays.
Riddled with biblical and historical relevance, the mountains across the sandy plains of the Sinai Peninsula are not to be missed. Make the pilgrimage to Mount Sinai where, according to religious belief, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. For those who love a view, hike up Mount Catherine – the highest peak in Egypt, sitting at 8625 feet.
Who to take with you
A diving expert would come in handy, but if you don’t happen to know any, a fellow intrepid traveller will do just fine.
When to go
During the summer it can reach temperatures in the 40s, but the winter sun provides some much needed respite from miserable weather at home. Go off the grid to indulge in serious R’n’R surrounded by deep-blue seas on one side and desert stretching across the other.
Most likely to bump into
You’ll likely meet several of the world’s best freedivers. Dahab is home to several freediving pool facilities, regular international competitions, and of course, the Blue Hole – a world-renowned diving spot where record-breaking freedivers come to test their skill.
Essentials to bring with you
What better time to learn about Bedouin history? We recommend “Married to a Bedouin” by Marguerite van Geldermalsen, the story of how a traveller from New Zealand fell in love with a Bedouin man, and moved into his Nabataean cave. If reading isn’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with goggles and a snorkel.
How to get there
Fly into Cairo International Airport, then either take an internal flight to Sharm El Sheikh or take an overnight bus to Dahab.
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