What to see in Marsa Alam, where it is located, the most beautiful beaches, excursions in the desert, when to go, June, July, August, which village to choose and a short history.
Where is Marsa Alam
Located near the Tropic of Cancer, Marsa Alam enjoys a privileged geographical position being exactly at the point where the Red Sea laps the Sahara desert.
It is located about 270 km south of Hurghada and 132 km from Quseir, at the intersection of the ancient road from Edfu on the Nile and the coastal road traced along the coasts of the Red Sea.
The Arabic name Marsa Alam has the meaning of a bay of flags, deriving from the traditional habit of the inhabitants to raise flags on the flagpoles, to allow mariners to easily find their way back home.
Until the end of the last century the town was only an unknown fishing village, later it became an important and well-known holiday destination in Egypt on the Red Sea, together with Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada.
Before the advent of mass tourism Marsa Alam was inhabited by a few thousand people dedicated to pastoralism, fishing and work in the marble and phosphate mines, as per ancient tradition, dating back to the era of the pharaohs and the Romans, when in surrounding desert abounded gold mines, emeralds and other precious stones.
The original inhabitants of Marsa Alam come from two ancient Bedouin tribes, called Al Ba Abda and Al Basharya, who lived for a long time in the eastern desert area and are currently used for the protection of eastern borders.
Over time, these tribes were influenced by Arab culture, resulting in assimilation of the Islamic religion.
The language, commonly spoken today by the Al Ba Abda and Al Basharya, is Arabic but the original languages are Tebdawi and Badawit, which are exclusively spoken but not written, like all the other languages used by the Bedouins in the desert.
Coming from Edfu, along the first part of the route, there is a desert with light sand dunes, continuing to meet rocks gradually growing up to rise in what are the characteristic peaks of the mountains that surround the Red Sea.
Along this road, probably built during the period of Greek domination and that goes from Edfu to Marsa Alam, there are many places rich in history, including Wadi Baramya, famous in ancient Egypt for the extraction of gold, and Wadi Miya, seat of a temple built by Seti I.Recommended readings
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The area is rich in vegetation, especially palm groves and mangroves, while the sea is very rich in fish, thanks to the presence of the coral reef which is very famous, especially among scuba diving enthusiasts, for the many diving spots, capable of offer a magnificent example of unspoiled marine nature, and for the ease with which you can see and photograph dolphins and hammerhead sharks.
Along the way you can admire some graffiti, attributable to the period prior to that of the pharaohs, mainly depicting giraffes, goats and various hunting scenes.
What to do in Marsa Alam
With its 50 kilometers of sandy beaches and a beautiful coral reef, Marsa Alam is the ideal place on the Red Sea for hiking, diving and other water sports.
Protected bays, tourist villages and Bedouin camps are located between the airport area and the ancient village from which the town takes its name.
El Nabaa Bay has excellent conditions for kiteboarding and windsurfing.