When I told my friends, that I was travelling to Sharm el Sheikh for work I received a lot of different answers and only a few positive ones. Why would you travel to a civil war country ? Why would you go to Egypt with all that terrorism going on? To an Arab country, really with all that is happening?
But most people don’t know where exactly was happening what and that Egypt is a large country. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is as easy as taking a flight to an european city and spend your weekend there, since there are many places to visit, such as the munich egyptian museum which is one of the best Egyptian museums outside of Cairo! . But if you’re honest, nowadays – where is it really 100% safe?
You may have thought London is? Bruxelles, Berlin or Paris? Well as we have all seen in the past months unfortunately they are not.
But does this mean, that we should be afraid? Stop to travel and stay home? – To be honest, this would frighten me even more! To miss the life that is happening out there and to live day by day in my small routine.
Of course this doesn’t mean that you should just jump in the plane and go anywhere no matter what. But what it really means is, don’t be afraid of what could happen everywhere you go, but open your eyes, use your well-travelled brain and be careful while you chose your destination and especially while you are travelling.
Is Egypt safe to travel?
My honest answer would be: It depends where you go.
Egypt is a large country with lots of different culture influences and even 20% of christians (would you have known?). So yes, there are areas where, I would not like to travel to at the moment, but Sharm el Sheikh is not included in this list.
I didn’t feel unsafe or challenged at any time while travelling in Sharm el Sheikh. And for sure I didn’t feel unsafe in the hotel we stayed in, every time to enter we had to pass 3 checking points, where each of them was operated by at least two people at a time.
However what I would try to avoid – although they are beautiful – are the christian churches. The oldest christian church is based not too far from Sharm el Sheik, it is the monastery of St. Catherine. It is beautiful and in any other situation it would be my Nr. 1 recommendation to go there, but right now I think it might better to avoid it.
Why Sharm el Sheikh?
Well there are lots of reasons why you can or should travel to Sharm el Sheik. I have been there for work, accompanying a group of journalists, which allowed me to see everything the city has to offer and look at it with an very independent eye.
Let’s start with the obvious…
My trip was planned in the middle of march, so a period, which in most of European countries is known as a bad weather month. We were getting on the airplane with our winter jackets, on around 10 degrees on a rainy day. When we got of the airplane in Egypt and the sun was awaiting us, 25 degrees, no clouds and definitely no winter jacket 😉
During the full week it was more or less the same. We woke up in the morning with some few clouds, during the day it was sunny and anything between 23 and 28 degrees. Then in the evening it was cooling down a little so that at least I always needed a small jacket after dinner. The evening was perfect to appreciate the beauty of the great pyramids rather than ending up in the scorching sun. This month of march is probably the best season to travel to egypt and enjoy its splendor to the fullest. The pleasant climatic condition also enabled us to enjoy the cruise over the majestic Nile. An additional benefit of visiting during this period is that there is no need to worry about the clothing, as it doesn’t require anything extra to beat the heat.
…The People and The Culture
I know most of you will tell me it’s an Arabic country! You have probably been to Tunisia or Turkey and you liked everything BUT the people?
Well I do understand how it can be annoying that they try to touch you, get you into their shops and look weird at us women without a headscarf etc. But I can assure you that this didn’t happen to me in Egypt During my trip I learned so many things about the country and culture and I am sure that most of these facts are not know in the Western countries.
As I shortly mentioned before Egypt was a Christian country and still has around 30% of christians living there. This of course impacts a lot in their culture and also in your freedome as a tourist or woman.
I have come to learn, that the people living in sharm el sheikh are warm hearted people, open and happy to discuss their country, culture and thoughts. They treat you with respect, but they expect the same from you.
My hightlight was one Arabic men explaining me his thoughts about god:
‘You know how things work. There is one true story and lots of people and generations that speak about the very same experience. They start to spin up the history, add a little more here and leave some parts away there. There is only one god and most probably none of all the religions are right about what they preach to their believers. We all believe in the same thing, we just don’t appear to see it!’
…The underwater world
I haven’t seen a lot of places, if any, that have surprised me that much with the underwater world. The first time I travelled to Sharm el Sheikh is already more than 13 years ago. I can still remember the colours and fishes that surprised me just after putting my head under the water.
This time it was exactly the same.
Fishes with colours and forms that seem unnatural and from out of space. Strips and points that change between colour and size from one type to the next. Green, red, blue, black, white, yellow and red – all colours surrounding me. The corals spreading through out the sea and while the sun shines on them they are put in a breathtaking light.
During the past years Sharm el Sheikh hasn’t had a lot of tourists and therefore the underwater world had time to recover.
This is what makes it even more attractive for travels now. In most places, even in such as the Maldives the corals have died of around the coasts and are grey and dry. In Sharm el Sheikh however they have gained back their colours and are very much alive.
…The Royal Savoy Hotel
When bloggers write about Hotels it always sounds like publicity. I wasn’t invited to this trip as a blogger and therefore I don’t have to write a review about it. This means, that in addition to my usual honesty, I have chosen to write a reviews just because I really enjoyed my time in the Royal Savoy.
Upon entering the room of the royal savoy hotel I was really surprised of the light that comes in the rooms. A view directly at the private pool area was awaiting me. The hotel is children free and therefore the perfect place for a relaxing holiday. The beach is just 5 minutes by foot from the rooms you are staying at.
One of my favourite moments – you guys know how much i love breakfast – was the second day. I just woke up and took myself down the hall to the breakfast room. I see the beautiful weather and go straight on to sit on the terrase outside. The view is beautiful. You can have a look at the pool areas, as well as the beach and sea side at the same time.
Just in that moment, when I remembered that I had to get up to get something to drink from the buffet, a girl came up to me bringing me exactly what I hoped to get: a bottle of still water, a cappuccino and freshly made orange juice. I already loved her that moment.
She got this right every morning with the right smile and the perfect dose of friendliness, not only for me but for all of us.
This is mainly why I felt so great at the Royal Savoy in Sharm el Sheikh: the intuitive service.
Another great point I’ll need to mention is their special all inclusive. We all know how it works! You’ll have all drinks and all food included – but at least usually, you don’t have an extra amusement centre included in the deal!
The Savoy group is formed out of three hotels, The Sierra Hotel, The Savoy Hotel and the Royal Savoy Hotel. In addition to this also the SOHO Square forms part of the Savoy Group. It is an entertainment area open for everybody filled with restaurants, an ice-skating area, bars, bowling and some shops. If you have booked the special all inclusive, then you can eat in ANY restaurant of the SOHO Square.
Honestly with the exchange rate that Egypt is having right now, this hotel is the best you can find at a payable rate.
I hope you guys enjoyed the article and if you have any questions just let me know!
Sharm el Sheikh
Best travel period:March-May and September – November
What to pack: A little depending on the period but definitely only summer clothing! In the winter the temperature goes down to 20 degrees. In the summer period it gets extremely hot, so not even a small jacket for the evening is needed!
If your hotel is not offering the snorkelling and diving equipment, then at least bring your mask- you won’t regret it ! 😉
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