Exploring Egypt

In the past few years, I did my fair share of traveling. What I haven’t done in forever, however, is an all-inclusive holiday. The last time I went on a vacation in a beach resort was on my graduation trip and that was something entirely different. So when ETI asked me if I wanted to join them on a summery getaway to Egypt in November, I didn’t think twice. Exploring Egypt has always been very high on my travel bucket list. For years I dreamt of walking the paths of ancient Egypt, swimming in the red sea, and watching the sunset in the desert.

After my trip to Marrakech in summer, I was even more excited to get back to Africa and explore another country on this beautiful continent. This autumn has been particularly hard on me. After the prolonged summer in Bali I just couldn’t find my footing in the cold and spend almost the entire month of October waiting for November to approach so I could jet off into the sun again.

With sunny weather, about 27 degrees, every day and a water temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, Egypt in November is an absolute dream destination. No matter if you want to chill in the sun and enjoy the beautiful coast of the Red Sea or head out to explore the ancient relicts of Egypt, the climate during this time is perfect for either.

Accommodation: The Palace Port Ghalib 5*, Marsa Alam, Egypt

During our stay in Egypt we were kindly provided with a beautiful sea view room at the Palace Port Ghalib 5* hotel. We had an all-inclusive stay that enabled us to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the gorgeous terrace in front of the hotel, overlooking the grand pool. The room was beautiful and spacious, with a very clean and nice bathroom and a super comfortable bed. We also had a terrace, where we usually watched the sunrise over the ocean.

The food served at the Palace Port Ghalib Hotel was incredibly good. I must admit that for vegans it probably wasn’t the easiest choice and it did take me two days to navigate my favorites dishes in the buffet. However, once I knew where everything was and started talking to the waiters more, it got incredibly easy and so so good. For breakfast, I usually had pancakes and Om Ali, a dish you absolutely must try when you’re in Egypt. Lunch was either a huge helping from the salad bar, rice, and steamed veggies or a portion of fries. Classic all-inclusive vacation, huh! For dinner, they always switched themes and cuisines. My favourite, by far, was the Oriental night with a dance show and local dishes being served.

Staying in Port Ghalib, Marsa Alam

The hotel is located right in front of a wide beach in Port Ghalib, an artificial resort city comprised of different hotels, a city center with shops and bars, and a long stretch of beach on the red sea. Each hotel has its own access to the beach, where you can go and lie down in one of the coves, enjoying the sun and listening to the waves crash against the shore. There is a beach bar, which you have free access to as included in the all-inclusive concept and you can either swim in the crystal clear water or snorkel around the shore and watch the most gorgeous corals.

Furthermore, the hotel also has a small gym that isn’t top-notch but provides all the necessities you’d need on vacation. From barbells to treadmills, they do have it all. I wasn’t too happy about the opening hours from 8-8 as I would have preferred to get up earlier and get my workout in before breakfast. However, that might just be my personal preference. As the city was solely comprised of hotels, it would have been absolutely safe to go for a quick run as well. We did not do that, but wandered around the city quite often, listening to the music, watching the boats pull into the harbor and smoking Shisha in one of the bars.

Luxor Excursion: Exploring ancient Egypt

As part of the ETI Austria booking, there is the possibility to book different kinds of excursions at the hotel reception. We were able to go on a one day trip to Luxor to explore the Karnak temple, cruise on the river Nile in a motorboat, visit Hatshepsut temple and the famous valley of the kings.

I am not going to deny that this day has been super exhausting. We got up at 3 am and drove to Luxor for five hours in a small bus, before wandering around the famous sights in the sun. At around 10 pm we arrived back at the hotel, super exhausted but full of amazing memories. I always wanted to see the relics of ancient Egypt and was so stoked to go on this trip. Wandering around memorials that have lasted for more than 5.000 years was such a humbling and intense experience, I will forever be grateful for having experienced it and would recommend anyone traveling to Egypt to do the same.

Snorkeling in the Red Sea

The best thing about the entire trip was snorkeling in the Red Sea. I have always loved the ocean and every kind of activity that involves being in it. I tried snorkeling in the Mediterranean sea before and really enjoyed watching the fish and other water animals. In Egypt, however, it was an entirely different story. There was a big and beautiful coral reef right in front of the hotel beach and we used every free minute to snorkel around the shore and watch the corals and fish. We even saw a turtle, a fish muray eel and stingrays.  One day we booked a trip with ETI to snorkel with the turtles and it was such a beautiful experience. And to top of the amazing day, while we watched the sunset on the boat, we even saw sea cows play around in the water. An experience I will certainly never forget.

Desert Safari: Quad driving, Beduine Village and Stargazing in the desert

The last excursion we went on in Egypt with ETI was the desert safari. This trip included a quad drive through the desert, visiting a beduine village, speeding along the Arabian desert in a jeep and stargazing before an oriental dinner and dance show. It was so much fun and we enjoyed it to the fullest. The people at the beduine village were so friendly and nice, showed us around and offered us tea before we hiked up a small hill to watch the sunset. I always wanted to try quad driving so this was yet another highlight for me – I only wish we could have speeded a bit more, but I do appreciate that they put a lot of effort into keeping us safe.

Good to know:

  • Language: Arabic is the language most commonly spoken in Egypt. However, if you travel to a holiday resort, chances are very high that the staff will be fluent in your native language – especially if its English or german.
  • Currency: The currency in Egyp is the Egyptian pound. However, within the resorts, you can usually also pay in Euro.
  • Mobile data: You can buy a Sim Card for around 10€ at the airport or hotel that will provide you with an Egyptian number and mobile data so you can stay connected with your friends and family back home. The wifi at the hotels usually isn’t super reliable so it is well worth investing in a Sim Card.