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Wedged between mainland Egypt and Saudi Arabia is Nabq Bay, an up-and-coming South Sinai hotspot. Decidedly less crowded than nearby Sharm El Sheikh
, Nabq Bay serves up a desert holiday with a difference ' the golden sand beach features 1km of ankle-deep water before a sharp drop off into the depths of the Red Sea. This unique reef allows for some of the best diving and snorkelling areas in Egypt, while the shallower spots are perfect for novice swimmers.
Nabq Bay package holidays with Direct Holidays are about as luxurious as you can imagine ' the coast is lined with impressive 5-star hotels, decadent day spas and shiny new shopping malls. Stock up on designer goods and souvenirs at the outdoor Al Khan Mall, or visit La Strada, the new entertainment centre offering tourists a plethora of restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes.
Nabq National Park
The Nabq National Park consists of 600 km2 of protected area and is Egypt's most famous national park. A rich ecological playground, Nabq National Park boasts the largest mangrove forest in the Red Sea, collections of Arak bushes, coral reefs and rare animals - such as gazelles, ibex and flocks of migratory birds. The best way to see some of what the park has to offer is on horseback as you enjoy a serene ride through the mangroves and Red Sea beaches.
Sharm el Sheikh
Sinai's most popular resort is just 20 minutes south of Nabq Bay and is a must-visit on any Egyptian holiday. The incredible diving spots are offset by the imposing desert dunes, giving travellers a real taste of what the Red Sea is like. Sharm el Sheikh is where the sand meets the sea. Go on a diving safari to reach those remote reefs, or try a desert safari - hop on a friendly camel for a ride through the Sinai desert, traditional Bedouin villages and sites such as St Catherine's Monastery.
Snorkel around the shipwrecks
A highly recommended activity is snorkelling around the wreck of Maria Schroder, who famously ran aground on a Nabq reef in 1956. Nowadays, the majority of the ship is still visible above the water, but it's actually below where you can see all the life. Colourful fish and exotic sea life swim in and out of the sunken decks, while bright coral has bloomed in the most unexpected of places. The nearby Sharks Bay and Naama Bay are world-renowned diving spots as well for experienced swimmers.
Visit the Old Town
While the bright lights of the modern resorts may call you in for yet another cocktail and poolside massage, make sure you put some time aside to visit the traditional Old Town. Here you'll come across locals going about their daily life where they're more than happy to get you involved in some bargaining and haggling! You'll be greeted by markets and bazaars on every street corner, selling exotic wares and vibrant spices. Whether or not you've come to buy, or are just simply taking in the sights, the sounds and smells of the Old Town will entice you.
For the best views of the bay, you can't beat the Oriental Resort. Sitting directly opposite Tiran Island, you'll be greeted each morning by the sun lighting up the golden dunes and Red Sea. Guests will be treated to a private beach, just 300m from the entertainment centre of La Strada. There are three pools and water bars, an internal shopping mall, dive centres, Turkish baths, sports facilities and friendly kids' activities.
Laguna Vista Beach Resort
Couples will enjoy the first-class amenities here, including the split-level swimming pool, cave bar, beach club, Bedouin tents and guests-only beach. Restaurants serving traditional and international cuisine are readily available, while a couple's massage is practically mandatory!