Marsa Alam is a village with a small harbor and stone quay. It is the ideal base for a fishing holiday. The Dokki Shooting Club has a rest house here and can arrange deep sea fishing trips. Sharks, lobsters turtles and muraena are among the catches.
There are some fine offshore coral reefs and goon “tying facilities, for which the area has become well known in the last few years. A nature reserve stretches from here to Gebel Elba in the south. In recent years, Marsa Alam has seen a splurge of development.
There are now many three, four and five stars resorts along the beach. It will also have the largest marina in the
Middle East, a golf course, and much more. Many modern guides to Marsa Alam describe it as a fishing village on
Red Sea coast 132km (82mi) from. Quseir. However, with a new international airport, a number of other planed tourism projects and any new hotels, it is rapidly becoming much more than a fishing village.
Marsa Alam sits on the T-Junction between the Red Sea coast road and the road from Edfu which sits on the
Nile river about 230k ‘142mi) inland. This road, which was probably, originally built by Ptolemy II in the Greek period, Pass through some historic landscape where the ancient Egyptians mined much of their gold several mining operations are known. Just off this road are found two areas, called Wadi Barmiya, and cat 30 kilometers further into the mountains. Wadi Baramiya extends into another larger Wadi named Miya, where a temple was built by, among others, Seti.
In addition to the wealth of classical organized excursions to historical sites or natural parks, you can give a twist to you holiday spending some hours in or around your resort in fun-filled activities on land.
Practically everywhere in the Red Sea Riviera you will have the chance of going horse or camel riding, whether for half an hour along your hotel beach, or on a longer trip in the desert. Beach horse and camel riding is pretty easy and apt to everybody. Rides in the desert need a little preparation and good guides. Most of the desert safari trips sold as a half day excursion includes also a camel ride.
The Red Sea Riviera offers a great variety of destinations, each with its own peculiar atmosphere and character. From the quaint, relaxing and silent Taba, to the bustling party towns of Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh, through the chilled-out new ageish Dahab and El Gouna, or the breathtaking wilderness of Marsa Alam and Hamata, each of us has here his or her favorite town.
Marsa Alam, Hamata and Wadi Lahmi are the remote wilderness, practically zero nightlife apart from a good company and some music and drinks in the middle of an awesome nature.
Everywhere though, you will find some interesting local hang out, whether it is the local shawerma shop or cafeteria, where you can spend some entertaining time watching the locals play backgammon while sipping tea and smoking shisha (the local water pipe), or an ex-pats pub or bar of some sort where divers and surfers meet at the end of the day to relive the day’s adventures.
Ancient Emerald Mines
The emerald is the oldest known gemstone. Uniquely green in color and widely used in jewelry, emeralds were prized and cherished as symbols of eternity and power during antiquity. It believed that Egyptian Pharaohs began mining emeralds in the mountainous area in the
Desert so °west of Marsa Alam. Later identified as the Cleopatra Mines or Mons Smaragdus (
Mountains), the area be me the most famous mining complex throughout the arc “t world. The mines at Wadi Gimal, Wadi Sikeit, Wadi Nuqrus and Gebel Zabara were energetically exploited during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. The mines were also worked during late” centuries until left deserted after the Spaniards discovered emeralds in
Columbia in 1545.
Two thousand years ago Myos Hormos was the Roman Empire’s principal gateway to
East Africa. Only recently have archaeologists been able to identify the exact location of this ancient port, just eight kilometers north a Quseir. During its peak period around 20 AD, reportedly 120 ships laden with wines, fine pottery, glass, precious metals and textiles set out each year from Myos Hron - to
They brought back all kinds of luxury goods including spices, medicines, silk and pearls. Myos Hormos seems to have been abandoned in the 2nd century AD. During the 14th and 15th centuries however, the site was revived into a thriving port for
Mecca pilgrims and a rejuvenated
At Myos Hormos you can see foundations of ancient port structures and have a numerous remnants of empty Roman storage jars (amphorae). Pottery shards are strewn all over the area, evidence of thriving economic activity.
Bir Um Fawakhir
Bir Um Fawakhir lies in the rugged Precambrian mountains of the central
Desert and is almost exactly halfway between the Nile and he
Red Sea. The site is approximately 65 km (two and a half to three days by camel) from Quft (ancient Coptos).
This route, which is the shortest from the Nile to the Red Sea has been in use for at least 5,000 years and follows a Series of wadis (dry canyons) cutting through the mountains. The most famous ancient site enroute is the Wadi hammamat, which was the Source of a fine-grained dark greywacke that was highly prized in Pharaonic times for statues, sarcophagi, and the like. Bir Umm Fawakhir, about 5km northeast, lies in a different geological zone.
The Fawakhir granite is a stock intruded into the older Precambrian rocks. As no agriculture has ever succeeded in this hyperarid desert, the only resources are mineral, namely, gold, granite and water. The granite was quarried to no great extent in the Roman period, but it also acts as aquifer, carrying water in tiny cracks until it is stopped by the dense ultramafic rocks to the West. 3 V have always been dug there. Most importantly, however, the quartz veins injected into the granite are auriferous, particularly towards the edge of the stock. (Many other minerals occur as well, including pyrite, chalcopyrite, and hematite, which stain the quartz reddish.)
This Ottoman fortress in the town center of Quseir is certainly worth a visit. It was built in the 16th century during the reign of Sultan Selim to protect trade links with
India. Napoleon’s troops occupied the fortress in 1799, fortifying it with cannons mounted high on the walls.
They also added a new viewing platform. A few years later, British forces ejected the French after a fierce battle and added a new gate to the fortress. The opening of the
Suez Canal in 1869 led to the decline of Quseir and its fortress.