When you consider a holiday to Egypt, it’s practically impossible to imagine any vision occupying your inner mind other than the pyramids. Yet, there’s so much to Egypt than the legends of flailing mummies and grimacing Pharaohs. As proof, look no further than the ancient Bedouin fishing town of Dahab.
Image via Flickr by Kyle Taylor
Situated on the Sinai Peninsula, overlooking the Red Sea, Dahab was almost unknown to the nomadic world until the 1980s. Yet, its strategic location on the Gulf of Aqaba, traditional hospitality, endless options for the average adventure junkies, and a growing presence of luxury hotels, has installed a steady undercurrent of travelers within its fabric. Here are three things that make Dahab a brilliant offbeat, experiential destination.
An Endless Adrenaline Rush
Dahab has made its name as a highly rated destination in international windsurfing and diving communities. The waters around town cater to windsurfers across skill levels. First timers can hone their skills in the protected bay of the blue lagoon, while experienced surfers will find joy in an area a little further out, known as the “speedy.”
Image via Flickr by Igor Klisov
Not far from town, the notorious Blue Hole beckons. Known in diving circles as the “Diver’s Cemetery,” it is the most dangerous diving site in the world. If you know a thing or two about adventure junkies, you’ll know why this does more to further drive divers toward it, as away from it. Alternatively, Dahab also has some great snorkeling and kite-surfing spots in and around town. Those that find joy on land instead, can opt for rock climbing, sandboarding, or quad biking. Be sure to check out Excursiopedia for some great deals and activities in Dahab.
Experience the Unique Lifestyle of the Nomadic Bedouins
The Bedouins are a semi-nomadic ethnic group that has lived in most corners of the Syrian and Arabian deserts. Dahab, a traditional stronghold of Bedouin fishermen, is a wonderful hub in which to immerse yourself in their ways. Embark upon a desert safari with the Bedouins — observe their knowledge and faith in the endless sandy horizon. Participate in a Bedouin party, with some tea, sheesha, and tales of the magnificent desert. By living amongst them, you don’t just support an ancient way of life, but also experience a lifestyle, that many of us long-term nomads yearn to achieve for years.
Image via Flickr by Sarah Depper
Indulge Yourself in Some Affordable Luxury
Once renowned for its high concentration of backpackers and independent travelers, the composition of Dahab’s tourist population has changed drastically in recent years. The arrival of multiple luxury hotel chains has brought a larger number of leisure travelers to its shores. While a night at most of these luxury stays will be quite heavy on your pocket, you might want to consider Miami Beach Resort, Dahab. About 5 KMs outside town, the beachfront resort is symbolic of Dahab’s simplistic elegance. Halfway between the Blue Hole and the city center, it offers an ideal mix of convenience and privacy. With rooms facing the Red Sea and a view of Mt. Sinai from the restaurant, at as little as $30 a night, this is a great place at which to pamper yourself for a few days on your discovery of Dahab.
This post is part of the Hipmunk City Love Project – an exciting and large-scale city-guide initiative undertaken by Himpunk.com. I must mention that I get paid to do these pieces, but I love doing this – it helps me learn about so many new places that I’m yet to visit.