The beautiful beach towns that rest along the Red Sea in Egypt, such as Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab, are unlike any other places in Egypt. I found Sharm to be very relaxing, friendly but with a hint of adventure. There are many tourists who come to Sharm or Dahab, and skip Cairo all together due to the clean sea, relaxing resorts, and water sports. I truly enjoyed my stay in Sharm El Sheikh, and would not mind visiting this city once again.
From skipping snorkeling so I could eat an ice cream sundae, to polishing off an Egyptian dinner before hookah smoking; my “What I ate along the RED SEA in EGYPT – A Food Journal”.
Flight food from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh
It was as good (bad) as it looked. Although for an hour flight, the snack box of two sandwiches and juice was more hospitable than what we get in the States. I think flyers from Egypt would be put off with our little water bottle, and pack of biscuits that are served on a napkin.
I actually combined the two sandwiches and put the cheese inside the chicken roll. I left the other piece of bread, and the almost full juice container in the snack box. That Egyptian juice box was just way too sweet.
Falafel Dinner – Sharm El-Sheikh
On my first evening in Sharm El-Sheikh, I had a private guide pick me up from the Hilton and take me into town, as well as for dinner. I wanted to try something local and traditional, my guide Mohammed brought me to a local falafel place. It was exactly what I wanted to try. I wanted to eat where the locals eat.
This local’s eatery was a casual and open air restaurant, that served traditional dishes. Mohammed did the ordering for us, and on the table came several dishes including a plate of fresh falafel. My guide informed me that the Egyptians were the first to make falafel as it was written in the ancient hieroglyphics. I looked it up and that was the common theory, I had just learned something new.
The falafel served had a green coloring inside, and that was from using spring onions. I remembered having the same type of green falafel in Amman, Jordan. This was my favorite type of falafel because the green onion gave a better flavor to it. Make sure that you give it a try, if you come across it.
There also was a tasty fava bean dip called Ful Medammes, which was new to me. I was in Egypt for more almost three weeks, and this traditional dish never came my way. The fava bean dip was very filling and flavorful, it was great when eaten with the pita bread.
If you are in Sharm El-Sheikh and looking for a private guide, my suggestion is to connect with Wael Hifnawe of Sultan Sharm Tours. Let him now what you are looking to do and he will set up a safe and enjoyable outing in Sharm.
Hilton Sharm Waterfall Resort- Sharm El Sheikh
If you are like me, earning points for hotels and airlines is exhilarating. I love watching my points rack up, so I can redeem them for a FREE STAY, just like the one I had in Sharm El Sheikh. I have noticed that your hotel points stretch further in a different country, especially destinations where it is cheaper to travel to. In the United States and part of Western Europe, 5K points will get you no where. I have booked hotels in Warsaw, Belgrade, and Prague Airport for 5k Points. Not only with Hilton, but with Hyatt and Marriott.
When I stayed in Sharm El Sheik, I redeemed 20K points for four free nights at the Hilton Sharm Waterfalls resort. I also received a great upgrade, and free breakfast every morning. My upgraded room was outstanding with a large balcony, and a spectacular view of the Red Sea. If you have reward points for hotels, you can always stretch them out in another country, and receive an upgrade.
The food at the Hilton was strictly International food because there are many tourists who visit Sharm, especially from Europe and Ukraine. That is why on my first night in Sharm, I asked my private guide to take me to a local’s restaurant to try traditional food. Keep that in mind if you are staying at an international hotel.
— Fruit Plate —
After I checked in and made myself comfortable in my room, I heard a knock at the door. Outside was my room attendant with a plate of fresh fruit to welcome me to the resort and Sharm El-Sheikh. That was very hospitable, as you would never see a plate of fruit arrive at your door at any Hilton in America.
Although I typically do not eat fresh fruit, I made the exception in this case. It helped curve the “in room munchies” during the course of my four days in Sharm. Plus, I did not want to look ungrateful, and let the food go to waste.
— Buffet Breakfast —
Since Hilton is an International hotel, the buffet breakfasts were geared towards global tourism . It was not bad at all, and was quite welcoming in the mornings. They offered a delicious variety of both European and regional dishes, which everyone seemed to enjoy.
I had various buffet breakfast dishes during my stay, but this one was quite standard for my everyday morning meal. What I liked was the omelet station, so I had one custom made every morning.
— Egyptian gin and tonic —
Since I was staying at an International hotel in a tourist town, there was alcohol! I pulled myself up to the bar, and asked the bartender what gin they offered. I was given a tall glass of Bolanachi Oxford Dry Gin and tonic.
Although it sounds British, Bolanachi is an Egyptian gin and was decent considering that this brand was made for tourists. Egypt is a dry country but that does not mean they do not produce alcohol. There is a series of alcoholic drinks from vodka to ouzo, that is made for Egyptian tourism. It may not be the best tasting alcohol as they are cheap, and sold to tourist destinations.
The bartender definitely knew how to pour a drink, as he spotted me a second cocktail and called me “Queen”. Whatever, I got a second drink on the house!
— Room Service Tuna sandwich —
Room service in Egypt in ridiculously inexpensive. To be frank, traveling through Egypt was one of the most inexpensive trips that I have taken, especially when it came to the food. I am almost sure that this tuna mayo sandwich with salad and fries, cost me no more than $5. Together with the free four nights, I think I made out pretty well in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Funny, I remember when I ordered this tuna mayo sandwich, I had just come from a cruising along the Red Sea. I was sun baked, tired, and famished. I just wanted to stay in my room, lay in bed, and eat a tuna sandwich- Thank goodness for room service.
— Bagged Breakfast —
Not sure if you knew this, but if your hotel has an included breakfast and you cannot make it, you can request for a bagged breakfast for takeaway.
We had done this many times especially on early morning day trips, and crack of dawn domestic flights. Hotels will pack a simple breakfast of sandwiches, breads, pastries, fruit, water and/ or juice. If you plan on asking for a bagged breakfast, schedule it with your hotel the night before, so it will be ready for you in the morning.
For hotel information and reservations, please visit Hilton Sharm Waterfall Resort
Lunch along the Red Sea
The first time that I visited the Red Sea was back in 2016 while exploring Jordan. On that visit, my group was on a yacht and the Capitan allowed me to drive it. I was thrilled because I had never driven a yacht before, and to do it on the Red Sea was an incredible experience. I was also nervous because I did not have my driving glasses.
After that day, I vowed to come back to the Red Sea, and it did not matter from which country. I did not realize then that almost four years later, I would be visiting the Red Sea again but while in Egypt.
This time around, I was not given the steering wheel which was fine. I was happy to feel that sea breeze, take naps on the deck, and eat a casual buffet lunch.
Again, the buffet was International food which was decent. My plate was piled high with fresh seafood, fried foods, rice, and two different pastas. I did enjoy the seafood bisque though.
Here comes the nice man who made my ice cream sundae…
On the day that we were cruising the Red Sea, I decided to skip on the snorkeling. Instead I either napped on deck, or ate ice cream! 🍨 This was my tripple scoop ice cream topped with fresh fruit. It was a nice way to polish off that full buffet meal while enjoying the fresh sea air.
Dinner, Hookah, and Riding Quads at Laialy
On one of my spare evenings in Sharm El-Sheikh, I signed up for a night excursion which was to be dinner, a show, and quads in the middle of the desert. I was picked up and driven to Laialy, which literally was in the middle of the desert. This place was an outdoor entertainment event place with quad riding. There was a traditional dance show, and bohemian style seating areas. I thought it was pretty rad!
I was seated in the VIP section, which was further back from the stage but underneath boho draped canopies. Since I was solo, I had a young man named Marco who made sure that I had all my needs met when it came to dining, smoking that hookah, and riding quads- Great hospitality.
Included with my night out package was a full Egyptian dinner of grilled chicken and kofta over a large bed of flavorful rice pilaf. Additionally, I was served two vegetable salads, a bowl of soup, and a pot of hot tea. For dessert, I was given a plate of fresh fruit that I offered to my host, Marcus, since I do not eat much fresh fruit.
What an unforgettable evening of dinner, tea, and smoking a huge hookah while watching an Egyptian variety show. Then we rode quads in the dark through the desert until it was time to go home. It was totally rad!
Lunch with a Beer – Dahab
I had just finished a day tour to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the base of Mont Sinai, when on our way back we stopped in Dahab for lunch. I would have never thought about coming to Dahab if it was not for this day tip. This little beach town is along the Red Sea, and is very popular with those who enjoy water activities. It was less crowded than Sharm El-Sheikh, and I liked it a lot.
We walked through a little shopping area until we got to Kwanza, an opened air restaurant with a scenic Red Sea view. We were not given menus or asked what we wanted, it was already set up for us to have a chicken lunch. I am not complaining, it was a very delicious meal, and I was famished.
Here is the story with the beer pour- One of the ladies from my tour was from Switzerland, and was in Sharm El-Sheikh for a global media convention. She was an older lady and for years she worked a man’s job, as she put it. She was a journalist, and worked in media when it was predominantly run by men. I thought she was fascinating and we had great conversations. During lunch she ordered a beer which was quite large, so she shared it with me and the other lady at the table. As you know, I do not drink beer but for this occasion, I did.
Fill you life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell. Not stuff to show…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property- Trixie Navarre