Port Ghalib is resort town on the southern stretch of the Egyptian Red Sea coast. It is served by Marsa Alam airport, which is just outside of the resort, and sits around 60 km north of Marsa Alam town, and 75 km south of El Quseir. The resort is a purpose built settlement, set around a marina, and containing several large, integrated resorts, mostly aimed at the European package tourism market, and heavily orientated toward watersports. Wind-surfing and diving are both very popular here. The resort is much quieter than those further north such as Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, and consequently the coral reefs receive less traffic, and are consequently in better condition, though less so than those in the far-south, such as the remote outpost of Hamata.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- See also: Egypt#Climate
The climate is sunny and very dry. Rainfall is almost non-existent. Summer days are very hot and summer nights are quite hot. Winters are warm with mild nights.
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- 1 Marsa Alam International Airport (RMF IATA) (located five minutes away from Port Ghalib). The airport is served by airlines/tour operators from European countries including the UK, Italy, Russia, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Austria, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. Flights from Europe are 5-6 hours. Egypt Air Express has a daily flight to Cairo (1 hour). Note that security at Marsa Alam airport is both strict and arbitrary. Travelers with sports equipment (especially scuba gear) or a lot of consumer electronics should allow plenty of time to clear security and pack their belongings so to allow for easy inspection. Spare batteries (not in a device) are often confiscated.
Port Ghalib is accessible by sea through its international marina, which features a Harbor Master, Customs and Immigration Office.
The marina is fully equipped to fully serve yachtsmen sailing the Red Sea. Operated and managed by UK-based Camper & Nicholsons, the marina features Caltex diesel and petrol fuel supply, ship repair yard, ferry terminal, electricity and water supply, and solid waste disposal. The berths also offer communications, laundry service, transportation service and medical attendance.
Port Ghalib can be reached via the coastal highway which runs north to El Quseir (75 km), Safaga (165 km), Hurghada (225 km) and points north. Cairo is 685 km distant, and is better reached by air. To the south the road leads to Hamata and Berenice (170 km, 2 hr), and points south. The border between Sudan and Egypt along the Red Sea highway is disputed, and not open to tourist traffic.
The resort itself is entirely purpose built, and has little intrinsic interest in and of itself. The main draw is the Red Sea, with rich coral reefs and marine life, and the desert hinterland. It's possible in the resort to arrange trips to the Pharaonic sites of the Nile Valley, either as (very long) day trips, or multi-day trips that spend 1 or 2 nights in Luxor. El Quseir and Marsa Alam are both "real" towns, the former of which has some historical interest as being a dockyard and port since Pharaonic times.
- 1 Hankorab beach (Sharm El Luli). This is a very original and authentic beach with crystal clear water and very soft sand. The water is shallow and possible to walk in with fish swimming around and between you. It is probably one of the best places for snorkeling of the beach in the world, if you bring your gear. Having said this, you should bring everything else as well, there is not much else here except the picturesque and genuine beach.
- Port Ghalib is all about the various flavours of watersports. There's wide array of aquatic activities, which include parasailing, banana boat, windsurfing, jet skiing and most notably scuba diving. Some hotels have excellent house reefs, making them a good option for snorkelers.
- Dive boats may make direct trips to some of the Red Sea – and the world’s – most famous marine parks, including Daedalus Reef, Brothers Island, Zabargad Island and Rocky Island, all sites with excellent scuba diving, with reefs generally in excellent health. Both day boats and liveaboards use Port Ghalib as a jumping off point for exploring the southern reefs. A few even venture far south into Sudanese waters, though you will need to have Sudanese visas and a booking already arranged in advance, as few ships run such long trips, and they often sell out a year or more in advance.
- Adventurers and sports fanatics can challenge themselves in a game of tennis, cycle or take an exhilarating safari desert ride for a true Bedouin experience.
- Entertainment can be found in the bowling alley, VIP disco club, horse academy and full arcade center for children.
- For relaxation, guests can indulge themselves in the world-renowned Six Senses Spa .
The heart of Port Ghalib is its marina and corniche waterfront area with yachts from around the world. Here visitors and residents can lose themselves in 165 retail outlets boasting a variety of galleries, boutiques and shops with a rich variety of Oriental and Egyptian arts and crafts, harking back to the ancient trading days.
Eat and drink
Several cafés and food and beverage outlets can be found on Port Ghalib's corniche. These include TGI Friday’s, Grand Café, Costa Coffee, Fusion, Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins.
Four hotels with a total of 1,170 rooms are operating on the resort.
- The Marina Lodge – This 4-star diving hotel with its quay-side location in the Port Ghalib marina is already becoming a favorite destination of European and regional divers.
- Intercontinental The Palace.
- Crowne Plaza Sahara Oasis.
- Crowne Plaza Sahara Sands.
- Iberotel Coraya Beach.
For most people, Port Ghalib is the end of the road. Settlement to the south is sparse.