White sandy beaches and stunning turquoise waters make this Egypt’s go-to summer vacation destination
The North Coast, known to Egyptians as “Al-Sahel” is the country’s go-to summer vacation destination. In July and August, summer vacationers from across the country migrate north to the coast where the cool sea breeze, white sandy beaches dotted with colorful umbrellas, and azure blue waters of the Mediterranean are a welcomed respite from the summer heat. Most Al-Sahel goers either stay in privately-owned vacation homes or vacation rentals in gated compounds with direct access to private beaches. In recent years, however, more and more five-star luxury and boutique hotels have developed across the coastline in Al-Alamein and Sidi Abdel Rahman, as well as further north on Caesar Bay, Sidi Heneish Bay, and Almaza Bay. So, grab your swimsuit and sunglasses and experience a relaxing summer on the beach!
What You Need to See
Alamein is traditionally known for its white sandy beaches and breathtaking crystal-clear waters. It is also home to several sites and a museum commemorating the two major battles that took place there during WWII. Today, the city is being developed as a year-round destination for both residents and tourists. The New Alamein City is being built across 50,000 acres and spans 60 km south of the coastline, with an estimated capacity of more than three million residents. It is set to become Egypt’s first full-fledged city on the North Coast and an excellent destination for anyone who wishes to visit or set up home by the dazzling Mediterranean Sea. What Will New Alamein City Look Like? The highly anticipated New Alamein City promises year-round coastal living, with modern administrative and residential buildings, countless recreational facilities, an opera house, two universities, and a broad assortment of hotels, boutique hotels, and summer rentals within its vicinity, many of which are already open for business. The city’s five landmark luxury residential towers are each 44 stories high with swimming pools and hanging gardens. New Alamein also boasts a 14 km corniche or promenade, which is already open to the public, running through the heart of the city’s entertainment zone. The area also includes shops, restaurants, a cinema, a beach club, and a large concert venue that has been attracting international musical performers and DJs for the past two years.
Where to Stay? Traditionally, Sahel was a destination for those who owned vacation homes in the area, but in recent years, the availability of beach rentals for long-term stays and hotel accommodations have made the North Coast beaches accessible to all travelers. Renting a private holiday home is a great way to experience an Egyptian summer, and Sahel has a wide variety of residences to choose from. Everything from small studios to sprawling luxurious seafront villas are available for rent. If you prefer a shorter stay, there are hotel options in and near Alamein, Sidi Abdel Rahman, and Almaza Bay. Whether you are looking for large, five-star hotel chains or stylish boutique hotels that offer more rustic luxury with a uniquely Mediterranean vibe, Sahel won’t disappoint. Where to Eat? Most well-known Cairo restaurants and cafés open summer branches in Sahel, and there are some eateries with origin stories of being temporary beach shacks that became so popular that they opened permanent locations in Cairo after the summer. You’ll find every kind of cuisine imaginable, from vegan tacos to sushi, Japanese cheesecake, gelato, and gourmet burgers and fries. Around sunset, Sahel’s famous beach bars start to come to life. You can enjoy a serene sunset dinner or party the night away after dark. Shopping & Entertainment Sahel is a prime shopping and entertainment destination in the summer months. Every well-known Cairo retail chain has a Sahel location, so you can shop for everything, from home accessories, furniture, and designer fashion brands to golf carts, beach buggies, and even motor scooters, the best mode of transportation for zipping in and out of the beach compounds. Entertainment facilities, such as cinemas and concert venues, can also be found throughout the coast, with particularly large venues that attract big-name Egyptian and International musical acts and DJs in Marina Alamein and New Alamein City.
Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline is 1,050 km long, running from the city of Alexandria in the east all the way to Marsa Matruh in the west, making it one of the longest Mediterranean coastlines in North Africa. In between these two cities, you can find the smaller towns of Sidi Abdel Rahman, Al-Alamein, and Ras al-Hekma, all of which have year-round resident populations. In the summer months, however, the action takes place in the upscale beach resorts that have been developed in and around these towns. Most North Coast beaches are private, so you will need to be a resident, hotel guest, or renter in one of the beach compounds or hotels in order to access the beach. Make sure you book early because prime locations fill up early in the summer months.
Enjoy a Mediterranean sunset and watch the clouds turn pink while enjoying a delicious meal at one of Al-Sahel’s many beach bars.
Join a fitness or yoga class by the sea. There are plenty of options to choose from, and the Mediterranean is an amazing backdrop for a workout.
Wake up early and take a walk on the beach; if you’re out before noon, you will most likely have the beach to yourself.
Try the locally-grown figs while you’re in Al-Sahel; this delicious fruit is at its best during the summer months.
Try freska on the beach; these thin crispy wafers with honey or nuts in the middle are a traditional Egyptian seaside snack.
Play a game of racket (beach paddleball); it’s a national pastime on Egypt’s beaches.
Shop for cool beach attire at one of the many pop-up shops on the beach selling local Egyptian fashion brands.
Indulge in mango season; there is nothing better than cold, delicious, one-of-a-kind Egyptian mangos after a day of swimming and tanning.