Paradise (otherwise known as Sharm El Luli) is located some 60 km south of Marsa Alam town – about half way to Berenice – that’s if you believe the hype surrounding this remote sandy beach and lagoon.
For GPS anoraks it’s located at approximate coordinates 24’33 North and 35’9′ East which, as you can see from the satellite image at the page bottom, is exactly the middle of nowhere.
And that’s half the attraction – “It’s a pristine fine as talc white sandy beach that puts the Maldives in the shade” – tout the sales reps – “No it’s not. Its’ sands are pale yellow and some Caribbean beaches are better,” whinge a few dissatisfied tourists who appear mortified that their fellow travelers have ranked it the number one excursion on TripAdvisor
It’s a stretch of long mostly pancake flat sandy beach with a few rocky outcrops and a shallow sandy bottomed stretch of water, flanked by coral reefs. At low tide (and the tidal range here is limited) it’s a perfect lagoon and it’s easy to wade in thanks to the gentle gradient of the sea bottom which eventually leads out to deeper waters with a maximum depth of 20 meters to the shore side of the reefs.
The coast at Sharm El Luli unusually runs east west with the small headland to its’ north sheltering it slightly from the prevailing winds. It’s important to stress slightly because while there is a stunning mountainous backdrop inland to the East, the immediate surroundings are (the occasional mound of stones or boulders excepted) extremely flat.
However the headland and the surrounding reef, which is widest near the open sea at the eastern flank, do ensure that the lagoon is usually calm and most visitors comment on the crystal clear waters and the different colors – the contrast so striking that it can easily be seen from Space. If you don’t believe that just take a glance at the satellite image at the page bottom.
However underwater visibility is not always perfect due to the sandy bottom which can be stirred up on windy days or sometimes in busy periods, by too many divers or snorkelers on or near the sea bed.
But despite its’ increasing popularity, the area is totally undeveloped – no hotels, no restaurants, no shops, no bars, no toilets, no fixtures of any sort – which in part is the main attraction.
| SHARM EL LULI EXCURSIONS
PRICES PER PERSON IN EURO
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or press here
|Half Day||8am||1pm||private taxi,
snack and soft
|Full Day||8am||6pm||private taxi,
lunch and soft
TEN REMINDERS OF WHAT NOT TO FORGET.
2. Sensible clothing that will keep you protected from the sun including, if your are vulnerable to sun burn, a t-shirt for snorkeling. Also bring sensible shoes for walking so that you don’t cut your feet on the occasional sharp rocks.3. Bring a mat or rug for the sand or even some large extra towels – as there are no sun beds or deck chairs on the beach.4. Bring plenty of soft drinks and some large bottles of drinking water. If you don’t need it, there probably be someone else who will. A cooler bag if you have one would be great – or if not you can ask the hotel kitchen in the morning if they can give you some ice in a water proof bag to store the drinks.
5. There is almost no shade available so, if you must have shade, ask if your guide can bring a beach umbrella.6. Bring toilet paper – there are no toilets !7. Don’t forget your snorkeling equipment (if your guide isn’t bringing any) as well as swimwear and a towel.
8. An underwater camera will be great but even an ordinary camera is a must – If you want a new profile photo on Facebook – your portrait against the crystal clear blue waters of Sharm El Luli will really stand out.
9. Bring a little money as although there are no shops there are some Bedouin women who sell traditional jewelry including beads and necklaces. It’s difficult to say what they’re worth – but with tourist numbers currently very low – it’s good to be generous.
10. Don’t forget to take everything you’ll need to keep the children happy – there are no facilities and no kids club or other entertainments in the area.
OTHER IMPORTANT TIPS
3. Remember that some of the reefs are far from the shore and you can wade out a long way – so do keep an eye on how far you are from the shore line.4. If you are not a very strong swimmer it’s probably best to use a life jacket when snorkeling to minimize any possible risk.5. Avoid going to Sharm El Luli on windy days – the sea will be choppy, underwater visibility will be poor, there will be a lot of sand in the air and it will be almost impossible to enjoy the beach.