By: Aliaa Elsherbini
Sa7el season might be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean that summer weather is ending with it. The great thing about Egypt’s rich cities by the sea is that it’s summer all year round! Here are our three top local getaways for you to visit and explore this fall.
Basata Eco-Lodge Nuweiba
Let’s start with the most popular of them all, Basata Eco-Lodge in Nuweiba, Egypt’s first ecolodge. It is one of those places that does not lose its charm with time, it evolves and innovates with each successive year. Basata is nestled between majestic Sinai mountains and a Red Sea sandy beach, it is also around 20 to 30 kilometers away from coral reefs, so snorkeling is on the menu.
We spoke with Dr. Sherif El Ghamrawy, founder of Basata Ecolodge, to learn the secret behind 34 years of making a positive impact on the surrounding society. Basata runs a NGO that plays a vital part in big projects like the triage of trash from all over Nuweiba.
The camp is a reflection of the social and environmental work the owners do, as the camp itself is eco-friendly with cultivating activities, trash triage, a relaxing ambiance with a no loud music policy, and communal kitchen and bathrooms.
There are three types of accommodation:
– Camping Area
– Bamboo Huts by the beach
What they have in common is that they are all built using natural sustainable material that is 100% made in Egypt, built with an Egyptian inspired architecture making each accommodation unique; no two chalets are the same. There is a considerable amount of space between the huts and chalets to give guests more privacy.
There are plenty of activities that you can participate in like snorkeling. Basata promotes freedom of expression by encouraging guests to create their own activities and make their own fun using the available materials and tools around the eco-lodge. Music instruments, games such as chess and tawla, and a library with all sorts of books, so you can pick your favorite pass time are all available.
Safari day-trips are available for booking, as well as private dinners for women with Bedouin ladies as a way to bring communities together and empower each other.
Usually, there is a communal kitchen where everyone staying at Basata is free to cook what they want and serve themselves what they wish from the pantry as long as they write down in a piece of paper daily the items used. It is a place built on trust.
However, due to the current situation the kitchen is temporarily closed for safety measures and the staff is serving the food. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all consisting of local and Egyptian dishes and traditional delicious food. That does not make it in any way restrictive as you can opt for a full eggs and falafel breakfast or granola with fruits and yogurt, the option is still there.
Basata offers special prices for women traveling completely on their own to encourage female travelers to feel safe to take a solo vacation.
Located at just 20 km South of Ras Sudr—In between Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh—Matarma Bay is the perfect spot for adrenaline junkies, beach lovers, and people looking to relax, offering a bit of everything to accommodate everyone. However, one of its main attractions is watersports as the resort city sits along crystal clear turquoise waters and yellow sandy beaches.
Matarma Bay caters to all group sizes, family, and friends with 44 sea-view rooms and lovely outdoor areas, delicious cuisine, and a 10 minute-drive from all kitesurfing and activity centers in Ras Sudr.
Owner Ali Awadi tells us how he, as a kitesurfer, used to always have accommodation problems when visiting Ras Sudr as he and his friends would have great kiting sessions but then struggle to find a suitable place to stay. They would only find either small spaces, shared bathrooms, or unpleasant buildings. Mr Awadi was inspired to provide visitors of the area a nice and clean place to stay, and he built Matarma Bay starting with only 18 rooms and it went from there.
Matarma Bay provides a wide range of activities, especially that its location is a hub for wind-driven water sports. Courses and lessons (all levels are welcome) for kayaking, stand-up paddling, windsurfing, kite-surfing, wakeboarding, and sailing are all on offer.
It is also a space for wellness retreats as many yoga and team-building sessions happen there as well as big events such as weddings.
Since it is very family-based, there are also play-areas and water sports lessons for children.
A restaurant serves international cuisine for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. There is also a beach bar serving refreshing drinks with a view.
If you are thinking of visiting Ras Sudr, then Matarma Bay is the place to stay. The best months to visit are September, October, November, April, May, and June; however, it is open all year long so just call to make a booking.
The G Experience: Live-aboard boat that covers islands around the Red Sea
This one is a little unusual as it is not an on-ground site like the previous two but a moving getaway in the sea under the name: The G Experience.
The G Experience is inspired by its owner, Hassan Gazarin’s multi-background in hospitality, water sports, and food and beverages all put in one place: on a boat that takes you around islands in Safaga.
Put in place during the wake of the pandemic when all places were closed including beaches and water sports centers, The G Experience provides all-inclusive trips for you and your family to enjoy the water in closed groups where you are safe, comfortable and happy.
A full experience:
Three types of trips are available to choose from:
-Pleasure and relaxing.
You have options, but what’s even better is that all trips are customizable to meet all of the guests and different groups’ needs. Meaning you can choose to have a Kite Surfing and relaxing trip where you only go Kiting for one day and the other two you swim and chill on deck, or vice versa. Gazarin and his team take care of everything during these trips as they provide the boat, the gear, the food, and the transportation from Cairo or Alex and airport pick-ups with a meet and greet.
Length of Stay:
The average stay length is 3 nights and 4 days to ensure a fulfilling trip, but it can be anywhere between a weekend and 10 days, all you have to do is ask and check for availability with the organizers.
There are plenty of activities that Gazarin and his team work hard to provide. There are the main water sports like Kite-surfing and diving, led by professional instructors. You will first watch educational videos about the Red Sea and its inhabitants of fish and corals then watch live demonstrations of what you will need to do, then you will experience it yourself.
On a kiting trip, you will kite-surf, eat, sleep, and repeat. You will wake up to catch your first ride at sunrise as the bright yellow sun gains its force up in the sky between blue skies. Once the first session is done you will get to have breakfast and maybe a nap to fuel for your second kite-surfing course of the day and repeat until sunrise, it’s exhilarating.
Apart from that, there are yoga and Pilates sessions, board games, kayaking courses, fishing, and arts and crafts activities for the kids. There is something for everyone.
Each type of trip has its coordinated island-hopping itinerary, and they go as follows:
Kite-surfing: Bayout Island, Gaysoom, Abo Monaar, and Tawila Island.
Diving: Elephant Stone and Brothers.
Pleasure and relaxing: Abo Hashish, Abo Nahas, Gobel and Mahmeya.
The food of your whole stay is provided by the G experience with three full meals a day and then some. It is quality food with a quantity that accommodates your group.
Mark our word, this is going to be the trendiest thing. So book a trip and customized it.
For booking and inquiries: 0114 434 1811