Caitlin and I spent days 5, 6 & 7 in Soma Bay, Egypt, a resort village about 45 minutes south of Hurghada.
Our tour company arranged a private driver from Luxor to Soma Bay. It felt like it took forever to make the journey, primarily because traveling between villages are hundreds of speed bumps and 'pretend' checkpoints. I say 'pretend' because while there were people at every checkpoint appearing to be working there, no one seemed to be doing anything.
We made one stop along the way, where Caitlin and I made our one mistake in failing to haggle for the price of some snacks.
Several hours later though, we arrived at Soma Bay. And it was beautiful!
|Sheraton Soma Bay Resort|
We spent the first afternoon at the beach and had arranged for a snorkeling trip the following day.
|ahhhh, the beach!|
A driver picked us up and took us to Hurghada. With our snorkeling gear in hand, we boarded the boat with several Russians and a few non-Russian speaking others. (This part of Egypt is a big vacation spot for Russians apparently.)
We snorkeled twice before spending an hour on a nearby island.
|We're on a boat! In Egypt! On the Red Sea!|
For me, the snorkeling was fine, but the quality of corals I've seen during previous trips in the Bahamas and Hawaii was better. There were plenty of colorful fish, including one lionfish I spotted. I promptly swam the other direction.
|Caitlin hated snorkeling. Just hanging out in the water wasn't so bad.|
|such beautiful water!|
It was a nice day, but a very 'touristy' type of day. If I were to do it again, I might try and look into snorkeling options that are different from what every other boat is doing.
The following day we flew back to Cairo to await our flight to Milan.
the nitty gritty:
All of our tours were booked through Aladin Tours, based in the Nefertiti Hotel in Luxor. We researched several companies on Trip Advisor and asked two for potential itineraries and price quotes. Your Egypt Tours provided us with a solid, detailed itinerary and prompt communication. Aladin Tours written itinerary was what I would call a bit loose, but their quoted price was a third less than the YET price. Since Aladin Tours had some solid TA reviews, we decided to book with them. (I don't read reviews written by anyone who hasn't written at least 5 reviews.) When my review has posted, I'll link it here.
While in Egypt, we stayed at:
Guardian Guest House, Giza: Trip Advisor review
Because I stay at Starwood properties on an employee rate, I don't write TA reviews for them. However, I've included a few thoughts for each below.
Sheraton Luxor: Okay, but a bit run down. The free wifi is terrible and the price for paid wifi was so ridiculous we refused to pay it.
Sheraton Soma Bay Resort: A nice place. Some parts look a little run down, but the facilities overall were nice and the free wifi was awesome.
LeMeridien Cairo Airport: The best shower design I've seen in awhile. (Funny the things that stand out!) We had a really nice meal in their Asian restaurant and it's a great place to stay when you have an early flight out of Cairo. Free wifi in the room (unusual for Starwood).
We did Egypt for 8 nights with private guides for €150 per person, per day. This price includes everything, our flights to Cairo, the internal flights within Egypt and everything we spent along the way. It feels like a lot, but given what we did I think the price was right, especially since I know that most people spend a whole lot more.
I'm so happy I could share my trip with all my readers!
Questions about Egypt? Let me know in the comments!