Saturday, June 23, 2012


(includes Egypt, Israel, Jordan & Saudi Arabia)

Port Ghalib
Palace Port Ghalib Resort – Marsa Alam; 011-20-65-336-0000 or 877-859-5095;
Sights & Sites
Elphinstone Reef – offshore coral reef; dive with gray and hammerhead sharks.

Sharm El Sheikh
Anemone City.
Dunraven – south of Beacon Rock (at south end Ras Mohammed National Park); sunk in 1876.
Gordon, Jackson, Thomas & Woodhouse Reefs – entrance to Straits of Tiran; barracuda, sharks, and tuna; these reefs stand on top of deep water ridge dividing east African and Asian continental plates, which are slowly separating.
Jackson Alley.
Ras Mohammed National Park – excellent snorkeling in Aqaba Gulf, coral formations and marine life; best spot for diving at Sharm-al Sheikh.
Rosalie Moller – off Hurghada; sunk by Germans in WWII; sits on seabed on even keel with bow sitting at around 40-meters; stern, rudder, and propeller sitting slightly deeper at 45 meters; much deck equipment still in place, as are handrails and ladders; bridge easily penetrated although equipment and helm long since removed.
Sha’ab Abu Nuhas – northwest of Shadwan Island; coral reef; navigation hazard because projects into shipping channel; (at least) 7 shipwrecks, including Carnatic, Kimon M, Chrisola K, and Ghiannis D.
Shark Reef.
Temple – west of Ras Umm Sid, at Sharm El Moya entrance; flat, sloping reef with 2 major, and few minor, pinnacles (largest being "Tower"); surprisingly rich reef animal variety; soft and hard corals, fan corals and reef fish; truly amazing range of fish species colonizing reef; lionfish all about, as well as stonefish that do not move and are camouflaged; popular night-dive site; at night, basket stars create illusion of curtain in light current as they feed.
Thistlegorm – near Ras Muhammad; British armed Merchant Navy ship built in 1940 and sunk on October 6, 1941.
Four Seasons – 1 Four Seasons Boulevard; 011-20-69-360-3555 or 800-819-5053;; interesting hodgepodge of villas spread over hillside that looks over Sinai Peninsula and sea; spa.
Desert Tours & Diving – Diaa Shawki Mikhail (provides these services for Diane Von Furstenburg); 011-20-10-570-2119;
Sights & Sites
Al Bagawat Cemetery – among oldest Coptic cemeteries in world.
Colored Canyon – wadi (dry riverbed) walled by dramatically striated copper and pink cliffs.
Al Kharijah – desert; hike Abu Minqar dunes; visit Kharqa Oasis; see Qasr Labekha Roman fortress (built on slave road from Sudan to Nile).
Mount Sinai – highest peak on peninsula; try to be atop for sunrise.
St. Catherine’s Monastery – thought to be oldest monastery in world; where Moses saw burning bush.

Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba Resort – 8 Antib Road, North Shore; 011-972-8-630-6666;; lagoon, mountains, and Red Sea views; parasailing and water-skiing; average food.
Rimonim Hotel Eilat – North Beach; 011-972-3-675-4591;

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Al-Hammamat Al-Tunisyya Street; 011-962-3-209-3209;; overlooks Red Sea’s Aqaba Gulf (on Jordan’s southern coastal tip); full-service, upscale hotel in business district; short walk to sea shore and all major shopping areas; near airport.
Sights & Sites
Wadi Rum – Desert Highway;; UNESCO World Heritage Site; also known as “Valley of Moon”; largest wadi in Jordan; best known for connection with T.E. Lawrence, who based his operations here during Arab Revolt (1917-1918); home to Zalabia Bedouin who, working with climbers and trekkers, participate in eco-adventure tourism; Khaz’ali Canyon is petroglyph (etched into cave walls) site, depicting antelopes and humans; Jabal Rum is Jordan’s 2nd highest peak, covered with snow; highest peak is south of Rum, close to Saudi border, Jebel um Adaami (popular trek from Rum village).

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