Friday, July 2, 2010

Nuweiba accomodation

Situated some 465 km southeast of Cairo, the Red Sea coastal city of Nuweiba is ideal for backpackers. Sandwiched between the picturesque Sinai mountains and the tranquil gulf of Aqaba, the small, camp-based tourist spot provides all a traveler could ask for when he or she needs a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

To reach Nuweiba, you can either fly, or take a car, bus or microbus. The flight schedule is twice a week (Sundays and Thursdays); a round trip from the capital costs LE775 on economy class. Buses leave from Cairo in the morning and at night; bus tickets cost about LE70. They depart from the downtown Torgoman bus station and from the Heliopolis bus station in Almaza.

While  the Swisscare Nuweiba Resort Hotel and the Hilton Nuweiba Coral Resort are both fine hotels, the ultimate Nuweiba experience is to enjoy one of the Bedouin-style camps located along the beach. Cheap huts are available in these camps for backpackers visiting the coast to enjoy the sand and sun or go snorkeling in the pristine Red Sea.

Two camps are particularly popular in Nuweiba: Soft Beach and Basata Camp.

one of the very few eco-lodges in Sinai, is almost internationally recognized as the ultimate tourist spot in the area. The management’s laissez-faire philosophy--whereby guests cook their own meals--creates an almost hippy-like air of intimacy. But despite the basic setting, one can end up paying up to LE150 per night, including food.
 Nevertheless, the camp’s environment-friendly policy, writ large in every detail of the camp, is both inspiring and encouraging.

Soft Beach
on the other hand, is cheaper than Basata, and--as indicated by its name--is located on drags of soft, white sand, with a beach in which you can swim without worrying about rocks or unwelcome sea creatures. Soft Beach’s huts are small and uncomfortable, though, unless you take one of the new huts located away from the beach.

Petra camp
meanwhile, is a personal favorite. It is located in a central area that is a ten-minute walk from Soft Beach, allowing you a to drop by the beach there. The hotel itself is built with some sense of artistry and boasts a huge dinning area where an excellent chef serves a variety of dishes. The huts are air-conditioned and spacious, furnished with a bed, an extra mattress and a table. You pay around LE60 per night, and can expect to pay LE50  for the three daily meals.

Castle Beach
is another commonly visited spot on the coast, situated at the famous land intersection by the beach known as Ras el-Shaitan. Castle Beach is known for its delicious pasta and pizza, and has been home to repeat visitors from around the world.

Other than swimming, eating, smoking and playing cards, there isn’t much to do in Nuweiba. There is no party scene or clubbing venue. The coast is exclusively meant for relaxation, where little happens except sun and calm waves. Nothing could be more soothing and therapeutic after a hectic week in the busy city.

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