How do I get to Sharm el Sheikh?
By air - Sharm el Sheikh has an international airport (SSH) which receives flights from all over the world as well as receiving domestic flights from elsewhere in Egypt. Many charter and national airlines fly in from the UK, Europe and also the Middle East. If you cannot find a direct flight to Sharm el Sheikh, you should be able to find a flight to Cairo (CAI) and it is very easy to get the internal flight with Egyptair from Cairo to Sharm. Sharm el Sheikh International airport is about a 15 minutes drive from Naama Bay, where our dive club and hotel is located.
By land - Egypt has a good network of established bus companies. There are several different companies providing daily services to Sharm el Sheikh from Cairo. Hiring a taxi to travel long distances in Egypt is not so uncommon and not prohibitively expensive. For security, hire a taxi from an established company.
By sea - At present there are no ferry services between Sharm El Sheikh and any other ports.
Passport and Visa Requirments?
All visitors to Egypt must have a passport that is valid for 6 months from the date of arrival.
If you plan to stay within Sharm el Sheikh for the whole of your holiday then you do not need to purchase a full tourist visa stamp - the Immigration police will simply stamp your passport with a Aqaba Gulf entry stamp.
However, if you plan to visit the wreck of the Thistlegorm, or if you plan to travel outside the Sinai penisular (e.g Cairo/Luxor etc.), or if your stay is longer than two weeks you need to buy a full Egyptian visa stamp on arrival at the aiprort.
If you are transiting through Cairo Airport, you will have to buy a visa stamp in Cairo Airport before you pass through to the Domestic Terminal even if you are not exiting the terminal building.
If you are flying directly into Sharm and you have booked our meet & greet airport transfers service, our representative will meet you just inside the airport terminal before Passport Control and if you need a visa, he will have one ready for you, which costs 28 euros/person.
If you are flying to Sharm but not staying at Oonas you will need to purchase the visa at the one of the kiosks just as you enter the airport terminal after disembarking and before you go through Passport Control.
It is also possible to purchase a visa from your local Egyptian Embassy prior to coming on holiday.
What money should I bring?
It is best to pay for accommodation and diving charges with Euros cash, the quoted price currency, to avoid losing any value of your money in exchange rate variations or credit-card surcharges. It is not possible to buy Euros cash in Sharm El Sheikh so you are advised to obtain your Euros before you leave home and bring them with you.
For most other purchases (certainly food, drinks, souvenirs etc) it is best to pay in local currency, to avoid surcharges and exchange rate fluctuations. It's always good to arrive with a bit of local currency, but you'll actually get a much better exchange rate here when you change Sterling/Euros or Dollars into Egyptian Pounds, than you do at home. If you are staying at Oonas Dive Club there is a very good foreign exchange bureau just around the corner. Opening times are 9:00am to 1:30 and 6:00pm to 8:00pm
There are also plenty of cash-machines from which you can withdraw Egypt pounds cash using your bank card. However, cash-machines often have charges, and the exchange rate your bank will use to issue you Egyptian pounds may not be as good as the rate you'll receive for buying Egyptian pounds with sterling cash in currency exchange shops here.
We can accept payment credit or debit cards (VISA or MasterCard – processed in Egyptian Pounds plus a 3% card fee for credit or debit cards), or cash - Egyptian Pounds, Sterling, Euros or US Dollars.
Should I bring a beach towel?
If you are staying at Oonas Hotel, you may if you'd prefer, but you can borrow towels from our hotel to take out for the day on our dive boats. If you are staying at another hotel, you will usually find that they will provide beach towels which you can bring with you.
Should I bring a hair-dryer?
Our hotel does have a hair-dryer for you to use whilst you are here. Please ask at the hotel reception.
Does the hotel have a swimming pool?
No, Oonas Hotel does not have a swimming pool. But, we are right on the beach front of Naama Bay and we have direct beach access, so you can swim in the sea.
Can I access the internet at Oonas?
Yes, we provide a free to access Wi-Fi signal - primarily in and around our bar and restaurant. The access code can be obtained from our hotel restaurant staff. Keep in mind that our free Wi-Fi signal does not provide as fast an internet service as you might be used to in Europe. It is sufficient for checking and sending emails, but should not be depended upon for work purposes.
Do the hotel rooms each have a safe?
Yes each hotel room has an electronic safe.
Can I see the sea from our hotel room?
Yes, our hotel is orientated so that all our rooms face in the same direction. All our rooms have balconies, and all can see the Red Sea and the Sinai mountains.
Can I make international telephone calls from my hotel room?
No, all our hotel rooms have telephones for receiving calls, but you cannot make outgoing telephone calls. If you should need to make an international telephone call please speak with our hotel reception.
What's the weather like? What clothes should I bring?
The climate in the Sinai is that of an arid desert. From April through to October it is sunny virtually every day, dry and hot! Day time temperatures can exceed 40C in the height of summer. Shorts and T-shirts are all that is needed, along with plenty of good sun-cream, sunglasses and perhaps a hat. However in the spring and winter months the day time temperatures will easily clear 20C but there is more chance of clouds. During these months the night time temperature can drop noticeably, so trousers, long-sleeve shirts, shoes and socks, even a jumper are a good idea to bring with you for the evenings. Chances of rain? Perhaps once or twice a year ... literally.
Annual average air and water temperatures, by month, along with suggested wetsuit.
FS - Full wetsuit