Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s daydream a while about a place that’s warm all year round. Picture an exclusive resort where you can relax with a cocktail and bask in the glow of a terracotta sunset amid the mountains and sand dunes of Biblical legend. This is a place where you can stay in a 21st century luxury Hyatt Hotel that’s a short distance through the desert from a 6th century monastery.
By now, you’ve probably guessed that we’re not daydreaming about Blackpool.
Taba Heights rests in the shadow of the spectacular Sinai Mountains on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. Once a well-kept secret, the resort has become popular in the last decade not least because of its year-round sunshine, scarcity of rain and sea that, at an almost constant 23oC, is akin to climbing into a warm bath and is perfect for diving…
…and what diving! The sea at Taba Heights is uncrowded and boasts unspoilt coral reefs that are ripe for discovery. In glass-clear blue waters you can glide among rare frogfish and sea horses and, if you’re really lucky, the occasional whale shark. Don’t worry; whale sharks are plankton feeders, generally docile and non-threatening to swimmers and divers. You can even enjoy Taba Heights’ marine life whilst you’re soaking up the Egyptian sun on the beach; dolphins are frequently spotted in the area.
If you’re a God of the greens, you’ll be pleased to learn that Taba Heights has its own superb eighteen-hole golf course designed to American and European standards and cleverly placed at the centre of the resort so you won’t have to walk far from your hotel to enjoy a quick round. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that the Red Sea presents one of the most difficult water hazards to recover from.
The Sinai Peninsula in which Taba Heights is located is nothing if not shrouded in ancient history – Mount Sinai itself is, of course, the mountain from which Moses descended bearing the Ten Commandments from God, according to the Bible. A brief ferry ride from the shore of Taba Heights brings you to Pharaoh’s Island; a small island of granite known surrounded by coral reefs. Atop Pharaoh’s Island sits the truly magnificent fortress of Salah el-Din, a 12th century citadel strategically located so as to afford views of three different countries: Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Fully restored by the Council of Egyptian Antiquities, Salah El-Din’s Fortress is an exquisite example of architecture from the time of the Crusades, and the island offers unforgettable views and snorkelling opportunities.
Surrounded by so much aquatic beauty, Taba Heights is the perfect place in which to learn to dive properly and Red Sea Waterworld will be only too happy to teach you. If venturing beneath the waves to discover the wonders of the undersea world is not your scene, Red Sea Waterworld provides a host of other great things to do including small catamaran sailing, parasailing, submarine trips and skimming the waves on an inflatable donut!
As if all of that wasn’t enough to fill your sun-drenched days in Taba Heights, there are a host of other activities and experiences to enjoy: you can take a quad-bike safari into the desert, take a day trip to the 6th century monastery of Saint Catherine and to Mount Sinai, visit the incredible rock-carved temples of Petra (remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade?) on a boat trip from Taba or explore the varied landscapes, plants and wildlife of Egypt’s greatest national park, the National Park of Nabq.