When the busy, overcrowded, and polluted city of Cairo gets a little too much, Egyptians flock to the nearest Red Sea resort: Ain Sokhna, or Hot Springs. Whether it’s the stunning mountains in the distance, the pleasantly warm and calm waters, or the peacefulness one finds with the knowledge that a noisy, polluted city is only over one hour away by car; Ain Sokhna is the perfect weekend getaway.
Ain Sokhna is very popular with families with young children because the sea is so calm there are hardly any of the waves that are present in the North Coast and Alexandria. Although the resorts and hotels scattered along the stretch that makes up Ain Sokhna have pools, the sea itself is enjoyed as nature’s swimming pool. Because of the Hot Springs nearby, the waters are always pleasantly warm.
There are many resorts and hotels to choose from in Ain Sokhna. Resorts can contain villas, chalets, or apartments for rent or sale and hotels. Most upper-middle-class Egyptian families like to buy property in Ain Sokhna, ideal for their weekend seaside getaway. It’s also a place where one can soak up a few rays during the winter when it’s still quite warm in this part of Egypt. I once got tanned in the beginning of February in Ain Sokhna, when it was still bitterly cold in Cairo.
There is a time during the day in Ain Sokhna when the most spectacular thing occurs: the tide moves out to sea, leaving miles of wet sand and shallow pools of water where just moments the sea had been. Small boats get stranded during this time. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to walk a distance with the knowledge that soon the water will be returning to occupy the very same space you’re walking on.
Even when the tide returns, the water is quite shallow a distance from the shore. As seen in this photograph, the water reaches the knees at quite a distance from the sea, making it the perfect playground for children and those who can’t swim.
Another magical moment that happens in Ain Sokhna is the moment the sun rises from the sea. I had to wake up extra early to witness this incredible moment, which was quite worthwhile. Watching the ball of fire rise from the sea is a million times more phenomenal than watching it set into the sea. It’s also so quiet during this time of day because most people are still sleeping, making it the perfect time for some reflective solitude. Because the sun rises from the sea in Ain Sokhna, it sets behind the beautiful mountains, which is another beautiful sight to witness.
Right after the sun rises, the sand on the beach tells a story of wonderfully bizarre signs of life also waking up and moving across the beach. There are patterns where crabs have dug out and moved out for the day and beautiful seashells adorning the beach where the sand is pristine and clean.
Because it’s so close to Cairo, the weekends are usually the busiest times to visit Ain Sokhna, which is Thursday and Friday, or Friday and Saturday. It’s also a popular holiday destination for Egyptians celebrating Christmas, the lesser and greater Eid, or the Egyptian Spring Sham El Neseem, which means prices for accommodation triples.
Approximately 120 kilometers east of Cairo, Ain Sokhna is a popular destination that attracts tourists wanting the convenience of visiting the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx nearby, but the population remains predominately made up of Egyptian families and couples wanting to escape the oppressiveness of city life.
Ain Sokhna Hotels
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