against ancient mountain ranges, this magnificient destination lies
nestled at the crossroads of three continents, where untamed desert and
cinnamon mountains are quenched in one of the world's most vibrant coral
The silence of the stones speaks louder
here than anywhere else.
exceptional geographical location between Africa and Asia at the head of
the Gulf of Aqaba facing Arabia made it a stopover on the caravan route
from the fourteenth century onwards. The last part of Sinai to be handed
back to Egypt by Israel in 1989 and now a frontier post, Taba is today a
favourite destination for Israelis and tourists from around the world
since the opening of the international airport 45 km away.
Heights : 19 km south of Taba. Taba Heights is
a rapidly expanding seaside resort much prized by the large
international hotel chains for its beaches and exceptional coral reefs.
Taba Heights is a breathtaking year-round resort ideally situated in one
of the most beautiful spots of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
activities : In addition to the traditional
activities of tennis or golf, the hotels provide a wide range of water
sports so that visitors can make the most of what the Red Sea has to
offer – windsurfing, water skiing, sailing, sea trips, fishing and sea
kayaking. The wealth of things to see on the seabed make it essential to
go equipped with a mask. The shallow depth at which the reefs lie and
the absence of drop-offs make it possible to enjoy the beauty of life on
the coral reef with the minimum of equipment. The variety of creatures
and the chance to observe endemic species, such as the toadfish, as well
as the well-preserved state of the reefs are some of the great
advantages of this area.
Numerous diving clubs offer courses and daily outings. Instructors take
divers to the most suitable sites to dive in complete safety. Outings
last a maximum of an hour and a half, and often much less. The dive
sites feature a sandy seabed dotted with coral outcrops and contain a
rich selection of marine life from seahorses to dolphins. The absence of
currents makes these sites perfect for beginners, as well as fulfilling
the highest expectations of photographers and divers of all levels.
Among the best-known sites are the Fjord with its well-like topography,
the Aquarium and its variety of species, and Mersa el-Muqabila where
there is the chance to spot an eagle ray. For those who find boats a
nuisance, lovely dive sites teeming with marine life are accessible from
shore, such as the House Reef and Marina Bay, just two minutes away in a
Bedouins : Beyond the Taba Heights hotel
complexes lie numerous Bedouin encampments. The Sinai desert belongs to
this people who carry on the centuries-old nomadic traditions of rearing
livestock and trade. Around 70,000 Bedouins divided into thirty tribes
live here as they have done for thousands of years – without running
water, electricity, telephone, television – and respecting their elders
and clan chiefs who take the important decisions. They are Muslim and
speak Arabic, often Hebrew and sometimes English learned from tourists.
The Bedouins are the many-faceted soul of this desert world between the
wadis and the high plateaus.
Island of the Pharaoh (Geziret
Faraum) : 5 km southeast of Taba. Just 250 m
from the coast lies a small granite island surrounded by coral and
dominated by the magnificent Salah el-Din fortress, built by Crusaders
in the twelfth century and recently restored by the Council of Egyptian
Antiquities. The island, known as Faraum, was a strategic site towards
the end of the twelfth century for Caliph Saladin who used it as base
for soldiers. Form there he was able to control the trade of foodstuffs
coming from Asia and demand ransoms from pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
From the keep there is a stunning panoramic view of the coast of Arabia,
Jordan and Israel.
The Coloured Canyon :
70 km southwest of Taba. The canyon affords a superb 2-hour excursion
through a maze of sandstone rocks in hues of mauve, yellow, ochre and
pink shading to green and blue. The route through this amazing landscape
follows dried-up riverbeds. The uneven forms and height of the rocks
sometimes make climbing necessary. Fossils and rock erosion show that
the canyon was once under the sea. The silence of the stones speaks
louder here than anywhere else.