By Shivani Vora for The New York Times
Port Ghalib, Egypt: A low-key beach escape with clear water and sea creatures.
The once unspoiled beauty and calm of Sharm el-Sheikh, on the Red Sea in Egypt, has suffered from an influx of tourists (not to mention a recent series of shark attacks). Those looking to skip the crowds should turn to Port Ghalib, across the Red Sea from Sharm, on the eastern Egyptian coast. Ghalib’s beaches offer soft, snow-hued sand and translucent water that divers love.
Since the area’s rich marine life hasn’t yet been sullied by packs of visitors, the coral reefs are undamaged and ripe for exploring. Admiral Travel, a Florida-based travel consultancy that specializes in trips to Egypt, arranges customized diving expeditions to Elphinstone Reef (a few miles from Ghalib) that allow clients to swim with hammerhead and gray reef sharks. Port Ghalib also offers affordable lodging options, with several attractive hotels. Four resorts operated by the InterContinental Hotel Group include the upscale beachfront Palace Port Ghalib Resort, which features a Six Senses spa.