Marsa Alam Travel Guide

Travel to Marsa Alam

A mere 5 km from Marsa Alam International Airport, Madinat Coraya (Coraya Bay) is a laidback resort on the Red Sea. Coraya Bay plays all the tunes – turquoise waters, modern infrastructure and a selection of luxury four- and five-star hotels by Jaz Hotel Group.

The pace of life is a little slower here than in other Red Sea resorts. Maybe it’s the majestic mountain views. Or the fact that portions of the bay are protected nature reserves. There’s an easy-going, tranquil vibe at work in Madinat Coraya, and you can see it in the smiles of the staff and guests.

“‘Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling,

And I know you won’t let me down

‘cause I’m already standing on the ground”

– The Eagles

Word has it that Coraya bay is going to be the Red Sea’s next diving hot spot. The coast is fringed with exceptional reefs, including a carefully regulated marine sanctuary that promotes responsible diving. While crowds eager to explore the reefs are sure to arrive in the future, the area has yet to really take off. As a guest in one of the Jaz Hotel Group at Coraya Bay, you’ll feel like an insider with exclusive access to these spectacular sites.

The city of Marsa Alam is about 65 km away, and it was little more than a small fishing village before the international airport opened in 2001. Excursions to the desert and Nile Valley reveal ancient wonders, including the glorious city of Thebes (now Luxor) and the emerald mines of Ptolemy II.

It won’t be long before Madinat Coraya is as popular and sought-after as better-known resorts like Sharm El-Sheikh. In the meantime, Jaz Hotel Group offers insider access to this unspoilt stretch of coastline. As a guest, you’ll be humming the old standards that made the Red Sea such a popular resort destination to begin with.

Coraya Bay is located about 45 km north of Marsa Alam, along a stretch of the coastline that has become famous for its diving potential. You’ll find some of the most beautiful aquatic arenas just offshore – blooming with coral gardens and teeming with tropical fish. Despite its appeal, the bay area isn’t as well-known as sister sites such as Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh. That means you can enjoy first-rate diving conditions without the crowds. You’ll feel like you have your own personal reefs to explore.

Marsa Umm Geirfat is the showpiece of Coraya Bay. These are calm, sheltered waters, which block strong currents and waves from reaching the shore. Under these conditions, the reef can flourish and blossom, and beginner-level divers can practice in peace. Conditions are safe year-round.

These peaceful waters are a sanctuary for some of the most awe-inspiring marine life in the Red Sea. Manatees and dugongs crop the gently swaying sea grass, while manta rays feast on plankton blooms. Charter a boat to an outlying reef, and you’re likely to see slipstreams of dolphins along the way. These are once-in-a-lifetime experiences – but they happen every day at Coraya Bay.

These are a few of the best dive sites in the area:

Coraya Bay (Marsa Umm Geirfat)

Consider this the house reef. Easily accessed, you can either charter a boat to explore its farther-reaching quarter, or plan a visit directly from the shore. With a snorkel and mask, you can plunge from the jetty into four metres of water for an under-the-surface introduction to the Red Sea. You can also charter a Zodiac for deeper waters or a speed boat. The reef bottoms out at around 30 metres, but most of the sea life is visible at around half that depth.

Elphinstone Reef

This reef is the best place to spot oceanic white tip sharks, which are solitary hunters. Reports vary, but some divers have seen up to four of these sharks in a single visit. Black snapper, barracuda, jacks and tuna are also commonly seen here.

But there’s another hidden treasure that brings divers to Elphinstone Reef. There’s an arch located at about 60 metres’ depth on the south end of the reef. Local legend says that there’s an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus resting here in a watery grave. A few divers have gone down for a look and reported seeing a rectangular structure covered in coral down at this arch.

Samadai Reef

Also known as ‘Dolphin House’, this is one of the most popular dive sites in all of the Red Sea. It’s also recognised as one of the most important dolphin habitats on the planet. Intriguing spinner dolphins live here. They jive and gyrate through the water with an extra bit of flair. When they jump, they add a few freestyle 360 spins to their repertoire.

Access to the reef is carefully regulated, but divers and snorkelers are both allowed in specific (and separate) demarcated zones. No more than 100 divers and 100 snorkelers are allowed in a day, so talk to your hotel staff about arranging your own outing.

Life moves to a slower tempo in Madinat Coraya. The slow rhythm of soft wave lapping the beach, punctuated by the call of a seabird or the splash of a dolphin. Stay with Jaz Hotel Group, and you’ll have your own slice of Coraya Bay’s beach all to yourself. Just imagine – powdery white sands, turquoise waters and your own personal beach chair complete with a thatched umbrella. It’s like your own front-row seat to the Red Sea’s symphony of the sun and sea.

But don’t get the wrong idea. The cadence picks up when you’re ready to get active. Jaz Hotel Group at Madinat Coraya can arrange a range of water sport activities, from scuba diving and deep-sea fishing to water polo. The animation team can organise activities on the beach and elsewhere on resort grounds.

There’s a water park nearby, too. Aqua Coraya is a leading attraction for the entire region, popular with local and international families. Plunge down heart-pounding drops on the Rafting Slide, or speed through the Free Fall, Kamikaze and Turbo Slides. Twisting flumes, a daring 40-metre slide round out the offerings. The park is overseen by fully certified lifeguards.

Bid your worries and stress goodbye and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at our fitness and wellness facilities that are always in full swing & supply. Beyond spa facilities, you can also make use of fully equipped fitness centres, saunas, Jacuzzi and special treatments in addition to the swimming pools in order to get you all hyped and ready for your day. At the heart of this destination resides the soothing mividaspa, Jaz Hotel Group’s signature spa brand. It curates your being and creates a veritable oasis of indulgence.

The spa is spread over two spas and operates 23 fully equipped treatment rooms. These include the Adam and Eve Suites as well as massages, facials, pedicures, herbal baths, scrubs and wraps.

At the impressive and tantalizing mividaspa you will also find a sauna, steam room, Turkish bath, chill pool and power shower. The atmosphere is sublime and takes its cues from Egyptian and Middle Eastern wellness traditions. Ayurvedic spa treatments are also available at Mividaspa.

Madinat Coraya has been spectacularly amazing for some time now, and with a row of gleaming resorts and luxury hotels lining the sparkling Red Sea, you're in for one fun ride. But there’s a lot more going on here than plush digs and water sports. Case in point: Souk Coraya.

This shopping, dining and entertainment complex takes the traditional concept of the Egyptian souk – with its vendors, performers and fresh dining concepts – and gives it a fully modern makeover. It hosts a mercantile mash-up of 70 retail outlets intermixed with entertainment venues, restaurants and cafés, theatres and nightlife venues. Best of all – it’s conveniently located in reach of all the Jaz Hotel Group in the area.

From the a la carte dining & mividaspa to spices and perfume shops, a library & bookshop , jewellery and more endless possibilties. After dinner, entertainment options range from live shows and buskers to evenings on the dance floor. This modern-day souk is a happening place to be any day of the week.
Welcome to our infinity of wonder.