Things To Do In Al-Quseir
Major Activities In Al Quseir
Al-Quseir is the richest in history cities comparing to other resort in the Red Sea. It has its unique architectural style of stone houses with wooden windows overlooking the seaside promenade. The resort is tranquil and secluded for those seeking a relaxed holiday. It is endowed with impressive coral reefs making it a destination sought after by divers. Its location near the Eastern Desert offers a number of great activities.
Most of the entertainment in the tranquil town of Al Quseir revolves around the water sports and diving. The historic town can be interesting to hang around with its dozens of shops selling handicrafts and souvenirs.
Offshore, visit the tectonic island of Zabargad, a geological phenomenon which is also famous as the source of the semi-precious gem olivine, mined here from 1500 BC until the mid-20th century. A ruined Temple of Semiramis is near the modern town and, inland, there are the remains of the emerald mines of Wadi Sakait, which were worked from pharaonic to Roman times. From Peridot Hill there are some breath-taking views of the surrounding blue lagoons, rich in marine life and home to many dolphins.
Have Some Time For Diving
Unlike other resorts in the Red Sea Al Quseir Tourism Development Authority is restricting the number of divers, thus reducing the stress on the underwater environment. The beaches of Al Quseir are adorned with long fringing reefs providing excellent diving spots north and south.
Live boards heading to Brother Island famed for the large marine life such as hammerheads start from Al Quseir. This area is a nesting place for the sea turtles which are protected for their preservation. Diving is conducted from shore to see the uninterrupted reefs rich in marine life which is nourished by the currents. Diving sites in Qusier are:
A 400m long island with a lighthouse, 40 miles off the coast from Al Quseir. Offers wreck diving on two sunken boats on the northern tip and excellent wall diving along the southern side of the reef with strong currents promoting the growth of a spectacular forest of soft corals. Frequent sightings of big pelagic and an astonishing variety of marine life.
The smaller island next door has a superb fan coral forest and plenty of caves, overhangs, black coral, and a great deal of pelagic including sharks, tuna, barracuda, turtles and schools of reef fish.
Erg El Asal
Big blocks of mountain coral surrounding a small flat-topped reef can be circumnavigated in one dive. Clouds of goldfish engulf the reef and swimming through the sandy patches surrounding the reef whitetip sharks may be found sleeping as well as turtles and barracudas.
Sharm El Bahari
A good dive location on the northern corner of the fringing reef with a hard coral garden sloping gently to the deep. Large schools of unicorns, snappers, surgeons, fusiliers, and barracudas.
Sharm El Quibli
Bay on the coast offers some decent diving on its northern corner, with a sloping reef covered in acroporas, fire coral and other hard corals. Lots of groupers.
Another bay on the coast, the fringing houses large schools of yellow goatfish, unicorns, barracudas and other reef fish species on both north and south outer extremes.
Habili Sheik Malek
Less than one mile away from the Tumb-Mosque on the coast, a little reef formation creates a labyrinth of hard corals, fire and huge tables where lots of fish often concentrate. Napoleon, barracudas and eagle ray.
Shallow dive around the northernmost tip of the cape’s fringing reef, a great deal of fire coral, giant table coral heads scattered over a sandy bottom. Snappers, butterflies, rays and guitar sharks.
Bay on the coast with good dives on the north and south side. Schools of batfish, barracudas, and goatfish around the coral heads with glassfish which come out from the slope.
Enjoy Markets & Shops
The town offers a large number of traditional tourist friendly bazaars along Sharia Al-Gomhuriya which lies below the castle selling the usual array of papyrus, alabaster statues, t-shirts, and leather goods etc. However, there as also some fascinating local markets, especially on a Friday, to which the Ababda Bedouin and local farmers bring their produce.
Experience The Religious Diversity
El Quseir is a place where Muslims and Christians work and live alongside each other and while there are 33 mosques including the Faran mosque with its’ minaret dating back to 1704, the town is also home to a thousand Coptic Christians and it has the only church for over 100km in any direction.
The Coptic Church of St. Mary (previously named St Barbara’s – after the patron saint of miners) stands close to the sea, less than a ten-minute walk north from the town center. It was completely rebuilt in 2008 but houses some beautiful paintings on its’ walls. The original building, which fell into disrepair, had been established by the Italian Red Sea Phosphate mining company in 1920 as a Catholic church.
The town also has shrines to a number of eminent Muslims who died while undertaking the haj. Perhaps best known is the nineteenth-century shrine of Abdel Ghaffaar Al Yemeni, which can be found opposite the castle on Sharia Al Gomhuriya in a niche in a wall.
Relax By The Corniche & The Beach
Those who wish to chill out or relax after a hard day’s sightseeing should make for the fishing harbor which has two small but quiet beaches nearby and a great seafood restaurant, Al Fanoos, opposite the car park deservedly popular with Egyptians. Here you can enjoy a great meal at a table right on the beach.
Also surrounding the harbour (please see map) are the old police station, the Faran and Sidi Abd El Rahim mosques, the old granary (which in the nineteenth century stored wheat for shipment to the Arabian peninsula ) and behind the old police station, the old quarantine hospital built during the reign of Sultan Selim II ( 1566 – 1574 ).
The corniche, known as Sharia Port Said, which runs both north and south-west from the harbor is flanked by numerous narrow alleyways lined by old houses with wooden balconies and brightly painted doors. Amid this architectural mix, you can also find a number of small cafes and restaurants which line the beach on the southwestern side of the harbor.
Surprisingly you won’t normally find many tourists in this part of El Quseir but it’s a rewarding area to stroll around, watch the fishermen and forget the worries of the world.