How To Go To Marsa Matruh
Egypt Air (493 6573; Sharia al- Matar) has twice-weekly flights between Cairo and Marsa Matruh from June to September, leaving Cairo at 3.15pm and returning at 5 pm.
Tickets are about E£1700 one way. Get to or from the airport in one of the EgyptAir mini-buses.
Marsa Matruh’s bus station is 2km south of town on the main coastal highway.
Expect to pay about E£35 for a taxi to the town center. Microbuses (250pt) cruise Sharia Madrassa al-Sanaweya around where the fruit and vegetable market dead-ends. West & Mid Delta Bus Co (490 5079) Hourly services to Alexandria from 7 am to 2 am (E£80 to E£135, four hours).
In summer, plenty of departures daily serve Cairo (E£165, five hours), leaving between 7.30am and 2 am, with special VIP buses at 8.30am and 3.30pm. In winter, buses go Cairo at noon and 3.30pm. There are buses daily to Sallum (E£95, three hours) at 7 am, 1.30pm, 4.30pm, and 8 pm. Buses head to Siwa (E£55, four hours) at 1.30pm, 4 pm and 2 am.
Note that the West & Mid Delta buses running between Alexandria and Marsa Matruh and on to Siwa seem like the oldest fleet in the country and break down often. In summer there’s a West & Mid Delta office open in the center on Sharia Alexandria.
Super Jet (490 4787) Daily service to Alexandria and Cairo from June to September only.
The microbus lot is beside the bus station. Minivans to Siwa, if there are enough passengers,cost E£13; they are much more comfortable and efficient than the West & Mid Delta buses. Other fares include El Alamein E£120, Alexandria E£120, Cairo E£140 and Sallum E£120.
From 15 June to 15 September three sleeper trains (www.wataniasleepingtrains.com) run weekly (per person single/double cabin US$110/80, seven hours) between Cairo and Marsa Matruh. Trains depart Cairo Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and make the return journey on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
In both directions, trains depart at 11 pm and arrive at 6 am.
Make reservations in Cairo (02-3748 9488) or buy your ticket on the train. Air-conditioned 1st-/2nd-class express trains run daily between Cairo and Marsa Matruh (1st/2nd class E£140/90, seven hours) from June to September only. Ordinary 2nd-/3rd-class trains without aircon
run year-round between Marsa Matruh and Alexandria (6½ hours), but these are not recommended – even those working at the station have described the trains as ‘horrible’.