Things To Do

LOCAL TIME IN Marsa Matruh

Currency in Marsa Matruh


Things To Do In Marsa Matruh


There are a number of lovely beaches to the west of town. The water is a pristine, turquoise blue, and the jagged rocks that tumble to the shore set off the soft white sand beaches — everywhere you look, you see a postcard here. That said, however, bathing on the North Coast of Egypt is hard for everyone, especially when it’s busy (and Marsa beaches are pretty busy during the summer months). 

Social mores have changed in Egypt, and though even 20 years ago Egyptians in Western-style swimsuits were quite comfortable on beaches here, this is no longer the case, and most women now find public beaches an uncomfortable experience.

Foreign women may find a bit more leeway, but if there are Egyptian men present, you’ll quickly become a celebrity, with your very own fan club of goggle-eyed admirers who will settle down to watch your every move. Men, meanwhile, can do as they wish.

Rommel’s Beach

(where Rommel supposedly unwound with a quick dip at the end of a hard day’s strategizing) is just past Rommel’s Cave and is the closest to town (except, of course, for the unbearably packed seashore of the town itself) — it’s also uninspiring. It’s best to keep heading west to Cleopatra’s Beach or Lover’s Beach, which are around the bay and about a 30-minute drive.

At Cleopatra’s Beach, you can splash about at a rock pool where Cleopatra and Anthony apparently bathed. Farther west, 25km (16 miles) from town, there’s a lovely cove called Miracle Beach, which has a long, white sand beach between high rocky arms. Of these, your best bets for a good paddle or an outright swim are Cleopatra’s Beach and Miracle Beach, with the edge going to Cleopatra’s, as Miracle has been showing up on package-tour itineraries.


For Marsa Matruh’s share of the North Coast’s diving options, which include a World War II submarine, a cargo ship cut open through the middle by the explosion that sank her, and a cluster of unexploded torpedoes.