Nuweiba is located in the South Sinai Governorate, on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is an important port there, spreading over an area of 5097 km2. Nuweiba was known as an isolated desert oasis but now it is one of the famous tourist attractions in Egypt. This is due to the development that the city has undergone and the addition of many resorts. 

After major big development in the city, many tourists flocked to Nuweiba for relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of life, to enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches and the many activities like diving, snorkeling, and safaris. Nuweiba is also not as expensive as other resort towns in Sinai such as Sharm El Sheikh and Taba.

The name of the city of Nuweiba was taken from the Nuweiba Citadel, which was built by the Egyptians in 1893 as a police guard post in this area of southern Sinai. When you are in Nuweiba you will find the weather is great throughout the year, where it is devoid of any levels of humidity and the sun remains shining and even its winter is relatively warm.

In Nuweiba, there are three main villages, Wasit, Al Muzainah, and Sheikh Attia, alongside smaller villages like Ain Umm Ahmed, Al Adwa Umm Ramth, Bir Al Sawwana, Ain Fartaja. Nuweiba contains tribes from the Sinai Bedouins, the Al-Mazaina, and Al-Tarabin tribes, and they practice hunting, grazing, and tourism as a source of income. 

Things to do in Nuweiba

As a popular tourist destination in Egypt, there are countless things to do in Nuweiba. Here are some of our top picks.

1. Nuweiba Castle

Nuweiba Castle or Tabia Nuweiba is a small fortified castle located on Tarabin Beach and from there you can see the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba. The castle is about two km south of the city itself and about 90 km from the city of Taba in the North. 

The castle was built during the Egyptian Sardariyah era in 1893 as a police station to maintain the internal security of the city and its beach at that time.

When you visit the castle, you will see that it is surrounded by a thick wall, and in the upper parts of the wall there are narrow openings for throwing arrows. In the courtyard, you will find the remains of a cistern and water well. 

On the North Eastern side, there is the large castle gate. In the southern part of the castle, there is a small cob that belonged to the soldiers. It was established by a battalion in the era of Khedive Tawfiq to maintain security and safety of the seaport of Nuweiba. 

 

2. Wadi El Washwashi

Sinai is well-known as one of the famous tourist areas in Egypt. It attracts many tourists who love desert adventures in places such as Wadi El Washwashi, which is located 15 km away from the city of Nuweiba. It is surrounded by turquoise and granite mountains on all sides with beautiful nature and a clean atmosphere.

Wadi El Washwashi is located in the middle of a mountain area with a natural pool that is six meters deep. The pool is filled up with rainwater in the winter over thousands of years. It contains three freshwater springs, and it takes about an hour and a half of climbing to reach the first spring and you can reach the second and third eyes by swimming through the first one.

The lovely thing about this place is that the lake is isolated from the world, where jumpers climb from the highest mountains to the lake to enjoy swimming in the warm waters and some tourists like to climb mountains and take pictures from the top. It is known that access to this area is difficult because it is a mountainous and unpaved road, but the Bedouins frequently organize safari trips to it, but you have to walk for an hour and a half.

3. Al Tarabin Castle

Al Tarabin castle was built in the 16th century by the Mamluk Sultan Ashraf Al-Ghouri and it is located one km from the Tarabin area north of Nuweiba. The castle was built to protect this area from the enemy and provide drinking water to the Bedouins as well. It is one of the world’s most amazing castles.

4. Nawamis Area

They are the dwellings and tombs of the first humans in Sinai since prehistoric times, between Saint Catherine, Ain Hadra, Dahab, and Nuweiba. It is Egypt’s oldest man made structure. It is a stone building in the form of circular rooms of large stones, each of which varies in diameter from one to three meters.

It is one of the top historical sites in Egypt.

These Nawamis were used in the days of the Arabs in Sinai from the 2nd Century BC until the year 106 AD. There are also Nawamis of Ain Hazrat, including about 36 archaeological buildings from the era before the construction of the pyramids. The buildings were constructed with sandstones mixed with some metals and they are dark red, and their height does not exceed 3 meters. 

The strange thing is that it doesn’t contain ventilation holes, each nawamis has a door that looks towards the west and the roof was built in the form of domes from the inside.

5. Al Sayadeen Village

Al Sayadeen is a Bedouin tourist village located on the shore of the Red Sea, built by three countries: Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, in the year 1985. 

The village has a 3-star hotel rating. When you visit the village, you will see that it offers its visitors simple Bedouin sessions directly on the seashore with barbecues and dancing to the rhythm of Bedouin songs with stunning landscapes. The village includes a swimming pool, a billiards hall, a luxurious meeting room, and a fine restaurant.

6. Al Wadi Al Molawan

Al Wadi Al Molawan valley is located three km away from Nuweiba. It contains many kinds and shapes of colorful rocks in the form of cliffs resembling a dry river course and its length is about 800 meters. This valley was formed by rainwater, winter torrents, and veins of mineral salts, for which channels were dug in the middle of the mountains after they had been flowing for hundreds of years.

It’s one of the best unspoiled destinations in Egypt.

It was given its name due to shades of colors that cover its walls, with veins of mineral salts that draw lines on its sandy and limestones and give them gold and silver hues. The best time to climb the valley is at dawn when the weather is great. Climbers are advised to take a guide with them to maintain their safety. You will find fossilized coral reefs which indicate that Sinai was located under the sea in ancient geological times and is characterized by its brown, red, yellow, blue, and black color. 

Also, you will see natural carvings of rocks, and it has a tunnel that is a crack in the mountain 15 meters long and when you are at the top you will see a great view of the mountains of four countries, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt.

Nuweiba sunset
Image credit: WikiMedia

7. Saladin Castle

Saladin Castle is located in the Gulf of Aqaba region. It is about 60 km from Nuweiba and 15 km from Taba, the last city on the Egyptian border from the east. The castle is considered one of the most important Islamic monuments in South Sinai, and an important destination for tourists. It is rich in important Islamic monuments. When you are inside the castle you will be able to see the borders of 4 countries: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Palestine.

The castle was built by Sultan Saladin Al Ayyubi, the founder of the Ayyubid state in Egypt in the late 12th century, and it was built to secure the country from the dangers of foreign invasion and monitoring any attempt to invade the country, as well as securing the land pilgrimage route and trade between Egypt, the Hijaz, and Palestine.

The castle has northern and southern fortifications, each of which is an independent castle, which can be taken on its own if one of them is surrounded. In the central plain, there are warehouses, rooms, and a mosque and you will see a wall that surrounds the two castles and the middle plain that is parallel to the Gulf shore on its eastern and western sides, spread over it by 6 towers that directly overlook the waters of the Gulf.

8. Ras Shitan

The Ras Shaitan area in Nuweiba city is considered one of the most beautiful areas in the Sinai, it is a destination for Bedouin and nature life lovers and it contains camps set up on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba, where Bedouin food is served. It is located between the cities of Nuweiba and Taba and in the middle is a group of mountains covered by water, valleys, and caves. 

The area is famous for its coral reefs, octopus, and some fish such as puffer, lunar grouper, and anemones of various shapes and colors. When you are there you can practise some recreational activities such as swimming and diving to enjoy coral reefs, watching different types of fish and taking pictures of the landscape at different times during the day.

9. Zaman Castle

The castle is on a desert hill between Taba and Nuweiba. It is newly built and has a medieval feel. When you visit, you will be able to enjoy its pure sand and crystal clear waters, as well as some of the most amazing coral reefs. Also, you can enjoy the lovely view of the cities of Taba and Nuweiba from the top of the hill. Zaman Castle is the only one in Sinai that has all the elements of comfort, calm, and warmth, and everyone can visit this unique place, relax and feel the beauty and splendor of the area.

11. Best Diving Spots

There are many famous diving spots in Nuweiba that you can enjoy, one of these places is the T Reef which is a sandy plain with some rocky peaks, where divers go by boat to spot the groups of yellow and black rays fish. Another place is Abu Lulu Oama District or Hilton House, which is famous for coral reefs, as its water contains different and attractive fish and sea turtles that are endangered.

Another great diving spot is Um Richer Area, this area is located about five km away from the north of Nuweiba, it is famous among diving lovers and a great place to practice this lovely hobby and many other water activities there. It is one of the most famous and wonderful marine neighborhoods within the city of Nuweiba, where you can find wonderful coral reefs on the surface of its waters and you will see octopuses, squids, and many other sea creatures.

Nuweiba featured image
Image credit:
Or Hakim via Unsplash

Nuweiba is the ideal spot for an Egyptian adventure.

Places to Stay in Nuweiba

There are a variety of incredible places to stay in Nuweiba. Here is just a selection of our favourites.

1. Coral Resort Nuweiba

The Coral Resort Nuweiba is a great 4-star hotel located on the Gulf of Aqaba with a private beach where you can practice many water activities. The hotel has three restaurants and bars, and it is famous for serving fresh risottos and salads, and there is also a playground for children.

2. Nakhil Inn and Dream Hotel

The Nakhil Inn and Dream Hotel is located on Tarabin Beach and has plenty of luxurious rooms and balconies with a fantastic view and also there is a professional diving center that allows you to explore the coral reefs, and the hotel organizes Jeep safaris, camel, and horse trekking through the desert.

3. Helnan Nuweiba Bay

Another lovely place to stay while in Nuweiba, Helnan Nuweiba Bay features an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees on all sides and a restaurant, open buffet, tennis courts, children’s playgrounds, and many other services.

Check out our guide to planning your next trip to Egypt.

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