Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relax by the 'Red Sea; GORDON BARR Takes a Trip to the Red Sea Riviera in Egypt Where He Discovers You Can Mix Doing Absolutely Nothing in Unbroken Sunshine with Exciting Adventures Both in the Desert and under the Waves Too

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Relax by the 'Red Sea; GORDON BARR Takes a Trip to the Red Sea Riviera in Egypt Where He Discovers You Can Mix Doing Absolutely Nothing in Unbroken Sunshine with Exciting Adventures Both in the Desert and under the Waves Too

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

SOMETIMES you simply need to jet off to the sun for a spot of pure relaxation.

Much as I enjoy activity-holidays, once in a while I need to just let the world go by around me and soak up the rays and think of nothing more than what shorts shall I wear tomorrow!

One place you are guaranteed all-year sun is Egypt. I'd never been before, but when Red Sea Holidays invited me to the 'Red Sea Riviera' to sample some of their hotels, I jumped at the chance.

This isn't a pyramids or cultural holiday - for that you need to go elsewhere in this vast country, part of which lies in Asia, the other in Africa.

But there is still much to see, and quite a bit to do, if it takes your fancy.

My trip was split into two - first stop was the five-star Grand Hotel in Sharm el Sheikh, followed by a quick flight to Hurghada and a few nights at the five-star Makadi Palace spa and beach hotel in Makadi Bay.

Although I did a twin-centre trip, that was to show me as many hotels as possible.

If you were to book a holiday you would choose one destination within the Red Sea.

You can fly direct to Sharm from Newcastle or take a flight from Manchester to Hurghada, the flights take about five hours.

The first thing that grips you on arrival at Sharm is the backdrop of the Sinai desert and mountains. It looks incredible and, as I was to find out on my second day there, it is just as incredible when you are in the centre of it all.

As for the Grand, which is a short drive out of the main Sharm resort, it has all a family could ask for.

This was my first taste of an all-inclusive holiday, and it has won me over big-time.

With 10 pools to choose from, including an adult-only selection, you are certainly spoilt for choice. Views out to the Red Sea only complements the hotel, and there are a number of restaurants within the complex to eat in.

I found plenty of time to sunbathe by one of the pools whose vista was the beach and the Red Sea, and it was ideal chill-out time.

I needed it, for next up was that trip to the Sinai desert for a spot of quadbiking in the sand and mountains. This was a superb excursion and you speed by genuine Bedouin tribes in the near distance, giving you a taste of 'real Egypt', while doing a spot of camel-spotting too.

Our hosts were a great team and this proved one of the highlights of the trip. If you can tear yourself away from the beach or pool, I'd wholly recommend it.

I also got a taste of the centre of Sharm on our final night there, but to be honest, The Grand has all you need and there really is no reason to venture from it except for planned excursions.

So on to Makadi Bay -about a 25-minute drive from Hurghada airport and an hotel that has only recently opened but has to be one of the finest in the Red Sea Holidays portfolio.

I can't praise the Makadi Palace enough.

There is still some building work going on (this does not impede your relaxation there in the slightest, though) with the spa side of the hotel hopefully open by the end of the year. …

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