Find out what the best beaches in the Middle East are as awarded by millions of real travelers.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
This Red Sea resort town on the tip of the Sinai peninsula offers world-class diving with spectacular reefs, magnificent drop-offs and shipwrecks waiting to be explored. Mingle (carefully!) with barracudas, turtles and sharks at Shark Reef or earn diving certification in the gentler waters of Na'ama Bay. More postcard-perfect waters can be experienced at the Ras Mohammed National Park.
Marsa Alam, Egypt
The sands of the Arabian Desert spill into the Red Sea at Marsa Alam, creating a utopian setting for a Middle Eastern beach vacation. Colorful coral reefs and underwater caves make this an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving, while pristine and unspoiled sands await sunbathers who long to soak up the Egyptian sun.
The waters of Taba beach are clear and warm. The view? Simply breathtaking. The dramatic ranges of the Sinai mountains loom over an ocean of deepest sapphire blue. This is "peaceful escape" at its very best. Taba is a popular destination for divers seeking to discover the underwater beauty of the Red Sea.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv's beach is busy, busy, busy—everyone wants to get in on the refreshing waters. Tel Baruch Beach is great for families, while the atmosphere is a little more wild and free-spirited at Metzitzim Beach. A visit to Hadatiyim Beach is more than just a spiritual experience—it's a religious one, with separate swimming areas for men and women.
Makadi Bay, Egypt
Located on the Red Sea Riviera and nestled between a desert and a mountain range, Makadi Bay features sinfully soft sand beaches and sapphire-colored waters. Soak up the golden Egyptian sun or strap on a snorkel and explore a vibrant coral reef. The sunsets here are dramatic and oh-so romantic.
Here where the desert meets the Red Sea, the water is perfectly warm, and each beach has its own personality. Head to Coral Beach Nature Reserve for scuba diving and snorkeling amid a rainbow of coral and fishes. Or visit the Marina for an ice cream and an afternoon of people-watching.
El Gouna, Egypt
Planned and built especially for tourists, El Gouna is a young resort town of islands linked by lagoons. Enjoy any kind of beach experience you want, whether it's cocktails under an umbrella at the hotels or exploring one of the more remote island beaches. El Gouna is also a haven for watersports enthusiasts.
Not yet as commercial as Sharm El Sheikh, according to travelers, Dahab welcomes families, divers and backpackers to its beaches on the Gulf of Aqaba. Stay in town, just steps from the beach, or choose a larger hotel a short ride away. The diving here is extraordinary—as the legions of dive shops will attest.
Nabq Bay, Egypt
Nabq Bay is pristine and peaceful, thanks in large part to its status as a protected area. Here, mingle with dozens of species of flora and fauna amid the mangroves or dive into the sparkling water to explore the nearby coral reef. "Wild" (unguided) snorkeling is popular here—happy swimmers bob along as peacefully as the undisturbed wildlife.
Stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters perfect for windsurfing have made Hurghada, on Egypt's Red Sea Coast, a busy resort town. Within easy reach of the stunning Giftun Islands and the Eastern Arabian Desert, Hurghada now stretches 25 miles along the Red Sea. Walk or catch a cab to explore old quarter El Dahar.