Taba Heights on Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera is a relatively new purpose-built resort of four and five-star hotels, stretching along five kilometres of sandy beach. It’s great for families and also offers a romantic break for couples too.
Year-round sun means Taba Heights is a popular winter-sun escape. Bear in mind that temperatures can be blistering hot in the summer. There’s great snorkelling, diving and watersports, several spas for a spot of pampering, and a new 18-hole championship golf course. The nightlife is pretty quiet – it’s more a place to really relax than party all night.
At present, there are just four large five-star hotels and one boutique four-star hotel, but there are plans to develop up to 20 hotels in the area.
Getting there/ Getting around Taba Heights
Taba Heights is 35km north of Taba International Airport, the main airport for charter flights. Transfers takes about 45 minutes.
Shuttle buses run frequently around the resort so it’s easy to get to the different hotels, marina and water sports centre. To explore further afield, it’s easier and safer to join a tour than hire a car yourself.
Taba Heights’ beaches
The resort lies on a vast stretch of sandy beach lapped by the warm waters of the Red Sea. It’s calm and shallow and great for children. Each hotel has its own beach, but guests can wander at will.
You can snorkel directly from the beach, but for a range of watersports head to the resort’s Waterworld Sports Centre, where everything from scuba diving to windsurfing and waterskiing is offered. The coral and marine life in the Red Sea is among the best in the world, diving conditions are fantastic for beginners and there are courses for all levels of experience.
Taba Heights’ sightseeing
Taba Heights is a fairly new tourist development so there’s little in terms of historic sights on the doorstep. The resort is more about relaxation, enjoying the sunshine, beaches, watersports and mountain scenery.
There are quad bike safaris into the surrounding desert and canyons if you want to see more of the area, or some fascinating excursions further away.
Eating in Taba Heights
There’s plenty of choice in the hotel restaurants – from a burger on the beach to full a la carte, with everything from Lebanese to Mediterranean cuisine, and buffet-style dining is popular. Most hotels offer all-inclusive accommodation with snacks available throughout the day.
The hotels have a ‘Dine Around Privilege’ programme for full-board and half-board guests so you can move around and enjoy a bit of variety no matter where you’re staying. Around the back of the resort there are a few local restaurants too.
Taba Heights’ nightlife
If you’re looking for a rave, this isn’t the place to be as most nightlife is based in the hotels. There are shows organised each night – there’s always an Egyptian theme night with belly dancing or whirling dervishes – and a wide choice of hotel bars and discos. The Hyatt Regency has a casino if you fancy a flutter.
For something different you can book a traditional ‘Bedouin Night’, where guests are taken out into the desert, sit on cushions and dine under the stars. There’ll be more belly dancing, camel rides and ‘hubbly bubbly’ smoking too for those who wish to try.
Taba Heights’ shopping
Shopping is really limited to the hotels, but there’s still a reasonable choice (the InterContinental hotel alone has eight shops). You’ll find the usual souvenirs, Egyptian papyrus, sculptures, books, sweets, traditional rugs, wall-hangings, leather goods and postcards, as well as swimwear, beach clothes and basic foods.
Taba Heights’ family outings
The resort is geared up for children, with kids clubs in hotels offering entertainment, activities and dedicated children’s pools. On the Marriot hotel beach, there’s an outdoor waterslide too.
Older children can enjoy snorkelling and watersports, a trip in a glass bottom boat, pedaloes or just riding a banana boat.
There are two national parks nearby which are fun for families, the National Park of Nabq and the National Park of Ras Abu Galum, where you can catch a glimpse of animals such as herons, foxes, Nubian ibexes, hyraxes, ospreys and gazelles.
Day trips from Taba Heights
A visit to Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai is worth the early start – the views are fantastic. For an insight into ancient Egypt, take a day trip to Cairo to see the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Egyptian Museum. It’s a long day, but definitely rewarding.
From Taba Heights you can see across to Jordan and Israel and both countries are easily visited. In Jordan, the breathtaking sight of Petra, an ancient city carved into the mountains, is a highlight (you travel by ferry across to Aqaba), or you could head to the holy city of Jerusalem in Israel.