The resorts of the Red Sea have plenty for tourists, from laid-back former fishing villages to bustling towns with a range of adventure sports.
Sharm El Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula remains the resort of choice for those seeking some winter sun.
Sharm is a cheap-and-cheerful dive destination, offering visitors a varied choice of attractions, from the traditional workshops of Old Sharm to kitesurfing and windsurfing on the less developed stretches of coast
Luxury accommodation options include the Savoy Sharm El Sheikh (0020 69 360 2500, www.savoy-sharm.com ).
More information: www.sharmelsheik.com
El Gouna is a purpose-built resort that is a good place to learn to dive as the local dive companies limit each site to a maximum of three boats.
Founded in 1990, it grew from a tiny fishing village and now has a settled population of about 10,000.
The resort has become Egypt’s version of Venice, a town built around islands, canals and lagoons, with award-winning architecture in a mix of traditional and strikingly modern design.
The coastal area at Hurghada is mostly devoid of reefs, so serious diving involves spending a lot of time on boats.
The area offers great windsurfing too
Marsa Alam was a fishing village until recently, so it still has the feel of an undiscovered destination and has superb diving.
Several tour operators are already offering good-value packages to Marsa Alam.
There are some good hotels, including The Palace (0020 65 336 0000 , www.intercontinental.com ).
Dahab was once known as a laid-back, hippy town, but has now spruced itself up and offers great diving and even better windsurfing.
Taba Heights is purpose-built and close to the borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia. For a luxury retreat stay at the Hyatt Regency (0845 888 1234, www.taba.regency.hyatt.com ).
Taba is better placed than any other Red Sea resort for day trips to St Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai and Wadi Rum and Petra in Jordan.
The best of the Red Sea Riviera - Telegraph