The impressions of the white silky sand and the charming turquoise coastline of Marsa Matruh will vary greatly depending on the time of year when you get here. During the summer months, from June to September, half of the lower Nile and Cairo make a mass migration to this sleepy Mediterranean town for a legitimate couple of weeks of vacation. At this time, the streets are full of people, everything is noisy and seething until late at night, souvenirs, fragrant snacks are sold on every corner, musicians are quietly rattling their guitars. It would seem idyll. But let’s look at the beaches – they are filled with friendly Egyptian families who not only swim, but also have picnics with all the consequences. Oh yeah, and hotels are overpriced and intercity buses are packed. According to petwithsupplies, Mersa Matruh is one of the largest cities in Egypt.
During the rest of the year, Mersa Matruh returns to his usual serene life. Many hotels close, the chic white bays of the city become deserted, and the only passers-by you meet along the way may be Libyans or Bedouins selling their plain trinkets.
Mersa Matruh (Arabic for “anchored”), if you haven’t figured it out yet, is a pretty Mediterranean town in Egypt, about 240 km west of Alexandria. This is the most popular summer resort among the population of Cairo and the central part of the country.
According to legend, Cleopatra herself loved to relax in these places, so 7 km from the city you can find the Cleopatra Baths – a small bay, fenced off by rocks.
How to get there
Mersa Matruh has its own airport, which receives EgyptAir flights from Cairo twice a week from June to September. In the air for about an hour.
Also in the season between the capital and Mersa Matruh, railways are launched. trains that depart from Matruh at 10 pm and arrive in Cairo around 6 am. The fare is 70 EGP in a compartment of the 1st class, 56 EGP in a compartment of the 2nd class. However, the most common advice that can be heard when choosing a method of transportation to the resort will sound something like this: “avoid trains.”
Buses are perhaps the most popular way to get to the resort. The Alexandria -Tobruk (Libya) motorway passes through Mersa Matruh, another highway leads south from the city to the Western Desert and the oases of Siwa and Bahariya. The bus station is located 2 km from the city center on the highway.
West & Mid Delta organizes flights to Alexandria, 4 hours on the way. From June to September, West & Mid Delta buses leave for Cairo several times a day, the journey takes 5 hours. During the summer, Superjet also operates several flights a day to Cairo and Alexandria.
Weather in Marsa Matruh
The climate of Mersa Matruh is typical dry Mediterranean, winters are cool and summers are warm. It usually rains in winter, but it also happens in spring and autumn. Snow or hail is an uncommon occurrence in Mersa Matruh.
Taxis run only in the summer and beat unrealistic money for the fare, so get ready to bargain a lot, for a long time and aggressively. The average fare must be up to 500 EGP, depending on the distance.
You can rent a bike, in the summer they are full of them along Sharia Iskendariyya for 20-30 EGP per day. This is the best way to explore the surroundings and beaches of the city. However, before happily escaping from the owner of the vehicle, carefully inspect all its chips and flaws, so that later you do not pay a “forfeit” for damage.
Shopping and stores
There is a small Libyan market in the city, where you can find nice souvenirs not only from Libya, but also from Egypt. The main shopping street is Alexandria Street, which starts at the entrance to the city and runs along the embankment.
Mersa Matruh beaches
Adjiba beach (from Arabic “miracle”) is really wonderful (especially in the off-season), it is distinguished by clear water, many caves and grottoes, as well as picturesque landscapes. The beach stretches to the west of the resort, has its own cafe, which is open only in summer.
Shaati al-Gharam beach is also good. You can get here by boats from the Beau Site Hotel, which also follow to Cleopatra Beach. You can also take a taxi, which promises to wait for their bathers until they enjoy the water enough, and take them back to the city.
The beach and Rommel Bay are next to the museum. It can be reached on foot in 45 minutes or by taxi in 10 minutes. And finally, Cleopatra’s baths – a rock formation in the form of a natural pool, where, according to legend, the most famous beauty in the world loved to swim with her lover Mark Antony. In summer, boats come here from the Beau Site Hotel.
Entertainment and attractions
The main attractions of the resort are the baths of Cleopatra, the ruins of the temple and fort of Ramses II and the Rommel Museum. We have already figured out everything with the baths, so we immediately go to the fort and the museum – the first is located about 24 km from the city, the second is 3 km to the east, on a peninsula that closes the bay from the east. The museum appeared in the catacombs dug in the rock during the Second World War, where the headquarters of the commander of the troops of Germany and Italy, Erwin Rommel, was located. The exposition includes maps, photos, documents and the uniform of Rommel himself. Entrance – 20 EGP.
In addition, in Mersa Matruh it is worth seeing the Coptic temple and military cemeteries: Italian, German and British.