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Orientation

There's not much to Safaga. Unlike Quseir to the south, it is bypassed by the highway, but there is still a clearly identifiable road through the middle of the town. The bulk of Safaga is built around the port, which is used mainly for exporting phosphorus, but there is also a brisk ferry business running guest workers to and from Saudi Arabia. A little to the north of this is the old town. Most of the tourist services are in a little area close to the main roundabout, which features a giant mermaid on a pedestal, known as Maglis el Medina. On the highway out of town, there is a second area of tourist hotels and restaurants. Then, about another 5km (3 miles) up the road, is the resort compound of Soma Bay.

Getting There

By Plane -- Just 45km (28 miles) along a good highway from Hurghada airport, Safaga is easily reached by air from Cairo or even direct from a variety of European hubs. Arrange for a transfer through your hotel or one of the transport companies listed below.

By Bus -- The bus station is up on the highway. It's definitely wiser to arrange a ride to your destination before you get on the bus, as finding somebody once you get there is a very dicey proposition.

By Car -- The intersections on the main highway are fairly well signposted. If you're headed into the old town, watch out for the giant mermaid traffic circle -- when you see this, you're pretty close. Stopping at Ali Baba's (50m/164 ft. or so past the mermaid on the right) for directions should yield useful information.

Getting Around

A number of companies in Safaga will provide vehicles and drivers to individuals or groups. Some are a little shady, so exercise judgment. Try Larose Tours (tel. 010/3344222), which maintains a small fleet of vehicles that range in size from compact cars to full-size buses; it can arrange airport transfers and sightseeing trips up and down the coast. Plus Car (tel. 012/3676860 or 010/6146299) specializes in supplying cars with drivers for transfers or excursions.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.