Such is the popularity of diving in the Red Sea, it’s easy to overlook the area’s other attractions, which are plentiful.

“The area offers a whole range of alternatives, many of which are unfamiliar to holidaymakers,” said Libra Holidays sales and marketing senior manager Riccardo Benzo.

For a start, the Sinai Peninsula has so many religious sites that a holiday here is like taking a stroll through the Bible. Close to the resorts at the northern end, including Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh, is the third century St Catherine’s Monastery, said to be the oldest in the world, and the sites of the biblical ‘burning bush’ and Moses Mountain – where the 10 Commandments were said to be delivered direct from God.

A great day trip is to climb the mountain to see the sunrise over the desert, followed by an excursion to the monastery – it’s one of Libra’s best-selling tours.

Other monasteries in the area include St Paul’s and St Anthony’s and there are ruins of Roman mines at Mons Porphyrites and Mons Claudianus. “You can also climb Mount Sinai, which is a spectacular trip with stunning views,” said Longwood Holidays marketing manager Tara Bradberry.

Soft adventure options are endless as the desert provides a vast playground. Choose from day trips by jeep or quad bike, or for the more adventurous, on camel, horseback or even by sand sail.

Organised trips into the desert usually incorporate some culture with a trip to a Bedouin village, a barbecue and evening show.

Golf is also becoming increasingly popular in the Red Sea, particularly in the shoulder season when it’s one of the most reliable destinations for warm sun. And then there’s a list of alternative water sports as long as your arm. Hurghada is a mecca for those who like to play on the sea.

 

Sample product

Libra Holidays’ excursions to St Catherine’s Monastery cost £55 from resorts in the Sinai Peninsula. Seven nights’ half-board at the Intercontinental Taba Heights start at £424 per person, including flights and transfers.
 
Longwood Holidays offers a one-day Safari Mega Adventure, which includes crossing the desert by jeep, camel and quad bike, from £32. Seven nights at the five-star Steigenberger Golf Resort El Gouna start at £379 including flights.

Peltours has a seven-night half-board golf package to the five-star Marriott Beach Resort in Taba Heights, including three rounds of 18 holes and two rounds of nine holes plus 100 balls on the driving range, for four days from £669 with flights.

 

Win a week’s accommodation in Sharm el-Sheikh

Somewhere2stay.com has teamed up with Travel Weekly to offer one lucky agent and partner a week’s accommodation at the five-star Savita Resort and Spa (pictured below) in Sharm el-Sheikh on an all-inclusive basis. Located in Shark’s Bay, the hotel and spa has a private beach, a shopping arcade and several bars and restaurants.

To win, send your answer to the following question to agencysales@cosmos.co.uk marked ‘Travel Weekly Red Sea competition’ before June 15.

Name one property featured by Somewhere2stay.com in each of the following Egyptian resorts: Marsa Alam, Taba and Hurghada