El Quseir in a nut-shell
An ancient and modern city located on the Red Sea shore, to the opposite of the Nile-Valley city Qena.
The city has maintained vestiges of its ancient culture while offering the conveniences of modern urban life. Today it stands out for its extravagant shopping, glorious beaches, snorkeling expeditions and numerous diving clubs.
There's plenty to do and see in El Quseir, whose historical reputation as one of the Red Sea's main ports. This means it remains a versatile destination for tourists from around the world. An architectural wonder with breathtaking views of the coastline, this Egyptian city is an unsung gem just waiting to be discovered.
Discover the ancient Red Sea Port
Look around and you'll find frequent reminders of the city's storied past. It is considered as the end-station of the route that links the Nile Valley with the Red Sea. The city is very famous for its Ancient Port, which was used as early as King Khufu, and all the following kings.
Queen Hatshepsut sent an expedition to Punt (Horn of Africa) via Qusair port, and it was illustrated and described at the inscriptions of El Deir El Bahari temple in Luxor.
Explore the Fortified Border City
Romans considered this port as a gateway to the countries of the “Horn of Africa” and India, they built watch towers and guest houses, later it was a part of the famous Silk Road. Muslims, as well used this route and port for the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Ottomans, during the 16th Century AD, particularly Sultan Selim I, built an impressive Fortress as a military stronghold to protect the city against invaders. In addition, the French and British colonialists used the city as a key port to control trade with the Arabian Peninsula, but unfortunately, after digging the Suez Canal, El Quseir port lost its importance, and it is now only a historical and touristic site.
Shopping and Entertainment at the Ancient City
With its remarkable blend of ancient heritage and modern luxuries, El Quseir boasts several unique shopping opportunities. For a more authentic experience – and a chance to mingle with the locals – head to one of the many small local markets scattered throughout the city. There, you'll find everything from fresh food produce to authentic handcrafted goods. Unusual items you can pick up range from papyrus to perfumes, silver and alabaster.
El Quseir has plenty of quaint cafés and restaurants where you can rest and recover. Unsurprisingly, the city's proximity to the Red Sea means most dishes are based around fresh seafood.
Vintage Rock Art at Wadi Hammamat
On the halfway between Qena and Qusair, lies Wadi Hammamat an important road station and mining site for Basalt, Schist and Sandstone. It is interesting that the Narmer Palette was carved from distinctive Wadi Hammamat stone! The site is very famous for rock carvings, graffiti, and a minor King-List.