Weather Averages for Sharm El Sheikh in January
Averages for Sharm El Sheikh in January
Sharm el-Sheikh is a popular resort town near the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It is sometimes known as the “City of Peace” because of the numerous international peace conferences that have been held there.
It has an arid desert climate, with an average of only two days per year with measurable rainfall, and a mean annual total of approximately 3800 hours of sunshine. This is over 80 percent of the possible total, and reflects the reliably high daily sunshine totals that Sharm el-Sheikh experiences throughout the year. The weather is often very hot in summer- uncomfortably hot for many- with mean maximum temperatures of 37 or 38°C during July and August. It is less hot during the winter half-year, but even in January, the coldest month of the year, temperatures reach an average afternoon maximum of 22°C. The day-to-day weather is reliably dry and sunny throughout the year. Due to the arid desert climate, humidity is usually low in spite of the proximity to the coast. The Sinai Peninsula is occasionally affected by sand and dust storms, which are most common between March and May due to the dry and dusty khamsin wind, but less so than in most other parts of Egypt.
Sham el-Sheikh is one of the world’s most popular resorts for diving, thanks to the range of attractive dive spots and the warmth of the surrounding seas. Sea temperatures typically fall no lower than 21°C during February and March, which is swimmable, if a little cool, and then rise as high as 28°C during August and September. This creates ideal conditions for underwater activities and, in the case of the summer months, relief from the intensity of the outdoor heat. There is ample scope for trips to the nearby desert mountains in the Sinai Peninsula, while it is also a good location for tourists who just want to relax on the beaches during the daytime and take advantage of the local nightlife.
January is usually the coldest month of the year at Sharm el-Sheikh but the weather is rarely particularly cold, with an average daytime maximum temperature of 22°C, while on average the temperature falls to 13°C at night. Temperatures rarely fluctuate by more than a few degrees either side of the long-term average, while the day-to-day weather is reliably dry and sunny, so the climate averages are representative of what you can expect on a daily basis during a stay in Sharm el-Sheikh.
On average, there are no days with measurable rainfall during a typical January, and the mean monthly rainfall is short of 1mm, so although rain is possible in January, chances are that during a stay in the area, the weather will remain completely dry. However, the sunshine averages just under 280 hours per month, an average of just under 9 hours per day. The sea temperature averages 22°C during January, which is conducive to Sharm el-Sheikh’s plethora of water-based activities.
Climate hazards are rare during January, but on the 18th January 2010 and the 8th January 2013, rainstorms over the Sinai Peninsula led to widespread flooding, and the 2010 event particularly affected the town of El-Arish. Due to the arid nature of the region and the rarity of rainfall, even modest amounts of rain are capable of triggering flooding.
Things to do
With the surrounding seas being relatively cool at this time of year, January is not one of the best times of year to go diving and snorkelling, but is a good time to take advantage of the indoor entertainment offered within the region. Alf Leila Wa Leila, as well as offering hotel accommodation, is quite an impressive entertainment centre, located at Hadabaet Um El Said. The Museum of Ancient Egyptian Heritage is located here, and displays numerous pieces of ancient Egyptian art, giving an insight into ancient Egyptian civilisation and the kinds of art that prevailed at the time. One of the main centrepieces of the resort is the Fantasia Show, which is held in a large theatre after sunset, and features entertainment such as Egyptian music, Sindbad on his flying carpet, and snake and belly dancing. Restaurants and bars that are available on-site include the “Il Camento” Italian restaurant and the “Cave Du Roi” main restaurant. Sporting activities such as table tennis, billiards and basketball are also available.
Those who enjoy mountain biking can try out the Blackjack Bike Day Tours, an organisation which arranges numerous tours ranging from half-day mountain biking tours for novices to training camps for experienced mountain bikers. Their main headquarters is at the Nabq Nature Reserve, to the north of Sharm el-Sheikh. In addition to general mountain biking tours they offer six special tours, which include the Bike and Beach tour (where tourists have a choice of visiting the Ras Mohammed National Park, the Nabq nature reserve, or a selection of beaches around Sharm el-Sheikh) and the “Bike and Dive” tours which double up as diving trips for those who would like to take advantage of the surrounding waters and their coral reefs, shipwrecks and fish. For guided tours, mountain bikes are provided free of charge.
In addition to the above, the organisation offers fitness training sessions, including facilities for endurance training, muscle training and massages, and they provide self-catering accommodation for those who would prefer to stay on-site rather than staying at one of the numerous hotels that are available within Sharm el-Sheikh.
Time to celebrate
The Coptic Christmas festival is held on the 7th January, for Christmas in Egypt is celebrated according to the Coptic calendar, on which Christmas Day falls on the 7th January rather than the 25th December. The event features colourful parades, concert music and theatre revolving around religious topics, together with special church services. Many Christians attend the special mass following 43 days of fasting.
Eating (and drinking) out
There are numerous good restaurants in and around Sharm el-Sheikh, including the Three Crowns Restaurant at Club Azure, Nabq. The food is relatively cheap, while highly-rated by most people who have been to the restaurant, and the restaurant also doubles up as a source of entertainment and nightlife, with a bar, live sport, and karaoke and quiz nights. For traditional Egyptian cuisine, the On Deck Restaurant at Iberotel Lido, Naama Bay, boasts spectacular views over Naama Bay, and an outdoor area with the sea lit up underneath, highlighting various species of fish, and the food, which also includes a variety of seafood, is generally well-received by customers.
There are numerous British-style pubs, bars and nightclubs at Sharm el-Sheikh which cater especially for those who want to catch up with major sporting events while they are away on holiday. The Half Crown, situated on El Frossia Street, is especially popular with visitors, and also features discos with music and DJs. There is also an active clubbing scene, and the Space Sharm el-Sheikh is situated next to Naama Heights Hotel, and is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, providing a range of entertainment - fans of hip-hop and rhythm & blues music are particularly well-covered here.
Hit the beach
Good beaches are available at the beach resort of Ras um Sid which is especially popular with visitors to the area and is particularly good for diving and snorkelling, as there are many spectacular spots for viewing coral reefs and different species of fish. Alternatively, it is a good spot for relaxing and sunbathing, as it is less noisy than the more entertainment-oriented resorts. For those after a louder experience on the beach, Terrazzina Beach is situated at the west end of Sharm el-Sheikh, off El Khazan Street, and features regular dance entertainment and music, and there is a restaurant on-site too.
Where to stay
Accommodation options at Sharm el-Sheikh are numerous, although they vary considerably in quality and it is important to choose carefully. For those with a particularly large budget, the Royal Savoy Hotel close to SOHO Square is a luxurious 5-star hotel with numerous sporting and catering facilities and is particularly ideal for couples going on an expensive honeymoon. Those with relatively moderate budgets can consider the Coral Sea Splash Resort, or Jaz Mirabel Park, both of which are in the Nabq Bay area and are very family-friendly. Those on a tight budget can consider the Falcon Hills Hotel by the Ras um Sid resort. Self-catering options include the S1 Egyptian Experience Resort, which is situated in the Nabq Bay area.