Zaafarana is a rather young and still little-known resort in Egypt. The town is located on the shores of the Red Sea, halfway from Hurghada to Cairo. About two hundred and thirty kilometers separates from Hurghada Zaafaranu, two hundred from Cairo. Still, ninety kilometers from Zaafarana, is the city of Suez. Due to the combination of remoteness from the famous resorts with high-quality service and infrastructure, which some of these resorts can only envy, Zaafarana has become a favorite vacation spot for many Egyptians.
Despite the fact that Zafarana is a relatively young and small resort, it is able to satisfy the tastes of the most demanding and spoiled tourists. In local hotels everything has been thought out to make guests comfortable, even the windows of all rooms are oriented so that the guest living in the room can enjoy the sea views. On the territory of each hotel there is always a fitness and diving center, tennis courts, a jacuzzi, bars, restaurants and small shops.
A highway runs through Zaafarana, connecting the resort with the rest of Egypt, so there is no difficulty in visiting the famous Hurghada or heading to the capital of Egypt - Cairo and, enjoying the charm of these noisy cities, returning to the quiet, comfortable Zaafarana.
The climate of Zaafarana is no different from the climatic conditions of most cities in Egypt. The holiday season here lasts all year, the average air temperature in summer is plus thirty degrees during the day, and plus twenty three at night, the water warms up to about twenty-five degrees. The sea breeze helps to transfer summer heat normally. The peak of heat falls on August - September, when the daytime air warms up to plus thirty-two degrees. However, already in October, the temperature begins to drop, and by the beginning of winter is only plus twenty degrees.
History of Zaafarana
The resort with the beautiful name Zaafarana, which is translated from Arabic as the golden city, was built at the beginning of the twenty-first century as part of the government tourism development program in Egypt. The name of the city was not accidental: when the hot Egyptian sun fills the white sand of Zaafarana with its rays, betraying it with a deep golden color, the glare of this gold is reflected in the bright walls of the buildings, and it repents that the whole city and even the sea itself are filled with gold.
Monastery of St. Anthony
Forty-five kilometers from Zaafarana, in the mountains in the middle of the desert, there is an ancient Christian monastery - the monastery of St. Anthony. The monastery was founded between three hundred and fifty-sixth and three hundred and sixty-third years on the very spot where St. Anthony the Great lived the last years of his life - a man whom the Orthodox Church considers the father - the founder of monasticism.
St. Anthony died at the age of one hundred and five years, having spent the last forty-four years of his life in these mountains in the middle of the desert, far from people. It is known that two disciples lived next to him all this time, who buried the body of the deceased saint. The history did not preserve exact information about who founded the monastery and who were its first settlers, however, as there is no exact information about the early period of the monastery’s life.
From fragments of the ancient history of the monastery, it is only known that at the end of the XI century it was destroyed by the Turks, and after a hundred years it was restored by Copts, since then the monastery of St. Anthony from Orthodox turned into Coptic. In one thousand four hundred and fifty-fourth, the monastery was raided by the Bedouins, was looted and ruined. After almost a hundred years, on the orders of Patriarch Gabriel, the monastery was again restored and settled.
Today, the monastery of St. Anthony is more like a small village, on its territory there are five churches, in one of which, according to the monks, the remains of St. Anthony rest. Behind the monastery walls are orchards and a small bakery. The population of the monastery consists of seventy monks.
Monastery of St. Paul
St. Paul’s Monastery is located in the desert twenty-six kilometers south of Zaafarana. He is considered a contemporary of the monastery of St. Anthony and largely repeats his fate. So in the XV century the monastery was raided by the Bedouins and was devastated, the monks left these places for a hundred and nineteen years. The man who revived the monastery to life, became the same Patriarch Gabriel.
Today, there are four churches on the territory of the monastery, one of them is St. Paul’s Church, located in the same cave where the holy hermit Paul of Thebes lived his last years. Here, in the southern part of the church are the remains of the saint. Services in the church - cave are no longer held, but in another temple of the complex - the church of St. Michael, services are held twice a day.
Excursions from Zaafarana
Most often, tourists who come to rest in Zaafarana are offered to visit the monasteries of St. Anthony and Paul located in the desert with a guided tour. In addition, there is a wonderful opportunity to go to Luxor and admire the Luxor Temple, built on the orders of two pharaohs at once, Amenhotep III and Ramses II, in the name of the god Amon, as well as the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, famous for its unusual architecture, or to walk around the “city of the dead”, visiting the valley of the kings.
If you are not at all attracted by the ancient temples and tombs of Luxor - go to Cairo, take a walk around the city, visit the Khan al-Khalili market, founded in the XIV century and considered the oldest bazaar in the Middle East. Take a look at at least one of the many mosques in the capital or visit the Suspended Coptic Church of Al Muallak. And finally, do not forget to look into the Coptic Museum of Cairo.
Having enjoyed religious and cultural values, you should go to Hurghada to visit the city aquarium, in which all the inhabitants of the Red Sea are presented to the attention of the audience, from harmless bright and intricate angel fish and butterfly fish to huge sharks and deadly moray eels. Still, while in Hurghada, it’s worth a look at the water park and the dancing fountain show, which takes place every night at the Golden 5. Hotel. And, of course, you cannot leave this city without buying anything at Aka duty free - the largest in North Africa duty free shop.
In fact, Zaafarana is so wonderful that from here you can easily get to almost anywhere in Egypt and see the most interesting places in the country.
Entertainment in Zaafaran is very diverse, it has its own water park and entertainment complexes, bars, restaurants, and cozy cafes, and local discos are in no way inferior to those that take place in the best clubs in major resorts in Egypt. For lovers of sports-style relaxation in Zaafaran, all conditions are also created: there is a fitness club and a diving center, almost every hotel has tennis courts.
Zaafarana is an ideal place for water sports, especially such as windsurfing, because the distinctive feature of this area is its consistently good wind, by the way, it is for this wind that surfers really like Zaafarana. Especially for those who have never before been engaged in surfing, there are courses in which professional instructors will teach a beginner not only the basics of sports, but also, if desired, some professional tricks.
In Zaafaran there are both small shops and souvenir shops, and rather large shopping centers. Here you can buy almost everything: tea, spices, aromatic oils, clothes, souvenirs and household items. It is worth noting that the prices in most local stores are not fixed, so the better you can bargain, the lower the price paid for the desired product. If the local assortment is not wide enough for you, you can always go shopping for example in Hurghada.
Interesting places Zaafarana
The site contains the sights of Zaafarana - photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Zaafaran, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Zaafarana.
Monastery of St. Anthony
The monastery of St. Anthony is located in the north of the province of Al-Bahr al-Ahmar in Egypt. It is located in the desert cliffs of the Arabian Desert and is the oldest Orthodox monastery in Egypt. The first buildings were laid here in the III century AD. The monastery got its name in honor of Anthony the Great, who lived in solitude in a cave located above the monastery in the middle of the 3rd century. In the XI century, the monastery was almost completely looted and destroyed, but a century later it was restored.
Today the monastery belongs to the Coptic Orthodox Church. At the southern walls of the monastery was built the church of St. Anthony, built in the 16th century. To the west of the church in the monastery is another temple - the Holy Apostles. In the possession of the monastery of St. Anthony are relics such as a fresco of the X century with the image of the archangels, as well as murals of the XI-XIII centuries with images of the first patriarchs of Alexandria.
Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul
The oldest Coptic monastery in Egypt is the monastery of St. Anthony. According to legend, sv. Anthony was orphaned at the age of eighteen, after which he went into the mountains to serve God. In the fourth century after the death of Anthony, this monastery was founded on his grave. He was repeatedly attacked. read more
The Egyptian resort of Zaafarana appeared relatively recently. It is located 200 km north of Hurghada on the shores of the Gulf of Suez, on the way to Cairo. The city has excellent infrastructure, which is great for a relaxing and quiet holiday, while there is always something to do. The resort offers a variety of entertainment: water parks, restaurants, night clubs. Basically, all hotels have rooms with sea views, and comfortable accommodation makes your stay even more pleasant. In Zaffaran, the Egyptians themselves like to relax, and they are connoisseurs of comfort. The coast here, as a rule, with lagoons, transparent sea and sandy beaches.
The proximity to the capital of Egypt provides an excellent opportunity to see the main attractions of the country, and not far from Zaafaran you can see the ancient shrines of Coptic monks founded in the IV century.