PORT SAFAGA (Bur Safaga in Arabic) amounts to very little. Coming in from the north, you pass a slip road curving off to a series of holiday resorts on a headland, catering mainly to divers. The town, whose economy is driven by the nearby phosphate mines, begins 3km later and consists of a single windswept avenue running straight on past concrete boxes with bold signs proclaiming their function, until the bus station and a final mosque, 4km south. Silos and cranes identify the port, which runs alongside (but remains out of bounds) for most of this distance. Safaga’s only attractions are the reefs to the north, and there’s not much reason to hang around otherwise.

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