Over the past few days, heat waves have begun to blast Egypt, causing people to suffer heat stroke and exhaustion. Since the beginning of August, the hottest month of the year, people started to escape town and head to the seaside, looking for relaxation. While most citizens head to the North Coast, Hurghada, and Sharm El-Sheikh, some find everything they are looking for in Marsa Matrouh.
Quietness, pure blue sea, greenish sceneries, and empty streets are the main components of the calm city. Matrouh, which was known as an elite summer escape city in the past, is still a glorious spot for its visitors, who seek some rest from modern day overcrowding and a fast tempo lifestyle.
Unlike other summer vacation spots, Matrouh is known to be the most peaceful place. Wild parties and late night swims are not included in the schedule of those who go to spend their vacation there.
Matrouh’s most famous beach is Aguiba─a u-shaped bay located beneath a giant rock. Vacationers usually escape from the summer’s burning sun under the rock’s shadow. Aguiba is located 38km west of Matrouh, and extends for 40 metres, highlighted by smaller cliffs. With its remarkable clean white sand, mild temperatures, and crystal clear water, the beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean coast.
Other than Aguiba, Matrouh never fails to mesmerise its guests with the El-Obayed and Cleopatra beaches.
Matrouh’s beaches date back to the time of Alexander the Great. It is said that he had stopped at Siwa during his historical expansion, hoping that─through sacrifices─he would be crowned the son of the god Amoun, and continue the tale of the pharaohs. As it is closely located to Siwa, some ruins of temples from that time have been found in Matrouh city.
For the past few years, Matrouh has been a summer destination for middle-class citizens. The city, which is 500km away from Cairo, is considered one of the cheapest places to spend a summer vacation.
While many people followed the trend of travelling to the North Coast, Matrouh’s loyal visitors couldn’t stay away from it. With street vendors walking around the beaches selling ice cream, clams, and swimming floats, visitors find the perfect place to recall their childhood memories.
As people find their long-awaited summer rest, they also get the chance to attend the national circus. In summer, Egypt’s national circus team performs daily shows in the Marsa Matrouh Theatre.
All photos taken by Mohammed Omar