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Marsa Matruh

Marsa Matruh: Your Complete Guide to an Unforgettable Trip

Marsa Matruh is the go-to vacation spot for many Egyptians, particularly those from Cairo and the Nile Delta region. The city boasts a local flavor and comes to life during its peak season in the summer, while quieter during the rest of the year. Despite its popularity among locals, the city is striving to attract foreign tourists by enhancing its accommodations and improving its infrastructure and services. With coastal landscapes and a climate similar to other European Mediterranean hotspots, Marsa Matruh offers an affordable alternative to a luxurious vacation.

If you’re looking to soak up the sun and unwind in this vibrant city, we’ve got you covered. Our guide provides you with all the information you need to make the most of your trip to Marsa Matruh. And for a seamless experience, don’t hesitate to contact Egipto Exclusivo to plan your entire journey!

Table of contents

Location and Population of Marsa Matruh

Located on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, Marsa Matruh is a city in the Matruh Governorate with a population of less than 100,000. During the summer months, the population swells as Egyptians flock to the area to enjoy their vacations in second homes or accommodations.

Alexandria, which is about 300 km away by road, is the nearest big city to Marsa Matruh. Cairo is about 450 km away, both to the east of the city. To the west, there is a solitary and desert coastal road that leads to the border with Libya, approximately 250 km away. To the south lies the vast Western Desert, with the Siwa Oasis a little over 300 km away and no diversions.

Costa mediterránea

Climate of Marsa Matruh

The climate in Marsa Matruh largely influences the pace of life throughout the year. Summers are ideal for sun and beach trips, as it has a typical Mediterranean climate that’s warmer than the European side of the sea. However, winters are cooler compared to the Red Sea coast, which doesn’t attract as much foreign tourism interested in sun and beach during the cold season in Europe.

In Marsa Matruh, there are high and low seasons that blur in the Red Sea due to the warmer winter. Here are some climatic values that better show this fact:

  • Average maximum temperatures: In winter, temperatures hover around 30ºC in the central hours of the day. In contrast, they remain slightly below 20ºC in winter.
  • Average minimum temperatures: Nights are warm in summer (around 20ºC on average), while in winter, days are cooler, below 10ºC in the coldest months.
  • Precipitation: While the climate is more humid than the rest of Egypt, the amount of rainfall and rainy days are much lower than in the countries on the other side of the Mediterranean. Marsa Matruh receives about 12 rainy days a year and almost 150 mm of annual precipitation, although both values are usually zero in the summer.

A Brief Historical Overview

Marsa Matruh’s history is not as prominent as that of other places in Egypt. During the pharaonic era, the entire Mediterranean coast was on the periphery of that civilization due to its distance from the Nile Valley and limited possibilities for agriculture. At that time, Marsa Matruh was called Amunia and served as a small fishing village and a transit point on trade routes with neighboring countries to the west. The Temple of Ramses II, located about 20 km west of the city, is the only noteworthy construction that still remains from that era.

Marsa Matruh gained significance during the Ptolemaic era due to the popularity of the Oracle of Amun in the Siwa Oasis, visited and consulted by Alexander the Great. Numerous Greek pilgrims would disembark here to make their way to the temple. It was then renamed Paraitonion by the locals and Paraetonium by the Romans. During this time, its main function was as a seaport for the export of products to the Roman Empire.

The settlement entered a period of stagnation during the Byzantine Empire, and its strategic importance did not reach that of Ptolemaic and Roman times. After the Arab conquest, it was given the definitive name of Marsa Matruh and remained in a state of lethargy until the 20th century.

During World War II, Marsa Matruh played a significant role as headquarters for both the German and Italian offensive and the Allied counterattack. Later, it emerged as a tourist destination for the Egyptian population, which definitively changed the appearance of Marsa Matruh.

What to See or Visit in Marsa Matruh

While the main attractions of Marsa Matruh are related to its beautiful coast, there are also some interesting places to visit that relate to the city’s historical significance. If you are planning to spend a few days in this city, you may want to consider reserving some time for the following:

Playas de Marsa Matruh

Beaches of Marsa Matruh

Marsa Matruh is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning coastline, offering some of the best beaches along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast. The beaches in Marsa Matruh can be divided into three main sectors:

  • Center: The bay of the urban area offers several bathing areas connected by the Corniche, or promenade. During peak season, it can be difficult to find space to lay down your towel, but the beaches are still worth a visit. Some of the most popular beaches include:
  • Al Awam Beach
  • Hana Beach
  • Al Mubarak Beach
  • West (Cleopatra Beach): This area has some of the most beautiful beaches in Marsa Matruh. The bathing areas are located on a strip of land to the north of El-Gharam bay, resembling a lagoon. Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in these waters with Mark Antony before his battle against the Roman Empire. The beaches are famous for their blue and turquoise waters and rocky formations that add to their beauty. Laila Murad Rock is a popular spot for jumping into the water, but visitors should be cautious of shallow waters with rocks. 
  • East: Tourist apartment complexes with pools can be found around the Rommel bay area, offering urban beaches without leaving the city.
  • Ageeba Beach: This beach is located outside the urban area of Marsa Matruh, about 20 km to the west. It is known for its natural beauty with greenish-hued waters and spectacular rocky walls embracing the beach, forming a cove. It is a popular spot among Egyptians, but visitors can find more deserted bathing areas to the west of the cove.

Water Activities in Marsa Matruh

For those seeking a more active way to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea, Marsa Matruh offers a plethora of water activities for both sports and recreation. With a large number of tourists gathering here in summer and a port located at the entrance of the El-Gharam bay, it’s easy to book activities such as flyboarding or jet skiing, among many other options. Contact us for more information on the possibilities and how to make reservations.

Rommel Museum

The Rommel Museum is a noteworthy destination in Marsa Matruh, named after Erwin Rommel, a Nazi field marshal during World War II who was nicknamed the “Desert Fox” due to his operations in this area leading the Afrika Korps. The museum is unique in its location, situated in a large rocky cave where Rommel established his headquarters during his offensive towards Alexandria and the Suez Canal.

Today, the cave is open to the public and displays war objects and documents from that military campaign, which was crucial in the course of the war. Recently restored, the museum boasts improved exhibition rooms where visitors can admire weapons and documents handwritten by Rommel.

Excursions From Marsa Matruh

If you’re looking for more than just cultural offerings in Marsa Matruh, taking a trip to other nearby destinations is highly recommended. These places can be easily reached by road, in comfortable trips aboard vehicles with drivers, such as those offered by Egipto Exclusivo.

El Alamein

Located about 250 km east of Marsa Matruh and connected to it by the coastal highway No. 40, El Alamein is a key location to understand the development of World War II, as two of the main battles of that conflict were fought here. Visiting the museums and cemeteries that were built here, honoring the fallen on both sides, can help you gain a deeper understanding of the impact of the war. On our website, we provide a detailed guide to all the places of interest in El Alamein.

Siwa Oasis

During the Ptolemaic period, Marsa Matruh served as a port for Greek pilgrims heading to the Oracle of Amun in the Siwa Oasis. Nowadays, it’s also the city from which excursions to this unique place, located in the heart of the Western Desert, depart. The journey is approximately 300 km by road and takes about 4 hours. On our website, we provide more information about what you will find in this oasis, where you can stay overnight during a two-day excursion.


If you’re looking to explore a city with a wider range of cultural offerings, a trip to Alexandria might be of interest to you. This is especially true if you’re a fan of the history of Ancient Egypt and, in particular, of the Ptolemaic period, during which Alexandria served as the capital of Egypt. On this page, you can discover the best sightseeing proposals in this city, which is also situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The journey from Marsa Matruh is almost 300 km and takes around 3 and a half hours.

Practical Information About Marsa Matruh

When planning your trip to Marsa Matruh, it’s important to have some practical information at hand to help you make decisions and navigate this tourist destination with ease. Below, we’ve provided details on how to get here, how to get around, and where to find tourist information.

How to Get to Marsa Matruh

If you’re planning a trip to Marsa Matruh, there are various transportation options available for both local and foreign tourists. Here are some of the most comfortable and convenient ways to get there:

  • Plane: Marsa Matruh has its own international airport, located just 3 km from the city center. This proximity is explained because it is an infrastructure that, despite having runways approved for large passenger aircraft, has a small terminal because it does not manage too much air traffic. While the flight schedule may vary depending on the year or season, it typically offers seasonal flights to Italian cities like Bologna, Milan, Rome, and Verona.
  • Train: during the high season of Egyptian travelers from June to September, there is a night train that departs from Cairo and arrives at Marsa Matruh in about 7 hours. Dinner and breakfast are offered on board, departing at midnight and arriving in the early morning. There are usually three departures per week, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from Cairo for the outbound, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from Marsa Matruh for the return. Although there are standard daytime trains departing from Alexandria, they may not be the most comfortable option for tourists.
  • Bus: it is the most popular option among Egyptians, except for private vehicles. The bus station is located 2 km south of the center, around the main entrance to the city: the Alexandria-Marsa Matruh road, with many buses departing weekly from Cairo and other cities in the Delta region.
  • By road: if you plan to rent a car during your stay in Egypt, you can reach Marsa Matruh via three main areas. To the east and west, through highway 40, and to the south through the Marsa Matruh-Siwa road, which should be taken when doing a circuit or excursion to this oasis. Here are the distances from the main nearby cities, which can serve as a starting point for a trip to Marsa Matruh:
  • Alexandria: almost 300 km
  • Cairo: about 440 km
  • Fayum: about 500 km
  • Siwa Oasis: about 300 km

It is worth noting that the train and the bus are the primary means of transportation used by Egyptian travelers. Therefore, if you decide to use one of them, you should be prepared to adapt to their conditions. However, if you prefer a more comfortable means of transportation, it is recommended to use a vehicle with a driver through a reputable agency such as Egipto Exclusivo. Our vehicles are known for their cleanliness, punctuality, and availability, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free experience.

Getting Around Marsa Matruh

After arriving in Marsa Matruh, it’s important to consider how to get around the city, especially if your accommodation is not located near the main attractions. Taxis are the most convenient option and can be easily found at strategic locations for travelers. You may need to negotiate the fare with the driver, but expect to pay around 20 LE for a normal ride from the bus station to the Corniche.

Another way to get around Marsa Matruh is by renting a car, although there aren’t many rental offices in the area. If you opt for this choice, you may need to pick up and return the car at other locations such as the Borg El Arab airport.

Alternatively, you can book a vehicle with a driver, which will save you the trouble of bargaining with a taxi driver and the stress of driving through the busy streets of downtown Marsa Matruh. Egipto Exclusivo provides this service in all cities, including Marsa Matruh, so you can contact them to make your reservation.

For those looking for a simpler and more eco-friendly option, renting a bicycle is a possibility. You can usually find them through makeshift street vendors. However, cycling through the busy streets of downtown can be a challenge, but it can be useful for short trips along the Corniche.

Tourist Offices in Marsa Matruh

If you are looking for tourist information about Marsa Matruh, you can find a tourist office on Sharia Omar Mukhta Avenue, near the Corniche. However, keep in mind that they may not have the same variety of materials available as other major tourist destinations in the country. For more comprehensive information, you can reach out to the staff at your accommodation or plan ahead by booking your trip services with Egipto Exclusivo.

We are here to assist you in planning your trip to Marsa Matruh and ensuring that your experience meets your expectations. Contact us today to start planning your trip and rest assured that every detail will be taken care of!

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