I have never written a review - My girlfriend and I have just returned from South Sinai Egypt and came across a great little place called Tarabin which is a few km from Nuweiba, a town that most people only pass through on the Ferry to or from Aqaba Jordan.
Tarabin used to be a big Israeli hangout but since they are not travelling in numbers for the past couple of years, it’s really really quiet. This is a bit saddening and the tourist industry here is very fickle and most tourist get on or off the ferry to Jordan just a couple of km away and don’t even know about this great relaxed beach!
We are both late 20s and although we both work professional jobs in London (I’m Kiwi - she’s Australian) we don’t enjoy resort / package style holidays and prefer to travel independently mixing with the locals and other travellers. Our accommodation preferences for beach holidays are generally non resort, bungalow/hut on the beach, cheap and cheerful, clean and basic - like you get in Thailand. When we look for accommodation we try to go on recommendations and tips we pick up from friends or other travellers and Sababa Camp in Tarabin was one of these tips, we got from a lovely Australian couple Greg and Sarah(?) that we met in Petra.
Sababa Camp is a pretty basic set up... simple wooden huts with dried palm leaf roofs and you share the communal bathroom/showers which is also kept pretty clean. There is hot water all day and it’s fresh, not saline. The restaurant was a nicely set up area with tables both for sitting at and the low tables with cushions, which extended out to the beach as well. In Jan 09 when we were there, Sababa was under going change of ownership - a few months previously a half Italian half Egyptian named Abdulla had purchased the resort and with a small team of really nice and friendly Egyptians, they are improving the place. There was no menu ready when we were there but the Iraqi chef just asked us what we felt like and/or cooked us up what they had fresh (eg delicious fish caught in the morning for example). They were in the process of putting menus together but this suited us fine as we loved the cooking and the food was safe, fresh and extremely tasty. Throughout the day when we were sat around reading they would regularly bring us out Tea and various treats, snacks and fresh fruit platters. Nice.
The huts were really cheap per night... like 20 or 30 EGP... and the food bill was very reasonable as well so this place would definitely suit those on a budget.
If you are looking for an alternative to Dahab, want to be super chilled, not bothered by anyone trying to sell you stuff then consider checking Tarabin out. The owners of other restaurants and shops (good selection of crafts/clothing) are super nice and not at all pushy. They come out for a chat when you are walking past and let you know that if you happen to feel like something to eat or drink, they can happily hook you up and that’s about the extent of the sales pitch. The food at all the places we at ate was of a pretty high standard, and very cheap.
The standout meal for us (aside from the fresh fish at Sababa) was at a little blue coloured restaurant next door called CAMEL BEACH RESTURANT run by a fantastic Egyptian masseuse, who cooked up a MEAN fresh calamari targen (targine). His english is excellent as well and we spent ages chatting to him about his life and family etc.
So Tarabin for us was a highlight. If you like independent travelling, chilling on the beach (the beach is MUCH better than Dahab), friendly but not pushy locals, cheap food and accommodation, not many other tourists, and lots of free Bedouin tea every where you go then definitely consider this place. We loved Sababa Camp but there were other places along the beach there that also looked great... Just get a taxi there from the ferry terminal (20EGP) and walk along the beach until you find something you like.
I hope this review helps someone!