The coastal town of Marsa Matruh is a top-rated summer resort. The town founded by Alexander on his way to the oracle at Siaw served as a port for Anthony and Cleopatra's doomed fleet. West of the town, is Cleopatra’s Beach, though rocks and a sudden drop in the seabed make this a difficult place to swim, the royal queen herself is said to have bathed nearby.
If you want to take a swim, go west on the coastal road to Ageebah Beach. You will have to negotiate a steep path leading down to a cove where rock shelves make it an ideal platform for diving into the sea, but it is well worth as it is well known for its beautifully coloured sea and white sand.
The coast near Marsa Matruh holds other surprises. Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the desert fox, picked a cave system near the shore to command operations during the Battle of El-Alamein. Opened in 1977, there is free entry for seniors and school children.