Massawa, also known as Mitsiwa, Miṣṣiwa), Batsiʿ, is a city on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea located at the northern end of the Gulf of Zula beside the Dahlak Archipelago.
An important port for many centuries, it was ruled by a succession of polities, including the Axumite Empire, Medri Bahri Kingdom, the Umayyad Caliphate, various Beja sultanates, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Italy, Britain, and Ethiopia, until Eritrea's independence in 1991. Massawa was the capital of the Italian Colony of Eritrea until this was moved to Asmara in 1897.
At the end of the 1960’s an Italian writer Oscar Rampone described Massawa in his introductory poem His profound expression is vivid to this day. He said “
“Massawa Massawa white and Blue
I never get tired whenever I write of you”.
Massawa enjoys a combination of Turkish and Italian Architects, an apparent indication of the Ottoman and Italian colonial history.
There is, among others, an old Turkish Palace and the Modern Port built by the Italians at the turn of the 20th Century. A more than one thousand years old mosque is still standing to this day. A great attraction to many visitors
The famous Gurgusum beach is clean and one of the finest beaches in the world. The beauty of the Gurgusum beach and many other resort areas in the Dahlak archipelago is mainly due to the fact that the Red Sea is like a basin. Therefore there is no fear of dangerous gales and hurricanes. The beach is also free from any sharks. There are plenty of Dolphins to protect the environment. Therefore Visitors can comfortably enjoy swimming
Massawa is relatively cool during October to March. However during April to September it will be hot and humid.