Hurghada is a sunny city in the Red Sea Government of Egypt. It is one of the country's most famous touristic areas along the Red Sea coast. With its stunning colorful coral reefs and turquoise blue waters, is it the perfect place for diving and snorkeling. But it is also the starting point for many other fun activities. With the weather being great all year round, Hurghada has definitely something for everyone.
As we mentioned before, the water in Hurghada is beautiful turquoise blue, clear and you will find many stunning coral reefs just offshore.
It has everything a perfect diving place needs. Besides being cheap, it is also the perfect place to dive for the first time. It is not very deep and the water is usually calm and clear.
There are lots of companies offering diving tours with boats leaving from Hurghada with pick-up from your hotel. We have chosen to go diving with Funny divers and can only recommend this company.
If scuba diving is not for you, you can still discover the beautiful underwater world of Hurghada by snorkeling. You can book a snorkeling tour on GetYourGuide. You can choose for tours where you only sail around with a boat/speedboat/yacht, or you can opt for a tour combined with a visit to the Giftun Islands.
The Giftun islands are two islands, Paradise Island and Orange bay, located just off the coast of Hurghada in the Northern islands reserve. This is a national park with stunning coral reefs, rare fish and, if you are lucky, dolphins too. You can visit these islands during a snorkeling tour or you can just get to the islands with a boat and relax on the beautiful beaches and the crystal clear water.
Hurghada is located close to the Sahara desert, so the ideal time to explore here too. There are so many ways to explore the desert: from fast quad bikes and 4×4 jeeps to an exciting dune buggy ride.
Can’t choose? There are also tours that offer all in one. Not only do you discover the desert with a nice vehicle, but you often also have the chance to ride a camel and visit a Bedouin village in the desert.
Luxor is located 4 hours drive from Hurghada. You can book a tour with transportation for a one day or even multiple day tour to Luxor, where you can explore many beautiful temples and tombs, such as the Valley of Kings. There are also tours offering day tours to Caïro but we wouldn’t recommend that, as it’s too far and you’ll be traveling longer than you’ll be in Caïro.
When you start looking for a hotel in Hurghada, it’s easy to get lost in the big amount of hotels. It is also not very clear which area is the best to stay. The city of Hurghada itself is divided into three parts, but there are also a few surrounding resort towns where you can stay. So let us explain a bit more about these different areas.
So the city of Hurghada is devided in three parts: Sakkala (Sheraton Street), El Mamsha (Village road) and El Dahar (Downtown).
- El Masha (Village roads)
This is the newest area of Hurghada, with many popular hotels. It is also called New Hurghada and Promenade. Over a distance of four-kilometers, you find many good restaurants and shops where you can buy souvenirs, clothes and so much more. As this area is mostly built for tourists, it is not the cheapest area. But there are no cars driving so it is the perfect place for shopping or go for a walk.
- Sakkala (Sheraton Street)
Sakkala or Sheraton street is a long road with many shops and restaurants. It is a very busy area, with a lot of traffic on the road. It is cheaper than El Masha and therefor the perfect place to enjoy a cheap drink and do some shopping.
Close to Sheraton Street you also find Marina. This is a beautiful sea view boulevard, where you can escape from the noisy and busy Sheraton road. It is a safe and secluded space especially for tourists, where you find many restaurants and bars to enjoy a drink. Note that this area is more expensive.
- El Dahar (Downtown)
This is the oldest part of Hurghada, where you can explore the ‘real Egypt’. It is also the cheapest area.
The hotel where we stayed was located in Marina. We liked that it was a quiet and safe place, but that we were also close to sheraton road to soak up the local culture.
Surrounding Resort Towns
Resort towns are closed and secured villages for tourists, with a lot of resort hotels. Here it is usually quieter than in the big city
- El Gouna
El Gouna is a resort town, located 25km north of Hurghada (30min drive). It is divided into two areas: Abu Tig Marina and downtown. In Abu Tig Marina you find the big resorts with their own enclosed area and private beach, such as the Sheraton hotel. Downtown is more the real ‘town’ part. Here you find most of the shops, bars and restaurant. We really enjoyed this part of El Gouna because it was really cozy and the architecture of the buildings was beautiful.
Activities such as diving are available in El Gouna too. Or most of the activities in Hurghada offer pick up from your hotel in El Gouna for a small extra charge.
In El Gouna we stayed in Cook's Club Hotel. This was our favorite stay. Not only because we really loved the vibe of the hotel, but also because we loved the tranquility of El Gouna compared to the hustle and bustle in Hurghada city. In El Gouna we stayed in Cook's Club Hotel. This was our favorite stay. Not only because we really loved the vibe of the hotel, but also because we loved the tranquility of El Gouna compared to the hustle and bustle in Hurghada city.
- Makadi Bay, Sahl Hasheesh or Soma Bay
These resort town don’t offer much outside of the resorts. They are all at least a half hour drive from Hurghada city and they do not have the big amount of restaurants and bars you find in Hurghada city and El Gouna. So if you don’t plan to venture outside your resort, this is a good place to stay.
Hurghada is an all year round destination, as the weather is always great. But the best time to visit depends on the purpose of your trip and your personal preferences.
Spring and fall are considered high season in Hughada. During this period temperatures are most ideal for beach days and you can be sure there will always be a lot of sun. Keep in mind that during this period it can be very busy and accommodation prices will be higher. Also for diving and snorkeling this is the ideal period as water temperatures will be pleasant.
During the months December and January temperatures will be a bit cooler, especially in the evenings you’ll have to bring a sweater. Also the water will be a bit colder for diving and snorkeling.
We went in January and found the temperature of the water still pleasant for diving, but a bit too cold for snorkeling without a wetsuit.
If you want to avoid the crowds you can travel during the summer months July and August, but only if you can handle high temperatures and strong sun. These months are considered low season as temperatures can rise up to 42°C.
Hurghada has its own (international airport), so you can fly there either from abroad or domestic. You can easily grab a taxi right outside the airport, or most of the time your hotel can arrange a shuttle from the airport.
Don't forget to haggle when you want to grab a taxi. A good price for a taxi to the city center of Hurghada is €15 or 300-500EGP.
If you are coming from another city in Egypt, for example Caïro and Luxor, it is likely you can get to Hurghada by bus. Go buses offer different types of buses from different locations. You can find all information on www.go-bus.com.
When you purchase something through our links we earn a small fee.
However, you still pay the same. Win-win!
We hope you find our free travel guides and tips helpful.
It would be awesome if you support us by ‘buying us a coffee’ so we can keep this blog alive.