Hurghada is a sunny city in the Red Sea Governorate 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.
Giftun Islands: Orange Bay & Paradise Island
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.
Water activities: kite surfing, parasailing, windsurfing, ...
Hurghada is located next to the Red Sea and is therefor the place to be for water sport activities. There is a great choice of companies offering various water sports activities such as kite surfing, windsurfing and the number one activity: parasailing.
Visit the desert by Quad, 4x4 or dune buggy
Hurghada is also 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.
Day tour to luxor
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.
Where to stay
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.
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
This 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.
- 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.
When to go
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.
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.
How to get there
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.
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-Bus offers different types of buses from different locations. You can find all information on www.go-bus.com.
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