When you think of Egypt, do you envision sand dunes and pyramids? You’d be forgiven for admitting it, since the country is well known for its desert landscape and ancient structures. However, there’s a lot more waiting to be discovered when you go on holiday to Hurghada in 2019 / 2020. This beach resort town extends for 40 kilometres along the Red Sea, which connects Asia and Africa. A traditional fishing village with modern elements thrown in, Hurghada is the second biggest Egyptian metropolis.
It’s possible to fly directly into Hurghada, where an airport, old town and numerous scuba diving hot spots can be found. That's without even mentioning the profusion of nightclubs and restaurants that claim their position in the popular district of Sekalla. So, whether you’re hoping to let your hair down at a beachfront bar or want to embark on a diving excursion around nearby Shadwan Island, you’ll surely be satisfied with your time spent in this coastal-urban paradise.
Boat excursions depart from Hurghada multiple times a day in the direction of the Giftun Islands. Draped in white sand, this pristine shoreline provides snorkelling enthusiasts with a chance to witness various fish species in the Red Sea. Hurghada Marina looks out onto the Red Sea and if you visit at sunset, you’ll be tempted to dine inside one of the ocean-facing restaurants.
Diving enthusiasts regularly venture to the Straits of Gubal, where The Thistlegorm wreck rests beneath the ocean surface. Not into diving? Take the tourist submarine and descend 22 metres down into the Red Sea, where shoals of brightly coloured fish glide in between coral clusters.
Various flavours and ingredients combine to characterise authentic Egyptian fare, such as fava beans, pasta, rice and lentils. Shawerma (roasted meats and vegetables in a corn wrap), Kebab wa kofta (grilled meat), and Ful wa Ta'meya (falafel and fava beans) are just three of the delicious dishes you can tuck into at Hurghada restaurants.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, pair your food with a wine produced from one of Egypt's many grape varieties, like Grenache, Viognier and Muscat. Fill up on American fare at the Hard Rock Café whilst listening to lively music, or bask in the sophisticated atmosphere at Star Fish. Some other dining establishments in the nearby area include Upstairs Restaurant, The Smokery and Gaucho Steakhouse.
An offshore reef experience can be enjoyed by the entire family, so pack your bag for a day trip to the Giftun Islands. Mahmaya Island also sits just off the coast and if you fancy spending some time on the island, tickets should be booked in advance. Planning your Hurghada holiday with teenage members of the family? If so, join them in a diving training course at Makadi Bay.
Younger children can make a splash at the ocean-facing Makadi Water World. A pleasant day out awaits at Old Hurghada, which is sometimes referred to as ‘Ad-Dahar’. Greet the locals here and browse souvenirs at the souk.
Action & Adventure
What better place to hop on a quad bike and traverse the land than in the Egyptian desert? When you book a holiday to Hurghada, you’ll notice many tour operators selling excursions for dune buggy day trips around the Eastern Desert. Another activity that you ought to experience when in Egypt is a camel ride. Desert safaris can also be arranged from Hurghada for small and big groups.
Natural and artificial beaches can be found in the Hurghada region, with El Gouna being a man-made beach that features bridges and canals. It’s these artificial features that make El Gouna appear somewhat similar to Venice. For a high standard of service, sunbathe on Soma Bay or Mahmya, both of which are located in the south.
Makadi Bay can get pretty crowded in peak season, as can Sahl Hasheesh. Nevertheless, these beaches are worth checking out during your holiday to Hurghada. Fancy spending an afternoon kite surfing? If so, the wind conditions at the port town of Safaga are perfect.
You might be surprised to discover that Hurghada has its fair share of night-time activities to keep you occupied. Cafés, bars, clubs and discos welcome crowds of all ages throughout the week with live DJ sets, cheap drink deals, and themed events. The Sekalla area is where most of the partying takes place. Aside from being a commercial and entertainment district, Sekalla is a neighbourhood where you can find plenty of cafés and shops. The majority of hotels in the area also entertain their guests with nightly shows.
Cruises, water tours and sailing charters ensure a romantic experience for couples on holiday in Hurghada. With the option to customise tours and arrange private trips, you won't have trouble finding secluded spots to for just you, your partner and your own personal captain to explore.
Another way to see the sights is by air. Fly to Cairo on an early morning excursion to witness the Sphinx, Giza Pyramids and Egyptian Museum with your loved one. Alternatively, you can glide above the beach resort in a hot air balloon.
Did you know that the earliest recorded civilisation in Africa was that of Ancient Egypt? The beautiful country is known for its striking landscape, with the Great Pyramid of Giza being one of the most famous pyramids on the planet. So unique and rich is the culture that it’s shaped various other cultures throughout Europe.
The society is built upon a foundation of polytheistic rituals and beliefs, of which you can learn about by visiting museums during your holiday in Hurghada. Egyptian Arabic is the language you’ll hear local people speaking. Approximately 90 per cent of the population is Muslim, with the remaining percentage of the population devoting themselves to Christianity.