Hurghada

Hurghada is located in eastern Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea. It was a small fishing village for many years, but has become now a foremost tourist destination on the Red Sea Riviera. Hurghada is divided into three parts. Dahar (downtown) is the old city centre where the typical Egyptian life pulsates. Local markets, local stores and the fish market invite you for strolls and shopping. Sakalla is the tourist area, which has developed its walking passages around the old port. It is a dynamic area with many hotels, stores, shopping centres, cinema, clubs and restaurants, which are all open well into the night. The Ahiaa district, north of Hurghada, is located along the coastal road. The city is served by the Hurghada International Airport with scheduled passenger traffic to and from Cairo and direct connections with several cities in Europe.

Hurghada is primarily known for its water sports activities, nightlife and warm weather. Daily temperature hovers round 30 degrees Celsius most of the year. Most important the waters are always warm and crystal clear, ideal for observing the many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs. Whether snorkelling, scuba diving or just gazing through the clear panel of a glass bottomed boat or submarine, the sights never cease to amaze. And offshore lie some of the most beautiful and unique underwater gardens in the world. Whatever your preference in aquatic activities, you will find it here. If you’d rather not venture into the water, you can check out the local aquarium and museum. They feature complete collections representing all the local Red Sea plants and animals.

Hurghada has many comfortable and unique accommodation options, all offering efficient, personal service. Some of the more exclusive resorts are all-inclusive. Many of these hotels offer so many amenities and activities that you may never want to leave the resort itself. These amenities can include playgrounds, discos, bars, and a number of pools, small theatres, and even zoos. There are also several wonderful restaurants and bars scattered around the town, but the main focus of evening entertainment is at the new cosmopolitan marina.

Shortly, the resorts and communities offer virtually everything a visitor could want, from wild, swinging parties to isolated scuba diving, with the options of a round of golf, bowling, or fishing in between. Another choice is to take a day trip to the Red Sea Mountains. You can opt to travel by jeep, camel, horse, buggy and even squad.

There are so many things to do in Hurghada that you’ll need to come back. Mostly, you’ll just want to come back for another experience, find out why! Enjoy!

 

SCUBA DIVING

Hurghada is a gateway to some of the best dive sites in the Southern Red Sea. From beginner scuba experiences to deep and cave technical diving exploration, it is a diving destination of variety in underwater topography, marine life and wrecks. The area is also famous for its impressive local reefs, particularly within the protected marine park of Giftun Island. Most of the dive sites around Hurghada can be reached within 40 minutes from a boat, offering an excellent mix of options for full day and half-day trips.

  • Giftun Island (diving, snorkelling, swimming)
  • The Shadwan Island (diving, snorkelling, fishing, but no swimming)
  • Sha’ab Abu Shiban (diving, snorkelling, and swimming)
  • Sha’ab el Erg (diving, fishing, and snorkelling)
  • Umm Gammar Island (diving and snorkelling)
  • Sha’ab Saghir Umm Gammae (diving)
  • Careless Reef (diving)
  • Abu Ramada Island (diving)
  • Sha’ab Abu Ramada (fishing)
  • Dishet el Dhaba (beaches and swimming)
  • Sha’ab Abu Hashish (beaches, diving, snorkelling, swimming, and fishing)
  • Sharm el Arab (diving, swimming, and fishing)
  • Abu Minqar Island (beaches and swimming).

 

SNORKELLING

The best place for snorkelling is without doubts Giftun Island, but there are more beautiful places available to explore the underwater world. Giftun Island is one of the largest islands in the Red Sea and very well-known for its colourful coral reefs and unique fish species. You have the chance to go there by boat. Enjoy the long white beaches and the light blue sea, just relaxing in the sun and swimming in the crystal clear waters or take your snorkelling gear and explore life beneath the surface. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own snorkelling gear, it is available upon arrival at Giftun Island.

 

KITE AND WINDSURFING

You will find windsurfing courses for all levels in Hurghada – for beginners, competent windsurfers and professionals (and everybody who wants to become one). Leave yourself, equipped with board and sail, to the perfect wind, to the sea and the sun and learn, supported by professional guides, the most spectacular tricks and moves.

Hurghada has also a wide range of kite surfing courses. The low water level at most of the long beaches is just perfect for kite surfing. Kite surfing is easier to learn then windsurfing and allows in the same time a bigger variety of jumps and tricks.

 

GLASS BOATS AND SUBMARINES

If you’re not quiet a fan of snorkelling and diving, but still want to experience the underwater world, then glass boats and submarines are the perfect choice for you! So, board a glass-bottom boat that cruises over some beautiful coral reefs, where you can see a variety of brightly coloured fish and maybe even sharks. The glass below the waterline allows you, without getting wet at all, to observe the underwater environment from within the boat.

Or you can head actually underwater for an unforgettable underwater adventure aboard one of the comfortable, spacious and air-conditioned submarines. On the sub, you can explore the spectacular underwater landscapes with its fantastic coral formations and the tranquillity of life beneath the waves.

 

DEEP SEA FISHING

You stand a good chance of getting a good catch in these fish rich seas. Although not considered a big game fishing water body, the Red Sea is ‘active’ almost year round. Probably relative calmness, diversity of species, rich bottom structures, and the warm climate contribute to this. Red Sea fishing trips range from day charters to full week safaris. Longer time not only means more time to enjoy fishing and better chances to catch, but also possibility to reach remote and more rewarding fishing spots. Depending on take-off point (e.g. Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Marsa Alam, Gulf of Suez, or wild south) some good fishing spots may be as close as 2 hours or as far as 6 hours from the marina. Ideal bottom structures make trolling on the way in and out rewarding in many cases. In addition, boats troll specific spots (such as drop-offs, and reefs) at the best two time of fishing – early morning and late afternoon. The best fishing seasons are February to the end of July and mid October until the end of January. Deep sea fishing for common species such as king, barracuda, mahi mahi, groupers, sail (rare), giant trevally, needle, trigger, etc.

So, board a yacht for an exiting fishing trip while enjoying the nature and beauty of the corral reefs and the small islands.

 

CITY TOUR

The best way to explore when arriving in a new city is to take a city tour. So, spend some time touring the city and visit some sites, as the Big Mosque, St. Mary Church, the port area and do some free time shopping in the bazaars.

 

EGYPTIAN CULTURAL DINNER SHOW

The Fantasia 1001 Show at Alf Leila We Leila is a highlight for most visitors. It’s giving you a taste of the local customs, traditions and food. Belly-dancing, a pharaonic hors show with acrobatics on horseback and general horsemanship and a Sound and Light Show make up your night of Arabian entertainment.

 

DESERT SAFARIS

The area around Hurghada is known for its spectacular landscape, rich with colourful mountains, canyons and sand dunes. There is a wide range of breathtakingly desert adventures and programs offered, ranging from half a day to 4 or 5 days and even longer trips. Participants may choose between camels, horses, quads, jeeps and even buggies. It is wonderful way to explore the desert area in an adventures way. The desert is the home from several Bedouin tribes and clans. The nomadic Bedouins with their camels, sheep, goats and donkeys succeeded for centuries to live in harmony with desert’ nature. Their habits and customs hardly changed till today. On most of the trips you get the chance to visit a Bedouin Tribe, sip their Bedouin herbal tea, riding camels and have a Bedouin barbeque dinner, after watching the sunset, while enjoying the magical site of millions of glittering stars. Hospitality and friendship are the fundament of the Bedouins tradition. You can also visit the terrarium to see the desert snakes and scorpions. Surely you’ll find a tour which will meet your satisfaction.

 

LANDMARKS AND MONUMENTS

Many of the most significant landmarks and monuments in the Hurghada region are located in the desert an hour or two away by car. Most of these landmarks are remnants from the Roman period and are unique and fascinating to tour. Amongst the most important historical landmarks, the Monastery of St. Anthony and the Monastery of St. Paul stand out, while Mt. Claudianus is known for being the largest and best-preserved Roman site in the Eastern Desert.

  • Anfish Mountain

A climb up Mt. Anfish is a good start to every visit to Hurghada. Strangely enough, Mt. Anfish is invisible from almost anywhere you stand in town, but once you scale its peak you can see everything! It is the ideal spot to get a full view over town and to enjoy outstanding views over the mountains in the eastern desert and the outlying islands in the Red Sea.

  • Monastery of St. Anthony

This monastery, named after the father of Christian monasticism, was built 2 km south of the cave where St. Anthony holed up to lead a secluded ascetic life. Today, about 70 monks live in the Coptic monastery. Overnight stays can be arranged at their guesthouse in advance. The ancient church where St. Anthony is buried is the main attraction here, featuring recently restored and remarkable wall paintings of diverse periods and styles. The library contains a wealth of antique handwritten manuscripts, while the saint’s cave is located 680 meters above sea level and houses some fascinating writings and drawings in addition to impressive views of Hurghada’s mountains, the Red Sea and the valley below.

  • Monastery of St. Paul

St. Paul was a contemporary of St. Anthony and is considered Christianity’s first ascetic hermit. One of the monastery’s three churches, which were built in and around the cave where he once lived, contains his remains. Although this Coptic monastery is much smaller than that of nearby St. Anthony, visitors are welcome to stay a few nights. Attractions include freshwater springs, vibrant wall paintings, and altars with candles and ostrich eggs that represent the Resurrection. The monastery also contains numerous significant old and illustrated manuscripts.

  • Mountain of Claudianus

Mt. Claudianus or Mons Claudianus, located at the base of Gebel Fatira, was a famous quarry and Roman settlement. One thousand quarrymen and Roman soldiers were stationed here for over two centuries. Black quartz diorite was taken from here and used to beautify Roman cities. The grey granite was used as a building material throughout the Roman Empire. Some of the high quality granite blocks and columns cut out from this quarry can still be seen at objects in the Pantheon, in the unfinished Temple of Venus and in Hadrian’s Villa. You can also catch a glimpse of superb objects such as broken granite columns, stables, baths, workshops, slabs, old residential dwellings and the fortress that was meant to protect the people living in this Roman location in the Eastern Desert. A most remarkable remnant is a 16 m long and 2.4 m wide column weighing 209 tons. You will also see the hot springs that exist there today. These springs were used in a complex underground heating system for steam baths in Roman era.

  • Porphyry Mountain

Another important Roman quarry complex in the heart of the Eastern desert, Porphyry Mountain yielded Imperial Porphyry, a superb purple rock found nowhere else in the world. Much of this gem-like rock was made into pillars, basins, statues and sarcophagi for the glory of Rome and Istanbul. You can explore the remnants of fortress ruins, dwellings, temples, wells, shrines, broken pillars and cracked stone baths.

 

ANCIENT ATTRACTIONS WITHIN REACH

Hurghada is only around 210 km from the most famous ancient capital of the ancient world – Thebes – or Luxor. So, if you visit Hurghada you could easily plan a short trip to this ancient capital. Luxor has so many temples and historic monuments that it is virtually one enormous open air museum of Pharaonic Egypt. What about seeing the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, the Temple of Karnak or Luxor Temple! But it has a lot more to offer. Here you can engage with local Egyptian town life and its people. You can submerge into the souk looking for just that one present for home or drift down the Nile in a felucca enjoying the cool breeze of the late afternoon as the sun sets.

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