Away To Africa

Hurghada in Egypt

Hurghada, which spent the first 100 years of its existence as a peaceful little Red Sea fishing hamlet, is today one of the Middle East’s most well-liked beach and diving destinations, and for good reason.

Hurghada boasts a massive 13 listings in Scuba Travel’s World’s Top 100 Dive Sites in 2022, making it one of TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Most Popular Destinations in the World for 2022.

So when you add the amazing diving to the 365 days of sunshine and beach weather, it becomes clear why Hurghada is a top destination for travelers.

Short Facts

  • Hurghada’s metropolis and the nearby resort communities of Makadi Bay, El Gouna, Soma Bay, and Sahl Hasheesh make up the city’s coastline area.
  • Hurghada is located between the Red Sea and Egypt’s eastern desert and mountains, which are not on the Sinai Peninsula like Sharm el Sheikh is.
  • The 5 star, all-inclusive beach resorts in Hurghada, many of which feature on-site water parks for kids and a variety of activities, are the city’s major draw in addition to its outstanding diving.
  • Most European locations require a four-hour travel, and Cairo just a 45-minute flight (4.5 hour drive)

Ideal Time to Visit

The best time of year to visit Hurghada largely depends on your own interests. Hurghada’s “peak season” is between the spring and fall, when the weather is at its best (beach weather without rising temperatures), and Hurghada is busiest.

Summer is a terrific season to visit because it’s a seaside resort city, but only if you can withstand everyday temperatures in the mid- to high-thirties (Celsius) or the nineties (Fahrenheit) and the intense sun.

Many Europeans also like escaping the below-freezing winters by making their way to Hurghada, where there is sunshine every day and highs in the mid-twenties Celsius or mid-seventies Fahrenheit.

Getting There

Simply take a flight into Hurghada International Airport whether you are traveling internationally or even if you are only going to fly locally.

Once you land, it’s simple to either phone a car to pick you up or hail an airport cab from the arrivals area (ABC Taxi, more info below).

You may also easily arrange in advance for your hotel to send a car to pick you up if you’re staying there.

Three choices are available if you are traveling from Cairo: driving, taking a bus, or flying.

Thanks to the newly constructed Galala Road, which lets you to avoid the perilous two-way, winding mountain roads of Ain el Sokhna, traveling from Cairo is now quite pleasant. From Cairo, it takes roughly 4.5 hours.

GoBus provides more than 20 trips each day between Cairo and Hurghada if you’re traveling by bus.

Depending on the type of ticket you purchase, they provide a variety of buses (for example, the Elite Plus bus has individual LCD screens for each seat).

Flying takes roughly 45 minutes to get from Cairo to Hurghada.

Places To Stay

It’s simple to become confused while browsing the lodging alternatives on a hotel booking website since there are SO MANY hotels.

Therefore, it’s crucial to know the location of your hotel or rental and the advantages and disadvantages of each before making a decision.

1. One of Hurghada’s hotels

Hurghada’s Sunrise Holidays Resort is located on Old Sheraton Road.

There are several hotels in Hurghada city proper, ranging from modest 2 star hotels to magnificent 5 star hotels on the beach.

El Mamsha, a lengthy pedestrian street lined with hotels, eateries, and bars, or the Old Sheraton Road along the coast, close to Hurghada Marina Boulevard, are popular places to stay.

Pros: The proximity to the action, eateries, bars, and nightlife is a plus. It is simple to get around using regular cabs or ABC taxis (info below).

Cons: The city lacks the tranquility of a resort town, and most hotels don’t provide as many amenities as the large resort hotels.

2. A hotel in a nearby tourist destination like Soma Bay, Makadi Bay, El Gouna, or Sahl Hasheesh

Sahl Hasheesh Oberoi

There are several resort communities outside of Hurghada proper, including El Gouna (45 minutes south by car), Sahl Hasheesh (half an hour north by car).

Makadi Bay (45 minutes south by car), and Soma Bay, which is technically in the Safaga region of the Red Sea but is still referred to as Hurghada by some (an hour south by car).

A lot of the hotels in these resort towns are all-inclusive, and they are remote and immaculate, so you won’t have to worry about anything while you’re there.

Some of the larger hotels also have children’s waterparks, and they can plan a variety of activities for both adults and families.

Cons: Sahl Hasheesh, Makadi Bay, and Soma Bay don’t have much to offer outside of resorts; you won’t find as many eateries, nightclubs, and other local activities there as you would in Hurghada city, and getting there requires at least a 30-minute drive each way.

The exception is El Gouna, where you can find a comprehensive overview of everything El Gouna has to offer here.

3. Renting an apartment

On websites like Airbnb, you can find a wide variety of different villa and apartment rentals in Hurghada city and El Gouna.

Rent an apartment near the marina in Hurghada

Benefits include having your own space with a kitchen for cooking, and some rentals have private pools.

Cons: You won’t have hotel employees to plan your excursions, travel, or activities.

How to Navigate (Transportation in Hurghada)

1. Typical taxis

If you’re staying in Hurghada city, flagging down a passing cab is a straightforward method to move about.

It’s essential to inform the driver of your intended destination and settle on the fee before getting in because it’s likely that their meter won’t be functional.

2. ABC Cab

ABC Taxi is a wonderful option if negotiating with cab drivers isn’t your thing.

They are meter-operated taxis that are based in Hurghada, but you may request them round-the-clock from El Gouna or other tourist destinations. Their cars arrive promptly, and you may reserve one for later or request one straight now.

Average wait time for your ABC cab to arrive once you call them:

8 to 10 minutes within Hurghada

21 minutes for El Gouna

17 minutes for Sahl Hasheesh

21 minutes to Makadi Bay

27 minutes for Soma Bay

Call ABC Taxi at (201) 222 8294. (When you phone them, they promptly return your call and cancel it so they can take care of the expenses.)

3. Careem and Uber

Yes, Hurghada has access to both Uber and Careem, its Middle Eastern rival (the main city area).

Activities in Hurghada

1. Snorkeling and diving

Red Sea diving is recognized around the world, as we already said. There are several, reasonably priced dive shops in Hurghada that provide PADI lessons in a variety of languages.

Boat cruises to fantastic snorkeling locations are also readily organized, either by the dive shops or your hotel, if you wish to see the Red Sea’s stunning reefs and marine life without actually diving.

Check out our post, “7 Best Diving Destinations in Egypt’s Red Sea,” for additional information on the top diving locations.

2. Spend the day at beaches with all the amenities

Some of Egypt’s nicest white sand beaches may be found in the Hurghada region, together with tranquil, crystal-clear sea.

Nearly all of the resorts have their own beaches that are equipped with umbrellas, loungers, towels, and full-service food and drink delivery, including shisha (hookah).

You may be interested in these: 9 World-Class Beaches in Egypt

3. Travels by boat to the islands

Mahmya Beach on the Island of Giftun

There are a variety of islands dotting the Hurghada coastline, and depending on which island you choose, you may choose to snorkel and explore or spend the entire day at a beach bar or restaurant.

4. Water sports and recreation

There are a ton of different activities you can do in the ocean in addition to diving, snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing.

Kitesurfing

Windsurfing

Water-skiing/wakeboarding

Catamaran

Parasailing

Sailing

Fishing

glass-bottom vessel

5. An aquarium and water park

Makadi World of Water

Try one of Hurghada’s water parks if you want an activity that will appeal to both children and adults.

The most well-known is Makadi Water World, which is accessible for free to guests of Jaz Makadi Bay hotels or for which admission tickets are available.

There are several slides for visitors of all ages, in addition to a restaurant/snack bar that serves both food and beverages.

Aquarium Grand in Hurghada

The Grand Aquarium in Hurghada city is another fun family activity.

6. Desert Recreation

There are still plenty of things to do in Hurghada if you’ve got your fill of beach and water-related activities.

Hurghada is surrounded by the Eastern Desert and Mountains of Egypt, and you may easily arrange desert activities with the help of your hotel or a local tour operator:

Quad/ATV safari

A dirt bike

equestrian riding

On the Red Sea Trail, hiking and camping

7. Wander about Hurghada

The greatest way to discover the “genuine” Hurghada, aside from the carefully manicured resort experience, is by touring the city.

El Dahar, the so-called “ancient town,” is home to a few souks and bazaars. The majority of the people reside in this region, which is significantly different from the tourist attractions and offers a fascinating glimpse into the “true” city.

Market for produce in El Dahar

Hurghada Marina Boulevard is quite different from El Dahar, where everything is brand-new and glossy. The marina’s yachts are flanked with restaurants, bars, and stores.

Marina Boulevard in Hurghada

Old Sheraton Road, also known as El Sekala, is where local life and tourist life converge parallel to the coast.

The greatest seafood in Hurghada, local stores and bazaars, banks, coffee shops and cafés, restaurants (both local and tourists), and a variety of other facilities that any resident or visitor to the city would want can be found on this long, bustling street.

The majority of the hotels, eateries, and bars in Hurghada are located along El Mamsha, a lengthy pedestrian promenade.

8. Places of Worship

The El Mina Mosque El Mina, which means “the port,” is an appropriate name for this mosque, which is situated directly on the Hurghada Red Sea seaport, with small fishing boats and larger yachts dotted around the surrounding water.

This mosque, which was constructed across an area of 4,000 meters, features 25 domes, a sizable marble courtyard, and two imposing minarets. The architecture is eclectic and has references to many Islamic forms and patterns.

Saint Anthony’s Monastery One of the most well-known “Desert Fathers,” a group of Christian monks who resided in the Eastern Egyptian desert during the third century, was St. Anthony.

He was wandering the desert when he came to a tree-lined oasis; it was here that his monastery was erected a few years later and afterwards, he was buried.

St. Anthony’s Monastery, which houses paintings from the seventh and eighth century as well as 1,700 antiquity manuscripts, is currently the oldest inhabited Christian monastery in the world.

From Hurghada, it takes around two hours to get there. St. Paul’s Monastery, which was founded in the sixth century, is nearby.

Restaurants In Hurghada

Most guests to Hurghada choose to dine at their hotels, however if you’d want to check out some of the city’s top independent eateries, we suggest:

Thailand Garden (in El Mamsha)

Om Yassin Kitchen serves traditional Egyptian cuisine.

The Star Fish (fresh seafood on Old Sheraton Road)

Additionally, El Gouna is home to a fantastic selection of eateries. Read 7 Best Restaurants in Hurghada and El Gouna for more information.

Nightlife

The most well-known clubs in Hurghada city are all located on El Mamsha and include:

Small Buddha

The Hard Rock Cafe (foam parties, Ladies Nights)

The Papas Club

For a more relaxed bar or pub atmosphere:

The Caribbean Bar

-Granada

Retro Bar

Additionally, you may travel to El Gouna and visit:

-Bartender

-Pier 88

-Aurora

Leaving

 

It’s simply as easy as getting there. If you traveled by GoBus, you must board your return bus in Hurghada (the El Dahar region) at the same bus stop where they left you off.

 

Uber/Careem or ABC Taxis may drive you to the Hurghada Airport if you arrived by plane and need to travel there.

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