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About city Gallery Where to stay

Hurghada is one of the most important tourist centres on the Red Sea. This city, situated 450 km from Cairo, used to be a small fishing town. Now it’s one of the world’s leading resorts in terms of the number of hotels – Hurghada’s coastline has over 200 hotels already, and the city is still growing.

The resort consists of three parts. Sakala, which used to be a fishing village, is the brand new city centre, with many hotels and shops filled with jewellery, leather articles and other souvenirs. You’re sure to find a place to eat here or drink some refreshing and energizing sugar cane juice.

El Dahar is the old part of the city. It’s the real North Africa, with few hotels and lots of locals. Strolling here in the evening, you’ll see many places where men sit around hookahs, drink tea and talk about the day’s events or discuss passers-by. Sitting down beside them, taking a drag on the hookah and drinking some coffee is guaranteed to make you see the entire colour spectrum of Egypt.

The old streets are full of small shops
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The old streets are full of small shops

The third part is the recently-built, modern Village Road Neighbourhood, with its 5 km stretch of hotels, shops, cafés and bars.

Another recent tourist attraction is the Hurghada Pier. It gives the city a new face. It’s a place where both tourists and locals take quiet walks in the afternoon, and take a few undisturbed breaths of the fresh sea air in the evening, away from the hubbub of Sakala. It also has some of the best Egyptian restaurants, cosy cafés, discos and trendy bars.

Hurghada
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Hurghada

At first sight, Hurghada is not an attractive place, with deserts and sand mountains on one side and hordes of hotels and even more stone fences on the other. The Red Sea can only be seen from atop bigger hills. Driving through Hurghada’s coastal streets, one’s vision becomes cluttered with different, yet similar, hotel territories with their myriad palm trees.

Sand, hotels and local souvenir shops are not the biggest treasures of Hurghada. Most people come to this city because of the Red Sea. Were it not to exist, there would be no Hurghada on the tourist maps.

Prickly superb coral
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Prickly superb coral

It’s a real paradise for divers. The Red Sea is home to around 1,300 species of fish. The most popular reef near Hurghada is the Big Giftun. Those who are after silence and cosier coral reefs will have to go further away from the city and its tourist centres.

A word of caution: many people of Hurghada have heard stories of small diving agencies that became responsible for the deaths of several divers, so if you fancy going to sea - choose bigger and better-known diving centres that can ensure your safety.

Another part of holidaymakers consists of water sport enthusiasts. The shallow, windy lagoons here are perfectly suitable for kiteboarding and surfing.

Windsurfing in the Red Sea
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Windsurfing in the Red Sea

Moving away from Hurghada and towards the desert, you’re bound to meet some local Bedouins. This is a very touristy attraction, though, as authentic desert Bedouin communities near Hurghada are close to extinct now. These desert wanderers, who used to be feared in the past, now exist on the margins of Egyptian society and survive by renting their camels to tourists, making small souvenirs or simply asking foreigners for money.

A great climate and the wonderful sea make Hurghada a fun place to go for a vacation, although if you want to see the real Egypt, head for Cairo, Alexandria or the impressive archaeological sites on the coastline of the Nile.

Where to stay

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