The city of Hurghada offers another side of Egypt aside from being a nation of temples and pyramids, archaeological works and a nation that is under political unrest. Hurghada is an ideal beach destination for most Europeans because of its rich coral reefs and turquoise waters with the best diving and snorkeling sites along its shoreline.
At the Red Sea Coast, you not only get the chance to see the beauty of the underwater world but you also have the rare opportunity to interact with dolphins, walrus, and seals. You child will enjoy and you can take pictures with the dolphins after the open air–show.
Get the feel of ancient Egypt with a visit to El Dahar. This is the old district of Hurghada, inhabited and frequented mostly by locals and tourists because of the wide selection of shops and dining places.
When To Go:
The ideal time to go is during the summer season (April- October) but be prepared for the humid and dry climate. Temperatures are also more sensible amid the late fall and up to spring. The coldest month of the year is during the peak of the winter season – January. Winter usually starts during the first weeks of November all the way to the month of March.
Hurghada does not experience any rain all throughout the year, but there are dust storms which normally happen before the start of the summer season. Snorkeling is one of the top things to do here but always monitor the weather temperatures before going for a dive.
Getting around during Ramadan is not the convenient time to have a tour because most of the stores, attractions, government offices, embassies and restaurants operate for limited hours during the fasting month of Muslims.
These are the places to discover and things to do in the city of Hurghada…
Diamond Red Sea
The most amazing sea in Egypt because of the presence of corals and marine life in it. The Red Sea coral reefs offer a riot of colors and a myriad of different fish. For the beginner, scuba diving and snorkeling instructors can be availed from the hotels and resorts facing the beachfront area.
For a beach holiday it is very convenient, you can go snorkeling from the shore in shallow water about 500 meters deep with diving gears and equipment provided by them. You will enjoy the view of the wide ocean floor and the great reef breaks under you.
You also have the chance to see a number of different schools of swimming fish and a bevy of enchanting divers. You will be encompassed by the shallows near the beach and the breathtaking deep underneath you. This is one of the best reefs in Hurghada.
You can see any other reefs in many countries but the Diamond Red Sea will leave vivid impressions in your mind. You will not expect that diving can be as much as interesting until you see the wealth of underwater marine life that you will discover in this part of Hurghada City.
A great site to remember. It has the best colorful corals, cuttlefish, eels, and stone corals that are too many to mention. If you go diving in Hurghada you should definitely try this. The beautiful sea, clear waters, and the reef that looks like a giant aquarium is what makes the tour to this beach and reef all worth it.
The yacht will take you to three islands with a guide to see snorkel life on the seabed. The guides and the captain of the yacht are all very attentive and can speak German, English, and Russian.
Carless Reef is one of the most famous dive sites in Hurghada. It is located in the northeast part of Hurghada in the open sea and can be approached only in good weather and dived in good conditions. It is very bad to the flow if the current is strong.
The reef consists of a plateau with two ergs and begins deep at 12 feet to about 20 feet. If you are in luck you can sight some dolphins, tunas, sharks and large groupers. For this purpose, you should literally dive on the reef. Up on the plateau are the usual smaller things to see such as moray eels, tropical fishes, and thousands of corals.
Makadi Water World
Great slide and water park for the young and old. The slide park is surprisingly large and the entrance fee is already included in all-inclusive ticket. This water attraction and amusement place for kids is a welcome change from the pure bathing / snorkel/diving features that most resorts offer here.
If you have kids, they will surely have a blast from the variety of pools they can slide and fall into the water with. Some of the slides can make your heart skip a beat and there are some slides where landing in the water falls out unexpectedly, but all of the rides are safe and always ends with laughter and fun.
The staff at the big slides is very helpful and make sure you’re secured to the colored tires. There are tires for 1 person, twin tires and larger portions for families, as well as slip mats for certain slides. Unfortunately, not all slides are in operation and there are slides where you need to fall in line and climb steep stairs.
Highly recommended are solid bath shoes because the ground is hot and you might slip too easily. The food and drinks are good especially the sweet spaghetti that kids love to eat. At lunchtime there is a pause in which the water is turned off (during lunch break, all slides are closed); you can use this break time to eat or take a rest.
All in all, it is a good slide park where one can well spend half a day and enjoy the pools that are clean and well maintained. Most slides require the use of rings and everywhere there are loungers. The variety of dining options, plus drinks and snacks are always available.
The tour to Mahmya Island starts with a fifty minute boat ride from the port of Hurghada. Along the way you can see fantastic dolphin and the sea of gorgeous colors. As you get closer to the island, you can see the white coral beach and the hemp umbrellas hemp built like the ones in Maldives (the island is designed like a Caribbean getaway).
The view gets clearer as the boat nears the shore and you will see a piece of paradise in Egypt. An island surrounded by crystal clear water and very hot, fine sand, with a bar, a restaurant, and a breathtaking view at the top, a postcard like image that you can create with your camera, the beauty of nature that is complemented by its warm atmosphere and clear skies.
On the beach, there are mats and umbrellas to enjoy the beautiful view and to spend time for sunbathing. You can go snorkeling in the shallow water. Then, you get on the boat again to take you to another rich coral reef and swim for about an hour or two on the beach that has a good depth of ten meters where the water is clear and the colors are absolutely gorgeous.
The Mahmya Island adventure is an excursion that is relay worth trying when in Hurghada. It’s beautiful, it’s like in the Caribbean on a tropical beach and yet it is Egypt.
An absolute must. The tour begins as the bus picks you up at the hotel or the boat comes directly pick you up at the hotel, (depending on where you are currently billeted). The boat trip is great; you leave Hurghada with beautiful views of the Mosque and the mountains behind.
It overlooks the white sand banks out of the turquoise blue water or by location on the other side. On the boat there are toilet and even a shower hose to rinse if necessary. There are also ashtrays so do not throw cigarette butts into the sea. The arrival on Giftun Island is paradise.
There is a panel that describes the place well and the island is not inhabited by locals. There are small straw parasols that go very well in the background. The sand is white and the contrast with the clear turquoise water is wonderful. You reach the long beach where you will be given a lot of free time to snorkel and swim (the tour operator provides free palm mask and snorkel slippers).
It’s easy to enter the water and the water temperature is OK, and after not even a few steps, you will already see an area that is full of fish of all kinds, colored triangles, the largest, fluorescent, the Nemos (clown fishes), parrots and colorful corals, and sea urchins. But under water, there is still enough room for everyone.
After the snorkeling adventure you must go back to the boat that will bring you in another crossing to discover in this enchanting island where most dolphins can be found. The dolphin watching from this part of the island is the icing on the cake, for it is one of the reasons why tourists avail of this tour in Hurghada.
After the dolphin sighting experience, the captain brings the boat to a dive site and this is the time when they also stop and offer the varied meals with drinks to everyone on board. Available are bottled mineral waters, there is also soda and other beverages.
The sandals are not allowed on the boat and everyone must go barefoot. There are many nationalities of tourists and everyone must eat together and find some time to socialize. After this, there is still one last stop to snorkel on another coral reef. The boat comes back to the port in the afternoon.
The Giftun Island is one of the best islands you can visit in Hurghada. Most tourists delight on the underwater experience and confirm that if there is one place they want to go everyday in Hurghada, it is here at the Giftun Island for it really is a paradise that is worth knowing.
It is a Marina like all other new marinas all over the world, with concrete piers, large yachts and full of beautiful boats. The night falls early in the New Marina
of Hurghada when it becomes more enjoyable to see. By day, it is pretty with turquoise water, more turquoise than St Tropez or Ibiza. On entering the Marina, there is a guard, and standing out from the other side there is another guard and the marina there are other guards for your safety.
It is a nice area, very modern with beautiful boats and yachts, restaurants, bars and where many activities or things to do are proposed and easily accessible. It is a classy and trendy place where there are mostly tourists with lots of possibilities to eat, drink, or smoke shisha (Hookah water pipes).
El Dahar (Old City)
A trip to Hurghada is not complete if you don’t pass by the Old City or the El Dahar. This old town is very interesting. You can make your way into the narrow souks with local vegetables, Arab spices (saffron is very cheap here), clothes, carpets, and jewelries.
Here you can buy fresh fruits (watermelon, mango, physalis, grapes, oranges, etc.) at a much lower or quite different price than what the hotel offers. Just go to the shops to buy and enjoy freshly squeezed juices (orange, mango and cane).
You must be accompanied by a local guide and act like an ordinary buyer, not as a tourist. Of course there is the need to bargain, as they say to buy everything you fancy or need at a lower price. You can go up to the fish market here where they will have it cleaned for you and prepared how you wanted it. Boiled, stewed, or fire grilled, they will do it well cooked and nicely packed. In the shops they sell a lot of spices, tea, hibiscus, and fruit infused flavors (apple, watermelon, orange, etc.) for your hookah experience.
Not only shows their best performance with the dolphins but with the walrus too. You will be amused by Lila (a talented walrus). She plays the trumpet, and spun, and thinks of the right answer to a puzzle given by the Dolphin Dancers. The show is very cute and entertaining, the remaining speakers are good too plus the act with the seals and dolphins!
The presentation lasts about an hour, and most of the kids are amused from start to end. The main thing; please bring hats and water because the auditorium is right in the open sun. It is worth a trip for families with children. By the way after the presentation, the gates open and kids can have the opportunity to take pictures and swim with the dolphins!
Eastern (Arabian) Desert Safari Tour
One of the best experiences and things to do in Hurghada and the best way to understand the Egyptian culture. The tour starts with three-quarters of an hour’s jeep in the middle of nowhere in the desert between jumps and drifts where you will arrive initially on a dune and desert area of Hurghada.
The tour proceeds with a visit to a Bedouin village where you can eat Middle Eastern homemade dishes or drink the tea offered by the Bedouins and eat their bread. In the village there are some animals like ostriches, deer, turtles and snakes that you can observe. One of the best parts is the camel ride experience to the desert.
The most exciting activity happens in the late afternoon, with the quad kart ride where you can drive away to the desert dunes until sunset. Towards evening, you can witness a live Bedouin show during dinner or while smoking the hookah. Before the night is done and once it is dark you can look at the moon through the telescopes they have set up here in the desert. This tour is an excellent value for money and a must when in Hurghada.
Hurghada Grand Aquarium
Certainly not the largest aquarium in the world, but it deserves to be visited know all the species of fish and plants that inhabit the Red Sea and to be able to recognize them when you snorkel or dive. It is located in the Old Town district of Hurghada and within the vicinity of the Hotel Triton. Opening hours is daily from 10:00 am to 21:00 pm.
The entrance fee is quite reasonable. The aquarium was made in the form of a large room where the walls are built in large aquariums, where you can watch many of the inhabitants of the Red Sea especially if you are afraid to dive in the sea (snorkeling or scuba diving, or fear of depth) here you will see with your own eyes all the beauty of the underwater world of the Red Sea.
Among the inhabitants are the octopuses, manta rays, stingrays, moray eels, sharks and many other species of marine wildlife. The best part of this place is everything is calm and organized, and you can leisurely examine in detail all the inhabitants. It is interesting and educational for both children and adults so do not miss this place!
Surpassing all expectations and beyond it, Hurghada is a breath taking city that is dotted with lots of activities and things to do, in other words, there is no boring part of any tour that you undertake while discovering it. A tour is filled with great adventures and experiences that are difficult to put into words. Everyone who travels to Egypt must see Hurghada and it can be guaranteed, you will NOT be disappointed.