Red Sea in sight: divers’ delight

Hurghada, based on the Red Sea in Egypt, was founded in the early 20th century and used to be a small fishing town. However, since the 1980s, it has blossomed into one of the leading tourist destination on the Red Sea coastline. There are now some 40,000 inhabitants, and the city and its surroundings stretch for about 40 kilometres along the shore.

Hurghada offers the perfect opportunity for holidaymakers to relax and enjoy themselves. With such an excellent climate, it is possible for tourists to enjoy summer holidays past the traditional dates of July and August, and soak up the sun right through the autumn.

Sports and activity holidays as well as ski holidays and dive holidays are becoming ever more popular.

The city provides access to some of the very best diving sites that can be found anywhere in the Red Sea. Its central location provides favourable access to very famous dive sites, and the numerous wrecks that can be discovered.

As one of the foremost tourist resorts on the Red Sea coast, it also boasts a full range of aquatic sports such as windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, and most of all snorkelling and diving. It is also well located for tourists to visit the many islands that lie off the coast.

The amazing underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, good enough to attract enthusiastic divers from far and wide. The warm waters are also ideal for many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs. For those who do not fancy taking to the water themselves though, then a trip out on a glass bottom boat is the perfect way to enjoy yourself.

The city is made up of three main areas. There is the downtown and oldest part of the city, an area known as El Dahar. Here you will find the city’s largest bazaar where plenty of great bargains can be picked up, as well as the inter-city bus station, important if trips to other parts of Egypt are planned. The other areas are the more modern parts of Sekalla and El Korra Road.

The coastal town has also developed a strong reputation as a fun place to let your hair down, with a wide variety of bars, clubs and discos. Most hotels will provide some sort of entertainment, and you can also enjoy some impressive belly dancing and a night of Arabic folklore. A visit to Alf Leila Wa Leila (One Thousand and One Nights) is highly recommended.

Unsurprisingly, Hurghada also boasts an excellent Marine Biology Museum. It is situated a few miles of the city centre, and offers visitors an interesting and varied aquarium.

If you have had enough of heading out to sea, then you can turn around and head inland. Trips into the desert are not to be missed, whether it be to watch the sun rise or the sun set. You can also visit a Bedouin village or ride a camel, quite simply an essential part of your trip.

Around 25 kilometres to the north of Hurghada is El Gouna, an extraordinary project that is proving to be a very popular destination for holidaymakers. El Gouna is an artificially created and privately owned luxury hotel town that is sometimes referred to as Egypt’s Venice. It boasts a unique tranquillity and cleanliness, and is made up of a series of small islands that are divided by waterways and connected by bridges.

Due to its location, it is more than feasible to explore other parts of Egpyt from your base by the Red Sea. It is possible to go on overnight trip to Cairo, one of the most hectic cities in the world. With 16 million inhabitants the Egyptian capital is chaotic and unpredictable, and quite an experience to behold.

Of course you can check out the Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining manifestation of the Seven Wonders of the World, or see the nearby Sphinx, the 50 metre-long structure carved from a single block of stone. A visit to the Egyptian Museum is also essential, with more than 120,000 artefacts from impressive ancient Egyptian history.

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