Hurghada is one of the most popular destinations in Egypt, if not the most popular. Each year, the region welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists, both domestic and foreign. It is not surprising that it is such a popular holiday destination; Hurghada has something for everyone, whether it is relaxing at a resort or snorkelling in the Red Sea. As soon as the tickets are booked and the visas have been applied for, you can enjoy all that Hurghada has to offer!
From small village to international city
Not so long ago, Hurghada was only a small fishing village. The name Hurghada comes from an ancient plant species that can be found in the region. Its location on the Red Sea meant that local fishermen were hardly ever out of work. But around 1980 the Egyptian government began to see the potential of the village. The location was perfect for tourism. The government started investing massively in Hurghada, and invited foreign investors with attractive deals. As a result, the fishing village quickly grew into an internationally renowned city. Today, Hurghada is one of Egypt's most famous and popular travel destinations.
The best period for a trip to Hurghada
One of the main reasons why Hurghada is so popular is that the sun almost always shines there. The region has a subtropical desert climate. This means warm winters and scorching hot summers. In the winter months, however, temperatures can fluctuate heavily; in the morning and afternoon it can easily be above 20 degrees, but at night the temperature can drop by more than 10 degrees. Summers, however, are mercilessly hot. The highest temperature recorded in Hurghada during the summer was 46 degrees Celsius.
The best time to travel is therefore generally between November and April. The weather during these months is pleasantly warm, and not as hot as during the summer. But if you want a nice tan, you can always go during the summer. Don't forget to bring plenty of sunscreen with you!
Attractions in Hurghada
Hurghada has endless sights to enjoy. Each tourist will give a different answer to the question of what the best activities and sights in Hurghada are. Nevertheless, a number of highlights appear on almost all the lists:
Snorkelling in Giftun Islands
The two Giftun Islands, Giftun Sughayer and Giftun Kebir, are a stone's throw distance from Hurghada. A short boat trip will get you there. The Giftun Islands are known as perfect locations for snorkelling. The islands are part of a protected marine area. This means that there is spectacular marine life to be seen there, from colourful fish to beautiful coral reefs. Those who prefer not to snorkel can also simply stand on the edge of the sea; the water is so clear that you can still see part of the marine life.
Shopping in Hurghada Marina
Whereas the Giftun Islands offer unspoilt nature, Hurghada Marina is a busier area. Most of the shops in Hurghada can be found here, from small souvenir stalls to large clothes shops. These shops have both international brands and local styles.
If you want to relax after a day of walking, you can go to one of the many restaurants or cafés in Hurghada Marina. These offer beautiful views of the Red Sea while you enjoy a delicious dish at your leisure. A must for every tourist!
The Sinbad Submarine
For those who want to see marine life up close, but prefer not to get wet themselves, Hurghada has the solution: the Sinbad Submarine. With this submarine (which is actually more a ship with windows) one can make a unique journey. Tourists get into a special submarine that takes them underwater to see marine life up close. The submarine has special windows that maximise the view, giving tourists the feeling that they are swimming among the fish themselves.
Relaxing at a resort
For most people, a holiday is a time to rest. Hurghada is perfect for this. The region has several resorts, almost all of which are located on the beautiful beaches for which Hurghada is so well known. The most popular resorts can be found in El Gouna and Shahl Hasheesh, but Makadi Bay also welcomes thousands of tourists every year.
In addition, all resorts allow you to spend some time at the beach without booking. The beaches are open to everyone, including tourists who have not booked at a specific resort.
Travelling to Egypt: The Egypt Visa
British and Irish nationals that want to travel to Hurghada are required to apply for a visa. The Egypt visa is a digital travel authorisation that can be applied for online. In the past, the Visa on Arrival was the most commonly used type of visa, but with the arrival of the e-visa for Egypt most tourists nowadays use the online version. The reason for this is that the e-visa is easier and, more importantly, cheaper to apply for compared to the old Visa on Arrival. When you arrive in Egypt, you do not have to wait in line to get your visa stamped. You can head straight to the passport check.
The visa is valid for a total of 90 days, and you can stay in Egypt for 30 consecutive days. As most places of interest in Hurghada are a short distance away from each other, this is usually more than enough time to enjoy all that Hurghada has to offer.