Hurghada, Egypt

Located between the dry desert of Egypt to the west and the warm sapphire waters of the Red Sea to the east, Hurghada is one of Egypt’s most famous resorts. The city is a narrow coastal strip, nearly 40 km long. For the most part, it is a mosaic of shiny and welcoming hotel complexes with large swimming pools and beautiful gardens with countless date palms. The majority of the population lives in Hurghada’s downtown.

hurghada coral reefThe city is dominated by low buildings with flat roofs and small living blocks dyed in light, simple colors (white, beige, yellow), impressive mosques with tall slender minarets, noisy and bustling markets as well as narrow streets with colorful shops.

Looking for interesting souvenirs, large crowds of tourists waste time walking between numerous pavilions filled with all sorts of goods. Extremely polite, friendly and talkative shopkeepers invite and talk after tourists asking them to buy something.

Hurghada is a very popular winter vacation spot for many people from the colder countries of Northern Europe. White and golden tropical beaches and transparent waters attract visitors with their out of this world beauty.

However, the greatest treasure, as often happens, is hidden from the eyes of tourists. Amazingly beautiful coral reefs, perhaps the most beautiful in all of Africa, extend beneath the surface of the Red Sea.

They are home to thousands of species of multicolored fish, sharks, dolphins, rays, turtles, starfish and around 200 different species of coral.

Hurghada’s sunny and shallow coastal waters offer the best conditions for these delicate and sensitive organisms to grow in. A few hundred meters offshore, you can see a number of bare, desert islands with beautiful coral lagoons and fine sand.

Hurghada is a colorful city combining an oriental spirit with an increasingly modern looking streets, buildings and facilities. Founded in the early 20th century, it is now the second largest city on the Red Sea coast and continues to grow rapidly.

Today the city has a population of over 161,000 people. 9 out of every 10 residents are Muslims, and most of the other 10% are Christians.

Hurghada falls within the tropical climate zone. It has a dry and sunny desert climate with daytime temperatures of 21 – 23°C in January and February and about 36 to 37°C in the height of summer in July and August.

No matter what time of year you are planning to travel, the clear blue sky is almost 100% guaranteed.

Although Hurghada enjoys warm and sunny days throughout the year and offer excellent conditions for swimming and outdoor activities, during the period from December to March the average nighttime temperature is pretty cool and varies between 10 and 15°C.

The average sea surface temperature is warm all year round. It ranges between 21°C in the middle of winter to about 28 – 30°C in late summer.

When to visit Hurghada? The winter months from November to April are the best time to go to Hurghada. Summers are always too hot.

Clothes. Light summer clothing is recommended throughout the year. A light jacket or an anorak is needed during the winter months if you want to go out at night.

The sun in Hurghada is very intense through the year, so make sure you use a high SPF sunscreen. If you do not protect your skin, it will burn very fast, and you will be forced to hide from the sun for the rest of your holidays. Sunglasses are also a very important accessory.

The sunlight in Hurghada is very strong, and it can greatly damages your eyes.

What not to miss while in Hurghada? Diving into the crystal waters of Red Sea and its stunning coral reefs is a phenomenal adventure.

There are numerous agencies that can provide you with all the necessary equipment, transportation and instructors. If, for some reason, you can not dive, do not miss to enjoy a glass bottom boat ride.

Take a short camel ride – an amazing experience, especially along the coast at sunset. Visit one of the local water parks. This is a really great way to cool off from the scorching rays of the tropical African sun.

Do not miss to go on a safari amidst the rough and dusty beauty of the Sahara Desert. Visit Mahmya Island, famous for its gorgeous beaches and excellent snorkeling conditions.

How to get there? With a direct flight to Hurghada International Airport. It is located about 5 km. from the city center and is considered one of the busiest airports in Africa.

The most frequent flights are to and from Britain, Germany, Russia, Scandinavia but also to many other large and medium cities in countries across Europe. Another alternative is the international airport in Cairo.

Dangers. If you walk around downtown Hurghada, keep your eyes peeled for pickpockets and crooks. Keep an eye on your wallet, purse and other valuables.

You should always be cautious when boarding a taxi.

Be careful how much you pay and what you receive as a change. You must follow also a very strict hygiene.

Be careful where you eat and drink and what.

If you love to eat outside and for some reason there’s nowhere to wash your hands, it is strongly recommended to bring and use an alcohol-based hand gel.

Before traveling don’t forget to visit your doctor and ask him to tell you what you can do to prevent the most common diseases in the area of Hurghada – gastrointestinal infections, different types of hepatitis, typhoid fever, salmonella and others.