What to do in Hurghada

Hurghada - International Centre for Aquatic Sports

Hurghada was once a quiet fishing village, but over the last twenty years, it has become the leading seashore resort on the Red Sea. Holiday villages and hotels provide aquatic sports facilities for sailboarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers, and snorkelers, as well as 36km of pure beaches on which to relax before adventuring beneath the Red Sea to seek out underwater treasures. 

Today’s active lifestyles demand that tourists can find exciting and challenging activities to enjoy on holiday, and Hurghada provides a perfect blend of engaging daytime pursuits and vibrant nightlife.

Hurghada has become an international center for aquatic sports such as windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, and swimming, but above all for some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling in the whole world. The underwater gardens are amazing with a wide range of rare fish and coral reefs. If you are a diving enthusiast, or someone who would love to see what diving has to offer, Hurghada has simply the finest diving you will find.

Whether you are an experienced diver looking for the ultimate locations, a novice keen to try diving for the first time, or somewhere in between and looking to learn more, Hurghada has exactly what you need. With PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) qualified instructors at a host of diving centers, you will find a diving experience to cater to your needs.

For those wishing to enjoy the sights beneath the Red Sea without learning to scuba dive, snorkeling is also popular in Hurghada, and is possible with a less demanding learning curve, although safety and orientation courses are given, and allows for underwater viewing up close in shallow water.

Owing to its central location, the city provides a gateway to diving sites throughout the Red Sea and is also known for providing access to many uninhabited offshore reefs and islands.

It is a paradise for anyone with an appreciation of the underwater world. 

As well as the newer parts of Hurghada, don’t miss the chance to spend time appreciating the charm and character of the older parts of the city like Sakkala and Ad Dahar.
Back on dry land, Hurghada is well-served by beautiful hotels, where guests can enjoy spa facilities, massages, and beautiful beaches from which sailing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, kitesurfing, pedal boats, and waterskiing are available. For those who would rather view the undersea beauty without getting wet, glass-bottomed boat trips are a great way to see the sights.

By night, Hurghada shifts up a gear and reveals its famous nightlife, including the Ministry of Sound Beach Club, as well as the discos and entertainment on offer at most of the city’s hotels.

Restaurants range from those serving traditional Arabic food to chains familiar to western visitors, including Hard Rock Café.

Around Hurghada

All of the excitement and beauty of Hurghada itself is reason enough for a long stay in the area, but the surrounding desert and coastline offer such a wealth of sights and experiences that you will want to return time and again to discover new and unexpected encounters with the splendor of Egypt.

Majestic deserts

As well as being known for its amazing beaches along the coast, Egypt is also famous for its majestic deserts, and taking a trip inland from the Hurghada area can open up new possibilities for adventure and new experiences. 
To the west, the inland desert mountains rise to dominate the landscape, making for breathtaking sunsets, and an unparalleled opportunity to explore. Quad bike desert tours are among many activities you will find around Hurghada, and make a wonderful story to tell upon your return home.
The Eastern Desert is a fascinating and vast landscape of sand, rocks, oases, and mountains, and is the home of the Bedouin people. 

Operators arrange tours in which, after safety tests and orientation, they lead you on a mid-afternoon ride over the desert sands to a Bedouin village, where you will learn about Bedouin life, heritage, and traditions, before riding a camel in the desert and then taking in the amazing sunset view with a barbecue dinner, entertained by traditional Bedouin music, before you ride back to your hotel under
the desert stars. These visits to Bedouin villages can also be taken in four-wheel-drive vehicles for those who would prefer someone else to do the driving.


Looking away from the desert and out from the coastline, you will find islands, reachable on short boat trips, each with its appeal. Many of the islands are popular dive sites, with a vast variety of dives suitable for all skill levels, from absolute beginners to seasoned experts. With coral walls, sandy shallows, and both shallow and deeper areas to explore, there is certain to be no shortage of diving and snorkeling choices, and the huge number of different sea life to be seen makes this whole area one that no diver should miss.

Giftun Island is among the main diving sites to which day boats take diving parties. The island is a beautiful sand reef and is surrounded by a garden of corals and exotic marine life.
On a trip to the island, you can soak up the glorious sunshine on the sandy beach or swim in the crystal clear waters - the reef is home to vibrant corals, a seemingly infinite number of bright and colorful tropical fish, and you may even see rays, turtles and dolphins. Many operators will provide equipment for snorkeling for guests to explore the views under the sea, and it is also possible to sail to other nearby coral islands.

Mahmya Beach is on the southern shores of the Giftun Island National Park off the coast of Hurghada. Mahmya in Arabic means “Protected Area”, and it is a testament to the careful management of this idyllic island that it can welcome tourists and yet remain so wonderfully unspoiled.
Day trips to Mahmya are operated by many tour operators. Visitors board one of two 27-seater Mahmya boats and sail for around one hour to the island. To protect the coral reef and its marine inhabitants, the boats moor at buoys off the pristine bay, and visitors are taken to the shore by smaller boats. Once they have landed on the island, guests are free to snorkel on the impressive coral heads scattered in the clear lagoon, have a walk along the sandy beach, take on other guests at beach volleyball, try scuba diving with the diving center, or just relax on the pure white beach. Lunch can be enjoyed at the restaurant, with seafood and Italian specialties, and later in the day guests can enjoy drinks at the bar.
Despite being on an uninhabited desert island, first aid, security and trained lifeguards are present at all times, so tourists can relax in the knowledge that they are in safe hands.

Sinbad, the submarine

With diving and snorkeling so popular, it is interesting to find yet new ways to enjoy the undersea views. How about two hours of discovering the wonderful marine life of the Red Sea by submarine? Hurghada is home to Sinbad, a submarine that carries 44 passengers and has a crew of two pilots, who take their guests to a wonderful reefs where colorful fish can be found.

Historical interest & Excellent Diving Sites

It is well-known that Egypt is a country full of historical interest, and just to the south of Hurghada is Mons Claudianus, an ancient Roman penal colony from the days when Egypt was within the Roman Empire, and where prisoners mined granite as a building material for the Roman Empire (tourists will be pleased to hear that they will not be expected to work in the quarries during their visit!) This stone was used in famous buildings such as the Pantheon and Temple of Venus in Rome, Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli, and also in the defending walls and defense towers around Mons Claudianus itself. Hot springs, which were used for underground heating systems in Roman times, still exist today along with ruined granite artifacts, and the Roman camp, dwellings, workshops, and stables. The granite mine itself is still there and is the largest and best-preserved Roman site in the Eastern Desert. You will also find Mons Porphyrites (about 40km from Hurgada).

The Hurghada area is a real state-of-the-art resort with a huge range of leisure activities, entertainment, and spa facilities. 
It is also an ideal base from which to explore the nearby resorts at Safaga, El Gouna, Makadi Bay, and Sahl Hasheesh, all of which offer beautiful beaches, excellent diving sites, and their ranges of activities and sights. With Hurghada International airport so close by, it is even possible to fly out to Cairo and take in the famous ancient sights such as the Pyramids, or to Luxor with its many ancient temples. 

The high level of top-quality investment in top-class new facilities highlights the excellent nearby resorts of Sahl Hasheesh, Soma Bay, and Makadi Bay.
They have a multitude of fine facilities including golf, spa, and wellness resorts. They are also becoming very popular locations for holiday homes.

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