Yellow sandy beaches, complimented by the beautiful waters of the Red Sea are waiting for you to come take a swim. I had my Red Sea experience at the beach resort town of Hurghada on the western side of the Red Sea Riviera. Hurghada is a busy resort town and parts of it are quite westernized, especially the down town area which has a vibrant nightlife with cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. If you do want more of an Egyptian feel you can head to Ad-Dahar in northern part of Hurghada for more authentic Egyptian restaurants and cafes and souks.
Hurghada is about a 4 hour drive from Luxor so it’s a great place to rest up, relax and reflect on the amazing experiences you have had while traveling through the Nile Valley. If you are coming from Cairo the trip is a bit longer, depending on traffic it could take around 7 hours but the drive is quite pretty as most of it takes you right along side the Red Sea. Bright blue waters, giant oil rigs in the distance and if you are lucky dolphins frolicking in the waters close to shore can be seen.
Most of the resorts have their own private beach which is good if you want be able to break out in a bikini without being self conscious of offending any locals. It is Egypt so lots of skin on a public beach can draw unwanted attention for females, it’s nothing to get annoyed about it’s just how it is, so be respectful and cover up. The great thing about the resort I stayed at is that it always had lots of free activities like beach volley ball, Zumba classes and water polo just to name a few, however if chilling on the beach is your thing then chill away and get your brown on.
Hurghada is well know for it’s beautiful marine life so scuba diving day trips are quite popular among tourist and can be booked either through your hotel or from one of the many tour operators in town. Something to note about the marine life in Hurghada is that it has suffered a great deal from the fast and steady growth of this once small fishing village. Coral reefs close to shore have been degraded over time by building developments along the coast and illegal dumping grounds.
In the last 15 years a number of conservation groups have been formed to protect, clean up and prevent further deterioration to the marine eco system in the Hurghada area. Progress is being made with the collaboration of hotels and tourist business in the area which is vital as tourism is this towns bread and butter or as we are in Egypt it would more fitting to say ‘pitta and tahini’.
While this town is booming with tourist you will see a lot of unfinished building work going on. Grand hotels and apartments that are yet to finished lay practically abandoned with little construction work going on. I’m not sure if this is to do with the economy or because these projects are now surplus to requirements or both.
Egypt is still getting back on it’s feet following a few low tourist seasons but Hurghada seems to be quite popular especially with Russian’s for tourism and employment. Living in Hurghada is quite reasonable and direct flights from Russia to Hurghada make it an easy and cost effective tourist destination for Russian citizens seeking a working holiday or a break in the sun.
The Red Sea is one of the most beautiful places I have been lucky enough to experience and relax in. It is truly one of Egypt’s treasures but like all things in nature it does need to be respected and taken care of so we can appreciate it for many years to come.