The tourist city of Hurghada is also known as a gateway to some of the best dive sites in the Southern Red Sea. From beginner dive areas to deep and cave tech diving, it is a diving destination of variety in underwater topography, marine life, wrecks, and magnificent coral reefs, particularly within the marine park of Giftun Island, and the reefs in Carless Reef.
Hurghada is less developed than Sharm El Sheikh, although it keeps a steady grow rate. It was once a traditional fishing village, but now it's bustling with restaurants, clubs and shopping centers. The old town is situated in the north area, whereas the large hotels stretch along the southern coast. Here you can visit local bazaars selling leather, gold, carpets, clothes and shisha pipes.
Day diving from Hurghada is characterised by sheltered reef and pinnacle dives close to shore, and boat dives around the Giftun Island and Sha’ab Abu Nuhas. There are a couple of local wrecks such as the El Mina Wreck close by, and also the possibility to join a liveaboard slightly further to the Salem Express, or even the famous S.S. Thistlegorm.
Marine life and hard and soft coral are abundant and varied, thanks to the conservation efforts raised since the 90's. Hurghada offers perfect conditions for learning: shallow, warm and clear waters, with the possibility of visiting fantastic wrecks that are within your depth range. The wrecks on the north of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef, like the Ghiannis D, the Carnatic, and the Kimon M., are outstanding and shallow enough for inexperienced divers to visit on an extended day trip.
Most of the dive sites can be easily reached within a boat ride of 40 minutes, offering plenty of of options for full day and half-day dive trips. Some big difference with the popular Sharm El Sheikh is that in Hurghada boats leave from beach resort private jetties, where most dive centres are generally based.
But Hurghada is not only a gateway to famous wrecks in the Gubal Strait, it's also a gateway to some of the Red Seas most popular sites to the south, like Marsa Alam area. The town’s new marina has added the possibility to travel these destinations via luxury liveaboards.
Hurghada is located along the Egyptian coast for about 40 km and it is known as the 'Venice of Egypt'. The town used to be an old fishing port but today it is Egypt's 2nd most popular dive tourist area, attarcting many tourists and travellers year after year.
It offers a large range of hotels of all classes, and is well equiped with shopping centers, entertainment and nightclubs in the new Marina area. For hustle and bustle, you can try the local markets and pubs.
Egypt features a melting pot of cultures and its cusine is a good example of it. It is a link between Africa and Asia, hence Egypt's cuisine comprise the best of both worlds reflected in their local dishes. They are often meaty with hints of spice and subtle fruity flavours.
On the other hand, Hurghada is a cosmopolitan resort city and therefore it's also easy to find international restaurants too: fast food, western food, oriental food (etc) is easily represented on the highways or byways of Hurghada. Hurghada's Marina Boulevard is a recently opened area set in beautiful surroundings. It has about 15 upmarket restaurants, including Thai food, Sushi, Fish and Chips or continental.
Hurghada's nightlife is legendary, and is one of the major attractions for tourists visiting the town. There are international names like Hard Rock Café, but in addition there are pubs and dance clubs glimering with their international sophistication.
Hurghada is also renowned for its stunning scuba diving on coral reefs and wrecks, watersports and beaches. Many hotels have private beaches and watersports include windsurfing, kitesurfing, water skiing, parasailing, snorkelling and of course diving. From its location it's quite easy to visit Luxor or Cairo.
In its coast there's Giftun Island, an interest for most tourists diving in Hurghada. The reef sand island is surrounded by vibrant corals, which homes exotic marine life. While visiting the area you can enjoy as much of the Egyptian sunshine as you can do on the beach, or swim in the crystal clear sea. Nearby islands are: Shaab El Erg, Shaab Abu Shiban, Umm Gammar Island, Sharm el Arab, Shaab Abu Hashish Island and Abu Mingar Island.
As an international centre for diving, Hurghada the gateway to the dive sites of the Southern Red Sea.
From the logistics perspective, Hurghada is easy to reach to from many European cities, and nowadays with the new Hurghada International Airport being close by transfers are not long, or nonexistent. Entry visas are required when visiting Egypt. These can be purchased at the airport itself at a cost of about $25 USD / £15 GBP.