Hurghada, The Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


Welcome to Hurghada

Hurghada, known locally as Ghardaga, has grown from a small fishing village to an internationally renowned holiday resort town on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, famous for its underwater life and diving and snorkelling opportunities. Popular as a European package holiday destination, the town of Hurghada boasts first class hotels and all-inclusive resorts, as well as a highly vaunted nightlife. South of the town is the resort strip with hotels packed along a 12-mile (20km) stretch of beach, while within the town there are many bars, restaurants, shops and a variety of accommodation to suit all types of budget. The town's central location on Egypt's coast provides a gateway to prime diving sites throughout the Red Sea.


Activities

The holiday resort of Hurghada is renowned for its variety of watersports that includes sailing, fishing, kitesurfing and windsurfing. Offshore underwater gardens and coral reefs make this an internationally recognised location among divers and snorkellers, and for the less active many hotels offer glass-bottomed boat excursions to admire the corals and marine life. Hotels and resorts also offer water activities such as banana rides, pedal boats and canoeing, as well as trips to the Giftun Island Marine Park. On land there are beautiful beaches, golf courses, horse riding, and desert excursions, which include camel rides, hiking, 4x4 or quad safaris.

Language
Arabic is the official language although English and French are widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas.
Money

The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. Most credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants. Visitors are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds to avoid additional exchange rate charges. Banks are usually closed on Friday and Saturday, but private exchange bureaux, called 'Forex', are open daily and banks in major hotels are open 24 hours. Cairo branches of the Egyptian British Bank and Banque Misr now have ATMs available that accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus and are quite common in the main tourist areas.

Negatives

The beach in Hurghada is made of dark red grainy sand interspersed with rocks and boulders; sandals should be worn.

Nightlife

With its growing reputation as a holiday party town 'par excellence', Hurghada boasts a lively nightlife with numerous clubs, discos, pubs and trendy lounges, and a variety of entertainment that includes beach barbeques, karaoke evenings, foam parties and divers' parties. Popular are Papas Beach Club and Calypso, while Alf Leila Wa Leila is famous for belly dancing and Arabic folklore.

Restaurants

Hurghada has a variety of restaurants for those on holiday to enjoy, serving food from around the world, from Indian or French to Thai, Mexican and Japanese. El Dahar (downtown) offers a wide choice of authentic Egyptian eateries, including street stalls and inexpensive restaurants, and fast food chains such as KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds are also available. Most local places don't serve alcohol. Hotels all have their own restaurants, which serve up a variety of local and international cuisine.

Shopping

El Dahar, the old part of Hurghada town, has a traditional Egyptian bazaar with a variety of shops selling tourist souvenirs and holidaymakers can splurge to their hearts' content. Bargaining is expected and prices will generally be better than in the resort village shops. The best buys are papyrus scrolls or traditional 'shisha pipes'.


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