Hurghada started life as a small fishing village, and remained undeveloped until the 1980s when it was discovered and started to become a mecca for tourists. Situated on the banks of the Red Sea in Egypt, with its population of around a quarter of a million, it’s Egypt’s second-largest city. Given its climate and environment, it’s no wonder that it’s seen such growth. The only surprise is that it didn’t occur earlier.
The climate is best classified as subtropical-desert. The winters are very warm and the summers very hot. The coolest months of December, January and February clock in at around twenty to twenty-two degrees, while the period from June to September is in the upper thirties. It has one of the highest incidences of sunshine in the world, with 3,800 hours a year, from an average of nine a day in December to thirteen in July. The sea’s average temperature ranges from twenty-one degrees in February to twenty-eight in August. As for rain, forget it, as there are only two millimetres every year.
The city of Hurghada has grown continually over the past thirty years and now occupies a thirty-six kilometre stretch of the coast. However, it has not made such inroads into the surrounding desert and remains long and thin. Following all the investment of recent times, Hurghada has reached the status of being recognised as the top seashore resort on the Red Sea. It’s popular with Egyptians, particularly those from Cairo, Upper Egypt and the Delta, and not just Europeans. The city itself subdivides into three parts; Sekalla, the centre of the city, El Mamsha, the new part and El Dahar, the old part. El Dahar plays host to the post office, long-distance bus station and a traditional Egyptian bazaar, crowded out with goods and a wide variety of shops. For those with a mind to a bargain, there’s plenty of opportunity to practise your haggling skills.
What to do
While lounging around in the sun with a nice cool drink is very appealing, Hurghada has so much more to offer the visitor. It’s famous for its crystal clear waters and marine life, and diving to get up close and personal with the fish is available to both the experienced practitioner and the beginner. Other water activities include sailing, canoeing, windsurfing and fishing. If you feel more at home on dry land, you can play golf on one of the superb courses or take a trip into the desert, complete with camel rides. For those who wish to journey further afield, Hurghada is well positioned to make day trips to other Egyptian places, such as Cairo.
Eating , drinking and nightlife
There’s a wide range of cuisines available throughout the city, but for some good, traditional Egyptian fare, head towards El Dahar. And once the sun goes down, you can find a first-class selection of nightclubs, discos and pubs to while the night away.
A visit to Hurghada is quite an experience, and one which many people repeat regularly.