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Wed, 17 May 2017

Holidays In El Gouna

El Gouna Holidays at a Glance

El Gouna, the little Venice of the Red Sea is located 30 km north of Hurghada. It's built on 10 kms of scenic beach front and boasts unique and diverse architecture. Spread across a myriad of islands interlinked together by beautiful turquoise lagoons.

Who Goes to El Gouna?
Holidays to El Gouna offer great beaches and lagoons great for swimming and other water sports including scuba diving.



Key Facts - El Gouna

  • LanguageArabic
  • CurrencyEgyptian Pounds (EGP)
  • Dialing Code00 20
  • Time Difference+2 GMT
  • Flight Duration5 hours 30 mins (Approx)
  • Distance From Airport30 km
  • Airport Transfer (Taxi)30 mins

Soak up the sun on the sandy beaches, home to a variety of watersports as well as a number of diving centres. Away from the coast, there's plenty to do - you can even tee off at El Gouna's 18-hole golf course.

The variety of cuisine on offer in El Gouna spans traditional Egyptian fare to Italian, Chinese, French, German, Mexican and Lebanese dishes. There's plenty to do in the evenings in El Gouna.

Bedouin Evening: An evening not to be missed, enjoy a spectacular sunset in the Sinai desert from the back of a camel. Arrive at a traditional Bedouin tent, relax and get ready for a typical dinner including entertainment, aromatic tea and soft drinks. This is a great opportunity to discover the real local life of the Bedouins.

St Catherine's Monastery: Depart for St Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai. The spectacular setting of this Monastery, built in AD330 around the site of Moses' Burning Bush, has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. Still inhabited by monks, you will have the opportunity to see the library, museum and Chapel of Burning Bush.

Boat Trip to Ras Mohammed National Park: For the joy of those who love uncontaminated nature, Ras Mohammed is without doubt an ideal spot. This is a fabulous boat trip with the opportunity to snorkel in one of the most amazing coral gardens and is always a popular choice.

Cairo Excursion: No visit to Egypt is complete without a visit to Cairo. The pyramids at Giza are the world's oldest tourist attraction and the Great Pyramid is one of the wonders of the ancient world. The day will include a tour of the Giza plateau to visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Also, just as famous the Egyptian Museum and the Tutankhamen treasures will be included. An Egyptologist will be on hand throughout the day to guide you around the museum and explain some of the history and legends behind the famous boy king and the other Egyptian pharaohs. Don't miss the chance to explore the souk area of the Khan el Khalili bazaar in the centre of the Cairo and enjoy lunch overlooking the river Nile.

Bedouin Evening: An evening not to be missed, enjoy a spectacular sunset in the Sinai desert from the back of a camel. Arrive at a traditional Bedouin tent, relax and get ready for a typical dinner including entertainment, aromatic tea and soft drinks. This is a great opportunity to discover the real local life of the Bedouins.

St Catherine's Monastery: Depart for St Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai. The spectacular setting of this Monastery, built in AD330 around the site of Moses' Burning Bush, has remained largely unchanged over the centuries. Still inhabited by monks, you will have the opportunity to see the library, museum and Chapel of Burning Bush.

Boat Trip to Ras Mohammed National Park: For the joy of those who love uncontaminated nature, Ras Mohammed is without doubt an ideal spot. This is a fabulous boat trip with the opportunity to snorkel in one of the most amazing coral gardens and is always a popular choice.

Cairo Excursion: No visit to Egypt is complete without a visit to Cairo. The pyramids at Giza are the world's oldest tourist attraction and the Great Pyramid is one of the wonders of the ancient world. The day will include a tour of the Giza plateau to visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Also, just as famous the Egyptian Museum and the Tutankhamen treasures will be included. An Egyptologist will be on hand throughout the day to guide you around the museum and explain some of the history and legends behind the famous boy king and the other Egyptian pharaohs. Don't miss the chance to explore the souk area of the Khan el Khalili bazaar in the centre of the Cairo and enjoy lunch overlooking the river Nile.

Mount Sinai: Mount Sinai, just south of the Monastery of St Katherine, is of great religious importance to Jews, Christians and Muslims. According to the Old Testament this is where Moses received the Ten Commandments.

Throughout the centuries the mountain has drawn thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. You can ascend to the summit (2285 m, 7497 ft) to experience the ultimate spiritual high; either by climbing some 4000 steps built by monks or by following an easier but longer path. Both lead to an open area known as Elija's Basin where you walk up the remaining 750 steps to the top. At the summit you will find the Chapel of the Holy Trinity that was built in 1934 on the site of a much earlier chapel built in 363 AD. The climb takes about three hours but the view from the top is truly breathtaking, especially at sunrise.

Scuba Diving: Sharm el Sheikh, along with Hurghada, is where it all started. These were the first two destinations of the 20-year-old diving history of the Red Sea. Diving sites in Sharm are world famous. A paradise for a perfect Red Sea diving holiday. Sharm has it all: hard and soft coral, turtles and dolphins, mantas and moray eels, napoleons and tuna, hammerheads, barracudas, reef and pelagic sharks and much more, including the legendary World War II wreck of the Thistlegorm.

Snorkeling: Snorkeling is the watersport par excellence in the Red Sea. With the wealth of underwater life in all destinations, snorkeling is an easy and very enjoyable way to spend some time and discover the wonders of the marine life. Whether you go out from your resort beach, or you spend a day or half a day on a snorkeling boat, you will collect unforgettable memories.

Watersports: The Red Sea Riviera is not only renowned for its world class scuba diving! The sea here is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts also and some destinations are particularly famous because of its perfect conditions for a particular activity. Think of board sports, such as windsurf and kite surf, and you will think of five main destinations: Dahab in Sinai, and El Gouna, Hurghada, Safaga and Marsa Alma on the Red Sea coast. Sandy beaches, constant wind and professional centres give these resorts the perfect ingredients.

Eating/Drinking During El Gouna Holidays

There are a variety of ways to eat while you are in Egypt: local, either in homes or restaurants; tourist, restaurants that have a local flavour but cater to the tourist market; five-star, where you can choose to eat Western or "Egyptianised" cuisine; or western-style takeaway, yes, McDonald's is in Egypt!

So, what are some of the dishes you can hope to enjoy while you are in Egypt? Probably one of the first things you will try is grilled chicken or pigeon with salad.

Felafels, Shish Kebab and Kofta are almost staples in tourist restaurants as are Hommus, Tahini and Baba Ghannouj. Vegetarians will thrive in Egypt, most restaurants offering good vegetable soups, a variety of fresh salads, and wonderful dishes such as stuffed aubergines and zucchinis.

If you think that you can't possibly give up Western food while you are away, don't despair as most restaurants serve pizza, hamburgers and spaghetti. Hot chips are available absolutely everywhere!

But what do you drink in Egypt? Egypt is an Islamic country so alcohol is not widely available. The exception to this is Stella beer. This beer is made in Egypt and is available absolutely everywhere. An ice-cold Stella is great after a hard-day's sight-seeing. Bottled water is available everywhere, as are Western soft-drinks, including the diet varieties.

Tea is also available everywhere and no trip to Egypt is complete without a cup of Kakade (or Hibiscus tea), a deliciously refreshing beverage that can be served hot or cold. Coffee and Turkish coffee are widely available and the fruit juices are a must-try. Stalls in the bazaar or souk will sell you a refreshing glass of sugar-cane juice (this has to be the most refreshing drink ever invented).

Getting Around on El Gouna Holidays

Buses

The intercity bus service in Egypt is good offering reasonable comfort at a reasonable price. The network is extensive making it very easy to get where you want to go with little difficulty or expense. Advance booking is advisable on the most popular routes, or those with few runs timetabled. Local buses in Cairo and Alexandria (the only cities with their own bus systems) is chaotic, however. Don't expect a seat.

Mini-bus

An alternative is the minibus which leaves once full. Standing is not permitted in theory, though this is frequently ignored.

Tube train

Cairo is the only city which has an underground system. It is, however, clean, efficient and a good value way to travel. The front carriage is for women travellers only.

River bus

You can get to Giza, Manial and Misr al-Qadima (the old part of Cairo) on a leisurely 50-minute ride on a river bus. There are three departures daily from downtown Maspero: one at 8am, one at 2pm and the last at 9pm.

Taxi

The old, unmetered black and white taxis which can be hailed street-side now face competition from pre-orderable yellow taxis which a bit more expensive, and which are metered. Hold on tight for a nerve jangling experience. Tipping is expected at around 10%.

Car

An international driving permit is required for hiring cars in Egypt. You'll also need nerves of steel and sharp reactions to drive in the centre of Cairo, however. If you do decide to hire a car, keep your ID papers on you and your permit, as it is quite common to be stopped and, if without them, fined.

El Gouna Holidays Shopping

One of the great delights of Egypt is the shopping! However, there are many pitfalls: from learning how to bargain to knowing where the best places are to buy certain goods.

You will be truly amazed at the range of goods, from souvenirs to treasures, that you can purchase and package to take on the plane flight home with you. Everything from exotic spices to exquisite jewellery; gorgeously textured shawls and scarves to brilliantly coloured papyri; handcrafted brass and copperware to quality reproductions of antiquities; and delicately glowing alabaster to fabulously designed carpets and rugs.

The souks and markets of Egypt have an excitement and flavour that is all their own and quite unlike anything that you will experience elsewhere. The range of wares on display is mind-boggling and the friendliness and hospitality of the shop owners is unrivalled. The sights, smells and sounds will overwhelm your senses at the same time that the exotic atmosphere created by the place and its people will dazzle your imagination.

Holidays in El Gouna - Beaches

There's certainly no shortage of great beaches in all of Egypt's Red Sea resorts but just some of the ones worth mentioning are:

El Gouna - Spread across a myriad of islands El Gouna offers some of the best sandy beaches in the region.

Dahab - The beach at Dahab is full of palm trees and retains a Bedouin feel which gives it a certain character

Safaga - Located south of Hurghada the sands of Safaga Beach have become a firm favourite. The sea water around here is known for its high mineral content and subsequently its therapeutic qualities.

Weather and climate information

Max Temp C Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
El Gouna 21 22 24 28 31 33 34 34 32 29 26 22
London 6 7 10 13 17 20 22 21 19 14 10 7

Sunshine Hours Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
El Gouna 9 9 10 10 11 12 13 12 11 10 9 9
London 1 2 4 5 6 7 6 6 5 3 2 1


 5 Day Forecast - El Gouna Holidays

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