El Gouna Holidays
El Gouna Holidays – A stunning lagoon landscape on the west Red Sea coast
A safe and relaxed purpose resort located just north of Hurghada, El Gouna is known as the ‘Venice of the Red Sea’ - and it’s not hard to see why. You’ll feel as though you are on some tropical archipelago rather than the mainland of Egypt. Dozens of beautiful turquoise lagoons and inlets separate the resort, creating landscape of interconnected islands and keys. An attractive marine lined with small inns holds sleek, gleaming yachts, while luxury 4 and 5-star hotels provide fantastic all-inclusive options.
The nightlife here is vibrant and varied, focusing around the two main hubs of Kafr el Gouna and the Abu Tig Marina. You’ll find trendy, upmarket bars, cosy tavernas, beach bars, karaoke pubs and snooker clubs – as well as a good selection of nightclubs including the riotous Palladium open-air disco.
El Gouna has a huge range of beaches to explore, from lively bays that host beach parties and BBQ’s to secluded island beaches further away such as Tawila and Gobal. The range of activities you can try at the resort is almost unparalleled in Egypt; windsurfing, kite surfing, water skiing, sailing, fishing, and go-karting are just the tip of the iceberg. Golfers will love the exquisitely designed 18-hole golf course, while scuba diving here is an absolute must; regular diving trips to word-class diving sites including the wreck of the Rossalie Muller behind Tawila Island and the wreck of Abu-Nuhas.
This is a fantastic holiday options for families looking for a lively resort with plenty to do, or couples who like an energetic nightlife scene and a range of holiday activity options.
When to go
For Europeans unaccustomed to the intense heat of Egypt, the best time to visit El Gouna is between October-April, when temperatures range between 20-30C. The May-September period can see incredible heat of well over 40C, which many will find uncomfortable.
November and April are generally considered the best months to visit, with around 9 hours of sunshine a day and hot but not stifling temperatures. These months will probably be more expensive sue to increased demand, as will the popular Christmas/New Year period.
July and August can actually see the resort get very busy as this is when the Egyptian school holidays are, and large families of Egyptians descend on the El Gouna for their summer holidays.
If you visit in April, be aware that the resort can get very windy, with the dry Khasmin Wind blowing in off the desert and bringing with it a lot of sand and dust. Temperatures can increase suddenly with the onset of the wind, which reaches up to 93 miles an hour.
Holidaymakers visiting around the end of March should check out the Street Festival of El Gouna, held at the Abu Tig Marina, with street performances, dancing and music.
The weather in El Gouna
El Gouna is a year round holiday destination, with the temperature never dropping below 20C on average. The climate here can de roughly divided into two halves – summer and winter. Winter is the best time for tourists to visit, and stretches between October-April, with temperatures between 21-30C and 9-10 hours of sunshine a day on average. The summer months of May-September can get swelteringly hot, at between 32-35C on average and with highs well into the 40’s. Daily hours of sunshine can reach up to 13 a day over this period. For those travelling in the winter, you should take a warm top as evenings can actually get quite chilly.
Getting the best deal
A very popular resort, to get the cheapest prices on El Gouna holidays you should be sure to book as early as possible – especially if you plan to visit over the peak times of April or November. The cheapest rooms in the most popular hotels will sell out fast. This also applies in July and August, when the resort swells with Egyptian holidaymakers. Avoid the UK half term school holidays if possible.
All inclusive holidays to El Gouna are a good way to keep an eye on your spending; while the initial cost may be slightly more expensive, with all your meals and drinks paid for up front you won’t need to take much more in the way of holiday money. El Gouna is a somewhat upmarket resort, so you won’t’ find the budget options on offer in resorts such as Dahab; however there are a good selection of B&B’s or self-catering villas to be had here. It’s worth noting that a meal out in El Gouna will be a similar cost to a meal out in Europe.
For a cheap night out, you should visit the open-air cinema in the resort, which screens a free film 3 times a week; it’s next to Arena Inn. Find the best prices we have to offer by looking at the deals below or alternatively by visiting our late deals page here.
Airport and transport need to know
El Gouna benefits from its close proximity to Hurghada, which has its own international airport. The Hurghada International Airport (HRG) is located around 5km from downtown Hurghada and around 24km from El Gouna. It takes approximately half an hour to reach El Gouna from the airport by road.
When you arrive at Hurghada International you’ll find a relatively small but clean and modern airport, with two terminals – one of which was only recently completed. There is a good selection of restaurants, cafes, boutique and duty-free shops, as well as telephones, car rental offices and a post office. Facilities for disabled travellers are basic, but there are wheelchairs available at the airline counters – travellers in need of specialist assistance are advised to contact their airline prior to departure.
It takes between 5-6 hours to fly from the UK to Hurghada airport depending on where you depart from. A number of UK airports operate flights to Hurghada, including London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton, Birmingham, Manchester and Belfast and smaller regional hubs such as Cardiff and East Midlands. The time difference between the UK and Hurghada is GMT+2, or GMT+3 between April and September.
If your holiday package does not include a transfer from the airport, getting to El Gouna is simple enough. Taxis wait outside the Arrivals halls and operate on a fixed price basis. You should be aware that airport taxis cost double the amount a normal taxi would. Be prepared to haggle – some taxi drivers will try to charge you anywhere upwards of 100 LE (roughly £10) – you should be able to get them down to 50-70 LE with a bit of work. Remember to always agree on a price before you get in the car, agree the currency you’re paying in and make sure the price is for the vehicle, not per person. You can also pre-book taxis from companies such as Airport & City Transfer.
A cheaper option is to catch a public minibus from outside the airport. Minibuses run to El Dahar (Hurghada downtown) for around 5LE. Ask to be dropped off at the main roundabout at the north end of El Dahar; you can catch a bus from here to El Gouna for around 10LE. Buses run every 30 minutes and take about 35 minutes to reach the resort.
It is also possible to rent a hire car for the duration of your stay, to be picked up and dropped off at Hurghada airport. Companies such as Europcar provide this service from around £225 for 7 days, depending on the make and model of vehicle.
The best beaches in El Gouna
Hurghada has a fantastic golden sandy coastline that stretches for over 10km. You’ll find an excellent array of beaches here and plenty of beach activities to keep you occupied, from parasailing to snorkelling to scuba diving. Here’s a selection of the best beaches in the area.
For a gorgeous, lively beach, the centrally located Zeytouna Beach makes for a fantastic day in the sun. The beach is located on its own island looking out across the Red Sea, surrounded by lagoons. It has a 400m long pier that takes you out to the beginning of the coral reef – a great place for snorkelling and diving. You’ll find showers, toilets, beach bars, cafes and sun loungers here.
Widely regarded as one of the Red Sea’s top kite surfing destinations, Mangroovy Beach can get very windy in April. It is a fantastic beach to visit if you love sail-based watersports, and for those not looking to get holiday active, there are regular beach parties and public BBQ’s here. Restaurants, beach bars, cafes, and public bathrooms are all nearby. You can easily get a shuttle bus from downtown El Gouna – the bus route and timetable can be seen here.
For those who like their beaches secluded and peaceful, the exquisite Tawila Island is found just over an hour from El Gouna. You’ll find long, empty white sand shores and crystal clear waters. The beach is accessible by boat, which can be easily arranged from your hotel, and offers the chance to see dolphins along the way.
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