Hurghada Travel Guide

Travel to Hurghada

In the ancient land of pharaohs and souks, Hurghada’s still young and brash. Founded in the early 1900s, this seaside city doesn’t have the ancient architecture or multi-millennial legacies of its much elder neighbours. What it does have is the palpable buzz of a youthful city that discovered its calling early in life.

“Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun”
– fun.

After a few decades as a sleepy fishing village, Hurghada started showing up on the international scuba-diving map. Itinerant divers began trickling in to explore unrivalled reefs and azure waters. Their active lifestyles and jamming beach parties laid the foundation for a booming resort industry. Seemingly overnight, a star was born.

Today, Hurghada continues to draw diving enthusiasts from around the world. But today, instead of staying in humble huts, they can take their pick of plush, four- and five-star resorts. Jaz Collection features three properties in Hurghada, each with its own tenor and beat. And with an all-inclusive approach to the Red Sea holiday, you’ve got more activities, entertainment venues and on-site facilities than you’ll know what to do with. 

Hurghada is a world-famous for its scuba diving, with sites in the area to suit nearly any skill level. It’s a bona fide year-round destination, too. In the summer, a 3mm wetsuit is all you’ll need. In the winter, five to 7mm will be enough. Jaz Bluemarine and Jaz Aquamarine both operate diving centres, so guests can arrange lessons and hire equipment right on resort grounds.

These are the best diving sites in Hurghada:

Shab El Erg
This U-shaped reef lies north of Hurghada and can be reached by charter boat. Manta rays visit the north point of this reef during the warmer months (usually late May through July). Resident dolphins keep the scene popping throughout the year.

Gota Shab El Erg
This is a lesser-known dive site, but it’s well worth the visit. A spectacular variety of marine life frequents the area – groupers, emperor angelfish, scorpion fish, moray eels and blue spotted rays. There’s also a sandy channel near the reef with flatfish and cone shells.

Shab Abu Nugar
A small T-shaped reef that hosts two smaller sub-reefs, this formation features a shallow plateau that is easily explored by divers.

Umm Gamar
This is actually an offshore island fringed with several excellent dive sites. Beginners head for the southern side of the island, where a shallow plateau hosts napoleons, free-swimming moray eels and emperor angels. Meanwhile, the east and west sides feature spectacular drift dives. To the north is a beautiful coral garden that is only accessible during exceptional weather.

Shaab Ruhr Umm Gamar
Roughly 1 km south of Umm Gamar lies the tip of a submerged mountain that hosts this vibrant marine ecosystem. The reef that grows here is dotted with overhangs and small caverns, which are home to glassfish and sweepers. Larger fish, including grey reef sharks, groupers, tuna, blue spotted rays and morays may also be found here. A wrecked Egyptian patrol boat lies on the east slope.

Careless Reef
There are two large columns rising out of depths of the sea at Careless Reef. As it’s unprotected, this dive site can only be visited when weather permits. Both columns host intensely active ecosystems, with a dazzling variety of fish to admire. Reef sharks and morays also cruise these waters.

Wreck of the El Minya
In 1969, Israeli fighters sank this Egyptian minesweeper while it was at anchor. The ship descended about 30 metres to the seabed, where it can be explored by divers. It’s possible to swim inside the blast hole, where a large school of glassfish have taken up residence.

 Umm Dom (Stoney Beach)
Offshore of Giftun Kebira Island is a steep, underwater cliff that plunges deep into the ocean. To begin, the reef wall drops around 12 metres before sloping down to a depth of 27 metres. At this point, there is a drop-off. Most of the aquatic life can be viewed above the 15-metre mark. About halfway down the slope is a bloom of lettuce leaf coral. A variety of fish, including barracuda and reef sharks can be found here.

Shab Sabrina
Jutting out from the eastern side of Giftun Kebira Island, this reef hosts an extensive coral garden. At this site, it’s the coral landscape, rather than the fish, that attract divers.

Small Giftun
At this site, divers follow a grand wall, gliding over growths of fan corals and staring off into the deep blue sea, where they may spot large tunas. Schools of goatfish and fusiliers dart about the area, with morays, crocodile fish, spotted stingrays and turtles in the mix.

Gota Abu Ramada
Marine life is so abundant at this dive site, that it’s earned the nickname, ‘The Aquarium’. Hard and soft corals are everywhere, with snappers, goatfish, banner fish and butterfly fish schooling amongst the coral gardens.

 

El Aruk Gigi

Seven columns rise up at this site, hosting sweetlips, blue spotted sting rays, glassfish and colourful anthia. One of the columns actually splits into two and creates a natural grotto – home to lionfish and red mouth grouper. 
As far as activities are concerned, diving reigns supreme, but it’s certainly not alone. You can cruise the waters in a glass-bottomed boat, pedal boat, catamaran or canoe, or harness a speedboat and go parasailing. There’s even a sightseeing submarine that lets you stay dry while enjoying local diving sites. 

 

The beach is the central attraction at Hurghada, and it has been ever since the first intrepid divers made their way here to chart the waters. In those days, the day was spent in the water, and the evenings around a bonfire. Today, the vibe is the same but on a major scale. Think epic beach parties – live bands, world-class DJs and chilled drinks. 

The Red Sea is already famous for windsurfing, but Hurghada is taking that reputation to new heights. Windsurfers were coming here well before the international airport was built, drawn by the strong and steady year-round winds. This is also a great place for beginners to practice kite surfing.

There are three main bays for wind sports. The downwind bay is dominated by windsurfers, while the two upwind bays are better-suited for kite surfers. There’s plenty of space for practicing your moves, starting in shallow waters that extend about 100 meters form the beach before running into deeper waters. Once you’re feeling confident, catch a breeze and skim out to the sandbar about 1 km offshore.

Hurghada hosts several international windsurfing and kite surfing competitions throughout the year. Even if you aren’t keen on practicing the sport yourself, you can still admire the talent from your beach chair. Wind speeds are highest from May to September, and arranging lessons is easy if you decide you’d like to give it a try. 

mividaspa
The ultimate pampering experience to rejuvenate body, mind and soul is right here at mividaspa. The spa is one of the most sophisticated spas in Egypt with 19 treatment rooms including Adam & Eve suites with private secluded Jacuzzi gardens.

Revitalise your senses after an active day on the beach, easing aches, pains and strains by selecting from a comprehensive menu of treatments. Cleanse, exfoliate, detoxify. Everything you need for the ultimate pampering can be found right at Jaz Aquamarine and Jaz Bluemarine grounds. 

Jaz Collection resorts in Hurghada offer all-inclusive services, with everything you’ll need to stage a holiday jam on the Red Sea. That includes on-site restaurants, bars and retail outlets. But there’s still plenty to see, do and enjoy in Hurghada city centre. If you feel like planning a night out, you’ve come to the right place.

Major malls and shopping centres are found all over the greater Hurghada area. Mercato shopping arcade in the city centre deals in gifts and souvenirs. Meanwhile, SENZO shopping mall, which is located a few kilometres out of town, features world-class restaurants, bars and a cinema. Feel like something a little more traditional? The El Dahar old city has its own souk, complete with a market street that’s off limits to automobiles.

Head to the New Marina for a modern spread of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Papas Bar – with its drinks, snacks and nightly shows – is popular early in the evening. But when you’re ready to amplify the atmosphere, take your smooth moves to one of three dance clubs: Ministry of Sound, Calypso or the Cuban-inspired Havana Club.