Layover in Hurghada: Beaches, Desert, History!
Jörn B. is a steward with TUI fly Deutschland
Country Airport Place
Egypt HRG Hurghada

Hurghada is a fantastic coastal destination for beach-lovers like me. I always look forward to my layover in Hurghada as it is always a thrilling adventure, whether you go for the quad bike rides or sea diving. After a lockdown of almost 2 years, I’m thrilled to fly back to the Red Sea!

Water Sports, Underwater Adventures, Sand Sculptures in Hurghada

Hurghada is a water wonderland. The diversity of attractions you’ll find here is rarely matched by any other coastal destination. People crave a winter wonderland, I yearn for sunshine; this is why I always look forward to a layover in Hurghada.

  • Beach Resorts, Water Sports, Sand Sculptures:

    The best place throughout the vast coastline of Hurghada is the Sahl Hasheesh Bay, overlooking the Red Sea. Popularly known as the ‘Resort Strip,’ the beaches here are not passive like other beaches worldwide.

They offer tremendous water sports opportunities, making Hurghada the most popular water sports destination in the world! From extreme kiteboarding to thrilling windsurfing, you will find every imaginable water sport here.

Also, if you think Egyptians are great at building pyramids, wait till you see their sand sculptures. Make sure you visit Sand City, a unique, open-air museum dedicated to sand sculptures. You are guaranteed to get wide-eyed beholding 60 enormous sculpture!

  • Boat Tours, Dolphin Love, Water Park:

    If you are around so much water, wouldn’t it be lovely to cruise in it? Hurghada will never let your wish go unfulfilled. You can choose from numerous boat tours, river cruises, pirate boat experiences, or even book a private yacht.

Most cruises offer a rich buffet with an expansive menu, including fresh Egyptian seafood preparations, BBQs, and salads. We love to catch our fish for people like me, making boat tour an exciting fishing experience too!

With delicious food, fantastic cruise, & turquoise water, you must be thinking, there’s nothing more left for the asks, but you are mistaken! The boat tours take you to the Dolphin House. You can swim with these lovable creatures, play with them, kiss them, or watch them perform!

Finally, leave some room for the 19-meter free-fall slide at Makadi Water World, simply to enjoy the thrill. It is a fabulous destination for fun, with water cannons, wave pools, & 46 slides to explore! I simply can’t hide my excitement recounting all the incredible times we have had here!

  • Diving, Snorkeling, Submarine Tours:

    You are in deep waters till you haven’t explored the deep waters of Hurghada. I make it a point to explore at least one of the several underwater attractions during my exciting layover in Hurghada.

Wreck diving or scuba diving is one of the top activities in the Red Sea surrounding Hurghada. Being a popular trading route since 2500 BC, it is bound to have several shipwrecks, including WWII warships to India-bound SS Carnatic. These wrecks are a fantastic glimpse into the times gone by.

Shab Abu Nuhas is my favorite wreck diving destination, as it offers a beautiful coral reef with shipwrecks. However, if you really want to look at the corals, the Sindbad Submarine tours are a fantastic option. You go 22 meters deep in a modern submarine, a genuinely unique Hurghada experience. Unfortunately, I had a chance of doing this dive only once, because deep-sea diving requires a 48 hours elapse time between the dive and the return flight.

Exploring Egyptian Culture, Food & Bazaar in Hurghada

While beach fun is one way to enjoy a layover in Hurghada, its vast desert expanse offers tremendous other adventures. From quad bikes to camel rides, you can have signature desert fun. Some fantastic desert attractions the crew and I explored over multiple layovers are:

  • Desert Quadbike, Jeep & Safari Tours:

    Quadbike is a rugged and exciting experience for a fun crew like ours. Going quad biking in the morning hours is always recommended to avoid scorching heat during the afternoon. You get to explore the Bedouin settlements in the southern Sahara. You even get camera-equipped helmets to capture your entire journey!

Although a quad bike ride is exhilarating, opt for a jeep safari if you can’t go in the early morning hours. These longer tours go on till night with a lot of attractions nestled into them.

You even get to ride the quad bike for a short while when the sun is about to set. You explore Bedouin villages and come face to face with local culture. I loved the delicious Bedouin tea; so delicious that I still can’t forget its flavor.

  • Bedouin Dinner, Camel Ride, Stargazing

    Another advantage of going on an afternoon jeep safari is you get to spend a lot more time in the Bedouin settlements. You can enjoy a traditional Bedouin dinner feast. It is a fantastic experience with lanterns, floor seating, BBQ food, oriental belly dancing, Tanura performances, folklore, and songs.

    Experience a beautiful sunset, ride a camel, or smoke the traditional Sheesha or water pipe. If you want to take a piece of Egypt with you, Bedouin dinner is just the right way to do so!

As the night falls, bonfires and telescopes are arranged for stargazing. This unique experience is an unmissable ingredient of a successful layover in Hurghada. The dazzling constellations create a mesmerizing effect on you

  • El Dahar Bazaar and Souk

    While Bedouin dinners create terrific memories, souvenirs have their own charm. El Dahar in the old town is a fabulous place for authentic Egyptian food and shopping.

You can bargain hunt for Egyptian jewelry, painted papyrus, rugs, perfumes, pots, statues and so much more!

If you are into culinary activities, make sure to check out the spices. Maybe you can recreate Egyptian cuisine back home.

Nightlife, Historic Sites, Sightseeing in Hurghada

Hurghada offers incredible sightseeing and nightlife options that can surpass any other attraction at any time. You get an array of experiences so that every layover in Hurghada is filled with unique excitement.

  • Hurghada Marina, City Center Corniche & 1001 Nights Resort

    You might not always have to visit a Bedouin settlement to get a taste of Egyptian culture. Hurghada offers several within-city attractions that come pretty close, if not the same.

Hurghada Marina is an excellent blend of beach fun, Egyptian cuisine, nightlife, and much more. The promenade is a perfect selfie & nightlife spot with yachts, sheesha cafes, modern bars, and restaurants.

City Center is another fantastic Hurghada attraction for nightlife, restaurants, cafes, and sheesha bars. As it is very close to the Marina, you can go on a café or bar crawl between the two.

For a fun night, I can vouch for dinner and show at the 1001 Night Resort, with enchanting music, stunning lights, beautiful dancing, and delicious food.

  • Abdel-Moneim Riad Mosque & Luxor Valley Historic Attractions

    Although Hurghada has a very recent past and a very little history, Abdel Moneim Riad Mosque is a beautiful sightseeing attraction to explore en-route any place in the city.

However, any trip to Egypt is incomplete without a little Pharaoh history. Although 3-hour drive from Hurghada, Luxor Valley is a really fantastic historical hub, if you can spare time.

You will get a glimpse of the beautiful Karnak Temple and Tombs of the Nobles, with typical Egyptian murals, hieroglyphs, mummy-like statues, and much more.

If you can spend a whole day here, ride a hot air balloon or sail a Felucca to Banana Island. That’s still on my TO DO list for HRG.

Ma’a Salaameh Hurghada – I will Sail Back To You

With so much to explore, I still haven’t got the chance for the banana boat ride. I will definitely try it out on my next layover in Hurghada.  It is still my favorite destination even after several years of visits. It’s been over 18 months since I have visited Hurghada because of COVID-19, and I’ve missed it terribly. I look forward to returning when the restrictions are removed.

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