Hurghada , Maldives of Egypt
Okay, it may not be the Maldives, but it has beautiful sandy beaches and a huge coral reef.
We're talking about a favorite destination of ours , Hurghada, a popular destination in Egypt, not so well-known to the Greek audience but definitely known worldwide.
WHERE: 400km from Cairo.
HOW: You can get there from Cairo by bus, car, or plane. The airport serves international flights as well.
WHY: It's a beautiful city with all-inclusive hotels, unique beaches, a very beautiful seabed, and of course, activities in the desert.
You will tell me 'well, all this is nice, but how much will it cost us?' I will tell you exactly, and you will discover for yourself what a value for money destination it is.
First of all, to get there, you will use a means of transportation.
The most affordable way to go is by bus, and the journey takes about 6 hours (usually from Cairo).
At Gobus, one-way tickets to Hurghada start from 220 EGP and at Bluebus from 250 EGP. These companies offer services where you pay a little extra and have leather seats, double-decker buses, snacks, screens with movies, single seats, etc.
We were quite satisfied with gobus in all aspects (comfort and price) and we have heard positive comments about bluebus as well.
If you're willing to spend more money and save valuable time, we suggest taking a flight. Prices from Cairo range from about 60 to 100 euros round trip and the flight takes one hour. It's practically a better choice if you have the margin to spend more money, as it saves time and fatigue.
Where to stay
For accommodation in Hurghada, there are really many options. You can find small apartments for 30 euros per night, up to luxurious hotels of famous companies for 500 euros.
Here we would suggest that you avoid apartments and choose a hotel for one basic reason.
The beaches in the city are private, which practically means that only those staying at hotels which include the beaches have access to them. If you don't stay there, you will have to pay to see them.
In the end, the cost ends up being higher and you won't enjoy them as much.
This doesn't mean that the hotel has to be expensive. You can find hotels with breakfast and beach access from 50 euros per night for a double room.
We stayed at the Bel Air Azur resort, where we paid about 90 euros per night (during high season) for an all-inclusive program. The hotel has a very large heated pool, really spacious rooms overlooking the pool, a tennis court, billiards, a nightly show program, a private beach, etc. This one is for adults only, but it is adjacent to the Arabia Azur, which has the same amenities and is for families.
Our experience was very good and so we can honestly recommend it to you.
There are also other options that you can explore on booking.com and find which hotel provides the services you need.
How to discover the amazing underwater world
Hurghada is bathed by the Red Sea, which is particularly famous for its coral reef.
Her corals are some of the most resilient in the world when it comes to discoloration, which makes them particularly interesting.
Additionally, you don't need to dive deep to see them. Of course, the further you go, the more beautiful and rich they will be. There are several ways to see them.
The first and easiest way is from the sea in front of the hotel. Since they existed in our hotel, they will exist in the neighboring ones too. A piece next to the beach had a staircase and started from deeper in the sea. So, as soon as you get into the water, you have a fantastic view of the seabed and fish without much effort and extra money, only with your mask.
The second way is to arrange a boat trip. There are many providers (see getyoutguide) with whom you can book and additionally, you can do it through your hotel. The program usually goes like this: Pick up from your hotel, arrival at the pier where the boat starts, stops at many points for snorkeling.
It is most likely that they will offer you the equipment (mask, life jacket, etc.) and food will be included in the price. You can combine it with various beautiful little islands around (paradise, orange).
The third way, the most expensive, difficult but also the most magical, is to dive. You can book the program that interests you through providers, who will pick you up from the hotel and drive you
Our experience in the Egyptian city was excellent as we enjoyed the beautiful reef in a relaxing vibe after several days of exploring the rest of the country. We recommend it as a destination after visiting other parts of Egypt, but even on its own!