El Gouna Travel Guide
Egypt © Edgardo W. Olivera
The elite holiday resort of El Gouna, also known as the 'Venice of the Red Sea', is 14 miles (23km) north of Hurghada International Airport and is nestled between the mountains and the shores of the Red Sea. The resort stretches along six miles (10km) of coastline and spreads onto several small nearby islands.
Linked by lagoons, this luxurious resort has an air of fantasy about it. El Gouna is not only an exquisite holiday resort but also a residential area with a vast range of villas, designed by world-renowned architects, all boasting breath-taking views of the sea and the surrounding mountains. Its infrastructure caters to an active, yet relaxed and friendly lifestyle.
El Gouna has a wide variety of shopping for those on holiday to enjoy, ranging from typical Egyptian souvenirs, antiques and art to exotic oriental furniture and hand-made Turkish lamps. There is also a selection of chic shops for clothing and furniture. Along the marina boardwalk there are international brands and boutiques offering a taste of Europe.
El Gouna has two prominent tourist districts, namely Kafr El Gouna and Abu Tig Marina, as well as many prominent hotel chains, all offering a wide variety of some of the world's finest cuisines, from Indian to Thai, French, Belgian, Chinese, German, Italian and much more. Not all local restaurants serve alcohol, but the food is excellent. El Gouna offers everything from relaxed marina-side bistros, seafood buffets and poolside eateries to five-star restaurants.
Holidaymakers will find that El Gouna's nightlife is pulsing with variety and entertainment. The two main hubs of Kafr el Gouna and Abu Tig Marina offer the trendiest bars, alongside cosy pubs, billiard bars, beach bars, karaoke cafes, and the infamous open-air disco. There are often live concerts and social events, including Barbeque Beach parties.
For scuba divers on holiday, El Gouna boasts some of the best reefs, walls and wrecks in the Red Sea. It is also the perfect place to snorkel, with its sandy shallow beaches and the scattered coral heads hosting some exquisite marine life. In addition, there is sailing, water-skiing, kitesurfing, canoeing, banana rides, catamarans, pedal boats, horse riding and go-karting, as well as a USPGA-standard 18-hole golf course. Hotels also organise daytrips into the desert, quad bike adventures and archaeological sightseeing in the surrounding area.
The beach is far from the resort and can only be reached by a bus ride or a ferry trip across the lagoon. These transport services luckily run very regularly though.