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Located at the coast of the Red Sea, the city of Hurghada used to be a quiet fishing village some twenty years ago. However, since then the city has seen some rapid transformation to become the leading seashore resort on the Red Sea.
Most of Hurghada’s tourism influx consists of northern Europeans who find an escape destination for winters in Hurghada with its sandy white beaches and dreamy blue skies. While the city’s main attractions may be its beaches and water-related activities, there’s much to do on dry land as well.
Hurghada Marina is a rather swish and modern addition to the central district of Sigala and the town's major dining destination. At sunset, this is the place to promenade while soaking up the last of the evening light before heading to one of the many cafés or restaurants for a meal. Dining with views over the bobbing yachts and the Red Sea stretching to the horizon can't be beaten.
Address: Hurghada Marina Promenade, Sigala
Hurghada's best patches of sand have all been claimed by the shore-side resorts that stretch along the coast on both sides of town. Even if you're not staying in one of the hotels, nearly all of the resorts offer day access to non-guests. To really sample Hurghada's beach life though, you should book yourself in for a few nights of resort living.
The best beaches lie south of the main town area (called Sigala) in the unimaginatively named "Resort Strip." Travel a bit farther south, and you get to the area known as Sahl Hasheesh, which is home to some of the Red Sea coastline's prime pieces of white-sand beach and best hotels.
With so much action happening in the water, some travelers forget that back onshore there's an entire desert world to explore. Among Hurghada's most popular on-the-ground things to do are quad biking, jeep expeditions, and dune buggy trips into the sand dune hinterland. You don't have to travel very far off-road from the resort town to discover the acacia tree studded wadis (valleys), sandwiched in by red-tinged mountains, that make up most of the landscape of the Eastern Desert.
A popular way to experience this desert hinterland is on the five-hour quad bike safari in Hurghada, which includes a break at a Bedouin village and a camel ride.
This diving area, just north of Shadwan Island, about 65 kilometers southeast of Hurghada, is a fantastic site to submerge into the sea with five shipwrecks to explore. The main attraction is the wreck of the Carnatic, a UK cargo ship sunk in 1869, which is still in incredibly good condition with its skeletal remains home to flourishing coral and abundant fish life.
The Greek ship Chrisoula K (sunk in 1981) and the German Kimon M (sunk in 1978) are two more popular wreck dives in this area with plenty of opportunities to spot lionfish, triggerfish, and pipefish among the wreckage.
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