Egypt - Hurghada

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March 27th 2013
Published: March 27th 2013
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In April of 2007 my dream to visit Egypt has come true! 9 days and 8 nights were full of much impression which I'm going to tell on my Egyptian pages. I arrived to Hurghada on Saturday morning in April, 14. I spent there the whole day and next morning went to Luxor with excursion program which lasted almost a week. I came back to Hurghada on Saturday evening in April, 21. The whole day of Sunday I enjoyed the sea and the beach. What have I seen during two days? What have I got to know about Hurghada being in Moscow? All that I tried to present on my Hurghada-page. I understand that it can hardly be compeer with impressions of tourists who spent there a week or even more... But nevertheless!
Hurghada is one of few resorts of the world where Russian tourists prevail. About one million persons from Russia have visited Egypt last year. Overwhelming majority have visited Egypt through Hurghada.
Many tourists like to have a rest among the compatriots. I do not concern to them. Especially I do not like lying on a beach and to hear Russian-speaking chatter. It suffices me at home! Therefore when the Russian tourist boom in Hurghada in the beginning of 1990th began I have told, that I possibly would be the last Russian tourist who visits Hurghada for the first time. Later 15 years I can tell that it has turned out almost true. The majority of my colleagues have already visited Hurghada. I was one of the last. Hurghada became for me a prologue and an epilogue on the big excursion travel across Egypt. I am grateful to it for the warm sea and the hot sun!
Hurghada stretches for about 40 km along the seashore, and it doesn't reach far into the surrounding desert. The resort is a destination for package holiday tourists from Europe, notably Russians, Czechs and Germans. Today Hurghada counts 40,000 inhabitants and is divided into three parts: Downtown (El Dahar) is the old part. Sekalla is the modern part, and El Korra Road is the most modern part. Sakkala is the relatively modest hotel quarter. Dahar is where the town's largest bazaar, the post office and the long-distance bus station are situated. Many restaurants, bars and shops, small pubs and internet cafes are available all over Hurghada.
Hurghada is rather poor of sights. However an inquisitive tourist will pay attention to some picturesque mosques of modern construction. I have tried to examine all mosques, but nothing has turned out (look my tourist trap tip). Nevertheless I recommend for survey this beautiful mosque. I don’t know its name. It is situated in Sekalla area.

Hurghada History Background
Hurghada, known in Egypt as Ghardaga, was at one time just a simple fishing village. Almost nobody knew this place 30 years ago in 1970th.
British have paid attention to Hurghada first. They searched for oil there a and small fishing settlement became known to oilmen owing to these searches. First Soviet "tourists" appeared in Hurghada in 1960-70th. Then Egypt and Israel were at enmity rigidly. After capture by Israel of Sinai Hurghada has turned to the important strategic military object. The Soviet experts helped Egyptians to create there a military base and airdrome. Transformation of Hurghada in a resort has begun after Camp-David's peace agreements (1978). The former military air base has played the important role in transformation.
The chief of local military garrison obtained investments from the government and succeeded in this business. Therefore tourists from Russia and countries of the former USSR are always welcome in Hurghada.
Since the 1980s has been continually enlarged by American, European and Arab investors to become the leading bathing resort on the Red Sea. Holiday villages and first class hotels provide excellent aquatic sport facilities for sail boarders, yachtsmen, scuba divers and snorklers.
Now, with it's crystal clear water, untouched reefs and a multitude of ship wrecks, it has become one of the best Egyptian tourist destinations.
Hurghada can satisfy the needs of every visitor, from scuba diving to windsurfing to desert safaris with more than 20 km of hotels along the beach.
One can choose one from 200 Hotels (from the finest 5 Star Hotels to simple Guest Houses).
Hurghada is world renowned as a center for some of the world's best Diving. Within a couple of hours from your hotel you can be amongst a group of islands that are the home to Dive Sites guaranteed to astound even the most experienced divers.

Hurghada International Airport
This airport is one three main air Egypt gates (besides Cairo and Sham el-Sheikh). There are local airports in Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Aswan, Luxor. But the most of tourists usually arrive to Cairo, Hurghada and Sham el-Sheikh.
30 year ago the airport of Hurghada had only military value. Now it’s quite modern and equipped with tourist facilities place.

While choosing a tour to Egypt I have taken advantage of a low season and opportunities of two airlines. Usually tourist operators offer air tickets to Hurghada by one airline. It helps to receive the discount at purchase of return tickets. Usually standard tours have duration of 8 days and 7 nights (plus additional one or two weeks if you want). My tour was practically completely excursion. Therefore it was important for me I could have a rest on the sea even one and a half or two days. For this reason I have chosen early morning Saturday flight to Hurghada by "Transaero" airline and returning to Moscow late Sunday flight by "Atlant-Souyz" airline. Therefore my tour was prolonged 9 days and 8 nights (including only 5 working days and 4 target days).
I don't know the price of my air tickets because I bought a complex tour with all transfers. But I think two-way ticket coasted about $350. I flied to Hurghada by "Boeing-747" and came back Moscow by "Iljushin-86". It took me 4 hours one way flight. There weren’t any delay. We arrived to Hurghada and Moscow just according to the schedule.
The airport of Hurghada is in 13 km to the east from the city centre. It is possible to reach the hotel by a taxi - there are a lot of them in the city. It is rather inexpensive. Not more expensively then 1 Egyptian pound (5,7 LE = $1) for 1 km. It is possible to agree with a driver to pass in any point of Hurghada for 10LE (less $2).
As I have bought a tour with all transfers I was met at the airport by the manager and together with one more tourist we were taken to the hotels by a good minibus with the conditioner. Last evening I have been brought back to the airport alone on the same minibus. It was free-of-charge, except 1LE for loading of my bag.
They told, that there are a lot of fixed-route taxis in city which for 1LE bring up each interested person. I did not see them. Probably it's so.

Gulf of Suez of the Red Sea
Hurghada is situated on the beach of the Red Sea. It is its main advantage defining tourist value.
Red Sea is a direct translation of the Greek Erythra Thalassa.
Sure the name of the sea does not indicate the color of the water since it is not red in color. It may signify the seasonal blooms of the red-colored cyanobacteria Trichodesmium erythraeum near the water surface. I didn’t see these blooms and few people did I think. But the sea is famous by its reef systems. Many people come there to observe them and rich underwater world.
The main reasons for the better development of reef systems along the Red Sea is because of its greater depths and an efficient water circulation pattern.
The Red Sea is one of the most saline water bodies in the world. You may swim almost without any motion. I enjoyed this way of swimming very much (though I’m not fat).
In general tide ranges are about 0.6 m in Hurghada. Then water recedes on 10 meters from coast.
Persistent north-west winds are dominated with speeds ranging between 7 and 12 km per hr. It’s pleasant in summer but not in winter. Average surface water temperature of the Red Sea during the summer is about 26°C.

Hurghada Sun
The sun is the second advantage of Hurghada which attracts thousands of tourists from over the world. If you don’t want to spend your holidays in summer – Hurghada is one of the best choices in autumn, winter and spring. I arrived there on April, 14. We had +5 in Moscow then. Hurghada met me with +25 of air and +22 of water! When I departed on April, 22 it was +30 of air and +25 of water. Even in winter months the air temperature doesn’t fall below +20, and water temperature – below +18.
That’s why Hurghada is good for those who want to warm their bodies frozen in winter!

Hor Palace hotel
As I had to spend only two nights in Hurghada I wasn’t very anxious of hotel quality. I’ve chosen a 3-stars hotel. Though I knew it’s natural to deduct one star in Egypt!
Hor Palace hotel is a place where you will enjoy and experience a marvellous vacation. The hotel ideally located on a natural bay of the Red Sea. 10 minutes away from Hurghada International airport and 15 minutes away from down town.
This complex hotelier offers an aired architecture and integrated to the site, between sea and desert, in the middle of gardens in bloom. It proposes 162 spacious, clear and comfortable rooms as well as 18 villas with terrace. All rooms are air-conditioned with bathroom / shower / toilets, television, refrigerator, telephone and vast balcony.
There are restaurants, bars, a pub. Beach is private; there are vast swimming pools, swimming pool for children.
Hotel will charge scuba diving, sailboard, fishing boat, paddle boat, boat in depth of glass, billiards, mini bar consummations.
"Buffet" for a dinner and supper as a rule is offered to visitors in hotels. First of all amazes an abundance of a various batch, various pies, cakes, creams, mousses and other delicious dishes. Puff pies with almonds, vermicelli with honey and nuts, sweet rice with pistachioes... However it is necessary to remember, that drinks are paid. Fresh juice 14LE ($3), beer 20LE ($4), tea 7LE ($1,5).
For my dinners I chose the restaurant “Hor Palace” which is situated directly on a beach of the hotel. The fine view on the sea brightened up a waiting time of preparation of dishes. Certainly I have chosen fish dishes. In day of arrival it was a grill fish. I have paid for it together with fresh juice 45 LE ($9). In day of departure it was a fried fish. It coasted 50LE ($10).
Camels are indispensable part of tourist landscapes in Egypt. They can be seen in all places of tourist congestions: near sights, parking of buses, on beaches of hotels.
I have got acquainted with this camel on a beach of the hotel "Hor Palace". His name is Felix. He is four years old (rather young!). A walk on a camel has been offered to me for 30LE ($6). I think it is possible to agree more cheaply. I did not have a desire to go for a drive on a camel. Therefore I have photographed him for 1LE.

Hurghada Nightlife
The night life begins in Hurgada in April early enough. The Sunset is at 18.00 and at 18.30 it is already dark.
Hurghada is known as a party town, and with its many clubs, life could be said to begin there at night. Nearly every hotel has its own disco. The most famous ones at the moment are "Calypso" and "Papas Beach". Renowned for belly dancing, Arabic and Nubian folklore, is "Alf Leila Wa Leila" ("One thousand and one nights"). It is a big open-air area, which offers a bit of everything.

Tiresome walk
I decided to have a walk across evening Hurghada. As I already wrote the city extends along the sea coast on some tens kilometers. I would like to pass some of them on foot. I was going to reach an old part of the city before sunset. But it happened it was not possible. Numerous shops and sellers became the reason of my failure. Sellers did not give pass by their shops. They threw on each passing by tourist, offering the goods and made it persuasively enough.
I had to enter conversations with sellers many times. They were not limited by my firm "NOT". As soon as they understood that I was Russian, their persistence was doubled. They spoke in love and friendship to Russian, that firstly was pleasant. But when it repeated tens times, I was tired and decided to stop such tiresome walk!

Be afraid of the sun
The main danger in Hurghada is the hot African sun. I understood that only one hour on the sun can be enough to scorch dangerously. Therefore in day of arrival I acted reasonably and sunbathing on a beach disappeared in a shadow the most part of time. My body has got slightly pinkish shade.
The next excursion days of my travel the struggle against the sun passed with variable success. When I returned to Hurghada in the evening of penultimate day I decided that I managed to win the hot Egyptian sun.
Therefore next last day in Egypt I decided to stay on the sun hardly more time that the pinkish shade of my sunburn has turned to a brown shade.
I was wrong! The sun has revenged me for disrespect and I have come back home to Moscow red as a cancer. Two days I came to the senses and only for the third day felt that returned to a normal life. Be afraid of the sun in Hurghada!

You can see my 1 min 55 sec Flight Moscow-Hurghada VIDEO clip with Colin Mutchler music

You can see my 1 min 35 sec Hurghada Hor Palace Hotel VIDEO clip with Dunkan Beattie music

There is a beautiful park which you can see on my 1 min 30 sec Hurghada Hor Palace Park VIDEO clip with Dunkan Beattie

Internal accommodation you may see on my 1 min 30 sec My Hurghada Hor Palace Room VIDEO clip with Shag Rugge music

You may see the beach where I spent two days on my 2 min 30 sec Hurghada Hor Palace Beach VIDEO clip with Shag Rugge music

You can see my 1 min 45 sec Hurghada Evening Walk VIDEO clip with C.Portable Voyage Back music

You can see my 2 min 30 sec Hurghada Night Walk VIDEO clip with Click After Winter Dream music [youtube=bJ_

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