Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Planning a trip to Hurghada or El Gouna any time soon? If yes, then good for you, that’s probably one of the better decisions you’ve made recently. If not, then what are you waiting for? Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation (we have 9 world-class beaches in Egypt) or something with a bit more activity than just bumming on the beach, the Red Sea coast where Hurghada and El Gouna are located will deliver every single time.
The coastal city of Hurghada and the resort town of El Gouna are about 25 km apart, so it’s an easy trip by car or bus between the two. The Hurghada airport provides easy access to both, or you can drive/take a bus from Cairo (about a 4 hour drive by car).
So whether you’re staying in Hurghada or El Gouna, here are 25 fun things to do to get the most out of your trip.
1. World-class diving
Both Hurghada and El Gouna have numerous PADI-certified dive centers to choose from, whether you want to learn to dive for the first time or are an old hat at it. While there are great wreck dives for advanced divers, this area is also ideal for beginner divers because most of the reefs are shallow and easily accessible but still crammed full of marine life.
Local tip: Hurghada's dive centers are usually more affordable than Gouna's.
For more amazing diving destinations in Egypt, head here.
If diving is more effort than you’re willing to invest on your vacation, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the awesome marine life. There are plenty boats that will take you out to the best snorkeling spots.
3. Glass bottom boat
If you have kids with you or just don’t feel like getting in the water, then a glass bottom boat is ideal for a peek at underwater sea life from a boat.
4. Hop on a catamaran
This two-hulled sailboat is great for sunbathing in the middle of the sea and cooling off with a swim after (you just jump off!). The catamarans take a large group of people out at the same time so it always has a fun, party vibe.
5. Rent your own little yacht for the day
Yacht trips are both easy and affordable from both the Hurghada and El Gouna marinas. You can bring your own food, drinks and music and leave the harder work to the captain.
6. Take a trip to the Giftun Islands (Mahmya & Orange Bay)
If you want to spend the day on white sand beaches with crystal clear water, then hop on a boat and head to Giftun Islands. Both Mahmya and Orange Bay are beach restaurants/bars where you can spend the day in the water and relax with a drink or lunch on their pristine beaches after.
Read more at: 7 Tropical Islands You Won't Believe Are In Egypt
7. Desert safari (ATV & quad off-roading)
If you’re all beached out, then venture into Egypt’s Eastern desert on an ATV or quad for what we locals call desert safaris.
8. Hiking and desert trekking
If you’re in Hurghada or El Gouna for an extended period of time and are an adventure-seeker, then the newly-launched Red Sea Mountain Trail might be for you. This 170 km, 10 day hike through the mountains of Egypt’s Eastern desert with a Bedouin guide will show you a side to Egypt you probably wouldn’t be able to see otherwise -- rocky gorges, deep desert sand dunes, prehistoric rock art and long-abandoned Roman towns. If 10 days/170 km is too much for you, you can participate in smaller segments or just do a day trek.
If you’re a Cairo local who doesn’t have the opportunity to cycle much, or just someone who loves to hop on a bike, then El Gouna is a great place to do it. Besides actual bike rental shops, El Gouna offers ‘e-bikes’ -- different stations are set up around the time where you can rent out a bike and check it back in at any other station you want. And not just any bikes -- these ones have a little environmentally friendly electric motors if your fitness isn't where you want it to be and you don't feel like huffing and puffing down the streets of Gouna.
10. Good, old-fashioned sunbathing
Almost all the hotels in Hurghada and El Gouna have access to a beach, complete with some form of restaurant or beach bar, where you can work on your tan and wile the hours away.
11. Enjoy a shisha on the beach
Egyptians love their shisha, and once you try it, it’ll be easy to see why. While many restaurants or cafes in Hurghada and El Gouna offer shisha, it’s a whole other experience to smoke away your stress on the beach.
12. Try out a plethora of different restaurants
What’s a vacation without eating well? Both Hurghada, and El Gouna especially, have a great range of restaurants to choose from. Whether you want to try local Egyptian fare, fresh seafood or one of the numerous international restaurants, you won’t be starved for choice. Our personal favorites are Zia Amelia (Italian) and Saigon (Vietnamese) in El Gouna.
Read more at: 7 Best Restaurants in Hurghada and El Gouna
13. Go karting
If you’re in the need for speed, then look no further than Gouna’s go karting track.
Craving fresh seafood, and we mean straight-from-the-sea-thanks-to-you fresh, then hop on one of the numerous fishing boats and go in search of dinner. Hurghada was originally a small fishing village, so you know the fish will be good.
You tanned, you swam, you ate, now what? Time to hit the bars of course. Hurghada is home to a bunch of different clubs and bars, and El Gouna is known throughout the country for Bartender, Pier 88 and Aurora.
If you’re one of those people who itch to get your muscles moving, then kitesurfing might be for you. There are several different kite centers that offer courses for beginners, and you can rent out equipment if you’re already a tried and true kitesurfer.
17. Motor gliding
So you walked around (or boated around) and saw most of El Gouna already? Not so fast -- have you seen it from above? Try out what’s known as ‘aerial sightseeing’ from a motor glider.
If you’re a seasoned golfer or just someone who wants to putt a few balls, then El Gouna offers two different 18 hole golf courses for golfers of all levels. There’s also golf lessons for those looking to learn or freshen their skills.
19. Sliders Cable Park
One of the biggest cable parks in the world, Sliders is open year-round and is a lot of fun for those looking to participate in water sports.
Looking to sail, or to learn? There are ample opportunities in Hurghada and El Gouna, with sailing courses from the advanced to kids’ courses.
21. Stand up paddling
El Gouna’s calm lagoons are the perfect place to stand up paddle, whether you’re a beginner looking to learn or just want to rent out the equipment.
22. Visit Hurghada’s Grand Aquarium (or Gouna’s smaller one)
Is it one of those rare cloudy days? Don’t waste it in the hotel -- head to Hurghada’s Grand Aquarium to get an up-close-and-personal look at some of the fantastic marine life this area is known for.
23. Sightsee on a Segway
Have you ever ridden a Segway before? Well now is your chance. Both Hurghada and El Gouna offer “seg tours” for those who want to explore in a less conventional way than walking.
24. Horseback riding
Are you a horse aficionado? Enjoy a horse ride in the Egyptian Eastern desert and a ride on the beach as well.
25. Tennis & squash
If you’re looking to work up a sweat, then El Gouna offers both tennis and squash courts year-round. Gouna is even the home of the annual international squash open!