Egypt’s Red Sea has been making waves (horrible dad joke unintended) for decades now as one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world. Know what else Egypt is one of the best at, that not a lot of people know about? Kitesurfing! Unexpected by visitors, but true. Not only are Egypt’s Red Sea conditions ideal for kitesurfing/kiteboarding almost year-round, but Egypt is recognized internationally by kitesurfing experts to be one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world.
And who are we to argue with the experts?
It’s true though, Egypt has a multitude of professional kite centers dotted up and down its coasts, with all the ideal wind and water conditions, equipment, amenities and agreeable weather that any kitesurfer of any level (yes even beginners) could want.
So let’s take a quick look at the best kitesurfing/kiteboarding spots in Egypt:
El Gouna is a Red Sea resort town spanning over 10 km of pristine Red Sea coast, with lagoons throughout, and their architecture is inspired by traditional Egyptian homes in the countryside and Upper Egypt. It’s a town equally as popular with Egyptians as it is with tourists.
Read more: El Gouna, Egypt - A Local’s Guide
El Gouna has several kitesurfing schools and centers, on large flat lagoons with steady on-shore wind. The water temperature is around 29 degrees celsius during summer months and drops to 20 degrees in winter, meaning you can kitesurf year-round. The kitesurf centers also have adjacent beach bars, great for something to eat or drink after a long kitesurfing session.
Ras Sudr (pronounced Ras Sedr) is the first Red Sea Riviera destination you’ll hit when you cross over from mainland Egypt to the Sinai Peninsula. It’s a small stretch of coast on the Gulf of Suez inlet of the Red Sea, and only recently began to rise in popularity due to its ideal kitesurfing conditions.
The average wind speed is 16 knots to 25 knots, even going up to 30 knots in September when it’s at its windiest. The overall conditions are at their best from March through to November (so basically spring through to fall), with the water being flat shallow lagoons.
Ras Sudr is still pretty underdeveloped, but you’ll find a handful of beach hotels to stay at. Most people spend their days at the various kite centers which also double up as restaurants/beach bars. A few of the popular kite centers/beach restaurants are Soul, Matarma Bay and Fly.
Blue Lagoon in Dahab
Dahab is a small bohemian town on the Sinai Peninsula and is popular for its diving and seaside promenade, full of local and quirkily-named restaurants and shops. The Blue Lagoon is a beautiful but remote beach camp spot north of Dahab. It's very bare bones -- huts on the beach and no electricity, so perfect for unplugging after a long day of kitesurfing.
What makes Dahab a great kitesurfing spot is that there’s constant wind - it’s on the Gulf of Aqaba, which works as a wind funnel down the coast until it opens up into the Red Sea. Blue Lagoon especially is great for kitesurfers because of its expanse of shallow, calm water. The kite centers in Dahab can easily arrange to transport you and your equipment (rented or otherwise) to Blue Lagoon or any other more remote kiteboarding site.
Red Sea Islands off of Hurghada
Hurghada was named one of Trip Advisor’s Top 10 Most Popular Destinations, and for good reason. The beaches and beach resorts there are fantastic, and there’s activities galore. One activity that’s been picking up in popularity is kitesurfing, and there are several Red Sea islands off Hurghada that offer the exact water and wind conditions that kiteboarders need. Boat trips and kiting trips are easily arranged from the Hurghada marina. Popular kitesurfing islands are Tawila, Geisum and Abu Minqar.
A peninsula jutting into the Red Sea, Soma Bay is south of Hurghada and technically part of the Safaga area (below), but it’s deserving of its own ranking on this list. Because it’s surrounded by the sea on three sides, Soma Bay is famous for its water sports, especially kitesurfing and windsurfing, due to its steady winds (more than 300 days of wind a year!) and its bay of warm, shallow water. Tobia Island off the coast of Soma Bay is also a popular kitesurfing spot.
Soma Bay is home to only a handful of beach resorts, so it’s a good place to go if you want to avoid the crowds found in other popular Red Sea Riviera destinations (Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, etc). There are multiple kitesurf centers dotted around the resorts offering everything from lessons for beginners to rental equipment for the more experienced.
Like we said above, Soma Bay is technically a part of the larger Safaga area, but locals usually refer to Soma Bay as the peninsula and then the southern Red Sea coast underneath it as Safaga. A small port town, Safaga differs dramatically from the rest of the mainland Red Sea Riviera destinations -- while most of them are modern towns completely dedicated to tourism, Safaga as a port town has existed for over 2,000 years, dating back to the Ptolemaic days when it was called Philotera.
Safaga these days is known mainly for its diving, kitesurfing and other water sports. (Although it’s also starting to garner recognition for its natural therapy, like its black sand treatments). Safaga’s beaches and kite centers cater to all kitesurfing levels, and like Soma Bay, Tobia island off the coast is a popular morning spot due to its ideal wind conditions.
The most remote destination on this list, Wadi Lahami is a small village in what’s known as the Deep South of Egypt. It’s sandwiched between mountains and the Red Sea, surrounded by nature, and the closest city to it is Marsa Alam, about 180 km to the north, and the small town of Hamata is about 10 km north.
Read more: 10 Best Things to Do in Marsa Alam
Wadi Lahami is essentially an ecolodge/camp and diving center, but is also a perfect place for kitesurfers who are looking to get away from it all. They have a kite center right on the beach, in front of a sandy bottom lagoon. You can swim year-long, and only from November to April do you need a thin wetsuit; the water is so warm the rest of the year that you can kite in your normal swimsuit.
After kiting is over, you can grab something to drink at the kite center’s beach bar, and your accommodation options are either tents, royal tents, or deluxe chalets.
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