El Gouna » The tropical and safe harbour of Egypt
A few weeks ago our guest editor Larissa flew to Egypt for the first time. Egypt, a place where many would think not to be safe. Beyond all expectations, she found a place where you can stay with confidence. This city is named with a good reason, El Gouna means protection in old-Egypt.
30 years of history
El Gouna started in 1989 with the wish of Samih Sawiris and his friends to find a place where they could moor their boats. Samih started with a haven in the middle of the dessert and this led to more construction plans which led to a new hotspot: El Gouna. Due to the recent development of the city, it meets all the highest international norms. They use solar energy, the city has a zero-waste policy and there’s a local farm which only produces organic products. It’s no surprise this city is the most eco-friendly city of Egypt and also won a Global Green Award. Together with D-reizen and FTI Reizen, I was going to explore El Gouna, and what this man-build piece of land had on offer.
Good to Know
- You’ll need a visa and your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months.
- It’s not advised to drink water from the tap and if you order a salad (which could be washed in tap water) you can drink cola afterwards to kill the bacteria in your stomach.
- Don’t forget a vest or sweater, in the evening it’s a lot cooler, you’ll need it.
Even in December you’ll find enough sunshine here to put on your swimsuit. Even though it’s tempting to stay at an amazing all-inclusive resort like Sheraton Miramar Resort to laze in the sunshine, there’s so much to experience, it would be a pity. You don’t have to be scared, we even took a Tuk Tuk on our own and the excursions don’t need supervision of any kind of military. A local told me he loved living in El Gouna: “Since I live here, I haven’t locked my car or doors of the house. The media creates a distorted picture of Egypt.”
Where to Stay
During this trip we visited various resorts, all beautiful and offering delicious food, drinks, relaxing pools, sunbeds, entertainment and of course a nice room to freshen up and get a good night sleep. I stayed at the Hotel Sheraton Miramar Resort, but also checked out Hotel LABRANDA Club Paradisio and Hotel Steigenberger Golf Resort. All are good options to stay during your trip in El Gouna. They’re all located close to the most facilities.
El Gouna offers two beautiful sides: the water and the desert. Get in the desert for a bumpy quad safari and a delicious Bedouin dinner. To end the night in peace, a Bedouin dinner brings you a real Egyptian 1001 night. Camels, Egyptian food, belly dancers, traditional coffee and of course: shisha.
Get in the desert for an exciting quad safari with Alex Safari. The quad safari provides you the Egyptian adrenaline kick you’re looking for. Ladies, don’t forget your sports bra, this is going to be a bumpy ride! My recommendation is the Sunset Safari. Not only can you enjoy the tour through the desert with a stop at a small village with cute kids and camels, you’ll also behold a beautiful sundown. On the way back in the dark it’ll be difficult to concentrate on the road as the starry sky above you seeks your attention. We even saw some falling stars!
The quad safari provides you the Egyptian adrenaline kick you’re looking for
The water will offer you so much it’s hard to sum up. You can choose to see the underwater world by snorkeling and diving. Or learn to wakeboard in just a couple minutes in the Sliders Cable Park, this was fun! After one big fail of falling directly in the water, I managed to cross the water while keeping my balance on the board. It’s so easy, a fun way to surf without hours of practice.
For the fanatics, El Gouna is also a great place to learn how to kitesurf. Watersports are easier to learn here due to the shallow waters. You’ll be able to practice longer because you won’t get too tired of trying to get up on the board again (as you would in deeper water). Also the waters are calm, which is great for kitesurfing. You can take a beginners class at KBC from the weight of 50 kg.
During your stay you’re able to pay in euros if you like. The people in El Gouna are very kind, the motto there is to never say “no”. So even if they don’t know how to help you, they’ll try.
You can book this trip via D-Reizen.
*Larissa is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She is only 22 years old, and just graduated, but already runs the two lifestyle magazines BLVD and MisterDaily for two years. Her dream is to write a book one day, but now she’s focussing on her writing and content creation for brands and magazines among which Wander-Lust. Follow her on Instagram!
This presstrip was a collaboration between Wander-Lust and D-reizen & FTI Reizen. We pick our collaborations carefully, so we can give you the best tips.