Egypt for us meant ancient civilizations, pharaohs, pyramids, desert, and temples. And it was always in our list of places to visit. What we did not expect was to visit it for its beaches and all-inclusive resorts, like we found in Hurghada.
We discovered about Hurghada when looking for “warmest” destinations during the winter in Europe. Most places still in Europe were a bit chilly in the winter (including Greece, Croatia, Portugal). And Egypt is still close enough to Europe, but a bit warmer (although nowhere as warm as the Caribbean in the winter).
If you’re looking for Caribbean destinations, see some of our other trips:
Hurghada is on the coast of the Red Sea, relatively far from the Nile River and temple areas. The city has about 250 thousand inhabitants, and it’s surrounded by desert.
What we found interesting was the amount of construction areas that seemed to have been abandoned, as we drove from the airport to the hotel.
The Red Sea surprised us by the color and clarity of the water, and we could see several different types of fishes swimming near the pier, especially at the end of it – that was definitely a hit with the kids.
Even though the color of the water was inviting, the temperature was not, and we ended up only tipping our toes. The only brave one in the family was Diana, who spent some time inside during one of the warmest days. If you’re planning on going swimming, I recommend taking some long-sleeve water shirts to handle the cold.
The positive side of being a bit chilly is that you could always find chairs in the beach to sit down and relax – that’s great for us, since we do not like to wake up too early and always take a good amount of time to get everyone ready in the morning.
We ended up selecting the Beach Albatros Resort based on the following criteria:
- Close to the airport (the resort was about 20 minutes);
- On the beach;
- Structure for families with children;
- Heated pools (or in this case, slightly heated); and
The landscaping was really impeccable, with a lot of irrigation and meticulous care with flowers, lawns and plants. We also admired the cleanliness, the amount of garbage cans all over the resort, the amount of swimming pools, the areas for children, among other things.
At the hotel we were almost only hearing German being spoken (because 90% of the guests seemed to come from Germany). Even the staff would start the conversation in German, and some did not know English all that well – definitely made for German tourists…
Our kids are picky for eating, and the buffet was always the best option, as you could find food for everyone’s tastes. The desserts were the weak point, which was also good, since we spent most of the day eating.
It also drew my attention to the fact that 99% of the workers in the hotel were men. I do not know if it is a local, religious or cultural thing, but we saw only 2 or 3 women during our stay.
Final Tips for Visiting Hurghada
You need to purchase the visa when you arrive, before going through customs.
Make sure you have Euro coins or local money with you, as some of the workers will ask for tips.
Vendors will be constantly approaching you inside the hotel and in the beach. They will try to offer services, like spa, hairdresser or tours. They can be really insistent to the point of annoying you sometimes. You just need to be strong. 🙂
That’s it from this trip. See you next time.