Hurghada Egypt: Guide for UK Holidaymakers (2024)

Hotel in Hurghada with swimming pool

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Are you looking for a sun-soaked getaway that combines relaxation, adventure, and rich cultural experiences? Look no further than Hurghada, a stunning coastal city on the Red Sea in Egypt.

This comprehensive Hurghada Travel Guide for UK Holidaymakers will help you plan your perfect escape. From the crystal-clear waters to the mesmerising desert landscapes, Hurghada is a dream destination that caters to every traveller’s taste.

Crystal Bay Beach Resort

Getting to Hurghada Egypt

Direct flights from the UK

Jetting off to Hurghada is easier than you think. Direct flights from London Gatwick and Manchester airports whisk you away to this sun-drenched paradise in just 5–6 hours. Popular airlines offering direct flights include EasyJet, TUI, and British Airways. To secure the best deals, book your flights well in advance and consider travelling during off-peak periods. Check out our Hurghada Airport guide.

Visas for UK nationals

UK nationals can obtain a visa on arrival in Egypt. For a mere £20, payable in GBP, you’ll get a 30-day pass to explore the wonders of Hurghada. To avoid delays at the airport, ensure you have the correct amount in cash and a valid passport with at least six months of remaining validity.

Easyjet Plane

Best Time to Visit Hurghada

Weather Conditions

Hurghada is a year-round destination with mild and pleasant winters (November–February) and hot, dry summers (June–September). Whether you’re after a winter sun escape or a sizzling summer holiday, Hurghada has you covered.

Peak and Off-peak Seasons

While December to February and July to August are peak travel seasons, March to May and September to October offer quieter, off-peak experiences. Choose the time that suits your preferences, but remember that off-peak travel often means better deals and fewer crowds.

Read our guide with a detailed look at When’s the best time to visit Hurghada?

Accommodation in Hurghada

Types of Accommodation

From luxurious all-inclusive resorts to budget-friendly hotels and private holiday rentals, Hurghada offers a variety of accommodation options to suit your needs and budget.

  1. All-inclusive Resorts: These provide an array of amenities, including meals, drinks, and activities, under one roof. Some popular all-inclusive resorts in Hurghada include the Steigenberger AL DAU Beach Hotel, Sunrise Royal Makadi Resort, TUI Blue Crystal Bay Resort and Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh.
  2. Budget-friendly Hotels: For travellers on a tighter budget, Hurghada has plenty of affordable hotels that offer comfortable accommodations without breaking the bank. Check out the Sea Garden, Triton Empire, and Hor Palace Hotel.
  3. Private Holiday Rentals: Consider renting a holiday home or apartment for a more personalised and private experience. Online platforms like Airbnb and offer several options to suit your preferences.
  4. Adults Only Hotels: There is a great choice of Adults Only Hotels in Hurghada including Tui Blue Makadi Gardens, Meraki Resort and Steigenberger Makadi.
Jaz Makadi Star and Spa

Popular areas for UK holidaymakers

Sahl Hasheesh, El Gouna, and Makadi Bay are all popular areas that cater to UK holidaymakers. These destinations boast beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and fantastic dining options.

  1. Sahl Hasheesh: A luxurious, purpose-built resort area, Sahl Hasheesh is known for its pristine beaches, upscale hotels, and spectacular underwater world.
  2. El Gouna: Often called the “Venice of the Red Sea,” El Gouna is a charming, modern resort town with a network of canals, luxurious hotels, and a lively marina.
  3. Makadi Bay: Nestled between the mountains and the Red Sea, Makadi Bay offers a tranquil atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and a range of all-inclusive resorts perfect for a relaxing holiday.

Top Attractions in Hurghada

Beaches and Water Activities

Hurghada offers many exciting water activities and stunning beaches, perfect for families, couples, and solo travellers. From idyllic sandy shores to thrilling water sports, there’s something to suit every taste and level of adventure in this Red Sea paradise.

  • Hurghada Marina

The upmarket atmosphere of Hurghada Marina offers an array of dining and shopping options, making it a must-visit destination. Stroll along the promenade, enjoy a leisurely meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants, or take a relaxing sunset cruise.

  • Giftun Islands

Renowned for its pristine beaches, the Giftun Islands is a snorkelling and scuba diving paradise. Take a day trip to these beautiful islands, explore the vibrant coral reefs, and swim with the colourful marine life that inhabits the Red Sea.

  • Soma Bay

Soma Bay, a stunning peninsula south of Hurghada, offers a luxurious beach experience and world-class water sports facilities. Boasting picturesque white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a variety of water activities like kiteboarding, windsurfing, and sailing, this upscale resort area caters to both relaxation and adventure seekers.

  • Mahmya Beach

Discover the beautiful white sand beaches of Mahmya Beach, an ecotourism destination that will take your breath away. Relax on the beach, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, or indulge in a delicious meal at the beachside restaurant.

Egypt Harbour

Cultural and Historical Sites

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history and rich culture of Hurghada by visiting its captivating cultural and historical sites. From mesmerising sand sculptures to stunning religious architecture, these attractions provide a unique insight into Egypt’s past and present.

  • Hurghada Grand Aquarium

The whole family will enjoy the marine life of the Red Sea at the Hurghada Grand Aquarium, where colourful underwater wonders await. Discover the diverse aquatic species that call the Red Sea home, from vibrant coral reefs to majestic sharks and rays.

  • Sand City Hurghada

Marvel at the intricate sand sculptures created by renowned artists at the International Sand City Hurghada festival. This unique attraction features incredible works of art made entirely from sand, showcasing scenes from Egyptian history, mythology, and world-famous landmarks.

  • Coptic Cathedral of Saint Shenouda

A testament to Egypt’s rich religious history, the Coptic Cathedral of Saint Shenouda is a must-visit cultural and historical site. Remember to admire the stunning architecture, intricate artwork, and vibrant stained glass windows that make this cathedral a unique and captivating experience for visitors.

  • El Mina Mosque

Witness the beautiful architecture of El Mina Mosque and gain insight into local culture. As one of the largest mosques in Hurghada, El Mina Mosque is an excellent place to experience the tranquil atmosphere and stunning design elements characteristic of Islamic architecture.

A camel walks past the base of a pyramid

Why Visit Hurghada?

Located just a few hours away from Europe, Hurghada has become a favourite amongst tourists from all over the world. With over 20km of coastline, you can have your pick of beaches to relax on and if you’ve never been before – there’s so much to explore!

Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to unwind or a bustling area with lots of activities, Hurghada has got you covered. But the beaches aren’t the only thing that makes Hurghada so special. The Red Sea is renowned for its diverse and colourful marine life, making it a top spot for snorkelling and scuba diving.

You can explore underwater wrecks, swim with dolphins, and marvel at the vibrant coral reefs. And if you prefer to stay on land, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy, from camel rides to quad biking in the desert.

The Beaches of Hurghada

When it comes to Hurghada, its beautiful beaches will most likely be the first thing that come to your mind. And we agree – the long stretches of golden sand are definitely worth a visit.

The beaches offer breathtaking views. The crystal-clear waters and the colourful reefs last long in the memory. They’re also perfect for water sports, whether you’re an experienced enthusiast or trying for the first time. From windsurfing to parasailing to kiteboarding, we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your taste.

Hurghada Beach

The sands also provide the perfect location to relax. Soak up the sun, read a book or simply take a nap. Either way, relaxing during your holiday sounds just about perfect!

For those with children, relaxing may not be THAT easy, but you’ll take some comfort that family friendly days are great here. Shallow waters and soft sand make things a lot easier and provide a safe and enjoyable place to play and explore.

Some of the best beaches in Hurghada are:

  • Makadi Bay Beach: This beach offers a stunning stretch of sand that’s perfect for swimming and snorkelling. It’s also home to a variety of water activities including paddle boats, banana boats and jet skis.
  • Old Vic Beach: If you’re looking for a more secluded spot to relax, Old Vic Beach is the place to be. It’s surrounded by beautiful cliffs and offers some fantastic snorkelling opportunities.
  • Sahl Hasheesh Beach: This beach is known for its beautiful coral reefs, making it the perfect spot for diving and snorkelling. It’s also home to several restaurants and cafes, so you can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the beautiful views.

Historic Sites to Visit in Hurghada

If you’re looking to explore the rich culture and history of Hurghada, here are a few historic sites you won’t want to miss:

El Dahar – Old Town

El Dahar, also known as Old Town, is a picturesque neighbourhood with a fascinating mix of traditional Egyptian architecture and modern buildings. Explore local markets, visit historic mosques and churches. Don’t miss the opportunity to try authentic Egyptian street food and haggle hard in the markets.


The Coptic Church is a significant religious landmark located in the heart of Hurghada. This beautiful church features stunning murals and stained glass windows, and it’s a unique place to visit, whatever your religion.

Coptic Cathedral in Hurghada

Mons Porphyrites

If you’re interested in ancient history, Mons Porphyrites is a must-visit site. This ancient Roman quarry, around 25 miles from Hurghada, was once the primary source of porphyry, a prized purple stone that was used to decorate opulent Roman palaces and monuments.

You can explore the ruins of the old village, see the remains of the stone-cutting factory, and learn about the fascinating history of the site.

Hurghada Museum

For a comprehensive overview of Hurghada’s cultural heritage, check out the Hurghada Museum. This newly opened museum showcases a fascinating collection of artefacts ranging from prehistoric times to the modern era.

You’ll find mummies, ancient pottery, jewellery, and much more. The museum is a great place to spend a few hours, and you’re sure to leave with a deeper understanding of the rich history of this region.

Hurghada Centre

Activities to Enjoy in Hurghada

There’s plenty to see and do here, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, water lover or simply looking for a unique cultural experience.

Snorkelling and Diving

With its crystal clear water and diverse marine life, Hurghada is a prime destination for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. There are plenty of tour companies offering excursions to some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world, such as Giftun Island. These tours are suitable for both beginners and experienced divers, and include all the equipment you’ll need.

Boat Tour

Why not embark on a private boat tour and explore the stunning coastline that Hurghada has to offer? You can visit several islands and stop at various snorkelling spots.

Desert Safari

A desert safari is a must-do activity in Hurghada. You’ll travel in a 4×4 jeep safari and explore the vast expanses of the eastern Sahara. Along the way, you’ll encounter Bedouin villages, drink traditional tea, and learn about their nomadic lifestyle.


If you prefer a more upbeat experience, Hurghada has plenty to offer in terms of nightlife. From cozy bars to upscale nightclubs, you’ll find something that suits your taste.

Arabic Lessons

Finally, why not take advantage of your visit and learn some basic Arabic phrases? You can register for a short course and learn how to greet others, introduce yourself, ask for directions, and order food at a restaurant. These phrases can come in handy during your stay and also make it easier to communicate with the locals.

Final Thoughts

Hurghada is a destination that efficiently combines sun, sea, and adventure with cultural experiences and history, making it the perfect getaway for UK holidaymakers. With this comprehensive Hurghada Travel Guide for UK Holidaymakers, you’ll be well-equipped to plan your dream holiday to Hurghada, Egypt, and create memories that will last a lifetime.