The best things to do in El Gouna – from scuba diving to camel riding in the desert


Now that the holidays are back, most of us Brits will be booking a trip abroad.

And one place that is heating up right now is a modern resort on the Egyptian Red Sea near Hurghada.

El Gouna was a place I hadn’t heard of until my recent visit and now I wonder why that was.

Translating to “The Lagoon”, it is an Egyptian tourist town, owned and developed by Orascom Hotels and Development.

The buildings were designed by influential European and American architects to resemble traditional rural Egyptian architecture.

Although perfect for a relaxing vacation, it specializes in water sports like parasailing, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Ancient Sands has five swimming pools on its complex

It was built along the shore and is also known for its lagoons, coral reefs and sandy beaches.

We stayed at Former seaside resort of sands for five nights and had the most relaxed and exciting experience ever.

The town has a bustling marina called Abu Tig which is home to many restaurants and bars for a chilly night.

To get around, a ride in a Tuk Tuk (a popular wheeled motorcycle taxi in Egypt) took us on a journey.

We went to Tamr Henna Square where there were sidewalk cafes, shops and palm trees to add to the holiday vibe.

And during my few days at the resort, I had the honor of trying scuba diving and camel riding, which totally blew my mind.

ancient sands
The view outside the bedroom window was lush at night

For someone who is petrified by the sea, the instructors were quite patient with me considering I had never tried the activity before.

Chloe’s dive center is outside of El Gouna but has many rave reviews on TripAdvisor – and it was clear to see why.

I felt like I was in good hands as I dove under the crystal clear waters to check out the marine life below.

While swimming with the fishes was the most unforgettable experience, we also visited the Red Sea desert.

The Sunset Jeep Safari allowed us to ride a camel and enjoy dinner with a traditional Egyptian show.

Diving in the Red Sea
We had a dip when we went deep sea diving

Also on the program are delicious dinners, including the Captain’s Steak House, as well as the Tandoor Restaurant and Orient 1001.

There wasn’t a moment of feeling hungry or thirsty – not to mention the service was top notch.

When we weren’t on excursions, it gave us more time to enjoy the entertainment at our resort, Ancient Sands.

The hotel assistants gave us a very classy welcome with a room that opens directly onto one of the five swimming pools.

Here we enjoyed sleeping in the sun, diving in the pool and of course going to the gym (or so we intended).

Red Sea Desert
Riding a camel in the desert was an experience

We were able to take a boat trip on the lagoon of El Gouna
We were able to take a boat trip on the lagoon of El Gouna

There is so much to do in El Gouna, from sightseeing to visiting the Egyptian house.

My only wish is to stay longer these five days as it went by so quickly.

Flights to Hurghada, which is the closest location to El Gouna, won’t be cheap with easyJet as you’re looking at an average of £300.

As for accommodation in El Gouna, you will be spoiled for choice.

During our stay in Ancient Sands, the town has 18 hotels in the area.

Cheap flights to Hurghada from London can range from £190 to just over £650, depending on the time of year.

August is the most expensive time to go, while peak holiday periods in May, June and July are between £190 and £340.

You can verify Skyscanner to find the best deals with flights no longer than 5.5 hours one way.

For accommodation, I highly recommend ancient sands although you can discover something else through the website.

And finally, if you want to experience diving in the Red Sea, Chloe Center is your best bet.

The location is a great place for couples, families, and singles, so don’t worry about feeling out of place.

It was truly unique as it offers everything you want from your vacation, whether it’s a luxury spa getaway or a fun adventure.

With year-round sunshine, luxury and budget accommodation, Brits should definitely make this their next trip abroad.

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