Seeing the World dkeats

Published on October 22nd, 2012


Winter Fun in El Gouna

Egypt is a hugely popular destination for summer and winter breaks, with many resorts to choose from, varying from the historic cities of Cairo and Luxor, to the snorkelling mecca of Sharm el Sheik. A new resort, El Gouna, is now making waves in Egyptian tourism, and is certainly one not to be missed.

For beach breaks, Egypt’s Red Sea Riviera is where it’s at, with crystal clear waters and sandy beaches, and of course, plenty of sun all year around. El Gouna boasts all of this, but with a certain added extra of being very cut-off from the rest of the surrounding area. I doubt you’d need to leave the resort for much, so if you’re into exploring further afield, this may not be for you. However, if chilling out and enjoying the sun is what you’re after, then I can recommend it.

There are many low-cost airlines that now fly out to Egypt’s tourist airports, so many great deals can be found. Cut the cost even further, and save precious pennies, by looking at airport extras. One service I use a lot nowadays is airport parking, and you’ll find that most major UK airports offer this service. I recently used the parking facilities at Newcastle Airport and found it easy to use and very cheap too. Certainly recommended. I had another great experience when I parked at Glasgow Airport, when I flew from north of the border.

El Gouna is a fantastic destination for a winter chill-out, yet the temperatures certainly won’t be chilly! Hurghada Airport is the nearest, at just under an hour’s transfer away, and once in the resort, you’ll be able to get around using public transport quite easily.

The beach is the main focus of daily life, with plenty of water-sports on offer – a great way to cool down in the intense heat. Of course, this is the Red Sea, so the underwater residents are high on most people’s viewing list. There are diving and snorkelling opportunities available, and in my opinion, these shouldn’t be missed.

Away from the water, maybe a round of golf is in order on the resort’s huge golf course, or alternatively, I’d be heading Downtown to hit the shops.

El Gouna offers a great opportunity to wind down, but when the evening rolls around, your choice of entertainment is varied, from clubs, bars and even a casino, to chilled-out restaurants, top class seafood restaurants, and walks along the beach. Downtown is where I’d be heading for the main action.

Egypt has many faces, from history, desert action to snorkelling, colourful marine life and plenty of sun. El Gouna offers the chilled-out version of Egypt and you’ll no doubt leave feeling all the better for the sun on your back and the glittering sea a memory in your mind. The fact that prices are lower than they’ve ever been can’t hurt either.

Another suggestion I’d make, to add to the chill-out factor, is to pre-book an airport hotel prior to travelling. I tend to do this if I have an early flight, as it means boarding my plane rested, rather than frazzled. I recently travelled from Manchester and found the Crowne Plaza at Manchester Airport great value, so definitely check them out.

Winter sun is tempting when the skies are grey, and El Gouna is a fantastic choice.

Image by Derek Keats

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