Long working hours, plenty of obligations to take care of in personal life as well as the depressing (non-)winter weather we experienced in Germany over the past months added up quite a bit. It was time for a spontaneous get-away in form of a vacation. We decided to escape into the hot weather of the Red Sea in Hurghada, Egypt. To be a little more specific, it was actually Sahl Hasheesh, a bay just south of Hurghada.
Here are some quick information that we would like to share with you and actually encourage you to travel to the Red Sea – from Hurghada all the way to Marsa Alam.
When traveling to Hurghada, it is most likely going to be by plane. After exiting your plane, you are most likely going to be greeted by touch of warm, comforting air – especially when you came from an ugly weather just around the freezing point. You are going to enter a bus, wait for it to depart to the terminal building and that’s where the “work” starts. With your passports, the pre-filled visa forms and your hand luggage you are expected to wait in line to get cleared with all required paperwork from employees of your travel company, such as LTUR. Don’t. One reason are the signs that were put up on your way before. They should state that the required visa is only 25$. Repeated multiple times. And there’s a good reason for that. The travel companies like to charge you a little more to get a bonus for themselves. It’s not necessary to pay more than 25$. Usually, just before the queue line, there is going to be a visa counter which lets you pay by credit card or in foreign cash. Often marked as foreign exchange. But they sell the required visa for 25$. Go there, the lines are usually dramatically shorter and buy the visa for 25$ per person. With the document in your passport, go past the long queue lines right towards the actual passport check. Then get your luggage and find a travel company agent for your transfer to your hotel. Once you get there, all that is left to do is enjoy your vacation.
Why Hurghada, Egypt now?
Many of your friends would strongly advise against a trip to Egypt. Believe me – I myself advised us against it – with a wrong believe and information. Egypt might be in trouble and target of terrorism – just like any other country in this work nowadays. Don’t let that miss you out on a superb vacation. Here are a few reasons why it’s one of the best vacation destinations to date.
Egypt is missing out on over 50% of their usual tourists. This is both bad and good. Certainly bad for the Egyptians that are thriving on tourism and the cash flow it generates. But why is it good? Your value as a tourist and guest has drastically increased. They are more inclined to take great care of you, fulfill any wishes that you have and make certain, that you have the best holiday of your life. Safety shouldn’t be a concern. There are – I’m not kidding – hundreds of checkpoints along the way from the airport to the hotels, security checks for each resort-entering vehicle and many, many police officers to care for your security.
Quick tips for the best Red Sea vacation
While Hurghada is the most famous place to go, it is also the oldest and most “used” area. If you are into marine wildlife, it might certainly not be an ideal place to go. Too many tourists have caused a reduction in wildlife quality in the Red Sea around Hurghada. But the further south you take your holiday destination, the better it gets. And the warmer it gets. If you wand to go snorkeling or scuba diving, consider flying to Marsa Alam or Safaga. If you want to experience Egyptian culture, Safaga is also a great spot, because the trip to Luxor is considerably shorter than from Hurghada. And Luxor is something you should check out. But there are many other things you can do. Take a quad, jeep or camel safari through the desert, experience the beduin culture or go for a cruise in the Red Sea or on the Nile river. If you are really just interested in laying on the beach, reading a few books while slurping your free cocktails, you could profit from Sahl Hasheeh. It’s a small bay just south of Hurghada that offers more exclusivity than the larger resorts, while still offering high quality with plenty of 4 to 5 star hotels or resorts.
We only stayed five nights, but we’ve had a great vacation including a semi-submarine ride, an exclusive trip to Luxor and its great cultural monuments as well as a few days on the beach to relax.