Half way down the Egyptian Red Sea coast, on a promontory projecting into the sea, is the small but growing resort and water sports center of Hurghada (El-Ghardaka), chief town and administrative center of the Red Sea Frontier District.With its perpetually warm and dry climate and its unique facilities for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts Hurghada is now attracting steadily increasing numbers of visitors both in summer and in winter.Before the tourist trade reached this remote spot on the Red Sea coast it was the center of Egypt's principal oil field, surpassed only quite recently by the still more productive oilfields in Sinai. The headquarters of the oil installations lie 2miles/3km northwest of the harbor.
Useful tips: ACCESS. Road from Suez along the Red Sea coast (245mi/395km); road from Qena, in the Nile Valley, across the Eastern (Arabian) Desert to Bur Safaga, then north along the coast (130mi/210km). Bus services. By air from Cairo (1 hour).
Lying off the beaches are more than 30 small islands, islets and innumerable coral reefs, some of them rising from great depths. With their abundance of marine plant and animal life these are a paradise for divers and fishermen. Visitors can go out to the islands and reefs in glass bottomed boats and observe, in the beautifully clearwater, all the richness and variety of this underwater life. Also popular are camping trips to the uninhabited islands (warm clothing should be taken).
6mi/10km north is an interesting Oceanographical Institute, with an Aquarium (Red Sea animal life) and a Museum containing, among much else, the last manatees caught in the Red Sea.
To the southwest of the beaches, farther away, is Gebel el-Shayib (7,176ft/2,187m), the highest peak in African Egypt (i.e. excluding Sinai).