Things to do in Hurghada with the family

In recent years, Hurghada has become Egypt’s premier beach destination thanks to its year-round sunny weather and amazing diving sites. Having been to both Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada – i would say that Hurghada is more authentic in culture and much cheaper!

My family and I visited here in 2011 by accident. By ‘accidnet’ I mean that we travelled to Egypt so that we could go to Gaza Strip, Palestine. Once we got there, the Israeli/ Egyptian authorities closed the border so we were stuck in Egypt for 2 weeks. We decided to book a stay in Hurghada Marriott Beach Resort. Obviously the situation was far from ideal and we would have loved to have spent Ramadan with our family back home, but we had to make the best of our situation. With some last minute research, we discovered some of the main things to do in Hurghada.

Relax on the beach! 

The best thing to do in Hurhgada is to relax on the amazing beach and swim in the Red Sea. To this day, I still remember the fun we had on the beach and how we spent hours just talking and chilling in the warm sea. 

There are also plenty of sea sport activities you can do!

Take a Submarine Boat Trip

As the Red Sea is one of the main attractions in Egypt, it is definitely worth going underwater (either by diving or submarine) to see its colourful fish and bright corals. We toured with a company called Sindbad Submarines and they took us down 22m underwater. After submerging, a diver swam alongside the boat in order to bait attract wrasses, groupers and parrotfish. It was really fun! 

Ride a Camel

When in Egypt, you can’t miss the chance to go camel riding and experience the desert landscape from the back of a camel!  Even though its not the comfiest of rides, it was a fun experience.

Go Quad Biking in the Egyptian Desert

We went on the Quad Biking Safari tour mostly for my brother and fathers sake – but it ended up being so much better than i though. We were taken by minibus to the desert and then met with the other tourists. We were then shown to the ATV, how it works and then we went off in a convoy together.

We drove across the dunes of an Egyptian desert by Quad Bike and saw a desert mirage.

Having Dinner at a Bedouin Camp

After the ATV ride, we went to a Bedouin camp and learnt about life there. It was just in time to watch the sunset before dinner. 

The local Bedouins then sang and danced around the camp fire. 

El Dahar (Hurghada Old Town) 

North of Hurghada’s luxury resorts lies the Old Town of El Dahar where you’ll find the city’s most authentic restaurants and shops. One of the highlights of the trip is visiting a traditional Egyptian souk that’s crammed with shops selling leather, copper, shisha pipes and spices. 

Accommodation:

We stayed at Marriott Beach Resort and it was a great stay – luxurious yet affordable for a family.

Do you have any questions about travelling to Hurghada that I didn’t answer? Be sure to leave them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible 🙂

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Highlights of Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria has a very complex and impressive history beginning with its founding by Alexander the Great in around 331 BC (hence its name Alexandria). For several centuries, It was one of the great cities in the ancient world – second only to Rome. During the Hellenistic period, the city was home to several treasures of the ancient world including the Library of Alexandria, the home to ancient scripts and knowledge and the Pharos (Lighthouse of Alexandria), one of the official Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, both of these wonders are now gone, having succumbed over the millennia to fires, earthquakes, wars and reconstruction. This was also the case for all of Alexandria’s monuments – many of which are no longer visible, yet its history remains.  

Together, their history just highlights Alexandria’s importance and to the role it played in ancient, Hellenistic civilisation. Interestingly, Alexandria was the setting for the stormy love story between Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Marc Antony. 

Many people visit Alexandria as a cruise stop or as a day trip from Cairo. As we were staying in Cairo for a few days and had some family friends living in Alexandria, we wanted to go and pay them a visit – and they very kindly took us on a quick tour around the city. There is a great inexpensive train service from Cairo and Alexandria which takes around 2.5 to 3 hours. 

Even though the city lost some of its grandeur of the past, with a bit of searching, you can still find bits of Alexandria’s glorious past. Saying this, I do recommend a balanced approach during your visit. Even though you can still enjoy the surviving sights, what I really enjoyed doing and what made this city memorable was its laid back and welcoming atmosphere. By this I mean – walk the city streets, enjoy a gentle stroll along the seaside promenade and explore its markets.

The Corniche

The first place our family friends took us to was to the Corniche, the waterfront promenade which stretches for 10 miles between Montana Plaza and Citadel of Qaitbay. I just loved stretching my legs after the train journey and taking in the sea air. We did as the locals and found a spot to sit down, enjoyed the serenity and did some people watching. 

Citadel of Qaitbay

The Citadel of Qaitbay was built where the famous Lighthouse once stood in 1480 AD by the Mamluk Sultan al-Ashraf Qaitbay. It was one of the most important defensive strongholds for Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. It was upkept by the subsequent rulers due to it strategic location and importance against Ottoman attacks. However, it was seriously damaged by the British during the Urabi Revolt in 1882.  The fortress wasn’t used or renovated until King Farouk turned it into a royal palace in 1904. After the Egyptian revolution in 1952, the palace was restored and turned into a maritime museum, where it remains today to explore. 

Eat the Local Seafood

Alexandria is best known for its seafood. We went to the Balbaa Grill and Fish Village and guys – I cant recommend this place enough. It was just so delicious!  Its located in the Sidi Bishr neighbourhood and can seat up to 300 people. Its surrounded by locals but because the restaurant is so popular, they also operate several other restaurants in the city. Be sure to visit the original one! 

Balbaa serves delicious grilled fish, pigeon and liver. 

Al-Haramlik Palace

This is the most popular palace in the city – the large Al-Haramlik Palace (aka Al Montaza Palace). This was built by Kind Faud I in 1932 as a royal summer palace. It was also used as a residence for Egyptian presidents post 1952 revolution. The gardens are open to the public for a fee although the palace itself is not. 

Pompey’s Pillar

The Pompey’s Pillar is an architectural wonder, located amidst the ruins of the Serapeum in Alexandria. Its another very popular tourist attraction in the city. It is the largest Roman triumphal column constructed outside Rome or Constantinople. The full column stands over 26m tall.

So there is the list of things to do in Alexandria Egypt!

Do you have any questions about travelling to Alexandria that I didn’t answer? Be sure to leave them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible 🙂

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