El Gouna (الجونة) is a self-sufficient, fully integrated resort town of 24,000 on the Egyptian Red Sea Coast just north of Hurghada. The town offers a large variety of activities and entertainment and is a popular destination around the year.
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Resorts in Egypt, both on the Mediterranean and Red Sea, are usually a bunch of hotels on a previously uninhabited piece of coastline. El Gouna was built with a different mindset; a real town with inhabitants and "free standing" restaurants, bars, night clubs and shops as well as a marina for yachts. The same concept was used for Marina el-Alamein on the Mediterranean, Taba Heights on the Sinai east coast and Port Ghalib.
The construction of El Gouna (the name translates to "the bay" or "the lagoon") on the site of the village of Kafr el-Gūna began in 1989 with work on the Tamr Henna Palace. The town stretches for about 5 km along the coast and 2 km inland. It's set up like a Mediterranean lagoon landscape with several islands connected to each other by bridges. The buildings are a mix of both modern and traditional architecture and in addition to hotels, there are also holiday homes and housing for the around 10,000 employees of the resorts. Also Italian, French and American architects and engineers have been involved in the project.
Today El Gouna’s facilities include a landing strip, 3 international standard marinas, universities and schools, an 18-hole championship golf course, 17 hotels, 2 spas, and a state-of-the-art gym. The town has over a hundred restaurants and bars, scuba diving, yachting, fishing, and fully-equipped water sports centers, tennis, squash, padel and horse-back-riding.
There are three main areas with shops, bars and restaurants: 1 Downtown also including El Balad and Kafr el-Gouna, 2 Tamr Henna just north of the former, across a bridge and the 3 Abu Tig Marina much further north. The largest public beaches are Mangroovy Beach, Marina Beach, Buzzha Beach and Zeytouna Beach.
Temperatures are mild or warm throughout the year. Autumn and spring are the best times to visit; summer is scorchingly hot and during the winter there strong winds are common.
- Marketing Office, El Gouna, Tamr Henna, H9 Building, ☏ +20 65 3549 702, fax: +20 65 3549 065, firstname.lastname@example.org. The tourist information seems to be just an office you can contact online or by phone but not visit in person.
El Gouna is 35 km north of 1 Hurghada International Airport which handles flights from many destinations in Europe, and some destinations in the former CIS and Middle East. If your nationality entitles you to get a visa on arrival, there's a counter before the passport control to get it; you buy it yourself to save the commission that travel agents charge for the service. From the airport it takes about 25 minutes by car (rental car or taxi) to El Gouna. Shuttle buses to El Gouna depart the airport every half hour.
The smaller 2 El Gouna airfield is open to private aviation.
A bus ride from Cairo takes about six hours, from Hurghada about 30 minutes. Buses and share taxis between Cairo and Hurghada stop at a 3 bus stop west of town. There are about a dozen of these in each direction per day. For buses, you need to book tickets beforehand. GoBus has up to nine daily departures between Cairo and El Gouna.
From Cairo, drive to Ain Sokhna and south along the coast. The distance is 440 km.
El Gouna has three marinas (4 Abu Tig Marina extended in 2009, 5 Abydos Marina and the 6 New Marina). Abu Tig has 224 berths for yachts with a maximum length of 45 m and depth of 12 m. In the extension part there's space for yachts with a length of up to 60 m. Facilities include electricity and water supply, phone, cable tv, Wi-Fi and emptying of toilets.
To arrive by your own craft you will need, in addition to passport and visa, a departure document from the former port, a valid VHF radio license, a crew list (name, birth date, passport number) and registration and insurance documents for the vessel.
There are various transport options available within the resort.
Regular shuttle buses run around the town, until as late as 2:00 in the night. Check the local bus timetables for buses that stop in front of your hotel. Tickets (day and week) are sold at hotel reception desks or you can buy them from the driver.
These can be flagged down on the street and often have a flat fare for up to three passengers to any destination in El Gouna. Sometimes they accept payment in euros.
By taxi or car
You can request to reserve a taxi from your hotel. Cars can be rented with (effectively a long-term taxi, El Gouna Limousine Service is one company offering this option) or without a driver. There are also so-called water taxis plying the canals.
The roads are very quiet and have pavements for pedestrians to walk along safely.
El Gouna does have a few things to see, eventhough the vast majority of what the town has to offer falls in the Do category.
- 1 Church of Holy Mary and Archangel Michael. Coptic-Orthodox church in El-Bustan just southwest of town, designed by Italian architect Alfredo Freda opened in 2004. The church has three naves and two belltowers. The paintings in the church are mostly by artist Mina El Comos Temesaus.
- 2 El Gouna mosque, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32389 .
- 3 Aquarium (Downtown), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32408 . Here you can see the underwater life of the Red Sea.
- 4 Mangrove island. An island, about 500 m in length, in front of the Sheraton Minamar Resort.
- 5 Desert Breath. A landscape artwork, created west of the resort between 1995 and 1997 after a design by Greek artist Danae Stratou. It's made up of 89 big cone-formed pits and heaps arranged like a spiral. In the middle there was a pond, 30 m in diameter that has long evaporated. The artwork has intentionally been left to deteriorate through erosion.
- 6 Deir Umm Duheis (Abū Schaʿr). In the southeastern corner of the resort are the ruins of a Roman fort, once housing about 200 soldiers of the Ala Nova Maximiana camel cavalry unit. There were bastions at all four corners of the wall, and entrances on the northern and western sides. The latter entrance has an inscription revealing it was established in 309-311 during the rule of Aurelius Maximianus Inside the walls there were barracks, warehouses, stables, and the commander's house. During the 7th century the fort was used as a church for Coptic Christians, and later it was possibly a destination for pilgrimage.
- Culturama (Embassy of Knowledge, in the library), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0023. Multimedia-Panorama-Show.
El Gouna has a wide variety of sports and recreation facilities. These include leisure pursuits such as horse-riding, camel-riding, go-kart racing, scuba diving, snorkelling and windsurfing.
There are five beaches not part of a resort hotel, these are listed below from north to south. In addition Labranda Club Paradisio El Gouna and El Gouna Mövenpick Resort & Spa have their own beaches.
- 1 Element Beach. The northernmost beach, about 2 km northwest of La Maison Bleu hotel.
- 2 Buzzha Beach. About 300 m southeast of La Maison Bleue. Has a very flat coastline.
- 3 Mangroovy Beach. 650 m south of Buzzha, slightly north of the New Marina. Like the former, it also has a very flat coastline, and the reef outside of creates a lagoon. As such it is the Red Sea's best spot for kitesurfing. Windsurfing, snorkelling, beach volleyball or football are also available.
- 4 Marina Beach. Between the New Marina and Abu Tig, features the Moods Beach Restaurant.
- 5 Zeytouna Beach. Zeytouna Beach is located on its own island surrounded by sea and lagoons. At Zeytouna Beach you can enjoy beach volleyball, snorkelling, football, and dancing lessons. Beach services include towels, drinks and food, bathrooms, and fresh-water showers. You can walk a 350 m long pier across the lagoon and riff to the open sea.
Almost every hotel has its own scuba dive facility from which you can explore the northern part of the Red Sea. Top attractions are the wrecks of Abu Nuhas or the wrecks of Rosalie Moller behind Tawila Island.
Many beaches are lagoons separated from the sea with steeply falling reefs. Just outside the reefs there are good areas for diving, and this is where many diving tours will head. These reefs alone have about 50 diving areas. The waters around Tawila Island, 16 km to the north has a couple of wrecks, a large number of different corals and rich sea fauna. One of the wrecks is the British freight ship Rosalie Moller, sunk in 1941 by German bomber planes. It's at a depth of 50 meters, and is not suitable for beginners.
All diving operators have diving courses for different experience levels: for beginners and for experienced divers who want to learn more (wreck diving, diving with a rebreather etc.). The courses follow the programs of international organizations like PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
El Gouna’s nine certified diving centres and easy access to the finest reefs and wrecks in the Red Sea make it a diver’s paradise. Each centre offers a complete range of diving education, including PADI diving certification, from beginner through to professional level. El Gouna’s The Dive Tribe is also a certified National Geographic Diving Centre. The heated pools and calm reefs of El Gouna are ideal for beginners wanting to perfect their skills.
Some dive centres offer diving programs and courses tailored for kids, which include PADI Bubble Maker, Discover Scuba Diving, Junior Scuba Diving, and a Junior Open Water Diving and Snorkelling course. Special discounts are available for young children. In addition diving programmes to guests with reduced mobility. Guests are able to complete a standard scuba diver course, with minor adjustments as necessary, depending on the type of disability. All divers must complete a medical questionnaire, and those with a handicap are required to produce a medical certificate stating that they are fit to dive. It is advisable to get in touch with the dive centre and discuss individual needs in advance. Dive schools with facilities tailored specifically for divers with physical disabilities can be found in Sheraton Miramar, TTC Rihana, and Mövenpick Resort & Spa.
- Blue Brothers Diving, Abu Tig Marina (in Ocean View Hotel), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0351, (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77975 , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0355, email@example.com. daily 8–18. Common diving basis with Emperor Divers.
- Colona Divers (The Three Corners Rihana Resort), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0113, fax: +20 (0)65 358 0113, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. PADI courses. Languages: English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Italian and Russian.
- The Dive Connection (Panorama Bungalows), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0052, firstname.lastname@example.org. PADI, CMAS, VDST and TDI courses for technical diving and rebreather. Languages: German, English, French, Dutch and Arabic.
- Dive Trek (Sultan Bey), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32381 , email@example.com. PADI courses. Languages: German, English and French.
- Emperor Divers (The Three Corners Ocean View), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77975 , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. daily 8–18. PADI and SDI courses. One boat is suitable for mobility impaired divers. Languages: German, English, French, Dutch, Italian and Arabic. Common diving basis with Blue Brothers Diving.
- Orca Diveclub El Gouna, Abu Tig Marina (Turtle’s Inn), fax: +20 (0)65 358 0171, firstname.lastname@example.org. PADI, CMAS and VDST courses. Languages: German, English, French and Arabic.
- Orca Diveclub Paradisio, Golf (Paradisio), email@example.com. PADI, CMAS and VDST courses. Languages: German, English, French and Arabic.
- TGI Diving Center (Sheraton Miramar Resort), ☏ +20 (0)65 354 5684. PADI courses. One boat for mobility impaired divers. Languages: German, English, French, Dutch, Italian and Arabic.
Windsurfing, kitesurfing and wakeboarding
The resort’s five kite centres provide facilities, equipment and training staff with courses for beginners and advanced surfers. El Gouna’s beaches, excellent winds, and all-year sunny weather attract droves of kite surfers regularly, while its shallow waters are suited to beginners learning moves.
The Sports and Fun Aqua Centres offer windsurfing and other aqua sport activities. The centres operate from Mangroovy Beach, the Steigenberger, and Rihana resorts.
- 6 Element Watersports & Beach, Element Beach, firstname.lastname@example.org. daily 9–18. Water sports center with wind- and kiteboarding, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding and similar sports. Courses, equipment rental and repair. There's also a large wind-protected patio with sun chairs, and a restaurant and land based activities including a football and beach volleyball and activities for kids. Free shuttle bus from Mosaique Hotel.
- 7 Kiteboarding Club El Gouna, Buzzha Beach, Northern Mangroovy Beach, email@example.com. VDWS kiteboarding school with courses for different skil levels, also sup boarding. An open area towards the north. Equipment rental and repair, large relaxing area with massage, sun chairs, playground, beach volleyball, bar and restaurant. Languages: German, Arabic, English and Dutch.
- 8 Kitepower, Mangroovy Beach, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32506 , +43 (0)664 202 77 04 (in Österreich) , firstname.lastname@example.org. daily 9:00-sunset. VDWS kiteboarding school.
- 9 Osmosis Kiteboarding (Club Paradiso), fax: +20 (0)65 354 7933, email@example.com.
- 10 RedSeaZone, Northern Mangroovy Beach, firstname.lastname@example.org. Courses certified by the International Kitboarding Organisation.
- 11 El Gouna Cable Park Sliders, Sabina Area, El Gouna (im El Gouna Watersports Complex), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32622 , email@example.com. daily 9:30–18. A sports complex with a wakeboard zipline course. The complex also has a beach club, restaurant, bar and a pool.
The resort’s 18-hole championship golf course 12 El Gouna Golf Club at the Steigenberger Golf Resort offers year-round golfing for players from novices to professionals. The club offers a full range of retail products, rental equipment, driving range facilities, and PGA tuition for players looking to improve their game. Designed by Gene Bates and Fred Couples the course features three different men’s and ladies’ tees, bunkers, lagoons, an aqua driving range and desert rough to challenge players. The aqua driving range can accommodate up to 30 players.
- 13 El Gouna Tennis Club, firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the open air 6 clay courts at the El Gouna Tennis Club. Coach, changing room, racquet rentals, floodlights for summer evening play available. In addition to the tennis club, several hotels have their own tennis and squash courts.
Ride horses and camels at the Mövenpick Hotel and Zeytouna Beach or go for full service with Arabian cross horses and ponies for children at Yalla Horse Stables.
- Yalla Horseride, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32344 , email@example.com. Horse, camel and donkey riding, riding school.
- 14 El Gouna Gocart, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32188 . daily 11–22. Burn rubber on the popular go-kart circuit, which is located on the road between the Downtown area and the Marina. You can rent helmets and gloves. Drivers need to be at least 10 years old.
Safaris and land tours
If you prefer to see the town by tour, there are many operators, check at your hotel. Some options include touring the coast and canals by boat, the streets by Segway or seeing the town from the air. You can also discover the secrets of the desert with an exhilarating drive through the sand dunes. Early morning and sunset trips are available. Quads are available for a desert safari, a full moon trip, or a visit to the Bedouin camps. Operators include:
- 15 Alex Safari El Gouna, shop 111 alex safari-tamr henna zone-elgouna, ☏ +20 1223261313, firstname.lastname@example.org. Offer different safari tours by quad, buggy or jeep from El Gouna/ Hurghada/ Sahl Hasheesh/ Makadi Bay/ Soma Bay.
- Speed Devils, Building H10, Shop 14, Downtown El Balad, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 9702, (0)65 354 9704 . Buggy safaris.
- Peak Safari, Kafr El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32324 , (0)65 358 0521 ext. 34030 (Tamr Henna Office) , email@example.com.
- Tawila Island: A real 'escape to nature' from the resort bustle, this quiet island offers sparkling white sandy beaches and serenity. Located over an hour from El Gouna, travellers might get the chance to watch dolphins jumping in and out of the surf along the way to Tawila Island.
- Galatea Boat: to Gobal Island. Private day trips for diving or fish barbecues are available too.
- Lagoon Trip: Tour El Gouna by boat every Wednesday and Saturday morning. Bookings can be made through the Information Centre in Tamr Henna, or at your hotel's reception.
- Flying Dutchman Hydrofoil Submarine: The Flying Dutchman will take you from Abydos Marina to the coral reefs in only 10-15 minutes. Along the way there is a very good chance you will pass dolphins swimming quickly to try and keep up with your boat! The glass bottom of the boat shoes you the underwater world.
- Abu Tig Marina: The first purpose built yacht marina in the Red Sea, Abu Tig houses El Gouna’s most exclusive shopping and dining outlets, hotels and real estate properties. Abu Tig has been the harbour of choice for several international yacht rallies such as the Med-Red, Vasco de Gama, and Blue Water rallies.
- Orange Concept (Ocean Diva Catamaran Sailing Cruises), Abydos Marina, El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 37396 , firstname.lastname@example.org. Operator for wakeboarding, sailing, parasailing.
- 16 Khaled Bichara Stadium (3 km south of town). Seating 14,000 spectators, this is the home stadium of El Gouna FC playing in Egypt's highest football league, the Premiere League.
- El Gouna International (Abu Tig Marina). Yearly squash tournament, part of the PSA World Tour.
There are three dance and live music festivals taking place weekly or even twice a week, meaning almost every day there's such an event. The Marina Street Festival takes place in Abu Tig Marina each Friday at 20:00. On Thursdays and Sundays at 21:30, there's the Tamr Henna Square Event, and on Thursdays and Saturdays at 20:00 the Kafr El Gouna Party.
The El Gouna Film Festival has apparently been on hold because of the corona pandemic; the next event is scheduled for 13-20 October 2023.
Angsana Spa offers two spa locations in El Gouna: at the Mövenpick Resort & Spa and the El Gouna Golf Club. Both have a wide selection of beauty massages, sauna and steam bath treatments for singles and couples. A spa session can be booked in any spa in El Gouna regardless of your hotel of residence. Contact the El Gouna Spa Concierge at your hotel for more information.
Outlets offer a range of goods from practical to ethnic to high fashion. The resort’s many shops are grouped around two distinctive centres: the Downtown area and Abu Tig Marina. There are also two shopping centres: 1 Ebaid Market and 2 El Gouna Super Market.
Built in a traditional Egyptian style complete with bustling inner courtyards, winding alleys and a series of brick domes, El Gouna’s Downtown offers a variety of interesting and exotic shopping arcades, bazaars, boutiques and arts and crafts galleries. Courtyard cafes, bars and restaurants are interspersed throughout the vicinity to provide visitors with refreshments during their authentic Egyptian shopping experience.
The Abu Tig Marina has fashionable boutiques at a range of prices. With restaurants, cafes and bars, Abu Tig is a good spot for all-day shopping. Shops are usually open from 9:00 to 18:00, and prices are mostly not posted.
Grocery stores for self-catering:
- 3 BestWay. Self service supermarket at Tamr Henna with a good selection and fresh meat every Thursday. They also have a branch at Abu Tig Marina.
- 4 El Mohandes, Tamr Henna. Has also a small selection of alcoholic beverages.
- 6 German Bakery (next to Bestway). German bakery with a wide selection of cakes and bread.
Some of the many shops:
- 7 Azza Fahmy. Gold and silver jewellery designed by Egyptian designer Azza Fahmy. }}
- 8 Inside - Out, Abu Tig Marina. Furniture and home decoration.
- 9 Shiekh Mounier (near Ocean View, opposite duPort). Watches and jewellery.
The resort is home to a variety of excellent cuisine, with over 100 different dining outlets to choose from that offer fine dining options through to casual cuisine, and include a variety of cafes and coffee shops.
The Dine Around Program gives hotel guests opportunity to taste as wide a variety of the resort’s food as possible.
The restaurants listed above usually also have cheaper alternatives on the menu like sandwiches, salads, soups and pasta.
- 1 Athena Greek Taverna, downtown el-Balad (next to Ebaed Market), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32429 , email@example.com. Greek cuisine. mains LE 200-400.
- 2 Bleu Bleu Restaurant, Abu Tig Marina, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77928 , (0)65 549 7021 . Terrace restaurant with sea view, French cuisine. mains generally LE 150-300.
- 3 The Marina Steakhouse (Captain’s Steakhouse), Abu Tig Marina (Captain’s Inn Hotel). American Steaks. mains LE 400-1200.
- 4 Chicha (opposite Ebeid-Supermarkt), ☏ +20 (0)122 775 5888. Mexican cuisine.
- 5 Chuchichäschtli – Swiss House. Excellent Swiss cuisine, reservation recommended. Also takeout and delivery. mains LE 300-500, fondue LE 600-700, beef fillet on hot stone LE 500-950.
- 6 Fish Market (next to Ebaid Market), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32268 . Fish restaurant.
- 7 Grasshopper Café Restaurant (previously El Taybeen), Downtown, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 37225 . German restaurant and bar.
- 8 Jobo’s Sports Bar, Tamr Henna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32127 . International and Scandinavian cuisine. mains generally LE200-400.
- 9 Kan Zaman, Downtown El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 24058 . Egyptian cuisine. mains generally LE 200-400.
- 10 La Scala, Abu Tig Marina, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 9702, (0)65 354 9703 , (0)65 354 9704 , (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77933 . Italian and international cuisine.
- 11 Le Garage, Abu Tig Marina, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77963 . daily 16:00–24:00. Burger restaurant with a Swiss owner.
- 12 Maritim Restaurant, Abu Tig Marina (opposite Restaurant La Scala), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77971 . daily 9:00–1:00. Swedish fish dishes and snacks. mains LE 300-600.
- 13 Orient 1001 (Sheraton Hotel), ☏ +20 (0)65 354 5684. Lebanese and Egyptian cuisine.
- 14 The Grill (formerly Oriental Grill), Downtown El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32261 . Barbecue restaurant. mains LE 175-400.
- 15 Puddleduck Bar & Restaurant, Downtown, Kafr El Gouna, firstname.lastname@example.org. British, Mediterranean, Chinese and world cuisine. mains LE 200-400.
- 16 Tandoor (Ali Pasha Hotel), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0088. Indian cuisine. mains around LE 300.
- 17 Turkish House Restaurant, Downtown El Balad, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 34040 . Turkish cuisine.
- 18 White Elephant, downtown el-Balad, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32427 , fax: +20 (0)100 102 5117. Thai cuisine.
- 19 Zia Amelia, Downtown El Balad (next to Ebeid Supermarket), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 34004 , email@example.com. daily 12:30–23:00. Italian cuisine, frequently live music on Wednesday. mains LE200-400.
- 20 Zomba, Tamr Henna (near the Ebid Market), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32088 . daily 8:00–23:45. Egyptian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Delivery. Free Wi-Fi. mains LE 100-200.
Music and dance events on Wednesday and Sunday nights on Mangroovy Beach. On Friday nights in Moods (Marina Beach) or in DuPort (TTC Ocean View).
Some resort hotels have bars and restaurants often serve alcohol (in addition to non-alcoholic drinks).
- 1 Art Village, Tamr Henna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 34056 . Cafe, bar, shisha.
- 2 The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Abu Tig Marina, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77852 . Café, also has a coffee and tea shop.
- 3 Vienna Café Servus, Tamr Henna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32149 . Cafe serving light meals also.
El Gouna is host to 17 hotels and resorts. Accommodation options include the convenience of a marina inn, the charm of a downtown boutique hotel and the luxury of a five-star beach resort. As a resort for package tourism, it's easiest to book your lodging beforehand through a tour operator or on the hotel's website rather than walking in when you're in El Gouna. Often lodging is offered as a package with activities.
Truly barebones hotels, hostels and the like don't exist here, the cheapest correspond to three-star, ie. mid-range hotels when it comes to amenities in the rooms and overall in the hotel.
- 1 Ali Pasha Hotel, ☏ +20653580088. Built in 2004, renovated in 2014 with 34 rooms, mainly doubles. There are two pools in the inner yard. It has two restaurants, one of which is the only Indian resturant in town. Public areas have free Wi-Fi, in the rooms it's charged for.
- 2 Captain’s Inn, ☏ +20653580170. Built in 2001, renovated in 2014 with 41 rooms at Abu Tig Marina. You can eat and drink at Captain’s Inn (main restaurant), Captain’s Steakhouse and Tides Lounge & Bar. Wi-Fi is free in public areas, costs in the rooms.
- 3 Cook’s Club El Gouna, ☏ +20653580078. A mid-sized hotel, for adults only, opened in 2019 in the building of the former Arena Inn. 144 hotel rooms in three main buildings facing the lagoon on one side and the golf course on the other. Rooms have satellite tv, air conditioning, bathroom with shower, mini fridge, safe and a balcony as well as free Wi-Fi. There's a self-service restaurant and a cocktail bar at the pool. Built along the saltwater lagoon that separates the island of Kafr El Gouna from the Downtown mainland area, the hotel offers a waterfront setting close to the facilities and services of El Gouna. Cafés, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping galleries, and evening entertainment venues with live music and shows are within walking distance. The hotel's infinity pool overlooks a swimming lagoon bordered by a small sandy beach. Arena Inn guests also have access to the hotel's sea beach on nearby Zeytouna Island, reached by shuttle boat or bus, where snorkeling is available.
- 4 Turtle’s Inn, ☏ +20653580171. Built in 2001, renovated in 2014 with 29 rooms, mainly double rooms. There's a rooftop restaurant named Chez Chantal serving Belgian cuisine. Public areas have free Wi-Fi, in the rooms it's payable. The diving company Orca Dive Club is based here.
- 5 Dawar El Omda Boutique Hotel, ☏ +20653580063. Non-smoking hotel for adults (guests need to be at least 18 years old) built in 1996 and renovated in 2013. There are 66 double rooms; 23 standard, 40 deluxe and three suites and the hotel is built and decorated in Oriental style. Rooms have A/C, balcony, bathroom with shower, safe, satellite tv, and minibar. The hotel has a pool, a "main" restaurant (no reservations required), the Middle-eastern Restaurant El Tableya and Restaurant Just For Two (reservation required for both), a lounge bar and a pool bar. Public areas have free Wi-Fi, it's payable in the rooms. Guests have free access to Zeytouna Beach. All major credit cards are accepted.
- 6 Fanadir Hotel, ☏ +20653580076. Adults only hotel in Arabic style opened in 2014. Has 54 double rooms, a pool and a restaurant (The Sail).
- 7 Labranda Club Paradisio El Gouna, ☏ +20653547934. Right at the beach, it's an all-inclusive hotel with 239 double rooms opened in 1989. There are two restaurants; the main restaurant Marco Polo and the Morgan's Beach Bistro as well as three bars. When it comes to swimming and bathing; there are two pools, one children's pool, a sauna and a steam bath. Rooms have balcony, a/c, satellite tv, bathroom with shower, minibar and safe. Wi-Fi is free in public areas, payable in the rooms. Diving operator Coraya Divers and kitesurfing operator Osmosis Kiteboarding are based here.
- 8 Mosaique Hotel, ☏ +20653580077. Built in Moroccan style in 2013 and renovated in 2013. There are 69 rooms including six junior suites and two embassador suites. One pool and one restaurant (Restaurant Manara). Free Wi-Fi in public areas, payable in the rooms.
- 9 Panorama Bungalows Resort, ☏ +20653580052. Built in 2004 and renovated in 2013, this hotel has 144 rooms. There's a restaurant, bar and pool. Rooms have tv and fridge, and there's free Wi-Fi. Diving operator The Dive Connection is based here.
- 10 Sultan Bey Hotel, ☏ +20653545603. Built in 1996, renovated in 2015 with 115 rooms. There's a pool, a beach restaurant, the à la carte restaurant Zeytouna as well as two bars. Public areas have free Wi-Fi, it's payable in the rooms. Diving operator Dive Trek is based here.
- 11 The Three Corners Ocean View Prestige Hotel, ☏ +201222431294. Built in 2004 with 234 rooms, this all inclusive hotel is reportedly excellent value for money. Two main restaurants, two specialized restaurants, five bars, two pools anda wellness center. Wi-Fi is free in public areas. Base for diving operators Blue Brothers Diving and Emperor Divers.
- 12 The Three Corners Rihana Resort, ☏ +20653580026. This set of two adjacent hotels (Resort and Sunset), with 434 double rooms was built in 2001 and renovated in 2014. Three pools, a large lake and direct sea access. Two restaurants, two specialized restaurants and five bars, though they are a quite spread out so there may be a long walk back to your rooms. Downtown is a five minute walk away, meaning the hotel's facilities remain underused. The Dolphin House on the premises houses diving operators Colona Dive and Easy Divers Academy. Friendly staff.
- 13 Ancient Sands Golf Resort, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0223, (0)65 358 0224 (allgemeine Anfragen) , (0)65 356 1760 (El Gouna central reservation) , 16444 (El Gouna central reservation) , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (El Gouna central reservation). Ancient Sands Resort has over 80 apartment suites and 56 Deluxe hotel rooms. The properties are located atop a hill with views over the Red Sea, golf course and jagged mountains. The apartment suites have kitchens, and private living areas with en suite bathrooms and terraces. The suites range from one to three bedrooms. Daily housekeeping, dedicated reception, wireless internet, and pool service.
- 14 Casa Cook El Gouna, ☏ +20653545163. Adults-only hotel. Standard rooms have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite tv, minibar, safe, bathroom with shower, hairdryer, robes, and slippers. The hotel restaurant serves Arabic, Indian and international dishes. There's a spa, gym and yoga area.
- 15 The Chedi El Gouna, ☏ +20653545161, firstname.lastname@example.org. Built in 2015, the hotel has 86 rooms. Buffet restaurant, pizzeria and bar. Pool, childrens' pool, private beach, a fitness room and a spa with indoor pool. Rooms have tv and fridge. Payable Wi-Fi.
- 16 La Maison Bleue, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 5604, (0)65 358 0521 ext. 75620 , 16444 (reservation) , email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (marriage requests). Adults-only hotel opened in 2012 with eleven suites, gourmet restaurant Le Bistro, swimming pool, pool bar, spa and Turkish bath. Free Wi-Fi and free parking.
- 17 Mövenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 4501, fax: +20 (0)65 354 5160. Built in 1995, renovated in 2014, this hotel is nestled on a peninsula, with its own beachfront. It offers spectacular views of the Red Sea, the tranquil lagoons and the lush gardens. There's a main restaurant and several specialized ones (Thai, Middle-eastern, Mediterranean, seafood). The garden terrace has four swimming pools, and there's a spa, fitness room, different sports facilities plus a children's club with playgrounds. There's a diving operator (Euro Divers) and a kite- and windsurfing center. Rooms have a/c, satellite tv, minibar, safe, balcony and bathroom with shower. Paid Wi-Fi. Downtown with its picturesque architecture and numerous attractions is a few minutes away and Hurghada International Airport can be reached in 30 minutes.
- 18 Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 5606, fax: +20 (0)65 354 5608. Built in 1997 and renovated in 2008, it's set in a lagoon landscape. There's a main, a Middle-eastern and Italian restaurant, a pool restaurant and several bars. There are two main swimming pools, shops, beauty salon, gyms, wellness center, sports facilities and a children's club with a couple of pools. Rooms have a/c, satellite tv, minibar, safe, balcony, bathroom with shower. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby, payable in the rooms. TGI Diving Center is based here.
- 19 Steigenberger Golf Resort El Gouna, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0140, (0)65 358 0142 , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0149. Built in 1999, renovated in 2015 with 220 rooms. The hotel sits in the middle of a 18-hole golf course. There are three restaurants; main restaurant Fairways, à la carte restaurant La Rotisserie and Lagoon Terrasse, four bars and two meeting rooms seating up to 100 persons. There's also a fitness and wellness area, two outdoor normal and two children's pools (all of them heated). The golf area has an indoor pool and a sauna. See the Do section above for more informatoin about the golf course.
There are also holiday homes for rent, bookable through travel agencies or dedicated websites.
There's a post office on Tamr Henna square, open daily except Friday from 9:00 to 14:00.
Phone and Internet
There's both a landline and mobile network; Vodafone and Etisalat offers 4G coverage, Orange 4G coverage inland but 3G in the resort. Calls within the city are free of charge when calling through the landline network - these are the five digit numbers in the listings above marked "ext.".
Hotels usually have Wi-Fi, it tends to be free in public areas but payable in the rooms.
- 1 El Gouna Library, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0023. Sa–Th 10–22. A branch of the Bibliotheca Alexandria. It has a cultural center showing films about Egypt's history.
Many hotels have banks or ATMs. Banks are usually open on forenoon and midday every day except Friday.
- Audi Bank, Tamr Henna Sq., ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0096, (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32728 , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0095.
- Banque Misr (near Tamr Henna square), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0202, fax: +20 (0)65 358 0203.
- CIB, El Bunouk Sq. (Abu Tig Marina), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0301, (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77970 , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0302.
- HSBC (Abu Tig Marina), ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0570, (0)65 358 0571 , (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32421 , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0570.
A purpose-built resort, inhabited only by tourists and resort staff and patrolled by private security, El Gouna is a safe destination even for lone female voyagers. You can dress like you would in a Western country, and even Egyptian tourists do that.
Police and tourist police are based in Hurghada.
The town has an international standard hospital providing 24-hour emergency care. Moreover, many hotels have either a resident doctor or a contract with a doctor that will come there when needed.
- 2 El-Gouna Hospital, ☏ +20 (0)65 354 0011 (emergencies) , (0)65 358 0012 , (0)65 385 0011 (decompression chamber) , fax: +20 (0)65 358 0020, Info@elgounahospital.net. Private hospital with ten clinics, a dentist and a decompression chamber to treat decompression sickness.
- Abu Tig Pharmacy, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 77920 . daily 10–24.
- Hospital Pharmacy, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32073 . daily 9–14, 18–21.
- Tamr Henna Pharmacy, ☏ +20 (0)65 358 0521 ext. 32600 . 24/7.
- The nearest destination to head next is the larger resort of 1 Hurghada, about 30 minutes southeast by road.
- 2 Umm el-Ḥuweiṭāt, a ghost city, formerly a center for phosphate mining, 20 km south of Safāgā.
- 3 el-Quṣeir, famous for its citadel, built by the orders of Ottoman sultan Selim I.
- 4 Mons Claudianus and 5 Mons Porphyrites, old Roman quarries.
- The desert monasteries of 6 St. Paul the Anchorite and 7 St. Anthony.
Tour operators offer trips to these and also to for instance Cairo or Luxor.