If you thought you would find the best beaches in the world on a Caribbean island or somewhere in the far east, then you haven't see Egypt's beaches yet. El Gouna, Egypt is my favourite beach stop.
With the Red Sea extending for the length of the whole eastern border of the country, you have lots of options for the ultimate vacation in one of the best Seas in the world. El Gouna always makes the top of my list, and you know why that is?
El Gouna, Egypt
Just a couple of hours from Europe's major airports, El Gouna resort was able to earn the Global Human Settlements Award for being a Global Green Town in 2014 among other prizes. They scattered their homes and hotels across islands and lagoons to make it the perfect destination for everybody. For luxury seekers, you have a handful of five-star choices to have enjoyed the perfect holiday and perhaps you will find yourself a new hobby in its world-class golf clubs.
On the contrary, if you're a backpacker or looking for a new summer break destination, you will still be able to enjoy every bit of it, as the town also holds small three star hotels with rooms as low as $30 per night that allow you to enjoy its busy nightclubs and sandy beaches.
So what can you do in Gouna?
#1: Chill by the beach
That's my favorite part. Whether you have booked yourself a hotel or got an apartment from Airbnb, you will be able to work on your tan under the forever shining sun. Most hotels have their own private beaches, and if they don't you can still access the beaches for a small fee. Additionally, beaches in Gouna provide different activities for the whole family, including kayaks, banana boats, jet skis, parasailing and pedalos.
The spacious beaches and fast winds make Gouna a home for many kite surfers in Egypt as well as world champions. You can stay here for many days to explore the beauty of kite surfing in any of its professional centers.
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#3: Follow Dolphins into the Sea
Yes literally, you can follow dolphins into the sea. You can book a day trip that will take you to the middle of the sea, to a spot they call the dolphin house. There you can just jump into the water and find yourself swimming among a herd of dolphins in their natural habitat.
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#4: Explore the Marine life
Did you know that the Red Sea covers one of the best coral reefs in the world, making it an exquisite place for diving and snorkeling? All over the town you will find agencies that can take you on day trips into the sea, to the perfect spot where you can find a diverse world of reefs and fish. You don't need to have any previous experience to take a dive into the water or snorkel. It's even interesting for children.
#5: Play Golf
El Gouna has 18-hole golf courses that will give you the opportunity to learn how to play golf or continue where you left off.
#6: Party by the Pool
Looking for a different thing to do this morning? You should catch a party in one of the many pool clubs located on the beaches here. I tried Duport beach club, a spherical pool with a fantastic view overlooking Abu Tig Marina. They offered festive beats and cold water all day for a $10 minimum charge that I used to enjoy their chilly drinks.
#7: Horseback Riding
You can leave the beach for a while, take a trip to enjoy the sunset in the desert, whilst on the back of an Arabian horse. And maybe you could enjoy a cup of tea in a tent and enjoy a talk with locals.
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#8: Have a safari in the desert
My favorite excursion here is to take a buggy and commute into the desert, where you will fall in love with nature at its finest. Only you, your friends and the guides in the desert to enjoy its serenity.
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#9: Enjoy the Nightlife
Even if you're not a party animal, you can still enjoy el Gouna's lively nightlife. If you visit the marina by night, you can find a bar around every corner, ready to serve you local drinks and lovely mixes.
My favorite one is the Bartender, its fancy facade overlooking the yachts resting in the marina, along with the beats and live music gives it a fresh vibe for the whole night. Another classic choice is the Cooners Club, hosting parties all the week for your dancing feet. And if you want to party with a view, you can try Aurora Club, a small building in on the marina, that keeps it rocking all night long with the latest hits.
However if you decided to take it easy for night, head to Peanut, named after the peanut plates they put on their tables. Here you can chill on low beat music and play billiards and darts with your friends.
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#10: Have a fancy dinner
If you want to treat yourself into a delicious dinner, the marina gives you a wide variety of five star restaurants to choose from. You can feast upon some fresh seafood, Italian homemade plates, burgers and of course oriental traditional food, and the prices aren't actually very high.
The best thing about Gouna is that you can visit at any time of the year, it's always perfect. Make sure to visit their website www.elgouna.com for more information.
Yousef Hisham is an 18 year old Medical student, traveler and aspiring writer based in Egypt. Check out Youseff at his travel blog Traveler in Coats. You can also follow him on Tumblr and on his social channels: Instagram and Pinterest and Twitter and Facebook.
Read Yousef’s other contributions on ThePlanetD – My Day in Paradise, A Cruise to Cozumel and Everything You Need to Know About Alexandria, Egypt.