The city of Hurghada has year-round sunshine, white-sand beaches and plenty to do (or not do), whatever your bag and your budget. It’s got a killer location by the waters of the Red Sea, and, as a holidaying destination, it’s incomparable. Here are the best things you can do in Hurghada, the heavenly resort town in Egypt.
The Monastery of St Anthony was founded by St Anthony’s disciples in the fourth century CE, just a short distance beneath the cave where he lived. When you visit it today, Deir Mar Antonios, as it’s also known, is an impressive sight. It is a high-walled complex with several churches, a bakery and a well-cultivated garden with shady trees, and it is the oldest functioning monastery in the world. The resident monks will guide you around the Church of St Anthony, which is the oldest part of the monastery and built over the saint’s tomb. The church contains one of the most significant collections of Coptic (Egyptian Christian) wall paintings in Egypt. Neighbouring St Paul’s is smaller and gets fewer visitors – but it is serene and holds more Coptic art.
Hurghada is a bustling resort town – and, sometimes, you’ll fancy an escape from the action. Heading out into the sands of the Egyptian Desert is a tranquil, atmospheric experience. Take a tour in a 4×4, which culminates in a sizzling barbecue prepared according to local Bedouin tradition. You’ll pass through arid plains and enter deeper into the hot wilderness, completing the last stretch on foot. You’ll meet Bedouin people in their ancestral territory before feasting on traditional barbecue dinner as the sun sets.
We all love a yellow submarine – and, sure enough, Sindbad has its fleet in bright, sunshiney colours, whisking you down 22m (72ft). It’s a comfortable, dry way to observe the life aquatic. During the 50-minute underwater odyssey, you’ll see intricate, exuberant coral formations and rainbow-vivid tropical fish. Panoramic windows mean amateur Attenboroughs are guaranteed great shots and videos.
Andreea Pavaloiu contributed additional reporting to this article.