On Egypt’s Red Sea coast, just 19 miles (30 kilometres) north of Hurghada, lays the self-contained town of El Gouna (which means “the lagoon” in Arabic). With a population of only 20,000 El Gouna is spread over a series of islands and lagoons (from which it takes its name) and offers a totally different experience to that of Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. Though it does not have its own international airport, Hurghada’s is only a 30 minute drive away.
The town is split into various areas, or compounds, each one having its own special characteristic. These are:
• “Downtown”: with architecture inspired by Nubian villages, it is considered the focal point of the resort.
• “Nubia”: located along 2 miles (3.5 kilometres) of beach, it is distinguishable by its Nubian styled villas.
• “The Italian Compound”: located within the centre of the downtown area it has many private apartments that give easy access to the beach.
• “The Golf”: watching over the golf course it has many large villas and apartments.
• “The West Golf”: on the opposite side from “the Golf” but with similar styles of buildings.
• “The Marina Town”: inspired by Yemeni architecture, and situated by the marina, it is the ideal location for boat owners and those who can afford the upmarket prices.
• “The Hill Villas”: built on 14 different elevations, this area offers Tuscany-style comforts and luxury. From here the whole of El Gouna can be seen.
Though it is recognised as a diver’s paradise (many internationally certified diving centres are located here), El Gouna offers a whole lot more. It has Egypt’s first ever professional centre for kite surfing as well as: windsurfing; parasailing; water skiing; snorkelling; golf (it has an 18 hole, USPGA designed, course); and go karting. Add to this the unique “Dine-Around-Gouna” program, which allows any hotel resident (on half board) to eat at any of the other hotels restaurants; shopping arcades; bazaars; cafes; discos; an art village; and of course, the main attraction, sunshine!