Cook's Club El Gouna
On the surface, El Gouna looks like a city straight out of a glossy travel brochure. Think glitzy resorts, manicured golf courses and a string of ultra-Westernised bars and restaurants. In the last 30 years, the city has grown from relative obscurity to become one of Egypt’s most prized and precious resort towns.
But despite all this shiny newness, there’s a whole other side to El Gouna that is just itching to be explored. Vast desert plains, impressive coral reefs and traditional Bedouin villages are just the beginning. After all, where else can you find yourself at the meeting point between the Red Sea and the mountains, the beach and the desert?
El Bahr sets the standard for seafood fine dining in El Gouna. The innovative food concept invites you to pick your fish fresh from the open display and the chef will then guide you with the best way to season and prepare it. Each dish is pure artistry, handmade using delicious seasonal produce. It’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience that deserves a spot on any El Gouna itinerary.
Chicha Restaurant & Bar
Chicha is something of a hidden gem in downtown El Gouna. Go for the delicious food, the relaxed vibes, the bohemian décor and the hip crowd. While tacos are undeniably the house favourite, the menu also features a range of burgers, vegan and vegetarian dishes and experimental drinks.
Located right in the heart of the marina, the Bartender has become something of an El Gouna institution. The quirky cocktail bar is a thriving fusion of experimental drinks, funky tunes and beautiful views over the harbor front. It’s always busy and always full of good vibes.
El Dahar Square
Tucked away in the heart of Hurghada, El Dahar Square offers a tantalising taste of Egyptian daily life. Watch the locals go about their daily shopping or snag yourself a bargain by haggling over spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, clothing and handmade crafts. It’s colourful, chaotic and just about as close as you’ll get to authentic Egypt in this part of town.
A haven of virgin blue waters and white sandy beach, Mahmya island is not to be missed. Superb underwater visibility makes it the ideal stop for a spot of snorkeling, with seas packed with over 1,000 species of fish, countless varieties of coral and an incredibly diverse underwater landscape. Spend the day lazing in the sun, exploring the seas on a jet ski or sampling fresh seafood at the island restaurant.
This impressive land-art project covers almost 100,000 square meters land between the Sahara Desert and the Red Sea coast. From 1995 to 1997, three Greek artists spent two years relocating over 8,000 square meters of sand to produce a spiral of perfectly-formed cones, with a giant pool of glistening water at its core. The project was created to symbolise an experience of infinity with the desert as a landscape of the mind.
Mountain Goats Trip
Spend a day exploring the other side of El Gouna – the beautiful, raw and wild nooks that are so often overshadowed by the string of fancy resorts and restaurants. Teaming up with the local Bedouin families, Gouna Mountain Goats organises hiking journeys through the nearby deserts and mountains, sharing local tea, snacks and stories, while finishing the day by the bonfire under a sky full of stars. It’s a true El Gouna highlight that’s not to be missed.
Jump on a 4x4 or quad runner and set off to explore the vast desert surroundings on wheels. From a sunset trip to the local village of Wadi Belliye to a sunrise safari ride to a canyon, there is truly something for everyone. Each trip has been tailored to provide a unique insight into Bedouin culture, giving you the chance to meet and mingle with local Bedouin families.
There are few things more memorable than exploring the striking El Gouna landscape on horseback. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there are plenty of routes and experiences on offer; from romantic sunset rides to incredible horseback swimming.