Guide to Activities, Hotels & Restaurants in El Gouna, Egypt

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Curated By

Julia Flood

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  • Egypt

  • Active Travel

  • Beaches

  • International Travel

  • Luxury Travel

  • Coastal

  • Shopping

Pool and deck with lounge chairs and tall plants on cloudy day
Curator’s statement

There's a reason El Gouna, Egypt is known as the Hamptons of the Red Sea. Over the last 30 years, El Gouna has become the year-round refuge of Cairenes seeking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. This Red Sea destination is set on idyllic blue lagoons dotted with lavish homes and — luckily for travelers — some amazing hotel and resort options for every type of holiday-maker. Located just a short flight from Cairo and a 4-hour drive from the treasures in Luxor, El Gouna is perfect as an Egyptian itinerary add-on or a quick weekend escape from Europe and the Middle East. Even better: there are direct flights from several European cities! This chic retreat is famous for its unparalleled kitesurfing, but also boasts great restaurants, shopping and activities for the whole family.

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Where to stay in El Gouna

La Maison Bleue El Gouna

Designed by an antique collector and interior designer, La Maison Bleue is a luxuriant villa located in the resort town of El Gouna on Egypt’s Red Sea coast with premium suites and an excellent restaurant.

Casa Cook El Gouna

In its namesake desert resort town on the Red Sea, a boho stunner for adults only with an emphasis on community, wellness and watersports.

Movenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna

On the north shore of the Dead Sea, this earthy resort has a laid-back, refined vibe and pampering spa known for its salination treatments.

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Things to do in El Gouna

Blue water with boat and buildings and trees with a blue sky

Transportation to and around El Gouna

Drive from Cairo or Luxor (both 4-5 hours away), or fly into Hurghada airport, located about 30 minutes away. El Gouna has two main hubs, Downtown and the Marina. You can get around town by hiring a motorized tuktuk.

Shopping in El Gouna

Malaika Linens: Handcrafted Egyptian cotton linens ethically and locally made.

Azza Fahmy: Egyptian handcrafted fine jewelry.

Can Limon: An Egyptian lifestyle store located in the same building as the gorgeously designed restaurant Villa Coconut.

Activities in El Gouna

Try your hand at kitesurfing or other water sports! This area is famous for kitesurfing (some travelers even leave their equipment here year-round). A great place to start is the kitesurfing pro center located in Casa Cook hotel.

Take a catamaran cruise.

Head into the desert on a quad or dune buggy.

Day trip to Mahmya Island

Take a small group boat from Hurghada to spend the day on the island of Mahmya, a dreamy paradise in the Red Sea. Think turquoise waters, stretches of fine white sand, music and superb snorkeling on nearby coral reefs.

Places to eat & drink in El Gouna

Coral wall with open windows and a wood chair

El Bahr: Casual seafood shack on the beach where you can pick your fish and seafood from the kitchen. Tip: Come for a late lunch (lunchtime in Egypt varies, but can be as late as 5pm) and catch the sunset.

Villa Coconut: Come for the vibes and the stylish design reminiscent of a Mykonos beach club. Tip: come here for a late dinner and book a table outside.

Pier 88: An outpost of the iconic Cairo restaurant. With open-air seating right on the marina.

Barten: Great sushi and cocktails in an intimate setting.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide to coastal France & Spain: From Bilbao to Biarritz: A Bespoke 5-Day Road-Trip Across Basque Country.

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Julia Flood

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