AVERAGE COSTSBeer: 25EGP
Restaurant Meal: 180 – 400EGP
Accommodation: 700 – 1,500EGP pppn
THE LURE30 minutes north of Hurghada lies the resort of El Gouna, featuring a lattice work of waterways, housing, hotels, restaurants, bars, a world class golf course and a brand new cable park. El Gouna must be the most sophisticated of all Red Sea kiting spots. A man-made dream of a town that not only caters for the kiting tourist, but attracts holidaymakers from all over Europe looking for a safe, luxurious holiday and also has a lively local population of 20,000 ex-pats who all call this 'French Riviera of the Red Sea', home.
THE SET-UPThere are two main kitesurfing areas. The wind is predominantly from the north, making it cross/cross-on from the left at Buzzha and Mangroovy beaches which are north of El Gouna town, while the second spot at the Moevenpick hotel is five minutes south. From town, all spots are just a very short tuc-tuc ride away. The first thing to note about El Gouna is that all spots are very tide dependent, more so in summer than winter. At high tide you can ride everywhere. At low tide you have to be careful as it does get shallow, so you'll be riding at different times of the day depending on when you book your holiday and we found that there is more water at low tide at the northern end of Mangroovy/Buzzha up by Kiteboarding Club. There is some great flat water on offer here though in general, and only a couple of hours where you'll have to chill by the pool rather than ride.
Buzzha and Mangroovy are the main spots. The wind is predominantly cross-shore from the left and the gently shelving beach means that there is an enourmous amount of shallow water for beginners as well as deeper water on the outside. There are three centres spread out along the beach here, Kiteboarding Club El Gouna being the furthest north and most upwind, so starting from there and heading upwind you have a massive, quiet area that opens up to you if you're competent.
Although a little gustier than Mangroovy, there is another smaller private launch at the Moevenpick hotel downwind of the city harbours. You can pay a day rate to kite there if you're not staying at the hotel. Tends not to be so busy as it's within the hotel grounds but is much smaller with a swimming area downwind.
At low tide (or for beginners all the time) booties are 'recommended' at both spots although plenty of good riders go barefoot. As with most of Egypt there are compressors and helpers on the beach to launch and land your kites and even put them away for you!
WIND, WEATHER AND WATERA reef lying a few hundred metres from the shore creates a waist-deep lagoon between it and the beach. Outside of the reef is a large deep water channel and then some shallower sandbars further out. The wind at Buzzha Beach always comes clean and consistently cross-shore from the left and the beach is enourmous, so you can pick your spot.
Egypt is a year-round kiting destination, but summer months are most consistent. Midday mid-summer temps can reach up to 40°C / 104°F! The water is incredibly warm as you'd expect and you won't feel any chill on the water at that time in just your boardies. The closer you get to winter the more chill in the wind and you'll start to need a spring suit around October. The water never really drops below 20°C and the winter is still seriously good for some R&R as the whole place will be much quieter, but still with respectable air temperatures.
ACCOMMODATIONEl Gouna has many fantastic hotels to choose from, ranging from the intimate and friendly three star hotels, like the Captain's Inn, to luxury four or five start full-on resorts. Kiteboarding Club can also arrange a complete package for you.
SCHOOLSTHE KITEBOARDING CLUB EL GOUNA have a long, private section of beach at Buzzha Beach. By far the biggest, shallow lagoon in El Gouna, offering ideal conditions for learning and progression, the centre is open all year and run by a team of VDWS instructors, with helpful beach staff, a rescue boat, three compressors, a professional kite repair workshop, gear rentals, free wifi and more. Buzzha Beach Restaurant is right on the spot.
+49 201 426 355 28 / +20 122 66 10 878
+44 (0) 1273 844919
+44 (0) 844 811 8489
+44 (0) 20 36 085 777
+48 201 426 355 28
NO WINDThere's so much to do! Take a boat ride around the lagoons on which the town itself is built, play golf, sail, dive, karting, paintballing, SUPing down the lagoons or take a sunset cruise. A state-of-the-art cable park has just opened up, too! Hurghada is just 30 minutes back down the road if you need more hustle and bustle.
GET AROUNDEl Gouna was built with the tourist in mind, so everything you need is here and nowhere is more than five or ten minutes on the little buses for which you can buy a weekly ticket for about EGP13. No need for a hire car as you can also just catch a tuc-tuc to get about and they'll fit your kiting gear in. The hotel will organise a transfer, otherwise get in touch with our friends at Spring Tours for any kind of excursion, big or small. www.springtours.com / firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.elgounamap.com.
CURRENCYEgyptian pound (EGP) - £1 = EGP11 / €1 = EGP9 / US$1 = EGP7. There are ATM’s in town and the marina. Credits cards widely accepted.
FOOD AND DRINKThere are loads of restaurants suiting every palate and pocket, and there are plenty of bars, though in comparison to Hurghada, things are much more tame here and you won't be raving in a club 'til 6am. The Buzzha Beach Bar is located at Kiteboarding Club and offers a huge menu for hungry kitesurfers. El Gouna as a self sufficent town, designed from scratch by a single developer, is super clean, friendly and very well set-up for all you could need.
AIRPORTHurghada (HRG): about a 30 minute transfer north of Hurghada. Taxis are fairly cheap.
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