El Alamein is a promising and rapidly developing resort on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. He is still little known to the Russians, but everything is ahead: if everything goes well, he has every chance of becoming a worthy alternative to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. People come here for the azure sea, magnificent beaches and salubrious climate.
El Alamein is suitable for lovers of comfort and relaxation. Almost all local hotels are new, with very good service. There are no noisy parties and crowds of tourists, which is important for families with small children. The Mediterranean Sea in these places hides a lot of beautiful and interesting things, so the new place will also surely come to divers.
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How to get to El Alamein
First you need to fly to Cairo. Direct flights from Moscow Domodedovo are operated by EgyptAir, from Sheremetyevo with a return to Domodedovo – by Aeroflot together with EgyptAir. The cost of a round-trip ticket is from 870 USD, the flight takes 4–5 hours. The prices on the page are for June 2021.
From St. Petersburg – only with a change at Sheremetyevo. Due to the connection, the flight can take up to 22 hours, but usually it takes 8-9 hours. Aeroflot and Nordwind Airlines have flights – from 840 USD round-trip.
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From airport to city
From Cairo Airport, from the parking lot of Terminal No. 1 in El Alamein, there are buses to the Ramses railway station and Tahrir Square. The ride is 30–50 minutes, the ticket costs 5 EGP. Taxi drivers ask from 60 to 120 EGP, many do not turn on the meter and try to “cut down” more from a foreigner.
You can also get there by train to Mersa Matruh, which departs once a day and goes to the place for 5–6 hours, but only from May to September. Carrier – Egyptian Railways (off. site in English)
Another option is to fly to Borg El Arab (Alexandria) with a change in Cairo, Istanbul or Sharjah from Vnukovo and Domodedovo. On the way – from 7 to 20 hours. From the air hub to El Alamein, travel 85 km, a taxi will cost 160–200 EGP.
Almost all hotels in El Alamein have a good number of rooms, large territory and excellent service. Everyone owns their own piece of beach area with white sand and all the necessary infrastructure for a full-fledged “seal” holiday. The entrance to the water is smooth and gentle, swimming is comfortable and safe. And you can admire the sky-blue shade of the Mediterranean Sea forever.
Near the coast of El Alamein, sunken ships from the Second World War lie at the bottom of the sea, available for diving.
What to watch
The hotel complexes of El Alamein are completely autonomous, there is almost nothing outside them. And although noisy parties and entertainment can not be found here (we recall that the resort is primarily family and diving), there is animation and excursions.
The nearest attraction is the Military Museum with expositions dedicated to the large-scale battle of El Alamein. For the North African campaign of World War II, the significance of this battle is about the same as for us – Stalingrad. Not far from the museum there is a memorial complex where soldiers of the allied army are buried.
Tour operators organize trips to the resort town of Mersa Matruh, Alexandria and Cairo. You can also entertain yourself with a boat trip, diving or quad biking. You do not need to look for excursions on your own – hotel guests are offered all this on the spot.
The resort of El Gouna is located 25 km north of Hurghada on the Red Sea coast. It is arranged in the manner of Venice: all the hotels are located on the islands, through the channels between which small boats carrying tourists ply. It has two marinas, its own newspaper, radio station, hospital and brewery – and everything is built in such a way as to cause minimal environmental damage. Rest in El Gouna mostly Germans and Dutch.
Almost all the beaches of El Gouna in the sea have shallows with a length of up to 500-600 m: it is very convenient for families with children, but adult swimmers may not like it. The most popular beaches of the resort are located on a separate island, Zeytouna Beach and Mangroovy Beach, where the kitesurfing base is located.
Guests of El Gouna hotels are provided with free travel on minibuses and boats connecting the resort with Kafr. Minibuses run every half an hour and finish their flights at 23:30, boats – every hour and only during the day. After 23:30 you can only get to the hotel by paid shuttle.
El Gouna has its own domestic airport with flights to Cairo and Luxor.
El Gouna Hotels
Management in the local hotels is carried out, as a rule, by the largest hotel chains, such as Movenpick, Sheraton, Steigenberger. All hotels are interconnected by fixed-route taxis (paid), and boats run through the canals (fare depends on the hotel).
The resort has a special system by which you can change dinner at your hotel for dinner at another.
There are no high-rise hotels in the resort, only low-rise buildings or cottages. Only two hotels in the resort – Club Med and Movienpick Resort – have direct access to the sea, from the rest you need to sail to the sea beach by boat or swim right in the canal. An important point: swimming in the canals is not allowed everywhere, but only in specially adapted areas.
Entertainment and attractions of El Gouna
From El Gouna it is possible to organize the same excursions as from Hurghada, but the cost will be higher by 5-20 USD, depending on the excursion.
El Kafr Island is the center of El Gouna. There are a lot of shopping malls, restaurants and bars. You can also visit the historical museum with an observatory and the Club House wellness centre. Zeytuna is an “island-beach” with restaurants where a boat delivers vacationers. Other attractions are an aquarium (free entry), a small historical museum, an open disco El Arena (the largest on the entire coast), a fish restaurant at the Movenpick hotel, a fashionable golf club, a go-kart track, a cinema.
Not far from El Gouna are dive sites with the largest shipwrecks in the Red Sea.