When we go to Egypt, we always go to Safaga (Bur Safaja on the map below), a little town about 45 minutes south of Hurghada (Al Ghardaqah on the map below).
How do you get to Safaga?
From Europe, there are many direct flights to Hurghada International Airport. You can find good deals with many charter airlines like Condor, Air Berlin, easyJet, TuiFly, and many more. Another option is to fly into Cairo with any airline and either do a layover tour like we did or continue right on to Hurghada with Egyptair. We usually reserve a cab or little bus from Safaga to pick us up so that we don’t have to bargain with a driver at the airport. The trip should be anywhere between 100 and 150 Egyptian pounds which is about $20 or 15 Euros.
Where do you stay in Safaga?
If you book a complete package with flight and hotel, then chances are you will stay in one of the five big hotels (Shams, Holiday Inn, Paradise, Lotus Bay, or Menaville). If you buy flight and hotel separately, you might want to consider one of the smaller hotels in Safaga (Orca Village, Ali Baba, Toubia, or Nemo). There are more, but those are the most common ones. We usually suggest the Nemo to our friends, because that’s the beach we hang out at when we are not out scuba diving 😉
What is where in Safaga?
Furthest to the north is Kilo Thamaniya (km 8). This is where all the big hotels as well as Orca Village and Ali Baba are located. If you go a little further south, you are in Maglis. This is where the Toubia and the Nemo hotel are located. This is also where we usually rent a small apartment, go out to eat, and go to the bar (Diver House). Even further north is Safaga downtown. I go shopping there for little gifts, silver jewelry, and spices.
How to get around in Safaga?
The easy option is a cab. There are a lot of cabs in Safaga. Don’t expect to see nice cars with a cab or taxi sign on them. Instead, look for the really, really old big Peugeot 504 station wagons. A trip from km 8 (Kilo Thamaniya) to Safaga downtown shouldn’t run you more than 10-15 Egyptian pounds ($2-3) or so. If it is between km 8 (Kilo Thamaniya) and Maglis, you are looking at 7-10 Egyptian pounds ($1.5-2). And then of course there are the mini-busses. They run all the way from downtown to the big hotels and back – all day long. You stop them at the street and you tell them when to let you out again. That costs about 1 Egyptian pound. You have to get used to the mini-busses 🙂 Doors stay open sometimes and during rush-hour people stand outside on the little step and hang on for dear life.
Well, when you have family all over the world, many of your vacation destinations are your family’s home 🙂 But apart from that lucky connection, I also genuinely like the place. The underwater world is gorgeous, the weather is great, the people are nice, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I wouldn’t recommend Safaga if you like to go to different bars and discos and party through the night. But, if you like a relaxed, fun, and relatively cheap vacation by the sea, Safaga might be the right place for you. Here are some more posts on Safaga:
- snorkeling in Safaga
- scuba diving in Safaga
- night diving in Safaga
- what to do in Safaga
- eating out in Safaga
- Coral Carden: a day trip from Safaga
Enough talking… check out the pictures below and see for yourself. There is also an album on the Country Skipper Facebook page with more pics: click here. As usual, if you click “like” on the Country Skipper Facebook page, news like albums, new posts, etc. will show up in your news feed.
Check out Egypt August 2010 for more posts about our trip.
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