KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - EL GOUNA
30 minutes North of Hurghada lies the resort of El Gouna, a lattice work of waterways, housing, hotels, restaurants, bars and a world class golf course. On top of all that it offers some great riding, again best in the summer but with year-round potential. El Gouna is the gem in the crown of the Red Sea Riviera, a reputation reinforced by the collection of expensive looking yachts in the Abu Tig Marina and the sweep of classy hotels. El Gouna has become a favourite with those keeping non-kitesurfing other halves happy, with families or those looking to spoil themselves, though not necessarily their bank accounts.
THE SET UP:
There are two main kitesurfing areas. The Movenpick is a five star hotel with a kiteboarding centre on their private beach. The launch has plenty of space with a designated kiting area to keep swimmers and kiters apart. The wind is predominantly from the north, making it cross/cross-on from the left and there is a wide, shallow area that leads out to the deep water channel. This spot is ideal for those with kids who can be left with the day care team and for non-kitesurfing partners who want to lounge by one of the many pools, soak up the rays on the beach, go diving or go spa while you kitesurf. The area is smaller than the other spot, Mangroovy beach, but tends not to get so busy because the beach itself is private. You don't have to stay at the Movenpick to use the centre. Mangroovy beach is at the northern end of El Gouna and is a shallow water haven. Cross-shore winds from the left and a gentle shelving beach means that there is a good amount of shallow water for beginners as well as deeper water on the outside. There's plenty of space to go upwind if you're competent and a number of centres on this stretch of beach to pick from. Both areas are tidal, more so in summer than winter, and this definitely effects the riding as a beginner when a little more care needs to be taken and getting in can be more difficult. It's worth finding out what is happening with the tides when booking. Booties are recommended as coral underfoot can cause some discomfort. As with most of Egypt there are people that will help launch and land your kites and even put them away for you!
WIND & WEATHER:
In terms of reliability, Egypt really is up there for wind, and El Gouna doesn't let the side down, with force four to six most of the year, with the most consistent months being March to October. Air temperatures can get up to 40°C in the summer and 23°C in winter.
Like the rest of Egypt, the water temperature remains very warm all year.
El 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 electric golf buggy-cum-buses for which you can buy a weekly ticket for about $2. There 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. There are a whole range of accommodation options as well, and even the cheaper end offers a good standard of room. There are a huge range of activities including wakeboarding, horse riding, go-karting, yoga, tennis, fishing, diving, horse riding, quad biking, volleyball and more in the area.
• The World Class Golf Course.
• 5 star Hotels and Restaurants.
• Yoga Lessons and Spas.
Hurghada (HRG): about a 30 minute transfer north of Hurghada. Taxis are fairly cheap.
+44 (0) 1273 844919
El Gouna in Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El-Gouna
Riders who have included El Gouna as one of their Top Places to Ride are: Angela Peral, Jo Wilson, Sky Solbach