Seahorse Bay

West Shore, Red Sea


Zaafarana is just such a secluded desert oasis, about halfway between Cairo and Hurghada. According to managers of the local wind farm, this is the region’s windiest place – and it definitely offers the most space on the water. Only one hotel (3- to 4-star) sits on the long sandy beach. With its standing-depth area and no reefs it’s a relaxed spot without much variety, yet it is affordable and handy for excursions to nearby Cairo or St Paul’s Monastery. It’s a completely different story at the El Gouna mega-marina, built by telecoms millionaire Samih Sawiris. High-class hotels, bars and restaurants line countless bays and canals across 10km², including a marina and 5-star golf course. Due to comfy surroundings (for non-sailors too), an excellently stocked hire centre and a standing-depth area, Mangroovy Beach at the northern end has rapidly become one of the most popular (and crowded) kite spots in the whole of Egypt – despite the fact that prices here have risen to near European levels. Another option is a private beach in front of the 5-star hotel Mövenpick in the centre of the complex. Especially good for beginners kiters is Seahorse Bay 10km south of El Gouna. Similar to Zaafarana there’s nothing there but two hotels, although it’s only 15km to Hurghada’s markets and restaurants – a welcome diversion from staring at the hotel wall. Some of Hurghada’s hotels might be getting a bit tired, but they make up for it with very affordable prices. Flights to Hurghada are also by far the cheapest. With cross to cross-onshore winds, four spots merge into the bay south of town, each named after their respective hotel and hire centre: Magawish/Colona (nice beach and large standing-depth area), Sofitel/Ibi & Friends (launch protected by a jetty), Grand Seas / Tommy Friedl (protected beginner’s bay), and Yasmin Village / Tommy Friedl (a classic with affordable accommodation). 50km south, investors developed Soma Bay to offer more luxury than Hurghada. Since then, windseekers wanting a better class of accommodation can find 4- to 5-star hotels and a 'Club Robinson’. The wind always blows offshore at the northern end of the bay, creating especially smooth water but also introducing an element of risk. But the standing-depth area and safety boats mean even riders that can’t yet stay upwind will ride here. If that’s too sketchy for you, there’s cross to cross-off wind and a large standing-depth area at Abu Soma on the western shore of the bay near the InterContinental Resort. 5km south in Safaga everyone gathers in front of Hotel Shams at the beach with the only standing-depth area and the best wind. While you can’t imagine Hurghada without tourism, the future’s only just begun down south. But you’ll have to forego the beach culture and nightlife – instead, immerse yourself in the vastness of the desert or infinity of the starry sky during a pitch-black night. Despite its isolation, the 4-star hotel Equinox in El Naaba is very comfortable. In front are Baby Bay and Giant Bay, a varied venue with flat water or a bit of wave action over the reefs. There’s a kite school 2km south in Blue Lagoon. The last windsport oasis before the Sudanese border is Wadi Lahami, about 180km south of Marsa Alam Airport and about 400km from Hurghada. In front of the only hotel, Lahami Bay offers a large freeride bay with a bit of a standing-depth area and the option of a foray through the reef into harmless swell. A kilometre north, soulful Bedouin tents and chalets make up Camp Wadi Lahami which offers a shallow lagoon fringed by mangroves and a little bit of wave action over the reef. The recently discovered Camel Beach is about 10km north. Since the reef’s still a long way offshore (unlike the north coast) a gigantic standing-depth lagoon offers great cruising opportunities.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide
10 km südlich von El Gouna liegt die besonders für Kiteanfänger interessante Seahorse Bay.
Especially good for beginners kiters is Seahorse Bay 10km south of El Gouna. Similar to Zaafarana there's nothing there but two hotels, although it's…