Sharm or Hurghada: which to choose for your holiday?
Which of Egypt’s resorts is better to vacation in – Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada? We compare beaches, prices for tours, accommodation and food in 2022. Where is better for the child and where it is warmer.
Egypt is a longtime love of Russians, and tours to both of these Red Sea resorts are in high demand. Where is cheaper to vacation – in Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada? Tour prices are almost the same, but still in Sharm you can go a little cheaper. Look at how much a vacation for two for 7 nights with a flight from Moscow in 2022 costs:
|Hotel 1-3*||59,000 ₽ – Viva Sharm||62,000 ₽ – Sea Garden|
|4* Hotel||63,000 ₽ – Oriental Rivoli Hotel & Spa||70,000 ₽ – Le Pacha Resort|
|5* Hotel||72,000 ₽ – IL Mercato Hotel & Spa||80,000 ₽ – Hilton Hurghada Resort|
And Travelata – bargain tours
Beaches & Sea
Sharm el-Sheikh occupies the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The beaches there are sandy, and near the shore are coral reefs.
Hurghada is located on the west coast of the Red Sea. This is a paradise for lovers of sandy beaches. Entrance to the sea everywhere is gentle, the bottom is flat, and the depth increases gradually.
Where better to vacation – in Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada? Both resorts are good for a beach holiday. According to tourist reviews, if you are going on vacation with children, it is better to choose Hurghada.
Sharm el Sheikh (Photo: Freesally / pixabay.com)
Weather and climate
Sharm el-Sheikh is covered by the small Sinai Mountains, so there are no strong winds during the cold season, and the water and air are slightly warmer.
Hurghada . Hurghada’s coastline is arid, with only 5 mm of rainfall per year.
Is the climate better in Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada? The distance between the popular resorts is 200 km. Thanks to the warm desert climate in this part of Egypt, it is warm all year round. The temperature never drops below +20 ° C, and the water is warm even in January and February to +18 … +22 ° C.
Summer in Egypt is hot. The daytime temperature is +35 … +40 ° C. The sea water temperature in April is +23 … +24 ° C, in May-June +25 … +26 ° C, and at the height of summer +28 … +30 ° C. The mildest weather for holidays with children is in May and the first half of autumn, when the thermometer does not rise above +32 ° C.
On the coast of Hurghada is dry weather, and for the year falls only 5 mm of rainfall. Photo: borjomi88 / Depositphotos.com.
Prices for holidays
Prices for accommodation. In any Egyptian resort, there are inexpensive guest houses and apartments, budget hotels 2-3* and comfortable hotels 4-5*. Lodging in Hurghada is cheaper. Learn about independent vacation in Egypt.
Prices per double room in Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh in summer 2022:
Food Prices . Meal costs are no different. The average check for two at a cafe is $6-$10, and at an inexpensive restaurant is $12-$20. A big-mac set at McDonald’s costs $5.1 per person.
Prices for excursions . Because of the long distances, tour prices are higher in Sharm el-Sheikh. Day trips are offered for $40-$45.
Transportation Rental . Car rental in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh costs the same – $41-52 per day.
Where is more profitable to vacation – in Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada? According to feedback from tourists, because of the low prices for accommodation vacation in Hurghada is cheaper.
Seller of fruit at the market in Egypt. Photo: demenyuk / Depositphotos.com.
From Sharm el-Sheikh tourists go on excursions to St. Catherine Monastery and Mount Moses. Popular tours to Israel and Jordan – to the ruins of Petra and the Dead Sea.
Hurghada is closer to the main attractions of Egypt. From here it is convenient to get to the temples of Luxor, Cairo, Alexandria, Giza, Aswan and the Roman quarries of Mons Claudianus.
Where is the best place to spend a vacation? Both resorts offer tourists tours of natural and historical monuments in Egypt and neighboring countries. If you want to see Luxor, come to Hurghada. Those who like tours of Christian shrines prefer Sharm el-Sheikh.
Petra in Jordan (Photo: StockSnap / pixabay.com)
Where to vacation: Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada
What resort to go to? It all depends on your travel goals.
Sharm el Sheikh is built as a resort. It has only Arabs who work in hotels and restaurants. Some 3-4* hotels are at a distance from the beaches, and luxurious 5* hotels are on the beach.
Hurghada is not just a resort, but also a city for regular Arabs. Hurghada stretches for 40 km along the beach, and all hotels are close to the beaches.
For holidays with a child or elderly travelers, Hurghada is more suitable. In favor of this resort say excellent sandy beaches, family hotels with animation, dolphinarium, an aquarium, three water parks and museums.
Lovers of outdoor activities and nightlife is good in Sharm el-Sheikh. At this resort, all the entertainment centers are within walking distance of the hotels. In Hurghada, there are several discos and nightclubs, but they are remote from the place of tourists. One has to take a cab to get to discos.
Diving enthusiasts like both resorts. There are beautiful coral reefs near Sharm El Sheikh. In Hurghada there are fewer reefs, and they are located far from the coast. In Hurghada, opened about 100 dive centers, and many employ Russian-speaking instructors. The most popular dive sites are the El Mina wreck, Abu Hashish, Banana, Ben El Gebel, Careless, El Aruk, El Fanadir, Erg Abu Ramada and Erg Sabrina.
Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh: What is the difference and which is better?
Should you choose Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh, each of these resorts on the Red Sea has its own set of fans. Let’s find out which one is right for you. Let’s compare the weather, beaches, tours, hotels and tours costs.
Whether charters fly and what conditions for entry are in force now in Egypt – read all the latest news in our article
Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh on the map
Hurghada is a city on the Red Sea, which began to actively develop as a resort since the 80s. It occupies more than 40 km of coastline, including tourist locations such as Sahl Hasheesh, Makadi, Soma Bay and Safaga.
Sharm el-Sheikh (more correctly Sharm el-Sheikh) is a resort city in Sinai, washed by the Red Sea. The entire infrastructure was originally created for tourists.
In 2022, Sharm is promised to be transformed by an international climate conference and related investments. They promise the conversion of transport and ships to eco-fuel that does not pollute the environment, careful control over garbage collection and recycling, road repairs and bicycle lanes, the prevalence of white facades of buildings, quality water purification systems in hotels and increased speed of the Internet in the resort.
Check the cost of tours by all tour operators and with departure from your city is most convenient on the website Travelata . We usually book through this agency, it is cheaper than the tour operator, especially with a promo code:
AFU300Lucky – 300 rub discount on a tour of 20 thousand AFU500Lucky – 500 rub discount on a tour of 40 thousand AF1000Lucky – 1 000 rub discount on a tour of 60 thousand AFE2000Lucky – 2 000 rub discount on any tour in Egypt of 100 thousand
Step by step instructions for booking here!
Climate. Where it’s warmer in winter and more comfortable in summer
Both resorts are located on the Red Sea and according to reviews of holidaymakers suitable for a holiday at any time of year. Always sunny, the sea is warm, and it rains little . What is the difference between Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada?
Wind Sharm el Sheikh is surrounded by mountains, so in winter there are bays without wind, where it will be warmer than Hurghada (sea +23+24 °C). Well, in the summer, Hurghada has advantages. Thanks to the wind from the sea the heat of about +40 ° C is perceived more easily.
Photo Reef Oasis Beach Resort (Sharm el-Sheikh) / Booking.com
In which bay is better to choose a hotel in Sharm El Sheikh. The hotels in Sharm El Sheikh are particularly useful in winter, when you can swim in windless bays, but on the beaches in other bays there are cold winds and you want to wrap up with a scarf. Choose hotels in Naama Bay, Hadaba, Sharm el Maya and Ras-um el Seed:
Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh beaches: a comparison
Hurghada wins with its beaches – sand, shallow water near the shore and a smooth increase in depth . That’s why families with kids and beach lovers choose Hurghada and resorts nearby
Photo Pyramisa Beach Resort Sahl Hasheesh (Hurghada) / Booking.com
In Sharm, however, many hotels only allow you to swim in the sea from the pontoon. Sometimes these piers are quite long and you have to take a buggy to the swimming spot (estimate the length of the pontoon from the hotel photo). It is better not to go into the sea without special footwear (coral or aqua shoes). In good hotels are certainly trying to clean the bottom of sharp fragments of coral, but still a chance to hurt your foot there. Yes, besides sea urchins come across.
Are there good sandy beaches in Sharm el Sheikh? Yes, there are, for example in the bays of Sharm el-Maya and Ras-um el-Sid.
Photo Sultan Gardens Resort (Sharm el Sheikh) / Booking.com
Reefs, diving, snorkeling. Where better
For snorkeling, of course, Sharm el-Sheikh is better. Reefs near the shore, there is definitely something to see The coolest reefs in Sharm near hotels Park Regency 5* (tours from St. Petersburg from 81 000 for two people), Reef Oasis Beach 5* (tours from 130 000 for two people), Baron Resort Sharm el Sheikh 5* (tours from 150 000 for two people), Four Seasons Sharm El Sheikh 5* (tours from 230 000 for two people).
And in Hurghada there are places with good coral reefs, you just need to know the hotels. And of course you can always go to the reefs on a yacht. Diving centers in Hurghada offer all sorts of diving equipment.
Hotels in Hurghada with a reef : Hurghada Coral Beach 4* (tours from 110,000 for two), Premier Le Reve 5* (adults only hotel, tours from 150,000 for two), Stella Di Mare Madaki Garden 5* (tours from 101,000 for two), Stella Di Mare Makadi Beach 5* (tours from 103,000 for two), Arabella Azur 4* (tours from 94 000 for two), Sunny Days 4* (tours from 86 000 for two), Serenity Fun City 5* (tours from 141 000 for two), Sheraton Soma Bay 5* (tours from 101 000 for two), Albatros Citadel 5* (tours from 101 000 for two).
Recently, the resort of Marsa Alam is becoming popular. It is located almost 300 km south of Hurghada. Yes, the transfer will be long, but the untouched reefs and the impressive underwater world will be remembered for a long time. The best tours in Marsa Alam
Where to go for windsurfing and kitesurfing? It’s better in Hurghada (especially Safaga, tours from 77,200 for two), where it’s almost always windy. In Sharm el Sheikh there are almost no conditions for kiteboarding, but there is Dahab with guaranteed wind and good waves.
By the way, about all the popular resorts in Egypt in 2022 can be read here
Accessible excursions from Hurghada or Sharm
If you dream to see with your own eyes Luxor and the temples, Aswan and the Nile, Giza with the pyramids, then from Hurghada it’s all closer . To Luxor it takes 4.5 hours by bus, to Cairo and the pyramids 6 hours. In general, all these excursions will be cheaper.
By the way, in the summer months there is a 50% discount for tourists to enter the museums and attractions in Luxor and Aswan.
From Sharm el-Sheikh, these attractions will require stamina – take a long bus ride or fly on local airlines. But Sharm el-Sheikh has its own attractions nearby. There is plenty to see and do in Sinai.
Flying with kids – where better.
With little kids everyone flies to Hurghada (sandy beaches and smooth depths).
A good hotel for family holidays in Makadi Bay Stella Makadi Beach Resort 5* (tours from 93 000 for two)
Photo Sunrise Royal Makadi Resort (Hurghada) / Booking.com
You can also go to Sharm with older children. They, just like adults, are ready to snorkel from morning till night, you can’t get them out of the water. If you want to go to Sharm el Sheikh with a baby, yes, you can. The hotels have lagoons by the shore, which are cleaned from sharp coral splinters, and special heated pools. Children are known to be good everywhere. But do not forget that to enter the water is better in corals.
Hotels in Sharm el Sheikh, where to fly with children (there are shoals, pools and water park): Aqua Blu Sharm El Sheikh 4* (tours from 99,000 for two), Sunrise Diamond Beach Resort 5* (tours from 220,000 for two), Rixos Seagate 5* (tours from 215,000 for two, not worth going in winter, this bay is windy).
Photo Aqua Blu Sharm El Sheikh (Sharm El Sheikh) / Booking.com
Holidays for adults
Where is the best nightlife, discos and clubs? I would say that Sharm El Sheikh is more fun, but then again, in Hurghada you can find somewhere to have fun too. The partying youth hotels are in both resorts. Poolside bars, sunset parties – Meraki Resort 4* (tours from 106 000 for two people), Albatros Citadel 5* (tours from 101 000 rubles for two people), Marina Sharm 4* (tours from 94 000 for two people), Tropitel Naama Bay 5* (tours from 90 000 for two people), Rehana 5* (tours from 93 000 for two people).
Photo Meraki Resort (Hurghada) / Booking.com
Hotels for couples or honeymoon without children’s squealing and running around can also be found in Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada: Premier Le Reve 5* (tours from 148,000 rubles for two), Sunrise Romance 5* (tours from 161,000 rubles for two), Rixos Premium Magawish 5* (tours from 316,000 rubles for two), Rixos Sharm El Sheikh 5* (tours from 198,000 for two), Baron Palms Resort 5* (tours from 133,000 for two).
Photo Sunrise Romance Resort Sahl Hasheesh (Hurghada) / Booking.com
Hotels in Sharm El Sheesh and Hurghada: differences
The hotels in Hurghada are older. But in Hurghada and in Hurghada there are good hotels with different prices and from world famous hotel chains.
Photo Steigenberger Alcazar (Sharm el-Sheikh) / Booking.com
If you compare new 4-5* hotels, you can’t say that Hurghada is cheaper in price or loses in quality of service. Both are first-class hotels with the highest level of service: Iberotel, Kempinski, Sheraton, Steigenberger, Rixos Hotels, Four Seasons.
It should be borne in mind that a number of hotels, once popular before the suspension of charters from Russia to Egypt in 2015, are now outdated or deteriorated in terms of service and food. So when choosing a tour, always be guided by fresh reviews and hotel rating.
|4* Hotel||Tours from 78 000 for two people||Tours from 70 000 for two people|
|5* Hotel||Tours from 77 000 for two people||Tours from 83 000 for two people|
Visa and transfers. How Sharm el Sheikh is different from Hurghada
Tourists arriving in Hurghada and Cairo are charged a visa fee of $25 per person. Sharm el Sheikh, on the other hand, has the option of not having to pay for a visa.
Sharm el Sheikh Airport gives you a free Sinai visa stamp that allows you to stay in Sinai for 2 weeks. However, if you want to go on an excursion to Giza, Luxor, or Aswan, you will need to pay for the visa.
If you fly ✈ through Cairo for your vacation, it is important to keep in mind how long the bus transfer will take. To Hurghada, of course, it’s closer, about 5 hours, but to Sharm it takes 6-7 hours.
Of course after the resumption of direct charters in 2021 the duration of the transfer does not bother anyone, because there is an airport in both Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. Read all the latest news about charters to Egypt!
Briefly. Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh – what to choose
Most likely after reading our article you have already made up your mind and chosen a resort to your liking. Start with it, but I advise you to visit both, to see everything with your own eyes.
Summary table of the two main resorts in Egypt:
|Hurghada||Sharm el Sheikh|
|Reefs and Fish|
|Holidays with Kids|
|Where to go|
|Visa||25$||Free (Sinai only)|
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By the way, we recently conducted a survey about Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh – which resort is better. Write in the comments which resort you have chosen and why