Gladlee of Guernsey
An article for Yachting World magazine in 250 words.
SOUTHERN EGYPT ..................... by Nigel Morley and Julie Smart
The tourist resort of Hurghada has long been a standard stopover for yachts transiting the Red Sea, offering as it does their first (or last) chance to enjoy relatively sophisticated shopping, dining, entertainment and other facilities. However Hurghada has grown expensive and crowded, mooring charges are levied almost everywhere in the resort area, while complex local procedures and formalities seem designed to discourage yachts from going there at all. Even the famed dive sites off Hurghada are now almost overwhelmed by sheer numbers of visitors.
30 miles to the south (and within easy reach of Hurghada by road), Safaga has not yet developed into a major resort and offers an altogether more relaxed atmosphere. Most visiting yachts head for the resort hotels on the beach north of the town, where the anchorage off the newer and more attractive Lotus Bay Hotel offers marginally better shelter than that off the nearby Paradise Beach - both hotels still tolerate yachts’ crews using their facilities for free, though the dive centres on the beach may make a small charge for water. The best food shopping is at the other end of town (easily reached by shared minibus), while small quantities of fuel can be obtained direct from a nearby service station. Safaga has little else to offer, but at least it doesn’t seem to have succumbed (yet) to the climate of bureaucracy and greed which has turned many Egyptian harbours, notably on the Sinai peninsula, into expensive traps for visiting yachts.